Sediment toxicity tests play an important role in prospective risk assessment for organic chemicals. This review describes sediment toxicity tests for microorganisms, macrophytes, benthic invertebrates and benthic communities. Current approaches in sediment toxicity testing are fragmentary and diverse. This hampers the translation of single species test results between freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems and to the population and community levels. A more representative selection of species and endpoints as well as a unification of dose metrics and exposure assessment methodologies across groups of test species, constitutes a first step towards a balanced strategy for sediment toxicity testing of single organic compounds in the context of prospective risk assessment.