Rapid industrialization with the increase in the population leads to the water crisis. The number of industries using heavy metals such as copper, chromium, nickel, zinc, etc. in their process is also leaving behind the effluent containing a large amount of heavy metals which discharged directly to the water bodies. There are constraints set by the regulatory bodies of government on the industries to maintain an upper level discharge limit for each of the metal ion. There are various methods available for the removal of metal ions which are selected according to the requirement.Adsorption is one of the optimal solutions for the removal of metal ions from industrial effluent streams. It is helpful in reducing the operational cost and size of equipment along with the increase recovery of metal ions. Adsorption is a surface phenomenon so the foremost property required for a perfect adsorbent is the higher surface area. Nanoparticles are now being preferred to be used as an adsorbent due to their large surface area which is a very important characteristic for a desired adsorbent. Development of nanoparticles has been the subject of enormous interest since the past decade. They have incredible adsorption properties due to the presence of high-energy adsorption sites and they also have excellent binding energies or interaction potentials for physisorption than traditional adsorbents. This study summarized the use of nanomaterial for the removal of metal ions from wastewater streams. It also highlights the various types of nanomaterials, their fabrication method and characteristics. The mechanism of metal adsorption onto various nanomaterials is also described in this study.