Difference between var and let in Typescript

In TypeScript, let and var are used for variable declarations, but they behave differently in terms of scope and variable hoisting. Let's explore the distinctions between let and var with examples to understand their impact on variable behavior.


  1. let: Block-scoped, accessible only within the block (e.g., if statement, for loop) where it's declared.
  2. var: Function-scoped, accessible throughout the entire function, even before it's declared (due to hoisting).


  1. let: Not hoisted, so it must be declared before use.
  2. var: Hoisted to the top of the function, but its value is undefined until initialization.

Block Scoping with let

let was introduced in ECMAScript 6 (ES6) and is widely used in TypeScript. One of its key features is block-level scoping. Variables declared with let are confined to the block (enclosed by curly braces) where they are defined. Consider the following example:

function exampleScope() { if (true) { let x = 10; console.log(x); // Accessible within the block } // console.log(x); // Error: 'x' does not exist here }

In this example, the variable x is only accessible within the if block due to block scoping.

Function Scoping with var

Before the introduction of let, var was the primary keyword for variable declarations in JavaScript. Unlike let, variables declared with var have function-level scope. This means they are accessible throughout the entire function in which they are defined. However, they are not confined to the block scope. Consider the following example:

function exampleVarScope() { if (true) { var y = 20; console.log(y); // Accessible within the function } console.log(y); // Accessible outside the block }

Here, the variable y is accessible both within the if block and outside it because of var's function-level scope.

Variable Hoisting

Another crucial distinction is variable hoisting. Variables declared with var are hoisted to the top of their scope and can be accessed before the actual declaration. This behavior can sometimes lead to unexpected results:

function exampleHoisting() { console.log(a); // Output: undefined var a = 5; console.log(a); // Output: 5 }

On the other hand, variables declared with let are also hoisted but remain in a "temporal dead zone" until their actual declaration. Attempting to access them before declaration results in a runtime error:

function exampleLetHoisting() { // console.log(b); // Error: Cannot access 'b' before initialization let b = 10; console.log(b); // Output: 10 }


Both let and var can be reassigned with new values.

Temporal Dead Zone (TDZ)

  1. let: Variables declared with let have a TDZ between their declaration and initialization, where they are inaccessible. This prevents potential errors.
  2. var: No TDZ, variables are accessible even before initialization (with undefined).

Best Practices

  1. Prefer let in modern TypeScript: It promotes better code organization, avoids scoping issues, and prevents accidental variable misuse.
  2. Avoid var in new code: It can lead to unexpected behavior due to hoisting and broader scope.
  3. Use const for variables that shouldn't be reassigned: This enforces immutability and enhances code clarity.
// let example: if (true) { let x = 10; // x is only accessible within this block } console.log(x); // Error: x is not defined outside the block
// var example: function myFunction() { console.log(y); // Output: undefined (hoisted, but not initialized) var y = 5; }
// TDZ example: let myVar; console.log(myVar); // Error: myVar is in TDZ, not accessible yet

Choosing between let and var

As a best practice in TypeScript, it is generally recommended to use let over var due to its block scoping, which helps prevent unintended variable reassignments and provides more predictable code behavior. Use let when you want to limit the variable's scope to a specific block, and use var when you specifically need function-level scoping or want to use variable hoisting intentionally.


TypeScript let and var serve as keywords for variable declarations with crucial differences in scoping and hoisting behavior. While let introduces block-level scoping and avoids variable hoisting issues, var is function-scoped and may lead to unexpected behavior due to hoisting, making let the preferred choice for modern TypeScript development.