Why Cypress Sucks for Real Test Automation? (Part 2: Limitations)

Many limitations of Cypress makes it not suitable for serious test automation

Zhimin Zhan
10 min readFeb 15, 2021


Update: A related article “Why JavaScript Is Not a Suitable Language for Real Web Test Automation?” is now available. (2021–04–15)

Update: A related article “Cypress vs Selenium WebDriver Comparison by Example” is now available (2022–06–22)

I have received some positive feedback on my “Why Cypress Sucks for Real Test Automation(Part 1) article. A few readers wanted to clarify it a bit more. Yes, the article was more focused on why there is really no need to use Cypress, as there is a much better tool (in almost every way) Selenium WebDriver. In this follow-up article, I will focus on the limitations of Cypress.

Table of Contents:1. Technical limitations of Cypress
2. Cypress is actually slower
3. Cypress tests are hard to maintain
4. Cypress can only use Node.JS, which is not suitable for test automation
5. Cypress wrongly added “retry-ability”, which shall be a CT feature
6. Complex and Inconsistent Syntax
7. Not Future-Proof

1. Technical limitations of Cypress

For the specific technical limitations of Cypress, please read this article, “My Thoughts on Cypress.io” by Alister Scott on 2019–07–16. I will just highlight the comments section here:

“There are technical limitations to the way Cypress loads and runs the tests, which are covered in https://www.cypress.io/how-it-works Some of the limitations will be removed (iframes, shadow DOM support) as we continue, and some limits will probably be there for many years.”
- Gleb Bahmutov, distinguished engineer at cypress

and the reply from Alister Scott:

I did hear this line “if it’s on the web, Cypress can test it” which I still have a problem with as my recent apps I have worked on have both used iFrames can Cypress can’t test them — including WordPress.com which is a super high volume web application.
- Alister Scott, Excellence Wrangler at Automattic (WordPress)

Gleb and Alister exchanged their opinion professionally here. Alister had problems testing…



Zhimin Zhan

Test automation & CT coach, author, speaker and award-winning software developer. Help teams succeed with Agile/DevOps by implementing real Continuous Testing.