What Are the Types of Stack in Data Structure?


Angela Bailey

What Are the Types of Stack in Data Structure?

In the field of computer science and data structures, a stack is an abstract data type that follows the Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) principle. It is a collection of elements with two main operations: push, which adds an element to the top of the stack, and pop, which removes the top element from the stack.

Types of Stacks:

1. Array-based Stack

An array-based stack is implemented using an array where elements are stored in contiguous memory locations.

It has a fixed size and can hold a predefined number of elements. The top of the stack is represented by an index that points to the last inserted element.


  • Efficient access to elements using index-based operations.
  • Straightforward implementation.


  • Fixed size, which limits its flexibility.
  • If the stack size exceeds its capacity, it may cause overflow errors.

2. Linked List-based Stack

A linked list-based stack is implemented using a linked list data structure, where each node holds an element and a reference to the next node. The top of the stack is represented by the first node in the linked list.


  • No fixed size limitation; it can dynamically grow as needed.
  • No overflow errors as long as there is available memory.


  • Requires additional memory for storing the references.
  • Slower access to elements compared to array-based stacks.

3. Dynamic Array-based Stack

A dynamic array-based stack is an improvement over the array-based stack, as it allows for resizing when needed. It starts with a small initial size and dynamically increases its capacity as more elements are added.


  • Flexible size; it can grow or shrink based on the number of elements.
  • Efficient access to elements using index-based operations.


  • Resizing the array can be an expensive operation in terms of time and memory.
  • Potential waste of memory if the actual usage is much smaller than the maximum capacity.

4. Double-ended Queue (Deque)

A double-ended queue, or deque, is a special type of stack that allows insertion and removal of elements from both ends. It can function as both a stack and a queue simultaneously.


  • Versatility; it provides flexibility in implementing various data structures.
  • Efficient insertion and removal from both ends.


  • Complex implementation compared to other stack types.
  • Potential misuse due to its dual functionality, leading to improper usage scenarios.

In conclusion, understanding the different types of stacks available in data structures is essential for choosing the most suitable one based on specific requirements. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s crucial to consider factors like memory usage, performance, and expected operations when selecting a stack implementation.

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