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Getting all of an elements siblings with vanilla JS

Let’s say you have an element, and you want to get all of that element’s sibling elements—all of the elements that have the same parent and are in the same level in the DOM tree.

	<li id="item-1">
		Item 1
		<span id="span-1">Has some sub-content</span>
	<li id="item-2">Item 2</li>
	<li id="item-3">Item 3</li>
	<li id="item-4">Item 4</li>
	<li id="item-5">Item 5</li>

In the markup above, #item-1 is a sibling of #item-2, but #span-1 is not.

So, let’s say you have one of the elements already.

var elem = document.querySelector('#item-3');

How do you get all of the sibling elements, excluding the item you already have? There are a few ways, but here’s how I would approach it:

  1. Get the element’s parent.
  2. Get all of the .children of the parent. This property gets elements one level down only, and excludes text nodes.
  3. Convert the .children into an array (it’s an HTMLCollection) with Array.from()
  4. Use the Array.filter() method to remove the element you have from the list.

Here’s the verbose version:

var elem = document.querySelector('#item-3');

// Step 1
var parent = elem.parentNode;

// Step 2
var parentNodes = parent.children;

// Step 3
var parentNodesArray = Array.from(parent.children);

// Step 4
var siblings = parentNodesArray.filter(function (sibling) {
	return sibling !== elem;

And here’s what it looks like when you put it all together.

var elem = document.querySelector('#item-3');
var siblings = Array.from(elem.parentNode.children).filter(function (sibling) {
	return sibling !== elem;

Here’s a demo.

This works in all modern browsers, but needs a polyfill for Array.from() for IE support.

You can grab a helper function for this on the Vanilla JS Toolkit that works back to IE9 out-of-the-box.