Abstract The extreme particle size range and enormous heterogeneity of airborne biological particles make sampling a significant challenge. Three major sampler types available include gravity devices, impactors and suction samplers. Gravity methods, while most commonly used, are neither qualitatively or quantitatively accurate and of very limited use. Impaction samplers (rotating, centrifugal) accelerate air by rotating the collecting surface or with a fan. Particles are collected from measured volumes of air but these devices preferentially sample particles larger than 10 μm. Suction samplers, which efficiently collect particles of a wide size range from measured volumes of air, include slit samplers, cascade impactors, filtration devices and liquid impingers. Suction samplers can retrieve viable particles by direct impaction on culture media, or by subsequent culture of impinger fluid or filter eluates. Nonviable particles can often be identified by microscopic examination of slides, filters or filtrates of impinger fluids. Immunoassays and biochemical assays can be used with impinger fluid and filter eluates to assess antigen and toxin levels in measured air samples.