v3.5.0.2
Document and Entity Information - shares
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2016
Aug. 01, 2016
Document And Entity Information [Abstract]    
Document Type 10-Q  
Amendment Flag false  
Document Period End Date Jun. 30, 2016  
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2016  
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q2  
Trading Symbol NSTG  
Entity Registrant Name NANOSTRING TECHNOLOGIES INC  
Entity Central Index Key 0001401708  
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31  
Entity Filer Category Accelerated Filer  
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   19,835,772