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11 Planetscale alternatives with free tiers

Written by Emadamerho-Atori Nefe✏️

Planetscale is a serverless database platform that provides a fully managed and scalable MySQL-compatible database solution.

On 6 March 2024, the Planetscale team announced their decision to remove their Hobby plan — a free tier developers used to manage and deploy their serverless databases. According to Sam Lambert, the CEO of Planetscale, they made this decision to "prioritize profitability and build a company that can last forever."

The Hobby plan is no longer available on the pricing page, and Planetscale will deprecate it on 8 April 2024. Users who haven't migrated their Hobby databases by then will need a paid plan to access their data.

The decision to remove the Hobby plan was sudden, and with the Planetscale free plan gone, many developers are searching for alternative solutions that offer generous free tiers.

In this article, we will explore 11 Planetscale alternatives that offer free plans for performing backend and database operations. We will also explore key factors to consider when choosing a serverless database platform. Let's dive in!


Supabase Homepage Supabase positions itself as the "open source Firebase alternative." It was founded in 2020 and is a developer-friendly serverless database platform that supports over 20 frameworks, including popular tools like Next.js, React, Nuxt, Svelte, Flutter, and Vue.

Supabase provides integrations with third-party tools like Cloudflare Workers, Vercel, Resend, and Auth0. These integrations cover categories including API, auth, caching, data platforms, DevTools, foreign data wrappers, no-code tools, and messaging.

Supabase's free tier offers the following:

  • Unlimited API requests
  • 50,000 monthly active users
  • 500 MB database space
  • 2-core shared CPU
  • 5 GB bandwidth
  • 1 GB file storage
  • Unlimited users
  • Community support


  • Postgres database
  • Authentication
  • Edge functions
  • Real-time subscriptions
  • Storage
  • Vector embeddings
  • Auto-generates APIs directly from database schema
  • Supabase CLI for local development and deployment
  • In-built SQL editor for writing, saving, and executing SQL queries directly from the dashboard
  • In-built table editor with a spreadsheet-like interface for adding, editing, and updating data


  • An intuitive, easy-to-navigate interface that makes it user-friendly and easy to set up projects.
  • Extensive documentation that facilitates learning, adopting, and integrating Supabase into your projects faster
  • Speeds up development and allows you to build applications without setting up servers from scratch
  • Automatically generates APIs based on the database schema, which eliminates the need for manual API development


Xata Homepage Like Supabase, Xata is a serverless database platform that was founded in 2020 and supports Postgres. It combines the powers of PostgreSQL and ElasticSearch for database operations.

Xata supports several modern JavaScript frameworks, including Astro, SolidJS, SvelteKit, Nuxt, Remix, and Next.js.

Xata's free tier offers the following:

  • 10 database branches
  • High availability
  • Support-assisted daily backups
  • 15 GB data storage
  • 15 GB search engine storage
  • 2 GB file attachments
  • 250 AI queries per month


  • Postgres database
  • JSON-like schema definition
  • Supports database branching
  • Relational data model
  • Real-time data processing
  • Code snippet generation
  • File storage
  • Full-text search
  • Advanced querying capabilities like aggregations, filters, and joins
  • ChatGPT functionality in every database


  • Easy-to-navigate, spreadsheet-like UI
  • Ability to "chat" with your database, making it easy to gain context on old projects and onboard new teammates
  • Automatically generates code snippets for your database, significantly speeding up development and improving DX. Snippets are available for several languages — including Python, JavaScript, and TypeScript — as well as for the following operations:
    • Paginated queries
    • Querying all records
    • Getting a single record
    • Inserting a record
    • Updating a record
    • Deleting a record


Cloudflare Homepage Unlike other providers in this list, Cloudflare is not just a serverless database platform. Instead, it’s a cloud connectivity platform that provides several web services. It’s one of the world's largest networks and serves 55 million HTTP requests per second.

