Abstract Mixed surfactant systems have been, for a long time, one of the favorite areas for experimental studies on interfacial and bulk properties of surfactants. Beyond the well-known synergistic properties, with relevance to technical applications, recent studies increasingly focus on the bulk aggregation behavior. As more systematic and detailed experimental data is collected (for example, by use of scattering and direct imaging techniques), increasingly refined theoretical models are developed. Most references reviewed here clearly show both the trends. Topics such as micellar growth, micelle-to-vesicle transition and equilibrium vesicle formation in dilute systems (in particular in catanionic systems) continue to expand and sometimes pose challenges to conventional notions of surfactant self-organization. As the rich polymorphism of mixed aggregates is unraveled, the possibilities of using them for broader goals also increase (e.g. mesoporous materials and polymer-aggregate gels).