Benchling is an electronic laboratory information management system (LIMS) that’s been around for over ten years. Although better known as an Electronic Lab Notebook, it has some features for lab data and process management. 

However, some organisations that use Benchling may have had challenges handling more complex requirements and need:

  • More flexibility in their workflows and experiments
  • To create and view data more easily
  • To easily search/visualise/analyse data
  • To have more insights into work queues and lab KPI’s

This set of requirements has led to the desire to compare Benchling with other laboratory information management systems. In this list, we have pulled together the top Benchling alternatives that offer similar functionality, but with improved or additional features that you might find helpful.

The pros and cons of Benchling 

Before we can discuss the top Benchling alternatives, let’s dive into some of the key features available with this platform. Some of the pros of using Benchling as your primary LIMS system include: 

  • User-friendly interface 
  • Built on a simplified and always up-to-date, unified cloud-based native workspace that promotes scientific collaboration 
  • Maintains quality control, audit trails, and data integrity in non- and GxP compliant environments
  • Track samples, manage data, and monitor resources throughout the entire research lifecycle

While Benchling has many strengths, there are capabilities that Benchling does not do as well as competitors. Some of the cons of using Benchling can include: 

  • It requires users to understand the data model and be familiar with SQL coding to configure experiment templates
  • It can be tedious to quickly version control, iterate and reissue experiment templates
  • Handling complex processes with things like reprocessing etc is not possible
  • There is no no-code rules engine to avoid programming 
  • Searching for data is non-trivial often requiring experts in SQL
  • No interactive work queue dashboard
  • Benchling’s professional service pricing becomes especially costly as requirements evolve and the platform need to be configured
  • Benchling does not offer a comprehensive scientific data management platform so instrument integrations are challenging
  • Benchling has no AI chat capabilities to create experiment templates.
  • Limited permissions controls on data and product features
  • The platform’s integration with storage options for large datasets is limited, which may not meet the needs of some users, especially those in smaller laboratories
  • Comprehensive material and instrument tracking

Sapio LIMS

Sapio LIMS software is one of the top competitors and alternatives to Benchling, providing a truly unified lab system combining a LIMS system, Electronic Lab Notebook software and Jarvis scientific data management solutions. Notably, Sapio Sciences is a highly flexible and configurable lab, no-code, low-code platform that excels in automating laboratory processes, accelerating drug discovery, streamlining clinical diagnostic operations, and improving efficiency and productivity across the lab.

As a versatile solution, Sapio LIMS helps laboratories deploy, automate and monitor simple and complex workflows and visualise key lab metrics. In addition to this, it is a platform that turns data into valuable insights with built-in scientific tools for working with both small and large molecules, such as flow cytometry gating, compound/Sequence inventory and assays. Trusted by scientists across many disciplines, including biotech, clinical diagnostics, contract research organizations, and pharmaceuticals, Sapio LIMS has come to be known as a proven and highly scalable lab workflow solution for many applications.

One aspect that makes Sapio LIMS stand out from Benchling is that it is a no-code and no-SQL solution. This approach provides ease of implementation, rapid adaptability and scalability without the usual challenges. With Sapio’s no-code LIMS system evolving your scientific workflow, data model, and user experience is a fast and seamless process free from unnecessary complications.

Key features of Sapio LIMS

  • Modern, Cloud-based LIMS system
  • Robust information management
  • No-code, Drag and drop workflow configurability
  • Unified and configurable user experience
  • Work Queue dashboard
  • Detailed KPI tracking metrics
  • Natural language rules engine
  • AI based Natural language search and experiment setup
  • Powerful searchability and analysis
  • Out-of-the-box applications for NGS, Bioanalysis, Histopathology, Bioprocessing, Stability, In vivo studies, etc.
  • Sapio LIMS is one part of a unified lab informatics platform—a lab triple play that radically accelerates implementation and removes the barriers to scientific progress.

Request a demo to see why laboratories choose Sapio Sciences to support them to track and manage their data. 

LabCollector LIMS

LabCollector is an all-in-one management software and is a top competitor of Benchling. 

It operates using independent modules, allowing seamless integration and interaction between its various components. One of the platform’s key features is its customizable collaborative interface that enables users to tailor the software to their specific needs and preferences. This laboratory information management system also allows users to retrieve sample and patient data, test results, reports, and invoices through self-service access. Additionally, it can be hosted on the Cloud or On-Premises, giving users the flexibility to align the platform with their unique operational needs and preferences. 

Despite its strengths, users of LabCollector LIMS have reported some challenges. Some users have found it difficult to use as a true lab book due to its cumbersome interface, which multiple reviewers consider non-intuitive and not user-friendly. Additionally, some reviewers have noted that the platform can sometimes slow down with content, causing frustration. Importing big data from another database has also been a point of concern for some users, who have suggested that this feature needs improvement.


CloudLIMS is a web-based sample management solution designed to support a wide range of institutions, including, biobanks, research organizations, clinical laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and hospitals. This laboratory information management system assists with the tracking and management of samples and freezer locations through virtual storage location mapping, barcode scanning, and data import and export functionalities. Its web-based nature means that it can be accessible from most internet-enabled devices. 

