A review of the properties of ferroelectric materials that are relevant to microwave tunable devices is presented: we discuss the theory of dielectric response of tunable bulk materials and thin films; the experimental results from the literature and from own work are reviewed; the correspondence between the theoretical results and the measured properties of tunable materials is critically analyzed; nominally pure, real (defected), and composite bulk materials and thin films are addressed. In addition, techniques for characterization of tunable ferroelectrics and applications of these materials are briefly presented.