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Checking if a JavaScript Object has any keys

JavaScript has come a long way in recent years, introducing some great utility functions such as Object.keys, Object.values and many more. In this article, we’ll explore how to check if a JavaScript Object has any keys on it.

First, let’s quickly demonstrate the “old way” of doing things, which would involve using a for loop:

const item = { id: '🥽', name: 'Goggles', price: 1499 };

let hasKeys = false;

// oldschool approach
for (const key in item) {
  if (item.hasOwnProperty(key)) {
    // a key exists at this point, for sure!
    hasKeys = true;
    break; // break when found

You’ll notice we need to introduce the break statement (don’t forget, we don’t want any bugs in our codebase), which leads us onto more modern, less error-prone approaches to use better tools.

The more modern and simpler approach, which also follows a Functional Programming style is to opt for Object.keys(), which returns us an Array of the keys on an Object (who’d have guessed?):

const item = { id: '🥽', name: 'Goggles', price: 1499 };

// newschool approach
const hasKeys = !!Object.keys(item).length;

Combining this with a double-bang !! we can convert the length of the returned Array to a Boolean, ensuring we get a true or false reading. It’s not entirely necessary to do so, but I think the intent is more clear.

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🎓 If you simply did if (Object.keys(item).length) {} it would still evaluate the same, but this relies on a “truthy” or “falsy” value. Sometimes it’s nice to have a straight-up Boolean and thus !! is a nice quick way to get there. You could also use Boolean(Object.keys(item).length) but that’s not nearly as cool…

If you wanted a reusable function to get the length of the Object’s keys, you could do something like this:

const item = { id: '🥽', name: 'Goggles', price: 1499 };

const getKeyLength = (x) => Object.keys(k).length;

const keyLength = getKeyLength(item); // 3
const hasKeys = !!keyLength; // true

🏆 Oh, and if you’d like to learn even more JavaScript, visit our JavaScript courses to see how they can help you level up your skills.

P.S. Here’s a StackBlitz embed with everything inside, so you can have a fiddle with it in real-time:

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Todd Motto

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