The tremendous potential of room temperature ionic liquids as an alternative to environmentally harmful ordinary organic solvents is well recognized. Due to their unique properties, such as low volatility, tunable viscosity and miscibility, and electrolytic conductivity, ionic liquids have attracted extensive attention and gained popularity in many areas of analytical chemistry including modern sample preparation techniques. In this review the advantages and limitations of application of ionic liquids as solvents/sorbents for microextraction are critically discussed. Topics covered include solid-phase microextraction, single drop microextraction, dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction and hollow-fiber liquid-phase microextraction. The compatibility of the ionic liquid-based microextraction with different analytical techniques such as gas chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, electrothermal or flame atomic absorption spectrometry and some others is also discussed. Finally, the main practical applications on this topic are summarized.