How to Check if Variable is JSON or String in Javascript

In this tutorial, you will learn how to check if variable is JSON or string in javascript. A variable that holds a plain text as its value is considered to be of string type. JSON stands for JavaScript object notation syntax which is a standard text-based format to represent structured data based on javascript object syntax.

We do have JSON.parse() and JSON.stringify() methods available to convert JSON string to javascript object and vice versa. But if the JSON string is malformed then JSON.parse() method will throw an error. We are going to take advantage of this method to validate JSON string.

There are numerous ways to check if a variable is JSON or string. We are going to use one of the easiest solutions which involve the usage of the typeof and ternary (?) operators.  The typeof operator returns the type of the variable. The ternary operator is also known as the conditional operator which acts similar to the if-else statement.

In the following example, we have one global variable and upon click of a button, we will check if the variable is JSON or string and display the result on the screen.  Please have a look over the code example and the steps given below.


  • We have 3 elements in the HTML file (div, button, and h1). The div element is just a wrapper for the rest of the elements.
  • The innerText for the button element is “Check” and for the h1 element, it is “Result”.
  • We have done some basic styling using CSS and added the link to our style.css stylesheet inside the head element.
  • We have also included our javascript file script.js with a script tag at the bottom.
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="ie=edge">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css">

    <script src="script.js"></script>
body {
    text-align: center;

div {
    display: inline-block;

button {
    display: inline-block;
    padding: 10px 20px;


  • We have selected the button element and h1 element using the document.querySelector() method and stored them in btnCheck and result variables respectively.
  • We have a global variable myVar which holds a string as its value.
  • We have attached a click event listener to the button element.
  • In the event handler function, we are calling checkVariable() method and passing it myVar as a parameter. This method will verify whether myVar is integer or string.
  • In the checkVariable() method, we are using typeof and ternary (?) operators as well as switch statement for verification. Depending upon the result of the check, this method will return “JSON”"String" or “Not JSON or String.
  • In isValidJson() method, we are using the try and catch block. Inside this block, we are first checking if the str type is a string. Then, we are calling JSON.parse() method and passing str as a parameter. If it’s a valid JSON object, parsing will happen without any error, otherwise, it will throw an error.
  • Based on the above logic, we are returning true in the try block and false in the catch block.
  • We are displaying the returned value in the h1 element using the innerText property.
let btnCheck = document.querySelector("button");
let result = document.querySelector("h1");

let myVar = '{"name":"Marks", "age":"27"}';

btnCheck.addEventListener("click", () => {
  result.innerText = checkVariable(myVar);

function checkVariable(value) {
  let output = isValidJson(myVar) ? 1 : 0;
  if (output == 0) output = typeof value == "string" ? 2 : 0;

  switch (output) {
    case 1:
      return "JSON";
    case 2:
      return "String";
      return "Not JSON or String";

function isValidJson(str) {
  try {
    if (typeof str != "string") return false;
    return true;
  } catch (error) {
    return false;