Validate decimal numbers in JavaScript - IsNumeric()


What's the cleanest, most effective way to validate decimal numbers in JavaScript?

Bonus points for:

  1. Clarity. Solution should be clean and simple.
  2. Cross-platform.

Test cases:

01. IsNumeric('-1')      => true
02. IsNumeric('-1.5')    => true
03. IsNumeric('0')       => true
04. IsNumeric('0.42')    => true
05. IsNumeric('.42')     => true
06. IsNumeric('99,999')  => false
07. IsNumeric('0x89f')   => false
08. IsNumeric('#abcdef') => false
09. IsNumeric('1.2.3')   => false
10. IsNumeric('')        => false
11. IsNumeric('blah')    => false
12/7/2016 3:57:31 AM

Accepted Answer

@Joel's answer is pretty close, but it will fail in the following cases:

// Whitespace strings:
IsNumeric(' ')    == true;
IsNumeric('\t\t') == true;
IsNumeric('\n\r') == true;

// Number literals:
IsNumeric(-1)  == false;
IsNumeric(0)   == false;
IsNumeric(1.1) == false;
IsNumeric(8e5) == false;

Some time ago I had to implement an IsNumeric function, to find out if a variable contained a numeric value, regardless of its type, it could be a String containing a numeric value (I had to consider also exponential notation, etc.), a Number object, virtually anything could be passed to that function, I couldn't make any type assumptions, taking care of type coercion (eg. +true == 1; but true shouldn't be considered as "numeric").

I think is worth sharing this set of +30 unit tests made to numerous function implementations, and also share the one that passes all my tests:

function isNumeric(n) {
    return !isNaN(parseFloat(n)) && isFinite(n);

P.S. isNaN & isFinite have a confusing behavior due to forced conversion to number. In ES6, Number.isNaN & Number.isFinite would fix these issues. Keep that in mind when using them.

Update : Here's how jQuery does it now (2.2-stable):

isNumeric: function(obj) {
    var realStringObj = obj && obj.toString();
    return !jQuery.isArray(obj) && (realStringObj - parseFloat(realStringObj) + 1) >= 0;

Update : Angular 4.3:

export function isNumeric(value: any): boolean {
    return !isNaN(value - parseFloat(value));
6/1/2018 3:21:11 PM

Arrrgh! Don't listen to the regular expression answers. RegEx is icky for this, and I'm not talking just performance. It's so easy to make subtle, impossible to spot mistakes with your regular expression.

If you can't use isNaN(), this should work much better:

function IsNumeric(input)
    return (input - 0) == input && (''+input).trim().length > 0;

Here's how it works:

The (input - 0) expression forces JavaScript to do type coercion on your input value; it must first be interpreted as a number for the subtraction operation. If that conversion to a number fails, the expression will result in NaN. This numeric result is then compared to the original value you passed in. Since the left hand side is now numeric, type coercion is again used. Now that the input from both sides was coerced to the same type from the same original value, you would think they should always be the same (always true). However, there's a special rule that says NaN is never equal to NaN, and so a value that can't be converted to a number (and only values that cannot be converted to numbers) will result in false.

The check on the length is for a special case involving empty strings. Also note that it falls down on your 0x89f test, but that's because in many environments that's an okay way to define a number literal. If you want to catch that specific scenario you could add an additional check. Even better, if that's your reason for not using isNaN() then just wrap your own function around isNaN() that can also do the additional check.

In summary, if you want to know if a value can be converted to a number, actually try to convert it to a number.

I went back and did some research for why a whitespace string did not have the expected output, and I think I get it now: an empty string is coerced to 0 rather than NaN. Simply trimming the string before the length check will handle this case.

Running the unit tests against the new code and it only fails on the infinity and boolean literals, and the only time that should be a problem is if you're generating code (really, who would type in a literal and check if it's numeric? You should know), and that would be some strange code to generate.

But, again, the only reason ever to use this is if for some reason you have to avoid isNaN().


