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Compile-time tests for types. Useful to make sure types don't regress into being overly-permissive as changes go in over time.

Similar to Jest's expect, but with type-awareness. Gives you access to a number of type-matchers that let you make assertions about the form of a reference or generic type parameter.

import {foo, bar} from '../foo'
import {expectTypeOf} from 'expect-type'

test('foo types', () => {
  // make sure `foo` has type {a: number}
  expectTypeOf(foo).toMatchTypeOf<{a: number}>()

  // make sure `bar` is a function taking a string:

It can be used in your existing test files - or any other type-checked file you'd like - it's built into existing tooling with no dependencies. No extra build step, cli tool, IDE extension, or lint plugin is needed. Just import the function and start writing tests. Failures will be at compile time - they'll appear in your IDE and when you run tsc.

See below for lots more examples.


Installation and usage

npm install expect-type --save-dev
import {expectTypeOf} from 'expect-type'


The expectTypeOf method takes a single argument, or a generic parameter. Neither it, nor the functions chained off its return value, have any meaningful runtime behaviour. The assertions you write will be compile-time errors if they don't hold true.


Check an object's type with .toEqualTypeOf:

expectTypeOf({a: 1}).toEqualTypeOf<{a: number}>()

.toEqualTypeOf can check that two concrete objects have equivalent types (note: when these assertions fail, the error messages can be less informative vs the generic typearg syntax above - see error messages docs):

expectTypeOf({a: 1}).toEqualTypeOf({a: 1})

.toEqualTypeOf succeeds for objects with different values, but the same type:

expectTypeOf({a: 1}).toEqualTypeOf({a: 2})

.toEqualTypeOf fails on extra properties:

// @ts-expect-error
expectTypeOf({a: 1, b: 1}).toEqualTypeOf<{a: number}>()

To allow for extra properties, use .toMatchTypeOf. This is roughly equivalent to an extends constraint in a function type argument.:

expectTypeOf({a: 1, b: 1}).toMatchTypeOf<{a: number}>()

.toEqualTypeOf and .toMatchTypeOf both fail on missing properties:

// @ts-expect-error
expectTypeOf({a: 1}).toEqualTypeOf<{a: number; b: number}>()
// @ts-expect-error
expectTypeOf({a: 1}).toMatchTypeOf<{a: number; b: number}>()

Another example of the difference between .toMatchTypeOf and .toEqualTypeOf, using generics. .toMatchTypeOf can be used for "is-a" relationships:

type Fruit = {type: 'Fruit'; edible: boolean}
type Apple = {type: 'Fruit'; name: 'Apple'; edible: true}


// @ts-expect-error

// @ts-expect-error

Assertions can be inverted with .not:

expectTypeOf({a: 1}).not.toMatchTypeOf({b: 1})

.not can be easier than relying on // @ts-expect-error:

type Fruit = {type: 'Fruit'; edible: boolean}
type Apple = {type: 'Fruit'; name: 'Apple'; edible: true}



Catch any/unknown/never types:


// @ts-expect-error

.toEqualTypeOf distinguishes between deeply-nested any and unknown properties:

expectTypeOf<{deeply: {nested: any}}>().not.toEqualTypeOf<{deeply: {nested: unknown}}>()

Test for basic javascript types:

expectTypeOf(() => 1).toBeFunction()
expectTypeOf(() => {}).returns.toBeVoid()

.toBe... methods allow for types which extend the expected type:





.toBe... methods protect against any:

const goodIntParser = (s: string) => Number.parseInt(s, 10)
const badIntParser = (s: string) => JSON.parse(s) // uh-oh - works at runtime if the input is a number, but return 'any'

// @ts-expect-error - if you write a test like this, `.toBeNumber()` will let you know your implementation returns `any`.

Nullable types:



expectTypeOf<1 | undefined>().toBeNullable()
expectTypeOf<1 | null>().toBeNullable()
expectTypeOf<1 | undefined | null>().toBeNullable()

More .not examples:


Detect assignability of unioned types:

expectTypeOf<number>().toMatchTypeOf<string | number>()
expectTypeOf<string | number>().not.toMatchTypeOf<number>()

Use .extract and .exclude to narrow down complex union types:

type ResponsiveProp<T> = T | T[] | {xs?: T; sm?: T; md?: T}
const getResponsiveProp = <T>(_props: T): ResponsiveProp<T> => ({})
type CSSProperties = {margin?: string; padding?: string}

const cssProperties: CSSProperties = {margin: '1px', padding: '2px'}

  .exclude<{xs?: unknown}>()


