Heterogeneous photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) has attracted much attention in indoor air-purification applications. Recently, researches focus on developing novel photocatalyst based filters for integrating with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems as well as portable air purifiers. A comprehensive knowledge on factors influencing the indoor volatile organic compounds (VOCs) degradation has been established both in bench-scale and pilot-scale experiments. This paper reviews the current status of PCO material technologies, coating methods, performance test methods, and modeling for real-world indoor air-purification application. Due attention to the basic principle of PCO and the effect of operating parameters is provided, followed by a discussion on the modes of PCO application for buildings. The review also concentrates on the practical limitations in scaling-up PCO air purifiers for large-scale applications. Some recommendations for the future research on improving material selection and reactor design to minimize by-product generation and to promote commercialization are also discussed. © Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020.