jsdom vs. Cheerio: Which Is Best for You?

February 16, 2024 · 2 min read

Are you web scraping with JavaScript and looking for the best tool between jsdom and Cheerio? Each tool has its strengths and specific use cases.

In this article, you'll learn how both tools compare to decide which works best for you.

jsdom vs. Cheerio: Which Is Best?

jsdom and Cheerio are Node.js packages used for parsing HTML. However, they operate on different parsing principles. 

jsdom parses web pages as HTML in headless browsing mode and emulates a real browser for JavaScript support and DOM manipulation. You can use it for automation testing and web scraping.

Cheerio is solely an HTML parser without headless browsing functionalities. Unlike jsdom, it can't execute JavaScript or manipulate the DOM. Cheerio is a popular web scraping tool and is easier to learn than jsdom.

Go with jsdom if you're dealing with a dynamic web page that requires interaction with JavaScript actions like infinite scrolling or button clicking. Cheerio works best if you're scraping a static website that doesn't load content dynamically.

Feature Comparison: jsdom and Cheerio

See the table below for a quick comparison overview of both tools.

Consideration jsdom Cheerio
Ease of use The learning curve can be steep for beginners Easy to learn
Speed Moderate Fast
Parsing methods CSS selector CSS selectors
Browser Browser emulator present No browser
JavaScript execution Yes No
Community support Good community support. More popular for automation testing Active community. More popular among web scrapers
DOM manipulation Full support for DOM manipulation Limited support for DOM manipulation
Maintenance and upkeep Actively maintained Actively maintained

Let's compare jsdom and Cheerio in detail in the following sections.

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Let's compare jsdom and Cheerio in detail in the following sections.

jsdom Provides Full DOM Support

jsdom goes beyond HTML parsing and emulates a real browser for full DOM manipulation and JavaScript execution, giving it access to Windows and document objects. You can leverage these features for web scraping, but they're more valuable for automation testing.

Cheerio is less complex and more focused on HTML parsing. It only performs simple DOM manipulations that don't involve JavaScript execution.

Cheerio Outperforms jsdom in Speed

Cheerio is lightweight and more focused on HTML parsing without browser emulation, making it faster than jsdom. jsdom's requirement for full browser emulation and many other requirements for full DOM implementation make it slower than Cheerio.

We did a 100-iteration performance benchmark to compare the speed of both tools on content extraction from the same website. Cheerio outperformed jsdom, averaging 300.95 milliseconds. It took jsdom an average of 517.16 milliseconds to extract the same content.

See the graphical representation of the benchmark below (from the fastest to the slowest):

Click to open the image in full screen

jsdom Can Scrape JS-Rendered Websites

jsdom's ability to emulate a real browser and spin up in headless browsing mode makes it the ideal choice if you're scraping complex websites that load content dynamically with JavaScript. This puts it side-by-side with an alternative like Puppeteer.

Cheerio lacks browsing capability and can't execute JavaScript. It means you can only use it to extract content from static pages.

Cheerio and jsdom Have a Large Community

Cheerio and jsdom have active user communities. However, Cheerio has a more streamlined use case and is popular among web scrapers, while jsdom is versatile with more usage in automation testing.

GitHub puts jsdom above Cheerio in popularity, with jsdom polling 10.8 million users and Cheerio tailing with 1.3 million users. This is understandable since jsdom has a broader application, cutting across automation testing and web scraping.


In this article, you've learned that jsdom is more versatile, with the ability to emulate the browser for JavaScript support and efficient DOM manipulation. However, Cheerio is easier to use and faster but focuses on HTML parsing only without browser or JavaScript support.

With that said, you're likely to get blocked while scraping content with jsdom or Cheerio because none offers an efficient way to bypass anti-bot detection systems. An easy way to bypass blocks and scrape without limitation is to integrate ZenRows with your web scraper. Try ZenRows for free!

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