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Difference Between TreeSet and SortedSet in Java

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  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 01 Nov, 2021
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TreeSet is one of the implementations of the Navigable sub-interface. It is underlying data structure is a red-black tree. The elements are stored in ascending order and more methods are available in TreeSet compare to SortedSet. We can also change the sorting parameter using a Comparator. For example, Comparator provided at set creation time, depending on which constructor is used.

  • It also implements NavigableSet interface.
  • NavigableSet extends SortedSet and Set interfaces.



// Java Program to Illustrate TreeSet
// Importing required classes
import java.util.*;
// Main class
class GFG {
    // Main driver method
    public static void main(String args[]) {
        // Creating an empty TreeSet of string type elements
        TreeSet<String> al = new TreeSet<String>();
        // Adding elements
        // using add() method
        al.add("Geeks for Geeks");
        // Traversing elements via help of iterators
        Iterator<String> itr = al.iterator();
        // Holds true until there is element remaining in object
        while (itr.hasNext()) {
            // Moving onto next element with help of next() method


Geeks for Geeks

Sorted Set

The SortedSet is a sub-interface, which is available in java.util.package which extends the Set interface. This interface contains the methods inherited from the Set interface. For example, headSet, tailSet, subSet, Comparator, first, last, and many more.



// Java program to Illustrate SortedSet
// Importing utility classes
import java.util.*;
// Main class
class GFG {
    // Main driver method
    public static void main(String[] args)
        // Creating an instance of SortedSet
        // String type
        SortedSet<String> ts = new TreeSet<String>();
        // Adding elements into the TreeSet
        // using add()
        // Adding the duplicate element
        // again simply using add() method
        // Print and display TreeSet
        // Removing items from TreeSet
        // using remove() method
        // Display message
        System.out.println("Iterating over set:");
        // Iterating over TreeSet items
        Iterator<String> i = ts.iterator();
        // Condition holds true till there is single element
        // remaining in the object
        while (i.hasNext())
            // Printing elements


[Bobby, Devi2, Gnanesh, Ojaswi, Rohith, Sravan]
Iterating over set:

Now after having adequate understanding and internal working of both TreeSet and SortedSet, now let us see the differences between TreeSet and SortedSet which is as depicted from the table provided below as follows:




ClassificationClass of NavigableSet sub-interface.Sub-Interface
Insertion OrderTreeSet maintains an object in sorted order.SortedSet maintains an object in sorted order.


TreeSet<Datatype> treeset = new TreeSet<>();


It can not be instantiated as it is a sub-Interface.

Methods Contains more methods than SortedSet.Contains fewer methods than TreeSet.
Examplecontains all the methods of SortSet. In addition methods like ceiling(), floor(), higher(), lower() and e.t.ccontains methods like add(), addAll(), iterator(), retainAll() and e.t.c

Conclusion: Basically in simple words let’s assume this way, TreeSet is a class of NavigableSet which contains all of the methods for better traversing and searching for values. SortedSet is a sub-set of NavigableSet in terms of methods compare to TreeSet(NavigableSet)

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