ReactNode vs ReactElement

By onjsdev

Nov 26th, 2023

In React with TypeScript, understanding the difference between ReactNode and ReactElement is crucial, as they represent different types of content that can be rendered within a React component.


ReactNode is a type that represents any node that could be rendered in React. It is a broad type that encompasses various possible values, including components, elements, strings, numbers, fragments, and more.

You can use it, when you want a component to accept any type of content as its children, whether it's a simple string, a number, a component, or a fragment.

Here is the example

interface ExampleProps {
  children: React.ReactNode;

const ExampleComponent: React.FC<ExampleProps> = ({ children }) => {
  return <div>{children}</div>;


On the other hand, ReactElement is a more specific type that represents a React element. It specifically refers to instances of React components created with JSX or React.createElement.

You can use it for children prop, when you want to ensure that the children of a component are React elements, meaning they are instances of React components or JSX elements.

Here is the example

interface ElementExampleProps {
  child: React.ReactElement;

const ElementExampleComponent: React.FC<ElementExampleProps> = ({ child }) => {
  return <div>{child}</div>;


In summary,

  • Use ReactNode when you want a component to accept a wide range of content types.
  • Use ReactElement when you specifically want to accept React elements as children, providing a level of type safety for the expected content.

In many cases, you might find yourself using ReactNode for flexibility, but using ReactElement can be beneficial when you want to enforce stricter types for the children of your components.

Thank you for reading.