for...of vs Loops in JavaScript

Traditional for loops are so last year! for..of and for…in loops give us a very clean and concise syntax to iterate over all kinds of iterables and enumerables like strings, arrays and object literals. If you’re anything like me though, you always forget which one to use. It is for…in or for…of? Darn!

We’ll here’s a quick reminder that you can reference:


Use for…of to iterate over the values in an iterable, like an array for example:

let animals = ['🐔', '🐷', '🐑', '🐇'];
let names = ['Gertrude', 'Henry', 'Melvin', 'Billy Bob'];

for (let animal of animals) {
  // Random name for our animal
  let nameIdx = Math.floor(Math.random() * names.length);

  console.log(`${names[nameIdx]} the ${animal}`);

// Henry the 🐔
// Melvin the 🐷
// Henry the 🐑
// Billy Bob the 🐇

Strings are also an iterable type, so you can use for…of on strings:

let str = 'abcde';

for (let char of str) {

// AAA
// BBB
// ...

You can also iterate over maps, sets, generators, DOM node collections and the arguments object available inside a functions.


Use for…in to iterate over the properties of an object (the object keys):

let oldCar = {
  make: 'Toyota',
  model: 'Tercel',
  year: '1996'

for (let key in oldCar) {
  console.log(`${key} --> ${oldCar[key]}`);

// make --> Toyota
// model --> Tercel

You can also use for…in to iterate over the index values of an iterable like an array or a string:

let str = 'Turn the page';

for (let index in str) {
  console.log(`Index of ${str[index]}: ${index}`);

// Index of T: 0
// Index of u: 1
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