How do I check if an array includes a value in JavaScript? – Dev

The best answers to the question “How do I check if an array includes a value in JavaScript?” in the category Dev.

QUESTION:

What is the most concise and efficient way to find out if a JavaScript array contains a value?

This is the only way I know to do it:

function contains(a, obj) {
    for (var i = 0; i < a.length; i++) {
        if (a[i] === obj) {
            return true;
        }
    }
    return false;
}

Is there a better and more concise way to accomplish this?

ANSWER:

Update from 2019: This answer is from 2008 (11 years old!) and is not relevant for modern JS usage. The promised performance improvement was based on a benchmark done in browsers of that time. It might not be relevant to modern JS execution contexts. If you need an easy solution, look for other answers. If you need the best performance, benchmark for yourself in the relevant execution environments.

As others have said, the iteration through the array is probably the best way, but it has been proven that a decreasing while loop is the fastest way to iterate in JavaScript. So you may want to rewrite your code as follows:

function contains(a, obj) {
    var i = a.length;
    while (i--) {
       if (a[i] === obj) {
           return true;
       }
    }
    return false;
}

Of course, you may as well extend Array prototype:

Array.prototype.contains = function(obj) {
    var i = this.length;
    while (i--) {
        if (this[i] === obj) {
            return true;
        }
    }
    return false;
}

And now you can simply use the following:

alert([1, 2, 3].contains(2)); // => true
alert([1, 2, 3].contains('2')); // => false

ANSWER:

Modern browsers have Array#includes, which does exactly that and is widely supported by everyone except IE:

console.log(['joe', 'jane', 'mary'].includes('jane')); //true

You can also use Array#indexOf, which is less direct, but doesn’t require polyfills for outdated browsers.

console.log(['joe', 'jane', 'mary'].indexOf('jane') >= 0); //true

Many frameworks also offer similar methods:

  • jQuery: $.inArray(value, array, [fromIndex])
  • Underscore.js: _.contains(array, value) (also aliased as _.include and _.includes)
  • Dojo Toolkit: dojo.indexOf(array, value, [fromIndex, findLast])
  • Prototype: array.indexOf(value)
  • MooTools: array.indexOf(value)
  • MochiKit: findValue(array, value)
  • MS Ajax: array.indexOf(value)
  • Ext: Ext.Array.contains(array, value)
  • Lodash: _.includes(array, value, [from]) (is _.contains prior 4.0.0)
  • Ramda: R.includes(value, array)

Notice that some frameworks implement this as a function, while others add the function to the array prototype.

ANSWER:

ECMAScript 7 introduces Array.prototype.includes.

It can be used like this:

[1, 2, 3].includes(2); // true
[1, 2, 3].includes(4); // false

It also accepts an optional second argument fromIndex:

[1, 2, 3].includes(3, 3); // false
[1, 2, 3].includes(3, -1); // true

Unlike indexOf, which uses Strict Equality Comparison, includes compares using SameValueZero equality algorithm. That means that you can detect if an array includes a NaN:

[1, 2, NaN].includes(NaN); // true

Also unlike indexOf, includes does not skip missing indices:

new Array(5).includes(undefined); // true

Currently it’s still a draft but can be polyfilled to make it work on all browsers.

ANSWER:

indexOf maybe, but it’s a “JavaScript extension to the ECMA-262 standard; as such it may not be present in other implementations of the standard.”

Example:

[1, 2, 3].indexOf(1) => 0
["foo", "bar", "baz"].indexOf("bar") => 1
[1, 2, 3].indexOf(4) => -1

AFAICS Microsoft does not offer some kind of alternative to this, but you can add similar functionality to arrays in Internet Explorer (and other browsers that don’t support indexOf) if you want to, as a quick Google search reveals (for example, this one).