The proper measures for assessing quality of life (QOL) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) remain unclear. QOL measures are subjective or objective, functional or satisfaction-based, and generic or disease-specific. Treatment of end-stage renal disease with transplantation and treatment of anemia with erythropoietin in patients with CKD have been associated with dramatic improvements of QOL. Other factors such as age, ethnic or national background, stage of CKD, modality of dialytic therapy, exercise interventions, sleep disturbances, pain, erectile dysfunction, patient satisfaction with care, depressive affect, symptom burden, and perception of intrusiveness of illness may be associated with differential perception of QOL. Recent studies showed an association between assessment of QOL and morbidity and mortality in end-stage renal disease patients, suggesting the measures do matter. Further studies are necessary in patients with early stages of CKD and in children. QOL measures should include validated psychosocial measures of depressive affect, perception of burden of illness, and social support. The challenge for the next decade will be to continue to devise interventions that meaningfully increase the QOL of patients with CKD at all stages.