This way seems to work well:

function IsNumeric(input){
    var RE = /^-{0,1}\d*\.{0,1}\d+$/;
    return (RE.test(input));

In one line:

const IsNumeric = (num) => /^-{0,1}\d*\.{0,1}\d+$/.test(num);

And to test it:

const IsNumeric = (num) => /^-{0,1}\d*\.{0,1}\d+$/.test(num);
    function TestIsNumeric(){
        var results = ''
        results += (IsNumeric('-1')?"Pass":"Fail") + ": IsNumeric('-1') => true\n";
        results += (IsNumeric('-1.5')?"Pass":"Fail") + ": IsNumeric('-1.5') => true\n";
        results += (IsNumeric('0')?"Pass":"Fail") + ": IsNumeric('0') => true\n";
        results += (IsNumeric('0.42')?"Pass":"Fail") + ": IsNumeric('0.42') => true\n";
        results += (IsNumeric('.42')?"Pass":"Fail") + ": IsNumeric('.42') => true\n";
        results += (!IsNumeric('99,999')?"Pass":"Fail") + ": IsNumeric('99,999') => false\n";
        results += (!IsNumeric('0x89f')?"Pass":"Fail") + ": IsNumeric('0x89f') => false\n";
        results += (!IsNumeric('#abcdef')?"Pass":"Fail") + ": IsNumeric('#abcdef') => false\n";
        results += (!IsNumeric('1.2.3')?"Pass":"Fail") + ": IsNumeric('1.2.3') => false\n";
        results += (!IsNumeric('')?"Pass":"Fail") + ": IsNumeric('') => false\n";
        results += (!IsNumeric('blah')?"Pass":"Fail") + ": IsNumeric('blah') => false\n";
        return results;

.as-console-wrapper { max-height: 100% !important; top: 0; }

I borrowed that regex from Explanation:

/^ match beginning of string
-{0,1} optional negative sign
\d* optional digits
\.{0,1} optional decimal point
\d+ at least one digit
$/ match end of string

Yahoo! UI uses this:

isNumber: function(o) {
    return typeof o === 'number' && isFinite(o);

function IsNumeric(num) {
     return (num >=0 || num < 0);

This works for 0x23 type numbers as well.


The accepted answer failed your test #7 and I guess it's because you changed your mind. So this is a response to the accepted answer, with which I had issues.

During some projects I have needed to validate some data and be as certain as possible that it is a javascript numerical value that can be used in mathematical operations.

jQuery, and some other javascript libraries already include such a function, usually called isNumeric. There is also a post on stackoverflow that has been widely accepted as the answer, the same general routine that the afore mentioned libraries are using.

function isNumber(n) {
  return !isNaN(parseFloat(n)) && isFinite(n);

First, the code above would return true if the argument was an array of length 1, and that single element was of a type deemed as numeric by the above logic. In my opinion, if it's an array then its not numeric.

To alleviate this problem, I added a check to discount arrays from the logic

function isNumber(n) {
  return !== '[object Array]' &&!isNaN(parseFloat(n)) && isFinite(n);

Of course, you could also use Array.isArray, jquery $.isArray or prototype Object.isArray instead of !== '[object Array]'

My second issue was that Negative Hexadecimal integer literal strings ("-0xA" -> -10) were not being counted as numeric. However, Positive Hexadecimal integer literal strings ("0xA" -> 10) were treated as numeric. I needed both to be valid numeric.

I then modified the logic to take this into account.

function isNumber(n) {
  return !== '[object Array]' &&!isNaN(parseFloat(n)) && isFinite(n.toString().replace(/^-/, ''));

If you are worried about the creation of the regex each time the function is called then you could rewrite it within a closure, something like this

var isNumber = (function () {
  var rx = /^-/;

  return function (n) {
      return !== '[object Array]' &&!isNaN(parseFloat(n)) && isFinite(n.toString().replace(rx, ''));

I then took CMSs +30 test cases and cloned the testing on jsfiddle added my extra test cases and my above described solution.

It may not replace the widely accepted/used answer but if this is more of what you are expecting as results from your isNumeric function then hopefully this will be of some help.

EDIT: As pointed out by Bergi, there are other possible objects that could be considered numeric and it would be better to whitelist than blacklist. With this in mind I would add to the criteria.

