The search for a substitute for the natural cornea dates back more than 200 years. Although several devices have been developed and trialled, very few have had successful long-term results and continue in regular clinical use. Keratoprosthesis (KPro) surgery is complex and should be performed in centres with an experienced multidisciplinary team. Currently available KPro devices range from the totally synthetic, such as the Boston KPro, to the totally biological tissue-engineered artificial cornea. The osteo-odonto keratoprothesis combines a synthetic optic with a biological haptic. All keratoprostheses have significant limitations, although visual improvement is possible with each of the devices in clinical use today. This review discusses these devices with emphasis on their indications, surgical techniques and results, before briefly exploring emerging devices and innovative approaches for the future.