The rapid development of drug nanocarriers has benefited from the surface hydrophilic polymers of particles, which has improved the pharmacokinetics of the drugs. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a kind of polymeric material with unique hydrophilicity and electrical neutrality. PEG coating is a crucial factor to improve the biophysical and chemical properties of nanoparticles and is widely studied. Protein adherence and macrophage removal are effectively relieved due to the existence of PEG on the particles. This review discusses the PEGylation methods of nanoparticles and related techniques that have been used to detect the PEG coverage density and thickness on the surface of the nanoparticles in recent years. The molecular weight (MW) and coverage density of the PEG coating on the surface of nanoparticles are then described to explain the effects on the biophysical and chemical properties of nanoparticles.