Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are promising tools for the treatment of different diseases. Their magnetic properties enable therapies involving magnetic drug targeting (MDT), hyperthermia or imaging. Depending on the intended treatment, specific characteristics of SPIONs are required. While particles used for imaging should circulate for extended periods of time in the vascular system, SPIONs intended for MDT or hyperthermia should be accumulated in the target area to come into close proximity of, or to be incorporated into, specific tumor cells. In this study, we determined the impact of several accurately characterized SPION types varying in size, zeta potential and surface coating on various human breast cancer cell lines and endothelial cells to identify the most suitable particle for future breast cancer therapy. We analyzed cellular SPION uptake, magnetic properties, cell proliferation and toxicity using atomic emission spectroscopy, magnetic susceptometry, flow cytometry and microscopy. The results demonstrated that treatment with dextran-coated SPIONs (SPIONDex) and lauric acid-coated SPIONs (SPIONLA) with an additional protein corona formed by human serum albumin (SPIONLA-HSA) resulted in very moderate particle uptake and low cytotoxicity, whereas SPIONLA had in part much stronger effects on cellular uptake and cellular toxicity. In summary, our data show significant dose-dependent and particle type-related response differences between various breast cancer and endothelial cells, indicating the utility of these particle types for distinct medical applications.