String.Equals with OrdinalIgnoreCase compared to ToLower / ToUpper for string insensitive comparisons in C#

In C#, when checking if strings are equal in a case insensitive way prefer string.Equals with OrdinalIgnoreCase over using ToLower() / ToUpper().


Using ToUpper or ToLower can lead to incorrect results in certain cultures and languages. Not all languages follow the simple upper-to-lowercase mapping that English does. For example, in Turkish, the lowercase of the uppercase letter “I” is “ı” (dotless i), not “i”.

Using string.Equals makes it clear that you’re performing a comparison. Methods like ToUpper or ToLower don’t obviously imply a comparison, so it can make your code harder to understand.

The string.Equals method is generally more efficient because it doesn’t need to create a new string instance as ToUpper or ToLower would. This can make a big difference when you’re comparing large strings or performing the operation many times.

Here’s some benchmarks I took on .NET 8 with BenchmarkDotNet which compare two simple strings ⬇ …

I’ve included string Compare in the benchmarks above just for comparative purposes but this is more suited to sorting strings so will be slower than string.Equals.

Benchmark code if you’d like to recreate
String equals benchmarks (

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