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Laravel Collections Explained

Profile image of Atakan Demircioğlu
By Atakan Demircioğlu
Fullstack Developer

Elevate your PHP coding game with Laravel Collections, making array handling simpler and more powerful. This article unveils numerous quick tips to enhance your codebase immediately.

What is laravel collection?

Laravel Collections revolutionize array manipulation in PHP. They provide a fluent, chainable interface that wraps native array functions, adding new capabilities while ensuring immutability. Collections do not alter the original array but return a new one with modifications.

Ultimately, your code will become more readable and maintainable.

Initializing a Collection

To create a collection from an array, simply use the collect() helper:

$collection = collect(); // Empty collection. 

$collection = collect(["A", "B", "C"]); // Collection from an array.
// Alternativelly you can use in this way

use \Illuminate\Support\Collection;
$collection = Collection::make(["A", "B", "C"]);

Converting a Collection to an Array

Transform a collection back into an array with the toArray() method:

$collection = collect([1, 2, 3]); 
$array = $collection->toArray();

Iterating Over Collections

Though collections are designed to enhance array handling, they can still be used in foreach loops:

foreach ($collection as $item) {
// Process each item 


You can also retrieve keys:

foreach ($collection as $key => $value) {
// Process key-value pairs


Collections implement the IteratorAggregate interface, making them iterable.

Replacing foreach with each

Use the each method to replace traditional foreach loops:

$collection = collect(['Apple', 'Banana', 'Cherry']); 
$collection->each(function ($value, $key) {
    // Process each item 


Merging Collections

Combining collections is straightforward with the merge() method:

$fruits = collect(['Apple', 'Banana']); 
$berries = collect(['Strawberry', 'Blueberry']); 
$allFruits = $fruits->merge($berries);

Filtering Collections

Use the filter() method to clean up collections:

$collection = collect([1, 2, 3, 4, 5]); 
$filtered = $collection->filter(function ($value) {  return $value > 2; });

Mathematical Operations

Collections provide methods for common mathematical operations:

$numbers = collect([1, 2, 3, 4, 5]); 
$sum = $numbers->sum(); // 15 

$average = $numbers->average(); // 3 

$min = $numbers->min(); // 1 

$max = $numbers->max(); // 5

Higher Order Messages

Simplify your code with higher-order messages:

User::where('active', true)->get()->each->notify(new Notification);

Key Management with only and except

Retain specific keys using only():

$original = ['name' => 'John', 'age' => 30, 'city' => 'New York']; 
$filtered = collect($original)->only(['name', 'city']);

Exclude specific keys with except():

$filtered = collect($original)->except(['age']);

Random Element Selection in Laravel Collection

You can select a random element using random():

$collection = collect(['Red', 'Green', 'Blue']);
$randomColor = $collection->random();

Mapping Without Temporary Variables

Transform collections with map():

$collection = collect([1, 2, 3]); 
$transformed = $collection->map(function ($value) { 
	return $value * 2; 

How to check if the Laravel collection is empty or not?

Check if a collection is empty or not:

if ($collection->isEmpty()) {
    // Collection is empty 


if ($collection->isNotEmpty()) {
	// Collection is not empty


Conditional Transformations

Apply conditional logic with when() and unless():

$collection = collect([1, 2, 3]); 
$filtered = $collection->when(true, function ($collection) {
	return $collection->filter(function ($value) {
	   return $value > 1;   

Incorporating these tips will not only make your code more efficient but also enhance readability and maintainability. Explore Laravel Collections to harness their full potential and transform your PHP development experience.