Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides composed of RNA or DNA that are able to bind their corresponding targets via molecular recognition. Thus, aptamers can be thought of as nucleic acid-based alternatives to antibodies and have attracted attention as receptors in biosensors. Aptamers seem to be ideal biological recognition elements, since they enable the design of intelligent sensors based on their specific properties. Especially the fact that most aptamers undergo conformational changes during the binding of the target and their oligonucleotide nature can be used to rationally design novel sensing strategies. This review focuses on aptasensors for the detection of small molecules. In the first part, aptamers, their generation and their properties are briefly described. In the second part, different design strategies for aptasensors are reviewed, and examples for the detection of small molecules are given.