There is a considerable number of maturity models proposed for business processes or BPM, but their exact contribution or impact on business performance is unclear. In order to better understand the state of the research on the relation between the use of business process maturity models (BPMMs) and business performance and to identify opportunities for future research, we conducted a systematic literature review. We searched the studies between the years 1990 and 2014 in established digital libraries. Out of 2899 studies retrieved initially, we selected 62 studies to provide a list of BPMMs referenced in the academic literature and 7 studies within this set to thoroughly review the evidence provided for the relation between higher maturity leading to higher business performance. We found that while several BPMMs were proposed in the last decade, the number of empirical studies that reveal the effect of using these maturity models on a firm’s performance is scarce - even for the most referenced BPMMs. We propose that future research should be directed towards empirical studies in the form of longitudinal case studies and surveys to better demonstrate the validity and usefulness of BPMMs and thereby foster a wider adoption of these models in practice.