||Functional richness, currently defined as the amount of niche space occupied by the species within a community, is one of the three major components of functional diversity. Different indices have been developed in order to quantify this component. However, the range of indices available for assessing functional richness, often mathematically complex and based on different rationales, can cause confusion for field ecologists and lead to misinterpretation of the results obtained. In this context, we have provided the first study exclusively focused on the comparison of the definitions, advantages and drawbacks of a large set of functional richness indices. The first part of this work is focused on four indices (FDP&G, FRic, TOP and N-hypervolumes indices) that are currently the most commonly used for assessing functional richness. We have completed our study by including recently developed indices that enable us to take into account the intraspecific trait variability (i.e. FRim index and TDP framework), because there is currently a growing scientific consensus regarding the necessity of including this aspect in the assessment of the functional diversity of communities. We demonstrate that although authors have argued that their index describes the functional richness, each of them describes only part of it, and this part may strongly differ from one index to another. Rather than advocating the general use of a single index and/or systematically avoiding others, our study highlights the need for selecting indices in close relation with the context, the available data and the aims of each study. Such a strategy is an essential preliminary step for preventing misunderstanding and artefactual controversies. Along these lines, we propose some guidelines to help users in selecting the most appropriate indices according both to the facet of functional richness on which they wish to focus and to the characteristics of the available data.