JavaScript Iterators

Iterators in JavaScript refer to objects that provide a sequential method of accessing elements within a collection. Collections include data structures like arrays, strings, maps, and sets. Iterators offer a standardized approach to traversing these collections, providing a controlled and flexible alternative to traditional loops.

Creating an Iterator

Iterators include a method, within an object, named Symbol.iterator, responsible for returning an iterator object:

const myIterable = {
  [Symbol.iterator]: function () {
    // Insert iterator logic here

The iterator object, in turn, must include a method named next, returning an object with value and done properties. The value property signifies the current element in the iteration, while the done property is a boolean indicating whether more elements are available for iteration.

const myIterator = {
  next: function () {
    // return { value: ..., done: ... }

Working with Iterators

Many data structures, including arrays, strings, maps, and sets, inherently implement iterators:

const myArray = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
const arrayIterator = myArray[Symbol.iterator]();

console.log(; // { value: 1, done: false }
console.log(; // { value: 2, done: false }
console.log(; // { value: 3, done: false }
// Iteration continues until done is true

Enhancing Code Readability

One of the main benefits of iterators is the improvement of code readability. By abstracting away the intricacies of looping, iterators allow developers to concentrate on the logic within the loop, rather than managing indices or counting iterations. This results in more concise and expressive code.

const myArray = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];

// Traditional for loop
for (let i = 0; i < myArray.length; i++) {

// Using iterator
const arrayIterator = myArray[Symbol.iterator]();
let iterationResult =;

while (!iterationResult.done) {
  iterationResult =;

Use Cases for Iterators

By offering a standardized interface for iterating over elements, iterators simplify the integration of custom objects into existing code. Additionally, iterators play a fundamental role in the for...of loop introduced in ECMAScript 6. This loop streamlines the process of iterating over iterable objects, resulting in more readable and concise code.

Leave a Reply