Allometric relationships between body properties of animals are useful for a wide variety of purposes, such as estimation of biomass, growth, population structure, bioenergetic modelling and carbon flux studies. This study summarizes allometric relationships of zooplankton and nekton species that play major roles in polar marine food webs. Measurements were performed on 639 individuals of 15 species sampled during three expeditions in the Southern Ocean (winter and summer) and 2374 individuals of 14 species sampled during three expeditions in the Arctic Ocean (spring and summer). The information provided by this study fills current knowledge gaps on relationships between length and wet/dry mass of understudied animals, such as various gelatinous zooplankton, and of animals from understudied seasons and maturity stages, for example, for the krill Thysanoessa macrura and larval Euphausia superba caught in winter. Comparisons show that there is intra-specific variation in length–mass relationships of several species depending on season, e.g. for the amphipod Themisto libellula. To investigate the potential use of generalized regression models, comparisons between sexes, maturity stages or age classes were performed and are discussed, such as for the several krill species and T. libellula. Regression model comparisons on age classes of the fish E. antarctica were inconclusive about their general use. Other allometric measurements performed on carapaces, eyes, heads, telsons, tails and otoliths provided models that proved to be useful for estimating length or mass in, e.g. diet studies. In some cases, the suitability of these models may depend on species or developmental stages.