  .extract<{xs?: any}>()
  .toEqualTypeOf<{xs?: CSSProperties; sm?: CSSProperties; md?: CSSProperties}>()

expectTypeOf<ResponsiveProp<number>>().exclude<number | number[]>().toHaveProperty('sm')
expectTypeOf<ResponsiveProp<number>>().exclude<number | number[]>().not.toHaveProperty('xxl')

.extract and .exclude return never if no types remain after exclusion:

type Person = {name: string; age: number}
type Customer = Person & {customerId: string}
type Employee = Person & {employeeId: string}

expectTypeOf<Customer | Employee>().extract<{foo: string}>().toBeNever()
expectTypeOf<Customer | Employee>().exclude<{name: string}>().toBeNever()

Make assertions about object properties:

const obj = {a: 1, b: ''}

// check that properties exist (or don't) with `.toHaveProperty`

// check types of properties

.toEqualTypeOf can be used to distinguish between functions:

type NoParam = () => void
type HasParam = (s: string) => void


But often it's preferable to use .parameters or .returns for more specific function assertions:

type NoParam = () => void
type HasParam = (s: string) => void



More examples of ways to work with functions - parameters using .parameter(n) or .parameters, and return values using .returns:

const f = (a: number) => [a, a]


expectTypeOf(f).returns.toEqualTypeOf([1, 2])
expectTypeOf(f).returns.toEqualTypeOf([1, 2, 3])

const twoArgFunc = (a: number, b: string) => ({a, b})

expectTypeOf(twoArgFunc).parameters.toEqualTypeOf<[number, string]>()

You can't use .toBeCallableWith with .not - you need to use ts-expect-error::

const f = (a: number) => [a, a]

// @ts-expect-error

You can also check type guards & type assertions:

const assertNumber = (v: any): asserts v is number => {
  if (typeof v !== 'number') {
    throw new TypeError('Nope !')


const isString = (v: any): v is string => typeof v === 'string'

Assert on constructor parameters:

expectTypeOf(Date).toBeConstructibleWith(new Date())

expectTypeOf(Date).constructorParameters.toEqualTypeOf<[] | [string | number | Date]>()

Check function this parameters:

function greet(this: {name: string}, message: string) {
  return `Hello ${this.name}, here's your message: ${message}`

expectTypeOf(greet).thisParameter.toEqualTypeOf<{name: string}>()

Distinguish between functions with different this parameters:

function greetFormal(this: {title: string; name: string}, message: string) {
  return `Dear ${this.title} ${this.name}, here's your message: ${message}`

function greetCasual(this: {name: string}, message: string) {
  return `Hi ${this.name}, here's your message: ${message}`


Class instance types:


Promise resolution types can be checked with .resolves:

const asyncFunc = async () => 123


Array items can be checked with .items:

expectTypeOf([1, 2, 3]).items.toBeNumber()
expectTypeOf([1, 2, 3]).items.not.toBeString()

You can also compare arrays directly:


Check that functions never return:

const thrower = () => {
  throw new Error('oh no')


Generics can be used rather than references:

expectTypeOf<{a: string}>().not.toEqualTypeOf<{a: number}>()

Distinguish between missing/null/optional properties:

expectTypeOf<{a?: number}>().not.toEqualTypeOf<{}>()
expectTypeOf<{a?: number}>().not.toEqualTypeOf<{a: number}>()
expectTypeOf<{a?: number}>().not.toEqualTypeOf<{a: number | undefined}>()
expectTypeOf<{a?: number | null}>().not.toEqualTypeOf<{a: number | null}>()
expectTypeOf<{a: {b?: number}}>().not.toEqualTypeOf<{a: {}}>()

Detect the difference between regular and readonly properties:

type A1 = {readonly a: string; b: string}
type E1 = {a: string; b: string}


type A2 = {a: string; b: {readonly c: string}}
type E2 = {a: string; b: {c: string}}


Distinguish between classes with different constructors:

class A {
  value: number
  constructor(a: 1) {
    this.value = a
class B {
  value: number
  constructor(b: 2) {
    this.value = b

expectTypeOf<typeof A>().not.toEqualTypeOf<typeof B>()

class C {
  value: number
  constructor(c: 1) {
    this.value = c

expectTypeOf<typeof A>().toEqualTypeOf<typeof C>()

Known limitation: Intersection types can cause issues with toEqualTypeOf:

// @ts-expect-error the following line doesn't compile, even though the types are arguably the same.
// See https://github.com/mmkal/expect-type/pull/21
expectTypeOf<{a: 1} & {b: 2}>().toEqualTypeOf<{a: 1; b: 2}>()

