Despite much effort, synthetic small diameter vascular grafts still face limited success due to vascular wall thickening known as intimal hyperplasia (IH). Compliance mismatch between graft and native vessels has been proposed to be one of a key mechanical factors of synthetic vascular grafts that could contribute to the formation of IH. While many methods have been developed to determine compliance both in vivo and in vitro, the effects of compliance mismatch still remain uncertain. This review aims to explain the biomechanical factors that are responsible for the formation and development of IH and their relationship with compliance mismatch. Furthermore, this review will address the current methods used to measure compliance both in vitro and in vivo. Lastly, current limitations in understanding the connection between the compliance of vascular grafts and the role it plays in the development and progression of IH will be discussed.