Understanding and Implementing React Query Library's Suspense Support for Concurrent Mode in React

Anton Ioffe - March 3rd 2024 - 10 minutes read

In the dynamic landscape of modern web development, crafting seamless user experiences has become paramount. This article delves into the synergistic power of React Query and Suspense, a duo that promises to revolutionize data fetching patterns in React applications. From elucidating the seamless integration that elevates async operations to a next-level smoothness, to offering hands-on guidance on implementing Suspense with React Query, we navigate through the nuances of enhancing app performance with Concurrent Mode. Along the journey, we’ll uncover common pitfalls, share best practices, and explore advanced scenarios to equip you with the knowledge to master complex data interactions, ensuring your applications not only meet but exceed today's user expectations. Prepare to elevate your development skills and ponder deeper about your data fetching strategies in React ecosystems.

Understanding React Query and Suspense Integration

React Query and React's Suspense feature come together to forge a powerful combination for handling data fetching and the associated UI state management more gracefully. At the core of React Query is the useQuery hook, which is designed for fetching, caching, and updating data in a React application. This hook takes a query key and a fetch function; the fetched data is then available to your components or hooks. When integrating with Suspense, React Query's useQuery hook utilizes Suspense's capability to delay rendering a component until certain conditions are met – in this case, until the data fetching process completes.

Suspense works by suspending the rendering of components until their data dependencies are resolved. It relies on throwing a promise to indicate that the data is not ready yet, and React Suspense catches this promise and shows a fallback UI, which can be a loading indicator or any other placeholder component. When the promise resolves, meaning the data fetch operation is complete, React re-renders the component with the fetched data. React Query's useQuery hook is designed to seamlessly work with Suspense by providing real-time status about fetch requests. When a query is in the 'loading' state, it can throw a promise that Suspense can use to trigger its fallback behavior.

To enable the integration between React Query and Suspense, you must configure React Query to use Suspense mode. This is done by setting the suspense: true option in the React Query QueryClient setup. This setup enables any query executed with useQuery within your application to leverage Suspense automatically for managing loading states. The advantage here is a cleaner and more declarative approach to handling loading states across your application, minimizing UI jitter and providing a smoother user experience.

This integration significantly enhances the developer experience as well. Instead of manually managing loading states and rendering different UI components based on these states, developers can rely on Suspense to handle these scenarios. This results in less boilerplate code and a more straightforward way to manage the asynchronous nature of data fetching in modern web applications. React Query's integration with Suspense abstracts away the complexities of async data fetching, allowing developers to focus more on building the UI rather than the intricacies of data fetching and state management.

While the integration of React Query with Suspense offers a more efficient way to handle data fetching and UI rendering states, it is essential to note that Suspense for data fetching is still an experimental feature in React. As such, it's crucial to stay updated with the latest React releases and the status of this feature for production use. However, even in its experimental stage, the combination of React Query and Suspense demonstrates a powerful pattern for building responsive and high-performance applications with React.

Implementing Suspense with React Query

To begin integrating Suspense with React Query in a React application, first, ensure that a React.Suspense boundary is set up. This boundary acts as a fallback mechanism, rendering a specified component or JSX fragment while the asynchronous data fetching process is ongoing. A simple implementation within the component tree might look like this:

import React from 'react';
import { Suspense } from 'react';
import { Recipes } from './components/Recipes';

function App() {
  return (
    <Suspense fallback={<div>Loading...</div>}>
      <Recipes />

export default App;

In the above example, <Recipes /> is a component that will perform data fetching operations using React Query's useQuery hook. Before venturing into the hook's specifics, it's essential to initialize React Query's QueryClient with Suspense support enabled. This configuration is done by setting the suspense option to true:

import { QueryClient, QueryClientProvider } from 'react-query';

const queryClient = new QueryClient({
  defaultOptions: { queries: { suspense: true } },

Within the Recipes component, the useQuery hook is utilized to fetch data asynchronously. React Query's hooks, when used in conjunction with Suspense, will automatically throw promises that Suspense can catch, triggering the fallback rendering until the data is available:

import { useQuery } from 'react-query';
import { fetchRecipes } from '../api';

function Recipes() {
  const { data } = useQuery('recipes', fetchRecipes);

  return (
      {data.map(recipe => (
        <li key={recipe.id}>{recipe.title}</li>

This pattern greatly simplifies the handling of loading states. Instead of manually tracking the loading state of each asynchronous operation, Suspense and React Query manage this automatically, allowing developers to focus on rendering the successful state of the component. However, handling errors within Suspense boundaries requires a slightly different approach. By leveraging React Query's useErrorBoundary option within the useQuery hook, thrown errors can be propagated up to the nearest error boundary:

const { data } = useQuery('recipes', fetchRecipes, { useErrorBoundary: true });

Implementing this setup ensures that, in addition to streamlining the management of loading states, error states are also gracefully handled, making the overall user experience smoother and more predictable. React Query and Suspense together form a powerful duo that abstracts away much of the complexity traditionally associated with fetching asynchronous data in React applications, paving the way for cleaner and more maintainable components.

