Rails: How to Use Greater Than/Less Than in Active Record where Statements

Rails: How to Use Greater Than/Less Than in Active Record where Statements

For example, if I want to find all users created within the last week, I would ask for all users from my User model in which the column updated_at is greater than 1 week ago, or 1.week.ago.

1. Using Ruby’s Infinity Range (Best)

In Rails 5+ and Ruby 2.6+, the infinity range can be used like so:

User.where(created_at: 1.week.ago..)

If you haven’t upgraded to Ruby 2.6 yet, you can specify the end of the range as the constant Float::INFINITY:

User.where(created_at: 1.week.ago..Float::INFINITY)

This is the best option because it is the closest syntax to actuality.

From 1 week ago until infinity == greater than or equal to 1 week ago

It also doesn’t have any of the caveats that using a raw string has (explained later in this post)

2. Using Active Record’s Arel Table

Utilizing arel directly, we can signal to ActiveRecord the logical SQL we want to do functionally:


When faced with a challenging ActiveRecord Query that doesn’t fit into the core ruby-style syntax, I typically turn to Arel to provide me with a functional core and extra safety.

3. Using a Raw String (Worst)

In ActiveRecord, it’s possible to utilize a raw string to access sql’s interface directly, like so:

User.where('users.created_at > ?', 1.week.ago)

Or even the keyword interpolation style:

User.where('users.created_at > :after_date', after_date: 1.week.ago)

While this works, using SQL strings with ActiveRecord isn’t always the best due to:

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