Tuples in Swift, Advanced Usage and Best Practices


released Fri, 01 Mar 2019
Swift Version 5.0


So far, I've tried to steer clear of calling tuples sequences or collections because they aren't. Since every element of a tuple can have a different type, there's no type-safe way of looping or mapping over the contents of a tuple. Well, no beautiful one, that is.

Swift does offer limited reflection capabilities, and these allow us to inspect the elements of a tuple and loop over them. The downside is that the type checker has no way to figure out what the type of each element is, and thus everything is typed as Any. It is your job then to cast and match this against your possible types to figure out what to do.

let t = (a: 5, b: \"String\", c: Date())

let mirror = Mirror(reflecting: t)

for (label, value) in mirror.children {

     switch value {

     case is Int:


     case is String:


     case is NSDate:


     default: ()



This is not as simple as array iteration, but it does work if you really need it.

You can also abstract this into a nice function which translate your tuple type into a parseable description.