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How to Convert a Java 8 Stream to an Array?

Posted by: admin November 2, 2017 Leave a comment


What is the easiest/shortest way to convert a Java 8 Stream into an array?


The easiest method is to use the toArray(IntFunction<A[]> generator) method with an array constructor reference. This is suggested in the API documentation for the method.

String[] stringArray = streamString.toArray(String[]::new);

What it does, is find a method that takes in an integer (the size) as argument, and returns a String[], which is exactly what (one of the overloads of) new String[] does.

You could also write your own IntFunction:

Stream<String> stream = ...;
String[] stringArray = stream.toArray(size -> new String[size]);

The purpose of the IntFunction<A[]> generator is to convert an integer, the size of the array, to a new array.

Example code:

Stream<String> streamString = Stream.of("a", "b", "c");
String[] stringArray = streamString.toArray(size -> new String[size]);




If you want to get an array of ints, with values form 1 to 10, from a Stream, there is IntStream at your disposal.

Here we create a Stream with a Stream.of method and convert an Stream to an IntStream using a mapToInt. Then we can call IntStream’s toArray method.

Stream<Integer> stream = Stream.of(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10);
//or use this to create our stream 
//Stream<Integer> stream = IntStream.rangeClosed(1, 10).boxed();
int[] array =  stream.mapToInt(x -> x).toArray();

Here is the same thing, without the Stream, using only the IntStream

int[]array2 =  IntStream.rangeClosed(1, 10).toArray();


You can create a custom collector that convert a stream to array.

public static <T> Collector<T, ?, T[]> toArray( IntFunction<T[]> converter )
    return Collectors.collectingAndThen( 
                  list ->list.toArray( converter.apply( list.size() ) ) );

and a quick use

List<String> input = Arrays.asList( ..... );

String[] result = input.stream().
         .collect( CustomCollectors.**toArray**( String[]::new ) );


Using the toArray(IntFunction<A[]> generator) method is indeed a very elegant and safe way to convert (or more correctly, collect) a Stream into an array of the same type of the Stream.

However, if the returned array’s type is not important, simply using the toArray() method is both easier and shorter.
For example:

    Stream<Object> args = Stream.of(BigDecimal.ONE, "Two", 3);
    System.out.printf("%s, %s, %s!", args.toArray());

     Stream<Integer> stream = Stream.of(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6);

     Integer[] integers = stream.toArray(it->new Integer[it]);


You can convert a java 8 stream to an array using this simple code block:

 String[] myNewArray3 = myNewStream.toArray(String[]::new);

But let’s explain things more, first, let’s Create a list of string filled with three values:

String[] stringList = {"Bachiri","Taoufiq","Abderrahman"};

Create a stream from the given Array :

Stream<String> stringStream = Arrays.stream(stringList);

we can now perform some operations on this stream Ex:

Stream<String> myNewStream = stringStream.map(s -> s.toUpperCase());

and finally convert it to a java 8 Array using these methods:

1-Classic method (Functional interface)

IntFunction<String[]> intFunction = new IntFunction<String[]>() {
    public String[] apply(int value) {
        return new String[value];

String[] myNewArray = myNewStream.toArray(intFunction);

2 -Lambda expression

 String[] myNewArray2 = myNewStream.toArray(value -> new String[value]);

3- Method reference

String[] myNewArray3 = myNewStream.toArray(String[]::new);

Method reference Explanation:

It’s another way of writing a lambda expression that it’s strictly equivalent to the other.