Solid state lasers pumped with diode form a new class of lasers which replace those with lamp pumped lasers presently used. Properties of most often discussed single crystals for diode pumped solid state lasers are presented. YAG crystals doped with Yb and double-doped with Er, Yb and YVO crystals doped with rare earth elements are discussed. Recently promising for laser application seems to be doped tungstate KGd(WO4)2 and KY(WO4)2 crystals. Relatively new group of laser materials are borates, like GdCa4(BO3)3, Ca4YO(BO3)3, YAl(BO3)3 offering laser, self-frequency doubling and nonlinear optical properties. As active laser materials fluorides are discussed e.g. doped LiCaAlF6, LiSrAlF6 crystals. Important group of materials applied in laser technique are materials showing nonlinear absorption, which are used for passive modulation (Q-switch). YAG crystals doped with Cr, V, Co are presented.