Introduction: Currently, there is no efficient vaccine available against clinical malaria. However, continuous efforts have been committed to develop powerful antimalarial vaccine by discovery of novel antigens with in-depth understanding of its nature, immunogenicity, and presentation (delivery adjuvants). Moreover, another important part of vaccine development includes discovery of better immunostimulatory formulation components (immunostimulants). A protective vaccine against malaria requires antigen-specific B and T helper cell responses as well as cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses. A long-lasting B and T memory cell production is also required for effective malaria vaccine. Since activation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) promotes both innate inflammatory responses as well as the induction of adaptive immunity, several initiatives have been mounted during the last few years for the use of TLR agonists as malaria vaccine adjuvants. Areas covered: The review summarizes reports related to the use and development of TLR agonists as malaria vaccine adjuvants and describes various strategies involved for the selection of specific antigens and TLR agonists. Expert opinion: TLR agonists are promising adjuvants for the development of effective malaria vaccine, allowing for both innate inflammatory responses as well as the induction of adaptive immunity. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.