High-content protein microarrays in principle enable the functional interrogation of the human proteome in a broad range of applications, including biomarker discovery, profiling of immune responses, identification of enzyme substrates, and quantifying protein-small molecule, protein-protein and protein-DNA/RNA interactions. As with other microarrays, the underlying proteomic platforms are under active technological development and a range of different protein microarrays are now commercially available. However, deciphering the differences between these platforms to identify the most suitable protein microarray for the specific research question is not always straightforward. Areas covered: This review provides an overview of the technological basis, applications and limitations of some of the most commonly used full-length, recombinant protein and protein fragment microarray platforms, including ProtoArray Human Protein Microarrays, HuProt Human Proteome Microarrays, Human Protein Atlas Protein Fragment Arrays, Nucleic Acid Programmable Arrays and Immunome Protein Arrays. Expert commentary: The choice of appropriate protein microarray platform depends on the specific biological application in hand, with both more focused, lower density and higher density arrays having distinct advantages. Full-length protein arrays offer advantages in biomarker discovery profiling applications, although care is required in ensuring that the protein production and array fabrication methodology is compatible with the required downstream functionality.