Nanomaterials play a major role to improve adsorption capacity in both conventional and membrane-based methods for separation of heavy metal pollutants in wastewater. Generation of large amount of toxic sludge, its dumping, or secondary pollutant treatment and regeneration of adsorbent reduces practical applicability of conventional processes. A rigorous study is being conducted for the application of different nanomaterials (namely, metallic, nonmetallic, metal oxides, nanocomposites) for separation of heavy metals. Additionally, the incorporation of nanomaterial using coating, grafting, plasma, or interfacial polymerization is equally important to evaluate the membrane performance that depends on unique characteristics of large surface area, surface charge, active sites, optical, electrical, mechanical properties. The interaction between nanomaterials/substrates (base polymer) plays an important role to decide membrane rejection performance, antifouling properties, and life-span. The incorporation of nanomaterials has also proved to enhance selectivity by maintaining water flux, transport property, and feasible improvement in membrane smoothness, and hydrophilicity. The nanomaterial-embedded membranes are productive, sustainable, economical, eco-friendly, industrial applicable solution for heavy metal separation, and for recovery, recycle, and reuse of metal ions and water.