To workaround for simple cases, you can use a mapped type:

type Simplify<T> = {[K in keyof T]: T[K]}

expectTypeOf<Simplify<{a: 1} & {b: 2}>>().toEqualTypeOf<{a: 1; b: 2}>()

But this won't work if the nesting is deeper in the type. For these situations, you can use the .branded helper. Note that this comes at a performance cost, and can cause the compiler to 'give up' if used with excessively deep types, so use sparingly. This helper is under .branded because it depply transforms the Actual and Expected types into a pseudo-AST:

// @ts-expect-error
expectTypeOf<{a: {b: 1} & {c: 1}}>().toEqualTypeOf<{a: {b: 1; c: 1}}>()

expectTypeOf<{a: {b: 1} & {c: 1}}>().branded.toEqualTypeOf<{a: {b: 1; c: 1}}>()

Be careful with .branded for very deep or complex types, though. If possible you should find a way to simplify your test to avoid needing to use it:

// This *should* result in an error, but the "branding" mechanism produces too large a type and TypeScript just gives up! https://github.com/microsoft/TypeScript/issues/50670
expectTypeOf<() => () => () => () => 1>().branded.toEqualTypeOf<() => () => () => () => 2>()

// @ts-expect-error the non-branded implementation catches the error as expected.
expectTypeOf<() => () => () => () => 1>().toEqualTypeOf<() => () => () => () => 2>()

So, if you have an extremely deep type which ALSO has an intersection in it, you're out of luck and this library won't be able to test your type properly:

// @ts-expect-error this fails, but it should succeed.
expectTypeOf<() => () => () => () => {a: 1} & {b: 2}>().toEqualTypeOf<
  () => () => () => () => {a: 1; b: 2}

// this succeeds, but it should fail.
expectTypeOf<() => () => () => () => {a: 1} & {b: 2}>().branded.toEqualTypeOf<
  () => () => () => () => {a: 1; c: 2}

Another limitation: passing this references to expectTypeOf results in errors.:

class B {
  b = 'b'

  foo() {
    // @ts-expect-error
    // @ts-expect-error

// Instead of the above, try something like this:
expectTypeOf(B).instance.toEqualTypeOf<{b: string; foo: () => void}>()

Why is my assertion failing?

For complex types, an assertion might fail when it should if the Actual type contains a deeply-nested intersection type but the Expected doesn't. In these cases you can use .branded as described above:

// @ts-expect-error this unfortunately fails - a TypeScript limitation prevents making this pass without a big perf hit
expectTypeOf<{a: {b: 1} & {c: 1}}>().toEqualTypeOf<{a: {b: 1; c: 1}}>()

expectTypeOf<{a: {b: 1} & {c: 1}}>().branded.toEqualTypeOf<{a: {b: 1; c: 1}}>()

Where is .toExtend?

A few people have asked for a method like toExtend - this is essentially what toMatchTypeOf is. There are some cases where it doesn't precisely match the extends operator in TypeScript, but for most practical use cases, you can think of this as the same thing.

Internal type helpers

🚧 This library also exports some helper types for performing boolean operations on types, checking extension/equality in various ways, branding types, and checking for various special types like never, any, unknown. Use at your own risk! Nothing is stopping you using these beyond this warning:

All internal types that are not documented here are not part of the supported API surface, and may be renamed, modified, or removed, without warning or documentation in release notes.

For a dedicated internal type library, feel free to look at the source code for inspiration - or better, use a library like type-fest.

Error messages

When types don't match, .toEqualTypeOf and .toMatchTypeOf use a special helper type to produce error messages that are as actionable as possible. But there's a bit of an nuance to understanding them. Since the assertions are written "fluently", the failure should be on the "expected" type, not the "actual" type (expect<Actual>().toEqualTypeOf<Expected>()). This means that type errors can be a little confusing - so this library produces a MismatchInfo type to try to make explicit what the expectation is. For example:

expectTypeOf({a: 1}).toEqualTypeOf<{a: string}>()

Is an assertion that will fail, since {a: 1} has type {a: number} and not {a: string}. The error message in this case will read something like this:

test/test.ts:999:999 - error TS2344: Type '{ a: string; }' does not satisfy the constraint '{ a: \\"Expected: string, Actual: number\\"; }'.
  Types of property 'a' are incompatible.
    Type 'string' is not assignable to type '\\"Expected: string, Actual: number\\"'.

999 expectTypeOf({a: 1}).toEqualTypeOf<{a: string}>()

Note that the type constraint reported is a human-readable messaging specifying both the "expected" and "actual" types. Rather than taking the sentence Types of property 'a' are incompatible // Type 'string' is not assignable to type "Expected: string, Actual: number" literally - just look at the property name ('a') and the message: Expected: string, Actual: number. This will tell you what's wrong, in most cases. Extremely complex types will of course be more effort to debug, and may require some experimentation. Please raise an issue if the error messages are actually misleading.

