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Cheerio vs. BeautifulSoup: Which Is Best for You?

February 13, 2024 ยท 2 min read

Are you considering BeautifulSoup or Cheerio for web scraping? Both tools are top-notch HTML parsers used by web scrapers.

In this article, we'll compare BeautifulSoup vs. Cheerio so you can decide the best option for you.

Cheerio vs. BeautifulSoup: Which Is Best?

Cheerio is a Node.js library for parsing HTML and XML documents. It uses jQuery-like syntaxes to locate elements using CSS selectors. JavaScript's asynchronous support allows Cheerio to handle concurrent requests.

BeautifulSoup is an HTML and XML parser package in Python. It builds a parse tree around HTML documents for easy DOM navigation, making it more flexible than Cheerio. Unlike Cheerio, BeautifulSoup is strictly synchronous.

Go with Cheerio If you want to scrape plenty of pages concurrently and faster. Choose BeautifulSoup if you value simplicity and flexibility over speed and concurrency.

Feature Comparison: Cheerio and BeautifulSoup

Let's briefly overview Cheerio vs. BeautifulSoup in a table to see how they compare.

Consideration Cheerio BeautifulSoup
Language JavaScript Python
Functionality HTML and XML parsing HTML and XML parsing
Speed Fast Moderate
Memory usage Highly memory-efficient Moderately memory-efficient
Ease of use Steeper learning curve Beginner-friendly with an easy learning curve
Support for CSS selectors Yes Yes
Support for XPath Unsupported No built-in support. Requires the lxml library
Community Good Good
Documentation Comprehensive Comprehensive
Avoid getting blocked Proxy and header rotation with HTTP clients like Axios. Proxy and header rotation with HTTP clients like Requests.
DOM navigation flexibility Less flexible Parse tree enhances DOM navigation flexibility
Suitability for concurrency Asynchronous support makes it suitable for concurrency Not suitable for concurrent scraping

Want to learn more about both tools? Read along in the next sections.

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BeautifulSoup Works with Python, Cheerio with JavaScript

BeautifulSoup and Cheerio are language-specific. Cheerio is a JavaScript library requiring npm installation and the Node.js runtime. BeautifulSoup depends on Python, and installation is via pip.

They're Both Great HTML Parsers

The main similarity between Cheerio and BeautifulSoup is that they both excel as solid HTML parsers in their respective domain. However, BeautifulSoup is more flexible and navigates the DOM better with its XML parse tree capability.

Cheerio is Faster for Parsing

Cheerio is faster than BeautifulSoup at parsing HTML documents, mainly due to Cheerio's asynchronous support and the selection speed it inherits from jQuery.

We did a 100-iteration performance benchmark to compare the parsing speed of BeautifulSoup vs. Cheerio. BeautifulSoup averaged 2.13 seconds to parse the target web page. On average, Cheerio parsed the same web page in 0.32 seconds.

See the graphical presentation of the benchmark below (from the fastest to the slowest).

Click to open the image in full screen

The Two Libraries Are Easy to Use

BeautifulSoup and Cheerio offer straightforward implementations and are easy to set up. However, BeautifulSoup's Pythonic nature makes it more beginner-friendly. Cheerio's dependence on jQuery syntax makes its learning curve a bit steeper for beginners.

Both Tools Have Large Community Support

BeautifulSoup and Cheerio have solid community support in their respective domains. So, there are plenty of resources and guides online to solve problems quickly with both tools.

GitHub statistics place Cheerio above BeautifulSoup in terms of popularity, though. BeautifulSoup polls 717k users, while 1.3 million users depend on Cheerio.ย 


In this article, we've established that BeautifulSoup and Cheerio are effective HTML parsers in their respective languages and share similarities in community support. You've also learned that while BeautifulSoup is easier and more flexible, Cheerio is superior in performance.

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