I want my isNumeric function to consider only Numbers or Strings

With this in mind, it would be better to use

function isNumber(n) {
  return ( === '[object Number]' || === '[object String]') &&!isNaN(parseFloat(n)) && isFinite(n.toString().replace(/^-/, ''));

Test the solutions

var testHelper = function() {

  var testSuite = function() {
    test("Integer Literals", function() {
      ok(isNumber("-10"), "Negative integer string");
      ok(isNumber("0"), "Zero string");
      ok(isNumber("5"), "Positive integer string");
      ok(isNumber(-16), "Negative integer number");
      ok(isNumber(0), "Zero integer number");
      ok(isNumber(32), "Positive integer number");
      ok(isNumber("040"), "Octal integer literal string");
      ok(isNumber(0144), "Octal integer literal");
      ok(isNumber("-040"), "Negative Octal integer literal string");
      ok(isNumber(-0144), "Negative Octal integer literal");
      ok(isNumber("0xFF"), "Hexadecimal integer literal string");
      ok(isNumber(0xFFF), "Hexadecimal integer literal");
      ok(isNumber("-0xFF"), "Negative Hexadecimal integer literal string");
      ok(isNumber(-0xFFF), "Negative Hexadecimal integer literal");

    test("Foating-Point Literals", function() {
      ok(isNumber("-1.6"), "Negative floating point string");
      ok(isNumber("4.536"), "Positive floating point string");
      ok(isNumber(-2.6), "Negative floating point number");
      ok(isNumber(3.1415), "Positive floating point number");
      ok(isNumber(8e5), "Exponential notation");
      ok(isNumber("123e-2"), "Exponential notation string");

    test("Non-Numeric values", function() {
      equals(isNumber(""), false, "Empty string");
      equals(isNumber("        "), false, "Whitespace characters string");
      equals(isNumber("\t\t"), false, "Tab characters string");
      equals(isNumber("abcdefghijklm1234567890"), false, "Alphanumeric character string");
      equals(isNumber("xabcdefx"), false, "Non-numeric character string");
      equals(isNumber(true), false, "Boolean true literal");
      equals(isNumber(false), false, "Boolean false literal");
      equals(isNumber("bcfed5.2"), false, "Number with preceding non-numeric characters");
      equals(isNumber("7.2acdgs"), false, "Number with trailling non-numeric characters");
      equals(isNumber(undefined), false, "Undefined value");
      equals(isNumber(null), false, "Null value");
      equals(isNumber(NaN), false, "NaN value");
      equals(isNumber(Infinity), false, "Infinity primitive");
      equals(isNumber(Number.POSITIVE_INFINITY), false, "Positive Infinity");
      equals(isNumber(Number.NEGATIVE_INFINITY), false, "Negative Infinity");
      equals(isNumber(new Date(2009, 1, 1)), false, "Date object");
      equals(isNumber(new Object()), false, "Empty object");
      equals(isNumber(function() {}), false, "Instance of a function");
      equals(isNumber([]), false, "Empty Array");
      equals(isNumber(["-10"]), false, "Array Negative integer string");
      equals(isNumber(["0"]), false, "Array Zero string");
      equals(isNumber(["5"]), false, "Array Positive integer string");
      equals(isNumber([-16]), false, "Array Negative integer number");
      equals(isNumber([0]), false, "Array Zero integer number");
      equals(isNumber([32]), false, "Array Positive integer number");
      equals(isNumber(["040"]), false, "Array Octal integer literal string");
      equals(isNumber([0144]), false, "Array Octal integer literal");
      equals(isNumber(["-040"]), false, "Array Negative Octal integer literal string");
      equals(isNumber([-0144]), false, "Array Negative Octal integer literal");
      equals(isNumber(["0xFF"]), false, "Array Hexadecimal integer literal string");
      equals(isNumber([0xFFF]), false, "Array Hexadecimal integer literal");
      equals(isNumber(["-0xFF"]), false, "Array Negative Hexadecimal integer literal string");
      equals(isNumber([-0xFFF]), false, "Array Negative Hexadecimal integer literal");
      equals(isNumber([1, 2]), false, "Array with more than 1 Positive interger number");
      equals(isNumber([-1, -2]), false, "Array with more than 1 Negative interger number");

  var functionsToTest = [

    function(n) {
      return !isNaN(parseFloat(n)) && isFinite(n);

    function(n) {
      return !isNaN(n) && !isNaN(parseFloat(n));

    function(n) {
      return !isNaN((n));

    function(n) {
      return !isNaN(parseFloat(n));

    function(n) {
      return typeof(n) != "boolean" && !isNaN(n);

    function(n) {
      return parseFloat(n) === Number(n);

    function(n) {
      return parseInt(n) === Number(n);

    function(n) {
      return !isNaN(Number(String(n)));

