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MySQL: preferred column type for (product) prices?

Posted by: admin November 1, 2017 Leave a comment


In MySQL, what is the preferred column type for storing a product’s price (or currencies in general)? Google learned me DECIMAL of FLOAT is often used, but I wonder which one is better.

I’m storing prices ranging from 0.01 to 25.00. Of course higher values could also be possible. (Note: I’m not asking for copy-pasta code, I’m just giving you more information which could help you form a more complete answer).



Decimal is the one I would use

The basic difference between
Decimal/Numeric and Float : Float is
Approximate-number data type, which
means that not all values in the data
type range can be represented exactly.
Decimal/Numeric is Fixed-Precision
data type, which means that all the
values in the data type reane can be
represented exactly with precision and

Converting from Decimal or Numeric to
float can cause some loss of
precision. For the Decimal or Numeric
data types, SQL Server considers each
specific combination of precision and
scale as a different data type.
DECIMAL(2,2) and DECIMAL(2,4) are
different data types. This means that
11.22 and 11.2222 are different types though this is not the case for float.
For FLOAT(6) 11.22 and 11.2222 are
same data types.


Field type “Decimal” is good.

If you have highe prices then you can use product_price decimal(6,2) NOT NULL, i.e. you can store prices up to 6 digits with decimal point before 2 digits.

Maximum value for field product_price decimal(6,2) NOT NULL, will store price up to 9999.99

If all prices are between 0.01 to 25.00 then product_price decimal(4,2) NOT NULL, will be good, but if you will have higher prices then you can set any values in decimal(4,2).


I would not use float as that can give rounding errors, as it is a floating point type.

Use decimal:

“The DECIMAL and NUMERIC types are
used to store values for which it is
important to preserve exact
precision, for example with monetary

see: http://dev.mysql.com/doc/mysql/en/numeric-types.html


I prefer INT (price multipled by 100) which solves floating point problem in other software.