However, CloudLIMS has a relatively complex set-up and configuration process which may present challenges, particularly for those who are unfamiliar with LIMS or cloud-based software. Additionally, the platform’s limited customization options could potentially make it difficult to adapt the software to highly specialized or unique laboratory workflows without extensive modifications.


Labguru integrates its LIMS system, ELN, and informatics capabilities to create a comprehensive lab data management solution. This integrated approach to LIMS not only speeds up laboratory processes, but also significantly enhances their efficiency by providing researchers with a single, cohesive hub where they can seamlessly access, manage, and analyze data. This in turn, creates a more streamlined and productive laboratory environment. 

While Labguru is a good alternative to Benchling, it does have its potential challenges. Some users have experienced occasional difficulties when attempting to import substantial volumes of data. This may result in slower performance or, in some cases, import failures. Moreover, there have been occasional reports of search function inconsistencies, where it may not consistently retrieve all desired documents as intended, potentially affecting the overall user experience.


STARLIMS is a laboratory management software that can help businesses to collect, manage and interpret laboratory data. Like Benchling, it uses visualization tools and dashboards to allow users to easily understand and react to emerging trends or find ways to improve product quality, workflows and planning of resources. It allows managers to configure workflows for research projects and regulate compliance, while administrators can utilize the search functionality to filter and sort data sets and analyze market trends to facilitate resource planning. The platform also lets businesses integrate the software with existing electronic records for equipment maintenance, inventory, samples and testing schedules. This vast amount of functionality held by STARLIMS makes it a top competitor to Benchling. 

While STARLIMS is undoubtedly a powerful and efficient laboratory information management system, user feedback has highlighted certain areas that merit consideration. Users have claimed that the platform requires a significant amount of programming and maintenance in order to implement and support its capabilities. Furthermore, given the extensive array of functions it offers, users who are relatively unfamiliar with this type of software may require additional training to become proficient in operating and navigating the platform. StarLIMS is also built on a dated architecture also constraining its ability to adapt and utilize new technologies.

LabWare LIMS

LabWare LIMS offers three different types of laboratory information systems: LabWare SAAS, LabWare Hosted, and LabWare Cloud Based LIMS. All of which enable laboratories to automate processes and control their scientific data in one place. 

One of the key strengths of LabWare LIMS lies in its comprehensiveness and flexibility. Users benefit from a highly customizable system and are able to access pre-designed templates. This means that LabWare LIMS can be deployed out of the box with only minimal configuration needed to get up and running. 

However, LabWare presents several drawbacks that users have reported. One prominent issue is that without proper training and understanding before use, the system can be somewhat complex to navigate. Additionally, the user interface has drawn criticism for being somewhat confusing, resulting in a poor user experience, plus users have stated that the platform has a lengthy configuration process and extensive SQL coding which demands a significant amount of time. Labware suffers also from being built on 4th generation language which were a new idea in the 1990’s that never took off and are no longer used for application building.

Features to consider when choosing an alternative to Benchling

With so many LIMS systems with different features available, finding the best fit for your organization can be a challenge. 

While deciding on the best LIMS system for your organization will primarily depend on your unique needs and strategy, here are some key features to consider when choosing an alternative to Benchling:

  • Data management: The LIMS system should effectively handle and manage data and provide an easy way to retrieve this information. 
  • User-friendly interface: Ease of use plays a crucial role in how well your lab personnel utilize the LIMS system, making sure it has a user-friendly interface.
  • Secure: LIMS systems store a vast amount of data, ensuring the system offers robust data security measures but also extensive ability to tailor user permissions to access data and product features and functions.
  • Configurability: Organizations have different needs which makes the ability to tailor a LIMS system quickly to your lab’s specific needs essential so looking for a no-code workflow builder is critical.
  • Integrations: The LIMS system should seamlessly integrate with your existing systems and equipment, allowing for data to be captured automatically with proper tracking of sample lineage and related assay data.
  • Cost and scalability: To ensure that your organization’s scalability does not face any challenges in future, assess the pricing plans and consider how the cost aligns with your organization’s growth plans.

Need more than Benchling can offer?

Sapio LIMS system stands out as a top competitor and a viable alternative to Benchling. What sets it apart it’s no-code and no-SQL workflow builder, extensive KPI tracking, best in class search and charting, real time interactive work queue so non technical users can easily implement the software and leverage its extensive features to operate their lab and understand key metrics. This accessibility ensures that Sapio LIMS can effectively serve a broad spectrum of businesses.

Sapio LIMS is a no-code and no-SQL platform. Its seamless integration, collaboration capabilities, and robust data management features are geared towards enhancing laboratory operations. Plus with built-in scalability and a keen focus on industry-specific compliance requirements, Sapio LIMS offers cost-effective advantages that are tailored to meet your laboratory’s unique needs.

To find out more about Sapio LIMS, or any of our solutions, get in touch or request a demo today.