The nullish coalescing operator

Published March 24, 2021

The nullish coalescing operator ?? is a logical operator that allows you to fall back to a default value when dealing with null or undefined. It returns the right-hand side operand when the left-hand side operand is null or undefined. Otherwise, it returns the left-hand side operand.

The nullish coalescing operator ?? is available in TypeScript as of version 3.7.

Nullish coalescing example

const value = user.value ?? 0;

This expression is equivalent to:

const value = user.value !== null && user.value !== undefined ? user.value : 0;

When using a default value

The nullish coalescing ?? operator is recommended over || when using a default value. Consider the following example.

const value = user.value || 0.5;

When user.value is set to 0, the value from this expression will be 0.5, which may not be intended. ?? avoids some unintended behavior with || where 0, NaN and "" are treated as falsy values.