Optimizing App Performance with Concurrent Mode

React's Concurrent Mode is a game-changing feature for optimizing app performance, primarily when used alongside Suspense and libraries like React Query. It enhances the way React prepares and renders UI updates, particularly in dynamic applications with heavy data-fetching requirements. By allowing React to work on multiple UI states in the background, Concurrent Mode enables non-blocking UI updates, which is a significant departure from the traditional, linear rendering path. This approach ensures that the user interface remains responsive, preventing the jarring lags that can occur when the UI waits for data to load or update.

One of the key benefits of Concurrent Mode is its ability to prioritize rendering work. By understanding the user's interactions and the importance of various UI elements, React can decide which updates to complete first and which can be delayed. This is particularly beneficial in scenarios where data fetching and UI rendering are closely coupled. With Suspense, developers can define fallback content to display while waiting for the data, seamlessly integrating with Concurrent Mode to provide a smooth user experience.

Enabling Concurrent Mode in a React application is straightforward but requires diligence, as it marks a significant shift in how components render and interact. Developers must wrap their application or parts of it in a <React.StrictMode> component, which activates Concurrent Mode. This encapsulation signals React to prepare UI updates concurrently, leveraging Suspense to handle asynchronous data fetching without blocking UI updates.

A practical example of using Concurrent Mode could involve a complex dashboard application that needs to fetch and display data from multiple sources. By employing Concurrent Mode and Suspense, the dashboard could initially render with placeholder components or skeleton screens while the data is fetched in the background. This approach reduces the perceived load time, as users can interact with parts of the application that are available, improving the overall user experience.

However, adopting Concurrent Mode also requires developers to be mindful of potential pitfalls. Since updates can be interrupted and resumed, side effects in components (such as data fetching, subscriptions, or manually manipulating the DOM) need to be managed carefully to avoid inconsistencies or memory leaks. The React team has provided patterns and hooks, like useEffect, that are designed to work seamlessly with Concurrent Mode, ensuring that side effects are correctly handled. Developers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these concepts to fully leverage the performance benefits of Concurrent Mode while maintaining predictable and bug-free applications.

Common Mistakes and Best Practices

One common mistake when integrating Suspense with React Query is the mismanagement of loading states, often leading to an over- or under-use of the <Suspense> component. Developers sometimes wrap each individual data fetching component in its own Suspense boundary without considering the impact on performance and user experience. This approach can cause excessive loading states and disjointed UI updates. A corrected practice is to strategically place Suspense boundaries higher in the component tree, encompassing multiple data-fetching components that load simultaneously, thereby reducing the number of fallbacks and creating a smoother UI transition.

// Mistake: Wrapping each data-fetching component with its own Suspense boundary
<Suspense fallback={<div>Loading...</div>}>
  <ComponentA />
<Suspense fallback={<div>Loading...</div>}>
  <ComponentB />

// Corrected: Encapsulating multiple components within a single Suspense boundary
<Suspense fallback={<div>Loading...</div>}>
  <ComponentA />
  <ComponentB />

Overfetching data is another frequent oversight, where developers inadvertently trigger multiple unnecessary fetches, negatively impacting app performance and user data costs. This usually happens due to a misunderstanding of how React Query's caching and stale time mechanisms work. To counteract this, leveraging React Query's useQuery options, such as staleTime and cacheTime, allows control over the frequency of fetches and the duration data remains fresh, effectively preventing needless data re-fetching.

// Mistake: Not configuring staleTime, leading to overfetching
useQuery('todos', fetchTodos)

// Corrected: Setting an appropriate staleTime to prevent overfetching
useQuery('todos', fetchTodos, { staleTime: 5 * 60 * 1000 })

A related issue involves insufficient caching strategies, where developers miss opportunities to optimize data retrieval and manipulation. By default, React Query caches query results, but fine-tuning cache settings to fit the app's specific needs can significantly minimize bandwidth usage and improve responsiveness. Implementing custom query key strategies, for instance, allows for more granular caching, ensuring that similar queries don't unnecessarily refetch data.

