Historically, batteries with lithium metal anodes have been a hazard, as the lithium becomes rough and eventually finely divided during cycling. The promise of higher energy density, however, continues to drive the search for novel approaches to manage this light and reactive material. Significant improvement has been achieved by designing new liquid-electrolyte compositions and interface barriers to stabilize the lithium in traditional batteries, but it is clear that solid-state batteries ensure a higher level of safety and perhaps higher energy density and lifetimes. The materials challenge then is to fabricate a cost-effective solid electrolyte that effectively maintains lithium as a dense uniform metal layer. This article describes the ideal cycling behavior of lithium and progress toward this goal of a solid electrolyte using glassy, ceramic, polymer, and composite electrolytes, as well as the challenges that continue to arise toward long-term, high-rate, and efficient cycling of lithium metal.