Cloudflare provides several popular solutions, like Cloudflare Pages for deploying frontend applications and Cloudflare CDN for content delivery.

When it comes to serverless databases, Cloudflare offers various solutions, which each offer free tiers:

  • Cloudflare Workers KV: Easy-to-use, distributed, and serverless key-value storage system for applications. The free tier offers:
    • 1 GB Key-value storage space
    • 100,000 key-value reads per day
    • 1,000 key-value writes per day
    • 1,000 key-value deletes per day
    • 1,000 key-value lists per day
  • Cloudflare D1: For building serverless SQL databases of any size. The free tier offers:
    • 5 million rows read per day
    • 100k rows written per day
    • 5 GB monthly storage
  • Cloudflare R2: For creating multi-cloud architectures with an S3-compatible object storage. The free tier offers:
    • 10 GB monthly storage
  • Cloudflare Durable Objects: For building collaborative editing tools, interactive chat, video conferencing, and multiplayer games. The free tier offers:
    • 1,000,000 read request units per month
    • 1,000,000 write requests per month
    • 1,000,000 delete requests per month
    • 1 GB monthly storage


  • SQL database
  • Built on SQLite
  • Native serverless architecture
  • SQL based dialect
  • Built-in JSON parsing and querying functions
  • Support for full-text search and triggers


  • Improved response times by storing data closer to users at Cloudflare's edge locations
  • Increased reliability through automatic data replication across regions to avoid single points of failure
  • Natively serverless architecture that allows you to deploy databases in seconds
  • Point-in-time recovery, which reduces the risk of data loss
  • Cost savings via zero egress fees and cost-effective pricing
  • Seamless integration with Cloudflare's network and other services


Render Homepage

Render is a cloud-based application hosting and database platform for building, deploying, and scaling applications with ease. It provides enterprise-grade data stores, automatic scaling, backups, and high availability, and it supports PostgreSQL databases.

Render's free tier offers the following:

  • Fully managed PostgreSQL
  • 1 GB SSD storage
  • Point-in-time-recovery (PITR)


  • PostgreSQL database
  • Automatic deploys
  • Supports native runtimes for several languages, including Node.js, Python, Ruby
  • Automatic scaling based on traffic patterns
  • Built-in protection against Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks


  • Speeds up development by allowing developers to go live quickly and iterate with every code push
  • Offers collaboration features for teams, including project management, preview environments, and notifications


Cockroach Db Homepage CockroachDB is an open source distributed SQL database designed for scalability and resilience. While it offers SQL databases, CockroachDB is also compatible with PostgreSQL.

CockroachDB was built with Go, supports multi-cloud deployment, and can handle millions of queries per second. It offers automatic scaling, data replication, ACID compliance, an elastic and robust data architecture, and global distribution.

CockroachDB's free tier offers the following:

  • 10 GB monthly storage
  • 50 million request units per org per month
  • Available on GCP and AWS
  • SRE team support and guaranteed uptime
  • Auto-scales across multiple regions
  • Row-based data partitioning across geographies
  • Automated, no downtime upgrades
  • Daily and hourly backups


  • SQL databases
  • Provides simple, automated horizontal scale for reads and writes
  • Query inspection tools for finding, fixing, and optimizing problematic queries
  • Provides an interactive SQL playground


  • Allows you to start small and grow as you need
  • Eliminate the stress of manual sharding
  • Allows you to create new instances and scale without manual work
  • Allows you to roll software updates, patches, and schema modifications without suffering downtimes or service disruptions
  • Compatible with the PostgreSQL ecosystem


Neon Homepage Neon is an open source and cloud-native serverless database platform that focuses on simplicity and ease of use. It supports Postgres databases and offers built-in features like bottomless storage, autoscaling, and branching.

