You may have seen double and triple equals signs in JavaScript. But what do they mean?

Well in short: == inherently converts type and === does not convert type.

Double Equals (==) checks for value equality only. It inherently does type coercion. This means that before checking the values, it converts the types of the variables to match each other.

On the other hand, Triple Equals (===) does not perform type coercion. It will verify whether the variables being compared have both the same value AND the same type.

OK - so let's help you better understand the difference through a few examples. For each of these, consider what the output of these statements will be.

Example 1:

const foo = "test" 
const bar = "test"  

console.log(foo == bar) //true
console.log(foo === bar) //true                            

The value and the type of both foo and bar is same. Therefore the result is true for both.

Example 2:‌

const number = 1234 
const stringNumber = '1234'  

console.log(number == stringNumber) //true
console.log(number === stringNumber)  //false                                   

The value of number and stringNumber looks similar here. However, the type of number is Number and type of stringNumber is string. Even though the values are same, the type is not the same. Hence a == check returns true, but when checked for value and type, the value is false.

Example 3:

console.log(0 == false) //true
console.log(0 === false) //false                  

Reason: same value, different type. Type coercion

This is an interesting case. The value of 0 when checked with false is same. It is so because 0 and false have the same value for JavaScript, but when checked for type and value, the value is false because 0 is a number and false is boolean.

Example 4:

const str = ""

console.log(str == false) //true
console.log(str === false) //false

The value of empty string and false is same in JavaScript. Hence, == returns true. However, the type is different and hence === returns false.

When should you use == and when should you use ===?

When in doubt, use ===. This will save you from a ton of potential bugs.

If you are supporting a use case where you can be a little lenient about the type of incoming data, then use ==. For example, if an API accepts both "true" and true from the client, use ==. In short, do not use == unless you have a strong use case for it.

Here's a handy JavaScript truth table for your reference, and to show you just how complicated equality is in JavaScript:


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