The toBe... methods (like toBeString, toBeNumber, toBeVoid etc.) fail by resolving to a non-callable type when the Actual type under test doesn't match up. For example, the failure for an assertion like expectTypeOf(1).toBeString() will look something like this:

test/test.ts:999:999 - error TS2349: This expression is not callable.
  Type 'ExpectString<number>' has no call signatures.

999 expectTypeOf(1).toBeString()

The This expression is not callable part isn't all that helpful - the meaningful error is the next line, Type 'ExpectString<number> has no call signatures. This essentially means you passed a number but asserted it should be a string.

If TypeScript added support for "throw" types these error messagess could be improved. Until then they will take a certain amount of squinting.

Concrete "expected" objects vs typeargs

Error messages for an assertion like this:

expectTypeOf({a: 1}).toEqualTypeOf({a: ''})

Will be less helpful than for an assertion like this:

expectTypeOf({a: 1}).toEqualTypeOf<{a: string}>()

This is because the TypeScript compiler needs to infer the typearg for the .toEqualTypeOf({a: ''}) style, and this library can only mark it as a failure by comparing it against a generic Mismatch type. So, where possible, use a typearg rather than a concrete type for .toEqualTypeOf and toMatchTypeOf. If it's much more convenient to compare two concrete types, you can use typeof:

const one = valueFromFunctionOne({some: {complex: inputs}})
const two = valueFromFunctionTwo({some: {other: inputs}})

expectTypeOf(one).toEqualTypeof<typeof two>()

Within test frameworks

Jest & eslint-plugin-jest

If you're using Jest along with eslint-plugin-jest, you may get warnings from the jest/expect-expect rule, complaining that "Test has no assertions" for tests that only use expectTypeOf().

To remove this warning, configure the ESlint rule to consider expectTypeOf as an assertion:

"rules": {
  // ...
  "jest/expect-expect": [
      "assertFunctionNames": [
        "expect", "expectTypeOf"
  // ...

Similar projects

Other projects with similar goals:

  • tsd is a CLI that runs the TypeScript type checker over assertions
  • ts-expect exports several generic helper types to perform type assertions
  • dtslint does type checks via comment directives and tslint
  • type-plus comes with various type and runtime TypeScript assertions
  • static-type-assert type assertion functions


The key differences in this project are:

  • a fluent, jest-inspired API, making the difference between actual and expected clear. This is helpful with complex types and assertions.
  • inverting assertions intuitively and easily via expectTypeOf(...).not
  • checks generics properly and strictly (tsd doesn't)
  • first-class support for:
    • any (as well as unknown and never) (see issues outstanding at time of writing in tsd for never and any).
      • This can be especially useful in combination with not, to protect against functions returning too-permissive types. For example, const parseFile = (filename: string) => JSON.parse(readFileSync(filename).toString()) returns any, which could lead to errors. After giving it a proper return-type, you can add a test for this with expect(parseFile).returns.not.toBeAny()
    • object properties
    • function parameters
    • function return values
    • constructor parameters
    • class instances
    • array item values
    • nullable types
  • assertions on types "matching" rather than exact type equality, for "is-a" relationships e.g. expectTypeOf(square).toMatchTypeOf<Shape>()
  • built into existing tooling. No extra build step, cli tool, IDE extension, or lint plugin is needed. Just import the function and start writing tests. Failures will be at compile time - they'll appear in your IDE and when you run tsc.
  • small implementation with no dependencies. Take a look! (tsd, for comparison, is 2.6MB because it ships a patched version of typescript).


In most cases, it's worth checking existing issues or creating on to discuss a new feature or a bug fix before opening a pull request.

Once you're ready to make a pull request: clone the repo, and install pnpm if you don't have it already with npm install --global pnpm. Lockfiles for npm and yarn are gitignored.

If you're adding a feature, you should write a self-contained usage example in the form of a test, in test/usage.test.ts. This file is used to populate the bulk of this readme using eslint-plugin-codegen, and to generate an "errors" test file, which captures the error messages that are emitted for failing assertions by the typescript compiler. So, the test name should be written as a human-readable sentence explaining the usage example. Have a look at the existing tests for an idea of the style.

After adding the tests, run npm run lint -- --fix to update the readme, and npm test -- --updateSnapshot to update the errors test. The generated documentation and tests should be pushed to the same branch as the source code, and submitted as a pull request. CI will test that the docs and tests are up to date if you forget to run these commands.

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