Object retrieve nested value

Retrieve the value at a specified path of a deeply nested object by traversing the object until it reaches the desired value.

function getObjectValue(obj, path, defaultValue = undefined) {
  const traverse = (regexp) => {
    return String.prototype.split
      .call(path, regexp)
        (res, key) => (res !== null && res !== undefined 
          ? res[key] 
          : res
  const result = traverse(/[,[\]]+?/) || traverse(/[,[\].]+?/);
  return result === undefined || result === obj 
   ? defaultValue 
   : result;


When working with complex JavaScript objects, it's often necessary to access values at specific paths within the object. However, this can be challenging when the object is deeply nested, and the path is complicated although nowadays we could alternatively use the optional chaining ?. for a less elegant approach (by the way it's not always supported like in Vue 2 template block). The getObjectValue() function defined in this code offers a convenient way to retrieve values at any given path in the object.


The getObjectValue() function takes three arguments: the object to dig into, the path to the desired value, and an optional default value to return if the path does not correspond to any value.

Inside the getObjectValue() function we define yet another function traverse(), which uses regular expressions to split the path string into individual keys. These keys are then traversed using the reduce() method until the desired value is reached. If the value is found, it is returned, otherwise, the default value is returned.

Now, suppose you're building a weather application that consumes an API that returns an object with weather information for a given location. The object contains nested structures for various attributes, such as temperature, humidity, and precipitation.

To display the weather information on your application's user interface, you'll need to extract specific values from the API response object if for example, you want to display the current temperature in Celsius, the precipitation probability, and the wind speed in miles per hour you can easily extract these values from the API response object using the getObjectValue(), no matter how deeply they are nested:

const response = {
  locations: [
      name: "London",
      country: "United Kingdom",
      region: "City of London, Greater London",
      lat: "51.517",
      lon: "-0.106",
      timezone_id: "Europe/London",
      localtime: "2023-04-08 12:30",
      current: {
        temperature: 15,
        humidity: 75,
        precipitation: {
          probability: 40,
          type: "rain",
        wind_speed: {
          mph: 10,
          kph: 16,

getObjectValue(response, "locations[0].current.temperature"); // 15
getObjectValue(response, "locations[0].current.precipitation.probability"); // 40
getObjectValue(response, "locations[0].current.wind_speed.mph"); // 10
// Alternative usage: optional chaining
response?.locations?.[0]?.current?.temperature; // 15
response?.locations?.[0]?.current?.precipitation?.probability; // 40
response?.locations?.[0]?.current?.wind_speed?.mph; // 10


The getObjectValue() function provides a convenient and flexible way to retrieve values at specific paths within a JavaScript object. By using regular expressions to split the path string into individual keys and iteratively traversing the object, this function can handle even the most complex nested structures.

Last updated: March 2, 2023

⚡ Who am i to talk about this? ⚡

Honestly i am no one, i've just been coding for 3 years now and i like to document every solutions to every problem i encounter. Extracting as much code snippets and tutorials i can so that if i ever need it again i just have to pop back here and get a quick refresher.

Feel free to me through this learning journey by providing any feedback and if you wanna support me: