This review collates findings from more than 100 scientific publications regarding the performance of several waste-based porous materials (WASPORs) as water reservoirs for the internal curing of concrete. Results obtained by using recycled concrete aggregates, crushed ceramics, coal bottom ash, artificial waste-based aggregates, different powder materials and porous fibres were included. The influence of these WASPORs on the consistence, hydration, setting, microstructure, density, strength, modulus of elasticity, autogenous deformation, drying shrinkage and durability properties of concrete were analysed. General recommendations for suitable characterization of WASPOR and mix design are also given. The differences in water absorption capacity between the different porous materials studied have been used for explaining several of the observed phenomena. A moderate water absorption capacity together with a quick water desorption capacity were found to be among the key factors that define the internal curing efficiency of the proposed WASPORs.