The history of familial and infrafamilial circumscriptions of the Brachytheciaceae is briefly reviewed and a new classification of the family is proposed, based largely on a phylogenetic analysis of molecular and morphological characters. The family includes four subfamilies and 41 genera; the number of species is estimated to be 250-350. Some genera are established or re-established: Brachytheciastrum gen. nov. – for the group of species around Brachythecium velutinum; Eurhynchiastrum gen. nov. for Eurhynchium pulchellum; Eurhynchiadelphus gen. nov. for Eurhynchium eustegium; Sciurohypnum (Hampe) Hampe for the group of species around Brachythecium oedipodium, B. reflexum, B. populeum; Oxyrrhynchium (B.S.G.) Warnst., nom. conserv. prop. for the group of species around Eurhynchium hians; Remyella C. Muell. for a group of Malesian and Oceanian species, usually referred to Rhynchostegiella. Camptothecium and Trachybryum are not accepted and are placed in Homalothecium; Steerecleus and Scleropodiopsis are not accepted and are placed in Rhynchostegium. The Chinese endemic species known as Platyhypnidium patulifolium is transferred to Donrichardsia.