Abstract Objective The aim of this study was to assess the impact of insight into illness on self-reported quality of life (QoL) for patients with schizophrenia. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted in the psychiatric department of a French public university teaching hospital. The data collected included socio-demographic information, clinical characteristics, medications, cognitive performance assessments, insight into illness, and the S-QoL 18. A multivariate analysis using multiple linear regressions was performed to determine variables potentially associated with QoL levels. Results One hundred and thirteen outpatients with stable schizophrenia were enrolled in our study. Significant associations were found between QoL and socio-demographic characteristics: a higher QoL was associated with marital status (in couple) and employment. Concerning insight into illness, lower QoL levels were associated with better awareness of the mental disorder, whereas higher QoL levels were associated with better awareness of positive and negative symptoms. Elementary neuropsychological measures were not statistically associated with QoL. Conclusion Insight into illness, marital status and employment were the most important features associated with QoL, whereas there was no evidence that elementary neurocognition directly influenced QoL. The different facets of insight into illness should be considered to guide the development of specific interventions intended to improve QoL. Moreover, this study highlights the need for clinicians to pay more attention to the personal impact of schizophrenia, especially upon family life and work.