# Triple Equals vs Double Equals in JavaScript

In JavaScript, there are technically 4 different ways of comparing whether 2 values are equal. The 2 most common ways are the `==`

operator and the `===`

operator, also known as *abstract equality comparison* and *strict equality comparison*.

## Strict Equality With `===`

Given 2 values `x`

and `y`

, here's how JavaScript checks whether `x === y`

:

- Check the types of
`x`

and`y`

. If they are different types, return`false`

. - If
`x`

and`y`

are numbers, first check if either`x`

or`y`

is`NaN`

, and return`false`

if one is`NaN`

. If both`x`

and`y`

are either`+0`

or`-0`

, return`true`

. Otherwise, check to see if they are the same number. - If
`x`

and`y`

are both`null`

or both`undefined`

, return`true`

. - If
`x`

and`y`

are both booleans, both strings, or both symbols, compare them by value. - If
`x`

and`y`

are both objects, return true if and only if they reference the same object.

In short, here are the important details of `===`

:

- No implicit type coercions.
`===`

doesn't call`valueOf()`

or do anything else to try to convert objects to primitives. - No value is
`=== NaN`

. You should not use`===`

to check for`NaN`

, use`Number.isNaN()`

instead. - Object comparison is by reference - two different objects can contain the exact same keys, but
`===`

will still say they're different.

```
const obj1 = { answer: 42 };
const obj2 = { answer: 42 };
obj1 === obj2; // false
```

## Abstract Equality With `==`

The `==`

operator uses a more complex abstract equality comparison algorithm to compare whether `x`

and `y`

are equal. Here's a brief overview:

- If
`x`

and`y`

are the same type, check if`x === y`

. - If
`x`

and`y`

are both either`null`

or`undefined`

, return`true`

. - If
`x`

is a number and`y`

is a string, convert`y`

to a number and then compare using`===`

. Similarly, if`x`

is a boolean or string, and`y`

is a number, convert`x`

to a number. - If
`x`

or`y`

is a boolean, convert the other value of a number and compare them. - If
`x`

is an object and`y`

is a symbol, string, or number, try to convert`x`

to a primitive using`valueOf()`

and then compare using`===`

.

Abstract equality comparison is responsible for many of the strange edge cases that JavaScript is so famous for.

```
' ' == 0; // true
' ' == false; // true
({ valueOf: () => 42 }) == 42; // true
({ valueOf: () => 0 }) == false; // true
```

In general, you should always use `===`

rather than `==`

unless you're sure
you know what you're doing. There is one neat functional use for `==`

: checking for `null`

or `undefined`

(so-called nullish values) with a single check:

```
// Only true if `v === null` or `v === undefined`
v == null;
// Equivalent:
v === null || v === undefined;
```

Checking if `v == null`

is a more concise way of checking if `v`

is strictly
equal to `null`

or `undefined`

. You may choose to do this if you're a more
advanced JavaScript developer, but there is no harm in always using `===`

.

ESLint has a rule to disallow `==`

*unless* the right hand side is `null`

,

## More Fundamentals Tutorials

- Understand the JavaScript Array Filter Function in 5 Examples
- Filter an Array of Objects in JavaScript
- Convert an Array into an Object in JavaScript
- Copy an Array in JavaScript
- Debugging "TypeError: X is not a function" in JavaScript
- How to Iterate through an Array in JavaScript
- The JavaScript Array `filter()` Method