Fraser Hamilton

React Hooks: UseState

July 12, 2020

The useState hook allows you to manage the state of your React component without having to write a class. Here’s a simple class based example that we’re going to convert to it’s functional equivalent with useState:

class Counter extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);
    this.state = {
      currentCount: 0
    };
  }

  render() {
      return (
          <div>
            <p>Current Count: {this.state.currentCount}</p>
            <button onClick={() => this.setState({ currentCount: this.state.currentCount + 1 })}>
                Increment Counter
            </button>
          <div>)
  }

When we convert this to a functional component it will look something like this:

import React, { useState } from 'react';

const Counter = () => {
    const [currentCount, setCurrentCount] = useState(0);

    return (
        <div>
            <p>Current Count: {currentCount}</p>
            <button onClick={() => setCurrentCount(currentCount + 1)}>
                Increment Counter
            </button>
          <div>
    )
}

There’s quite a big difference between these two components. First of all the way in which we declare our state is different. In our class we are handling this within the constructor but in our functional component we no longer have a constructor. So instead use our useState hook to both declare and initialize our state.

When it comes to accessing and updating our state we handle this through the two const variables declared within the square brackets. The first which we’ve called currentCount is the equivalent of this.state.currentCount in the class component and is used for reading state. The second which we’ve called setCurrentCount is used to update our state.

What if we were to have multiple state values to manage? Well in our class component we would just add another value to our state object and manage it through this.state and this.setState. However in our functional component we would just initialize another instance of our hook. Here’s a quick example of what that might look like:

import React, { useState } from 'react';

const DoubleCounter = () => {
    const [countOne, setCountOne] = useState(0);
    const [countTwo, setCountTwo] = useState(0);

    return (
        <div>
            <p>Count One: {countOne}</p>
            <p>Count Two: {countTwo}</p>
            <button onClick={() => setCountOne(countOne + 1)}>
                Increment Count One
            </button>
            <button onClick={() => setCountTwo(countTwo + 1)}>
                Increment Count Two
            </button>
          <div>
    )
}


Written by Fraser Hamilton a full stack developer based out of Edinburgh, Scotland.

© 2020, Fraser Hamilton