The seminal work by Esping-Andersen (1990) has transformed and inspired social policy research over the past two decades. Various contributions have confirmed his typology, while others have challenged, and expanded, it from substantive and methodological perspectives. This article contributes to this debate in two ways. First, it provides a comprehensive analysis of the different typologies proposed in the literature, employing the concept of ‘ideal types’. Second, it elaborates new directions for research along three dimensions: (1) improving measurement validity by linking macro and micro data to overcome assumptions, largely based on the average (production) worker; (2) assessing the reliability of typologies over time; (3) systematically integrating both the work–welfare as well as the care–welfare dimensions.