Neon's free tier offers the following:

  • 0.5 GB storage
  • 1 project
  • 10 branches
  • Unlimited databases
  • Community support
  • Comput size: 0.25 vCPU and 1 GB RAM


  • Postgres database
  • Autoscaling
  • Database branching
  • Incremental auto-backups
  • Neon CLI
  • AI vector store
  • A multi-tenant storage system that allows for unlimited storage and high availability


  • Provides a Git-like process for creating and managing branches, making it suitable for modern development workflows
  • Its generous free tier offers unlimited databases, making Neon a good choice for personal projects and MVPs
  • The branching feature allows you to perform A/B tests without impacting the main branch


Tembo Homepage Tembo is an open source serverless database platform for Postgres databases. It was launched in January 2023 and provides a singular Postgres-centric platform for running Postgres and its entire ecosystem, including extensions, applications, tools, and more.

Tembo's free tier offers the following:

  • 10+ stacks
  • Unlimited databases
  • 0.25 vCPU and 1 GB memory
  • 5 GB storage
  • Unlimited reads and writes
  • 30-day log retention
  • Community and email support


  • Postgres database
  • Point in time recovery
  • Tembo CLI
  • Automatic API endpoint generation
  • Vector search and embeddings
  • Real-time notifications for high-volume message processing



Convex Homepage Convex is a serverless backend-as-a-service (BaaS) that is similar to Firebase and Supabase. It is specifically tailored for founders and startups.

Besides database solutions, Convex also provides capabilities like server functions, backend functionality, and authentication. It’s a frontend-development-friendly platform and supports frameworks like Next.js and React, among others.

Convex's free tier offers the following:

  • 2 developers in a team
  • 5 projects in a team
  • 1,000,000 function calls
  • 20 GB-hours action-compute
  • 0.5 GB database storage
  • 1 GB database bandwidth
  • 1 GB file storage
  • 1 GB file bandwidth
  • 0.25 GB vector storage
  • 0.5 GB vector bandwidth


  • Real-time database
  • Server functions
  • ACID database
  • Vector search
  • Full-text search
  • Convex CLI
  • Cron jobs
  • File storage
  • Automatic caching
  • Authentication via custom integrations and established auth providers like Auth0 and Clerk


  • Seamless developer experience
  • Comprehensive and scalable backend solution
  • Real-time collaboration and communication features
  • Integrates seamlessly with modern frontend frameworks like React and Next.js
  • Cost-effective alternative to running backend infrastructure yourself


Single Store Homepage SingleStore is a distributed SQL database that offers high-throughput transactions (inserts and upserts), high performance, and real-time analytics. It provides high performance even when working with large-scale transactional workloads.

SingleStore follows the multi-model database approach, which allows you to store and access data of different types, including:

  • Relational (tabular data)
  • Time series
  • Geospatial
  • Key-value pairs (dictionaries or hash tables)
  • Documents (JSON or XML)

While SingleStore has a free tier, it does not provide data on what the free tier contains. However, the pricing page shows that SingleStore offers $600 worth of free credits. Features:

  • Distributed SQL database
  • Real-time analytics
  • Vector similarity search
  • Buttomless storage
  • ACID-compliant transactions
  • Hybrid search (vector + full-text search)
  • Supports several data types, including relational, JSON documents, vector data, full-text search, time-series, geospatial, and key-value data models
  • Universal storage architecture combining rowstores and columnstores for high transaction and analytical performance
  • Low-latency query performance for complex analytical queries


  • Real-time data processing makes it a great choice for building real-time applications
  • Unlimited storage and seamless scalability
  • Provides high performance for transactions and analytics
  • SingleStore's multi-model database approach makes it a good fit for applications that require various types of data
  • Enterprise readiness with security, high availability, and compliance

Astro DB

Astro Db Homepage Astro DB is a fast, lightweight, and fully managed SQL database. It’s the database service of Astro, a framework for building content-driven websites — like blogs, marketing, and ecommerce — with your preferred JavaScript framework. Astro DB was released on 12 March 2024.

