Heap: The heap is just the area of RAM that is allotted to the JVM by the operating system for runtime activity. As such it is the place that objects get created during a JVM session. From the Java Virtual Machine Specification Pool: The 'pool' is just a special area of memory that Java sets up to store all String literals. Imagine a box with a partition wall; on one side is the 'pool' on the other side the 'heap'. Everytime you use a string literal, it gets stored on the pool side, regular objects get stored on the heap side. Hope it helps.