Single-cell biology is transforming the ability of researchers to understand cellular signaling and identity across medical and biological disciplines. Especially for immune-mediated diseases, a single-cell look at immune cell subtypes, signaling, and activity might yield fundamental insights into the disease etiology, mechanisms, and potential therapeutic interventions. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the field of single-cell RNA profiling and their application to understand renal function in health and disease. With a focus on the immune system, in particular on T cells, we propose some key directions of understanding renal inflammation using single-cell approaches. We detail the benefits and shortcomings of the various technological approaches outlined and give advice on potential pitfalls and challenges in experimental setup and computational analysis. Finally, we conclude with a brief outlook into a promising future for single-cell technologies to elucidate kidney function.