The human anterior nares are used by Staphylococcus aureus as the major colonization site in 20-30% of the human population. Eradication of S. aureus carriage can significantly reduce the numbers of nosocomial infections. However, the interactions governing the colonization process have remained elusive and it has been debated whether S. aureus adopts a biofilm-like state in the nose. We summarize recent studies on staphylococcal living conditions during nasal colonization, which favour a dispersed rather than a biofilm-related mode of growth during S. aureus nasal colonization. This notion is of major importance for future directions in the development of new decolonization strategies.