The widespread distribution of pteropods, their role in ocean food webs and their sensitivity to ocean acidification and warming has renewed scientific interest in this group of zooplankton. Unfortunately, their fragile shell, sensitivity to handling, unknowns surrounding buoyancy regulation and poorly described feeding mechanisms make thecosome pteropods notoriously difficult to maintain in the laboratory. The resultant high mortality rates and unnatural behaviours may confound experimental findings. The high mortality rate also discourages the use of periods of acclimation to experimental conditions and precludes vital long-term studies. Here we summarize the current status of culture methodology to provide a comprehensive basis for future experimental work and culture system development.