Unnecessary re-renders are a subtle yet critical issue that can degrade performance. This often stems from improperly managing query states or not fully utilizing React Query's capabilities to sync server state with the UI efficiently. To mitigate this, developers should use the select option in useQuery to pick only the necessary data from a query result, thus avoiding unwarranted component re-renders when irrelevant data changes.

// Mistake: Allowing unnecessary re-renders by using the entire query result
const { data } = useQuery('project', fetchProject)

// Corrected: Using the select option to prevent unnecessary re-renders
const projectName = useQuery('project', fetchProject, {
  select: project => project.name

Lastly, insufficient error handling within Suspense boundaries is a common pitfall. Simply relying on Suspense's fallback for loading states without adequately addressing error states can confuse users when requests fail. Incorporating error boundaries alongside Suspense, or using React Query's useErrorBoundary option with useQuery, ensures that both loading and error states are gracefully managed, enhancing overall user experience.

// Mistake: Not handling errors within Suspense boundaries
<Suspense fallback={<div>Loading...</div>}>
  <DataFetchingComponent />

// Corrected: Incorporating error handling for a robust user interface
<ErrorBoundary fallback={<div>Error loading data</div>}>
  <Suspense fallback={<div>Loading...</div>}>
    <DataFetchingComponent />

Adhering to these corrected practices and efficiently leveraging React Query's caching, error handling, and Suspense integration features can drastically improve application performance, readability, and user satisfaction.

Advanced Usage and Thought-Provoking Questions

When diving into more advanced use cases of Suspense and React Query, developers face the challenge of handling complex data dependencies. One such scenario is coordinating parallel queries to ensure a cohesive user interface. Imagine a dashboard that requires data from multiple sources to render a comprehensive view. Developers must orchestrate these queries in such a way that the UI doesn't become jarring or disjointed as data loads. A sophisticated strategy involves using useQueries for parallel data fetching while leveraging Suspense's ability to delay rendering until all necessary data is present. How might the application's user experience improve if data fetching is meticulously coordinated, and what trade-offs might this approach introduce in terms of complexity and maintainability?

Another scenario worth exploring is managing deeply nested component trees with disparate data requirements. In such cases, strategically placing Suspense boundaries can significantly impact the perceived performance of the application. However, determining the optimal placement requires a deep understanding of both the component tree and the data dependencies throughout. An inappropriate placement could lead to excessive loading states or, worse, a waterfall effect of staggered loading screens. This raises a question: How can developers balance the granularity of Suspense boundaries with the need to maintain a responsive and seamless user interface?

Handling fallbacks with Suspense in complex applications introduces yet another layer of sophistication. For instance, dynamic fallbacks that adjust based on the user's current context or the application's state can greatly enhance the user experience. Implementing such a feature might involve custom hooks that track the loading state of queries and dynamically adjust fallback components accordingly. What implications does this have for application state management, and how does it affect the reusability and composability of components within the application?

React Query and Suspense both offer mechanisms for error handling in asynchronous operations, but advanced use cases might call for a nuanced approach to managing errors at different levels of the application. Consider a scenario where specific errors from data fetching operations need to trigger alternative UI flows. Developers must then weigh the options between handling these errors within the query itself or utilizing error boundaries in conjunction with Suspense. How does the choice between these strategies influence the developer's ability to create resilient, user-friendly applications?

Finally, consider the performance implications of aggressively prefetching data in applications that utilize Suspense and React Query. While prefetching can dramatically improve user experience by reducing wait times, it must be balanced against the potential costs in terms of network usage and memory overhead. This prompts a critical examination of prefetching strategies: Under what circumstances does aggressive prefetching yield the most benefit, and how can developers mitigate the potential downsides associated with prefetching too eagerly?


This article explores the integration of React Query and Suspense to optimize data fetching and UI rendering in React applications. It provides an overview of how React Query's useQuery hook seamlessly works with Suspense, enabling automatic handling of loading states and error states. The article also discusses the benefits of Concurrent Mode in improving app performance and offers best practices for implementing Suspense with React Query. A challenging technical task for the reader is to strategize the placement of Suspense boundaries in a deeply nested component tree to balance granularity with a seamless user interface.

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