206. Reverse Linked List

Updated: 2023-09-05
2 min read
[Algorithms Easy LeetCodeTop75]

LeetCode problem 206

Problem Statement

Reverse a given singly linked list and return its head. A singly linked list is a data structure consisting of nodes, where each node has a value and a reference to the next node in the sequence.

Naive Solution

A naive approach could be to traverse the entire linked list once to read all its elements into an array. Then, we could reverse the array and construct a new linked list from it. This would work, but it takes up additional space for the array.

LeetCode 206. Reverse Linked List | Python solution

Hints & Tips

An efficient way to approach this problem is by using pointers to reverse the links between the nodes directly within the linked list, without using additional space.

We will discuss two approaches to solve this problem: Iterative and Recursive.



  1. Initialize three pointers: prev as None, current as the head of the linked list, and next as None.
  2. Traverse the linked list, reversing the next pointers of each node to point to its previous node.


  1. Initialize prev = None and current = head.
  2. While current is not None:
    1. Save current.next into next.
    2. Update current.next to prev.
    3. Move prev and current forward.


class Solution:
    def reverseList(self, head: Optional[ListNode]) -> Optional[ListNode]:
        prev = None
        curr = head

        while curr:
            next = curr.next
            curr.next = prev
            prev = curr
            curr = next

        return prev



  1. Traverse to the end of the list.
  2. As the recursion stack unwinds, change the next pointers to create the reversed list.


  1. Base case: If the head or head.next is None, return head.
  2. Recursively reverse the rest of the list.
  3. Change the next-next pointer to reverse the list.


class Solution:
    def reverseList(self, head: Optional[ListNode]) -> Optional[ListNode]:
        if not head or not head.next:
            return head

        new_head = self.reverseList(head.next)

        head.next.next = head
        head.next = None

        return new_head