Equality (==)

The equality operator (==) checks whether its two operands are equal, returning a Boolean result. Unlike the strict equality operator, it attempts to convert and compare operands that are of different types.

Syntax

x == y

Description

The equality operators (== and !=) use the Abstract Equality Comparison Algorithm to compare two operands. This can be roughly summarised as follows:

  • If the operands are both objects, return true only if both operands reference the same object.
  • If one operand is null and the other is undefined, return true.
  • If the operands are of different types, try to convert them to the same type before comparing:
    • When comparing a number to a string, try to convert the string to a numeric value.
    • If one of the operands is Boolean, convert the Boolean operand to 1 if it is true and +0 if it is false.
    • If one of the operands is an object and the other is a number or a string, try to convert the object to a primitive using the object's valueOf() and toString() methods.
  • If the operands have the same type, they are compared as follows:
    • String: return true only if both operands have the same characters in the same order.
    • Number: return true only if both operands have the same value. +0 and -0 are treated as the same value. If either operand is NaN, return false.
    • Boolean: return true only if operands are both true or both false.

The most notable difference between this operator and the strict equality (===) operator is that the strict equality operator does not attempt type conversion. Instead, the strict equality operator always considers operands of different types to be different.

Examples

Comparison with no type conversion

1 == 1;              // true
"hello" == "hello";  // true

Comparison with type conversion

"1" ==  1;            // true
1 == "1";             // true
0 == false;           // true
0 == null;            // false
0 == undefined;       // false
null == undefined;    // true

const number1 = new Number(3);
const number2 = new Number(3);
number1 == 3;         // true
number1 == number2;   // false

Comparison of objects

const object1 = {"key": "value"}
const object2 = {"key": "value"};

object1 == object2 // false
object2 == object2 // true

Comparing strings and String objects

Note that strings constructed using new String() are objects. If you compare one of these with a string literal, the String object will be converted to a string literal and the contents will be compared. However, if both operands are String objects, then they are compared as objects and must reference the same object for comparison to succeed:

const string1 = "hello";
const string2 = String("hello");
const string3 = new String("hello");
const string4 = new String("hello");

console.log(string1 == string2); // true
console.log(string1 == string3); // true
console.log(string2 == string3); // true
console.log(string3 == string4); // false
console.log(string4 == string4); // true

Comparing Dates and strings

const d = new Date('December 17, 1995 03:24:00');
const s = d.toString(); // for example: "Sun Dec 17 1995 03:24:00 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)"
console.log(d == s);    //true

Specifications

Specification
ECMAScript (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Equality operators' in that specification.

Browser compatibility

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DesktopMobileServer
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung InternetNode.js
Equality (a == b)Chrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1IE Full support 3Opera Full support 3Safari Full support 1WebView Android Full support 1Chrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 10.1Safari iOS Full support 1Samsung Internet Android Full support 1.0nodejs Full support 0.1.100

Legend

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See also