    function(n) {
      return !isNaN(+('' + n));

    function(n) {
      return (+n) == n;

    function(n) {
      return n && /^-?\d+(\.\d+)?$/.test(n + '');

    function(n) {
      return isFinite(Number(String(n)));

    function(n) {
      return isFinite(String(n));

    function(n) {
      return !isNaN(n) && !isNaN(parseFloat(n)) && isFinite(n);

    function(n) {
      return parseFloat(n) == n;

    function(n) {
      return (n - 0) == n && n.length > 0;

    function(n) {
      return typeof n === 'number' && isFinite(n);

    function(n) {
      return !Array.isArray(n) && !isNaN(parseFloat(n)) && isFinite(n.toString().replace(/^-/, ''));


  // Examines the functionsToTest array, extracts the return statement of each function
  // and fills the toTest select element.
  var fillToTestSelect = function() {
    for (var i = 0; i < functionsToTest.length; i++) {
      var f = functionsToTest[i].toString();
      var option = /[\s\S]*return ([\s\S]*);/.exec(f)[1];
      $("#toTest").append('<option value="' + i + '">' + (i + 1) + '. ' + option + '</option>');

  var performTest = function(functionNumber) {
    reset(); // Reset previous test
    $("#tests").html(""); //Clean test results
    isNumber = functionsToTest[functionNumber]; // Override the isNumber global function with the one to test
    testSuite(); // Run the test

    // Get test results
    var totalFail = 0;
    var totalPass = 0;
    $("").each(function() {
      totalFail += Number($(this).html());
    $("b.pass").each(function() {
      totalPass += Number($(this).html());
    $("#testresult").html(totalFail + " of " + (totalFail + totalPass) + " test failed.");

    $("#banner").attr("class", "").addClass(totalFail > 0 ? "fail" : "pass");

  return {
    performTest: performTest,
    fillToTestSelect: fillToTestSelect,
    testSuite: testSuite

$(document).ready(function() {

  $("#toTest").change(function() {
<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script>
<link href="" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">
<h1>isNumber Test Cases</h1>

<h2 id="banner" class="pass"></h2>

<h2 id="userAgent">Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.11 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/23.0.1271.95 Safari/537.11</h2>

<div id="currentFunction"></div>

<div id="selectFunction">
  <label for="toTest" style="font-weight:bold; font-size:Large;">Select function to test:</label>
  <select id="toTest" name="toTest">

<div id="testCode"></div>

<ol id="tests">
  <li class="pass">
    <strong>Integer Literals <b style="color:black;">(0, 10, 10)</b></strong>

    <ol style="display: none;">
      <li class="pass">Negative integer string</li>

      <li class="pass">Zero string</li>

      <li class="pass">Positive integer string</li>

      <li class="pass">Negative integer number</li>

      <li class="pass">Zero integer number</li>

      <li class="pass">Positive integer number</li>

      <li class="pass">Octal integer literal string</li>

      <li class="pass">Octal integer literal</li>

      <li class="pass">Hexadecimal integer literal string</li>

      <li class="pass">Hexadecimal integer literal</li>

  <li class="pass">
    <strong>Foating-Point Literals <b style="color:black;">(0, 6, 6)</b></strong>

    <ol style="display: none;">
      <li class="pass">Negative floating point string</li>

      <li class="pass">Positive floating point string</li>

      <li class="pass">Negative floating point number</li>

      <li class="pass">Positive floating point number</li>

      <li class="pass">Exponential notation</li>

      <li class="pass">Exponential notation string</li>

  <li class="pass">
    <strong>Non-Numeric values <b style="color:black;">(0, 18, 18)</b></strong>

    <ol style="display: none;">
      <li class="pass">Empty string: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Whitespace characters string: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Tab characters string: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Alphanumeric character string: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Non-numeric character string: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Boolean true literal: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Boolean false literal: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Number with preceding non-numeric characters: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Number with trailling non-numeric characters: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Undefined value: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Null value: false</li>

      <li class="pass">NaN value: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Infinity primitive: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Positive Infinity: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Negative Infinity: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Date object: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Empty object: false</li>

      <li class="pass">Instance of a function: false</li>

<div id="main">
  This page contains tests for a set of isNumber functions. To see them, take a look at the source.

  <p class="result">Tests completed in 0 milliseconds.
    <br>0 tests of 0 failed.</p>


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