Bone cement is one of the most commonly used products in orthopaedic surgery. Among common indications for use of bone cement are total joint replacement, bone and joint reconstructions, fracture fixation, and treatment of osteoporotic vertebral fractures. Bone cement is often used synonymously with `acrylic bone cement.` It has two main components: a liquid monomer and a powder polymer. Various combinations of the different ingredients with distinct features at varying ratios result in alternative bone cement products. Bone cement is manufactured at various viscosities yielding low, medium and high viscosity. The length of the phases either increase or decrease depending on the viscosity. The addition of antibiotics to bone cement provides local antibiotic release in vivo and thus the product can be used in the management of infections. The bioactive calcium phosphate bone cements are totally different from the acrylic bone cements in terms of chemical properties and application forms. This article reviews the chemical properties and clinical applications of the acrylic bone cements and other bioactive bone cements.