Convert String to Boolean in JavaScript

Convert String to Boolean in JavaScript

Introduction

Suppose we have boolean values stored in our database as strings and based on those values we want to perform some specific operation on our website/application. In that case, we have to convert those strings into boolean values before using them in logical operations.

In this article, we'll take a look at several ways of converting string values to boolean (true or false) in JavaScript.

Using Identity Operator (===)

The identity operator, also known as a strict equality operator, returns true only if and only if both values being compared are of the same type and have the same value. In other words, it determines whether the value on the left-hand side is equal to the value on the right-hand side - and returns true if they are, and false if they are not.

Note: If you want to learn more about the difference between == (strict equality operator) and === (loose equality operator), you should read our "JavaScript: == vs === Operator"!

Essentially, we'll compare our string to the string "true". Therefore the output will be a boolean true only if our string is actually "true". Any other string will cause the code to return the false boolean value:

let myString = "true";
let boolOutput = (myString === "true"); //returns true


Note: We write a string value with quotes - "true", and the boolean value without quotes - true. We'll use this notation throughout this whole article.

Additionally, we can convert a string to lowercase first, just to make sure the letter case won't cause any faulty outputs:

let myString = "True";
let boolOutput = (myString.toLowerCase() === "true"); // returns true


As we've stated before, the previous code will return false if our string value is not equal to "true":

let myString1 = "Test";
let boolOutput1 = (myString1 === "true"); //returns false

let myString1 = "Test";
let boolOutput1 = (myString1.toLowerCase() === "true"); //returns false

let myString = "True";
let boolOutput2 = (myString2 === "true"); //returns false


We can also spice things up a little by introducing the ternary operator alongside the equality operator. All we will do is check if our string is equal to "true" and then return either a boolean value of true if there is a match or false if it doesn't:

let myString = "true";
let boolOutput = myString.toLowerCase() == 'true' ? true : false; // returns true


Using Regular Expressions (RegEx)

Regular expressions (RegEx) are patterns for matching and testing string character combinations.

Note: In this article, we'll assume you have at least a basic understanding of regular expressions in general. But if you need help to get a grasp on regular expressions in JavaScript, you should consider reading our "Guide to Regular Expressions and Matching Strings in JavaScript"

For the purpose of this article, we'll use the most basic form of regular expressions in JavaScript - we'll create the simple regex that matches "true" and match it against our string using the test() method:

let stringValue = "true";
let boolValue = (/true/).test(stringValue); //returns true


You will notice this is actually case-sensitive, as this will return false if it has slight case inconsistency:

let stringValue = "True";
let boolValue = (/true/).test(stringValue); //returns false


To fix this, we can add /i at the end of the regular expression to ensure for case-insensitive match:

let stringValue = "True";
let boolValue = (/true/i).test(stringValue); //returns true


Using the Boolean Wrapper Class?

JavaScript has a built-in Boolean object for storing boolean values. It is actually an object wrapper for boolean values - it wraps around other objects thus making them a valid boolean value. This is done by testing the truthy-falsy value of an object. In general - empty objects are evaluated to false, and non-empty objects are evaluated to true.

Any string which isn't the empty string will evaluate to true by using the Boolean wrapper:

let myString1 = Boolean('true'); //returns true
let myString2 = Boolean(''); // //returns false
let myString3 = Boolean('false'); //returns true
let myString4 = Boolean('True'); //returns true


There are two major issues here:

• The first is that this will return true for an empty string with at least one blank character (space, tab, etc.), that is why we have to be cautious when using this method:
const myString5 = Boolean(' '); //returns true


Free eBook: Git Essentials

Check out our hands-on, practical guide to learning Git, with best-practices, industry-accepted standards, and included cheat sheet. Stop Googling Git commands and actually learn it!

• Secondly, converting a string of "false" to a boolean value of false will fail because any non-empty string converts to true.

Double NOT Operator - !!

Using the double NOT operator is equal to using the logical NOT operator (!) twice, which means that it inverts the result of the single NOT operator:

let myString1 = !'test'; // returns false
let myString2 = !''; // returns true


When we use the double NOT operator, the values are flipped, meaning we are now performing a pure boolean conversion:

let myString1 = !!'test'; // returns true
let myString2 = !!''; // returns false


The double NOT (!!) operator is quite concise but does the same thing as the Boolean wrapper. However, it's a bit harder to read if you're not familiar with the logical NOT (!) operator.

We also have to be cautious when using this method as an empty string with at least one blank character will still return true and when we try to convert a string of "false" to a boolean value of false, this will still not work (just as with Boolean object).

Conclusion

In this article, we've taken a look at four ways to convert a string into a boolean in JavaScript. The simplest way to do so is to use the strict equality operator to compare our string value to the "true" - if the string is (strictly) equal to "true", the output will be boolean true. Alternatively, you can use the ternary operator alongside the loose equality operator to achieve the same. Also, regular expression matching is a solid approach.

The last two methods, Boolean object and double NOT operator, have a simpler syntax, but their drawback is the way they treat the false value - string "false" will return the boolean value true, which makes them applicable only to a small subset of conversion cases.

Last Updated: May 12th, 2022

Get tutorials, guides, and dev jobs in your inbox.

Joel OlawanleAuthor

Frontend Developer & Technical Writer

Project

React State Management with Redux and Redux-Toolkit

# javascript# React

Coordinating state and keeping components in sync can be tricky. If components rely on the same data but do not communicate with each other when...

Details

Getting Started with AWS in Node.js

Build the foundation you'll need to provision, deploy, and run Node.js applications in the AWS cloud. Learn Lambda, EC2, S3, SQS, and more!