Astro DB is powered by LibSQL, an open source fork of SQLite that was created by Turso. You can use Astro DB's drop-in database to build features like blogs, comment functionality, forums, feedback systems, and user authentication.

An important thing to note is that Astro DB is built for the Astro ecosystem, meaning that, for now, it only works with websites built with Astro.

Astro DB's free tier offers the following:

  • Unlimited databases
  • Unlimited applications
  • 1 GB storage per month
  • 1 billion row reads per month
  • 1 million row writes per month


  • SQL database
  • A spreadsheet-like interface
  • Rich-text editor
  • Raw SQL console
  • Built-in Drizzle ORM client
  • Automatically configured TypeScript ORM with full type-safety


  • Powered by LibSQL for lightweight efficiency and enterprise-grade performance
  • Automatically scales up or down based on demand
  • Easy to use, as no configuration or provisioning is required
  • Provides TypeScript support with autocompletion and type checking
  • No vendor lock-in since Asro DB allows you to export data anytime
  • Global distribution across multiple regions
  • Allows you to explore your data via several methods: a spreadsheet interface, rich-text editor, and SQL console


Appwrite Homepage Appwrite is an open source BaaS platform that provides services like serverless functions, serverless databases, user authentication, and messaging. Since its release, it has quickly become a popular choice for building websites and applications.

Appwrite's serverless database service is a scalable, high-performance solution that lets you store, query, and manage structured data. It supports SQL and NoSQL database adapters like MariaDB and MySQL.

Appwrite integrates with several technologies, including Flutter, Next.js, Vue.js, SvelteKit, Nuxt, Angular, Qwik, and Astro. It also provides iOS and Android SKDS for mobile app development.

Appwrite's free tier offers the following:

  • Unlimited projects (never paused)
  • 10 GB bandwidth
  • 2 GB storage
  • 750K executions
  • 75K monthly active users
  • Community support
  • Non-removable Appwrite branding
  • No add-ons
  • 1 Database, 3 Buckets, and 5 Functions per project
  • 2 webhooks per project
  • 1 organization member
  • Community support


  • SQL and NoSQL database
  • Serverless functions
  • File uploads and storage
  • Real-time events
  • Messaging ability that allows you to send SMS, email, and push notifications through third-party providers like Twilio and Sendgrid
  • User authentication via social login, 2FA, email and password login, OTP-based, or Magic URL login


  • Provides support for many SDKs, allowing you to code and build with their preferred languages and tools
  • Has a large and vibrant community that continually offers support and learning resources. This has been key to Appwrite's success and adoption
  • Continually innovates and launches new solutions that improve the developer experience and make it easier to build applications. An example is Appwrite 1.5, which came with messaging functionality and SSR support when released on 5 March 2024

Frontend development use cases for serverless database platforms

While serverless databases are primarily considered backend data storage solutions, they can also offer interesting capabilities for frontend developers. Let’s explore a few different ways frontend developers can use them to build scalable and efficient applications.

Real-time data synchronization and processing

Many serverless platforms like Supabase, Convex, and Appwrite provide real-time functionality and allow you to subscribe directly to data changes and receive live updates. This enables powerful real-time features like collaborative editing, multiplayer games, chat applications, and live dashboards and monitoring.

Offline data access & sync

With serverless database platforms, applications can read and write data while offline. The client synchronizes those changes when online since the serverless solution automatically syncs the cache. This offline data persistence is crucial for mobile apps, progressive web apps, or any application that needs to function with unreliable network connectivity.

User authentication

While not a core feature of serverless database platforms, some solutions provide user authentication functionalities. They allow you to pick your preferred authentication workflow, whether email/password, Google, Facebook, GitHub, etc. This removes the need to create complex authentication flows from scratch.

Solutions like Supabase and Appwrite provide built-in authentication functionality, while Xata allows you to integrate with third-party authentication tools.

