Middle ear packing agents are used in otologic surgery to provide support to the middle ear structures, maintain aeration of the middle ear, and promote hemostasis. However, there is currently a lack of standardization regarding the use of different types of packing agents. The choice of materials and how they are used remain controversial. In fact, some have recently advocated for no packing. In view of this, this review focuses on the types of materials available, a brief historical account of each material, characteristics of an ideal packing agent, and a discussion on the techniques of insertion to optimize surgical outcomes.