Abstract The concept of nanomaterials membranes (NMs) promises to be a sustainable route to improve the membrane characteristics and enhance the performance of membrane bioreactors (MBRs) treating wastewater. This paper provided a critical review of recent studies on the use of membranes incorporating nanomaterials in membrane bioreactor (NMs-MBR) applications for wastewater treatment. Novel types of nanomaterials membranes were identified and discussed based on their structural morphologies. For each type, their design and fabrication, advances and potentialities were presented. The performance of NMs-MBR system has been summarized in terms of removal efficiencies of common pollutants and membrane fouling. The review also highlighted the sustainability and cost viability aspects of NMs-MBR technology that can enhance their widespread use in wastewater treatment applications.