Rapid prototyping

The low setup overhead of serverless databases makes them ideal for rapidly prototyping new ideas or MVPs (minimum viable products). You can spin up a real-time database in minutes, allowing you to quickly validate concepts and build prototypes.

Factors to consider when choosing a serverless database platform

Let's explore some key factors to consider when choosing between a serverless database platform:

  • Pricing: Evaluate the pricing models of different platforms, including the cost of their compute resources, storage, data transfer, and any additional features or add-ons. Considering your project's budget and growth projections will help you select a platform that aligns with your budget
  • Scalability: Scalability is essential to handle growing data volumes and user traffic. Ensure that the serverless database platform offers automatic scaling capabilities, allowing your application to handle increased demand without performance degradation
  • Security: Consider the platform's security measures like encryption at rest and in transit, access controls, and backups. Also, assess whether the platform adheres to industry standards that ensure your data remains secure and protected
  • Ease of use: Consider the platform's ease of use, including the availability of user-friendly interfaces, documentation, and developer tools. Assess the learning curve and determine if the platform offers resources and support to help you get started quickly
  • Available features and functionality: Evaluate whether the platform's features and functionality align with your project requirements. For example, if you need real-time functionality and authentication, consider using Supabase and Appwrite. However, if you need the ability to query ChatGPT against your database, choose Xata and its AI-generation capabilities
  • Data model support: Ensure that the database platform supports the data model(s) you need for your application. Some platforms specialize in document databases (e.g., MongoDB), while others offer key-value stores, relational models, or a multilingual approach supporting multiple data models

To that end, let’s see how the Planetscale alternatives we’ve discussed compare when it comes to these factors:

Platform Pricing beyond free tier Security Features Data model support
Supabase Starts at $25/month Adheres to global security standards Authentication, edge functions, real-time subscriptions, storage, vector embeddings, auto-generates APIs, CLI, SQL editor, table editor Postgres
Xata Starts at $20/month Adheres to global security standards JSON-like schema definition, database branching, relational data model, real-time data processing, code snippet generation, file storage, ChatGPT functionality Postgres
Cloudflare Starts at $5/month Adheres to global security standards Native serverless architecture, SQL based dialect, JSON parsing, support for full-text search and triggers SQL
Render Starts at $19/user/month Adheres to global security standards Automatic deploys, supports native runtimes for several languages, automatic scaling PostgreSQL
CockroachDB Starts at $295/month Adheres to global security standards Horizontal scaling for reads and writes, query inspection tools, interactive SQL playground SQL
Neon Starts at $19/month Adheres to global security standards Autoscaling, database branching, auto-backups, CLI, AI vector store, multi-tenant storage Postgres
Tembo Starts at $35/month Adheres to global security standards Point in time recovery, CLI, auto-generated API endpoints, vector search, real-time notifications Postgres
Convex Starts at $25/user/month Adheres to global security standards Server functions, ACID database. vector search, Full-text search, CLI, cron jobs, file storage, automatic caching Real-time
SingleStore Starts at $0.80/hr Adheres to global security standards Real-time analytics, vector similarity search, buttomless storage, ACID-compliant transactions, supports several data types, Distributed SQL
Astro DB Free, then pay as you go Data unavailable Spreadsheet UI, rich-text editor, SQL console, Drizzle ORM client, TypeScript ORM SQL
Appwrite Starts at $15/user/month Adheres to global security standards Serverless functions, file uploads and storage, real-time events, messaging, and authentication SQL and NoSQL

Note that all of these tools offer scalability features, and their ease of use may depend on many factors, so these have been excluded from the table above.


There are multiple serverless database platforms to choose from, and picking the right solution can be tricky. This article will serve as a guide and help you streamline the decision-making process.

You can safely use the free tiers of any of the 11 Planetscale alternatives covered in this article to build your next project, whether an ecommerce app, chatbot, inventory system, or the next unicorn SaaS app. And if the serverless database platform you choose happens to end its free plan like Planetscale did, you have 10 other options to explore.

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