React unit test and code coverage with Jest and Istanbul

The recommended testing framework for React is Jest. When I wrote this post getting a testing environment setup was not easy at all. So I decided to write this article describing some basic steps.

With Create React App

If you used Create React App to generate your project, then your project is pre-configured to generate Code Coverage Reports. To generate a report, run this command:

npm test -- --coverage

Notice a new directory called /coverage will be created at the root of your project.

Configuring Jest to run React Tests

Step 1: Get your new project setup (npm init)

Step 2: Bring in npm dependencies:

  • npm install --save-dev jest
  • npm install --save-dev babel-jest @babel/core @babel/preset-env

Step3: Add the following lines to your package.json file:

"scripts": {
  "test": "jest",
"jest": {
  "collectCoverageFrom": [

Step 4: Write your component:

// File location: app/components/App.js
import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';

function App() {
  return (
      <h1>Hello World</h1>

  <App />,

Step 5: Create a __tests__ directory on your project’s root and write your first test.

Protip: Jest’s conventions suggest using a directory called __tests__ on your project’s root. Good news is you can change that, check out the docs.

// File location: __tests__/app/App-test.js

import React from 'react';
import ReactTestUtils from 'react-dom/test-utils';
import App from '../../app/components/App';

describe('App', function() {

  it('renders with correct text', function() {

    const app = ReactTestUtils.renderIntoDocument(
      <App />

    const appNode = React.findDOMNode(app);
    // Asserts that the text in the <h1> tag
    // is equal to "Hello World" (like our App component)
    ).toEqual('Hello World');



Step 6: Run tests and you should be all done: npm test

PS: Don’t forget to checkout the coverage directory. It contains all your code coverage reports.

A word on conventions

For my projects, I decided to have an app directory where all my code lives. I then replicate the app directory within __tests__ directory. That way all my files and test files have the same name, except the test file names end with a -test after its name. For example: the component file app/App.js would have its test in the following location: __tests__/app/App-test.js.

Code sample

If you’re anything like me, you like seeing code samples. Feel free to check out the app I have been writing. It uses some of the conventions I’ve described in this post:

Sergio Cruz

Copyright © 2022 Sergio Cruz. All rights reserved.