Is null check needed before calling instanceof?

No, a null check is not needed before using instanceof.

The expression x instanceof SomeClass is false if x is null.

The Java 11 Language Specification expresses this concisely in section 15.20.2, “Type comparison operator instanceof”. (Java 17 expresses this less concisely, after the introduction of instanceof patternmatching.)

“At run time, the result of the
instanceof operator is true if the
value of the RelationalExpression is
not null
and the reference could be
cast to the ReferenceType
without raising a ClassCastException.
Otherwise the result is false.”

So if the operand is null, the result is false.

Leave a Comment