A singlemode-multimode-singlemode (SMS) fiber structure consists of a short section of multimode fiber fusion-spliced between two SMS fibers. The mechanism underpinning the operation of an SMS fiber structure is multimode interference and associated self-imaging. SMS structures can be used in a variety of optical fiber systems but are most commonly used as sensors for a variety of parameters, ranging from macro-world measurands such as temperature, strain, vibration, flow rate, RI and humidity to the micro-world with measurands such as proteins, pathogens, DNA, and specific molecules. While traditional SMS structures employ a short section of standard multimode fiber, a large number of structures have been investigated and demonstrated over the last decade involving the replacement of the multimode fiber section with alternatives such as a hollow core fiber or a tapered fiber. The objective of replacing the multimode fiber has most often been to allow sensing of different measurands or to improve sensitivity. In this paper, several different categories of SMS fiber structures, including traditional SMS, modified SMS and tapered SMS fiber structures are discussed with some theoretical underpinning and reviews of a wide variety of sensing examples and recent advances. The paper then summarizes and compares the performances of a variety of sensors which have been published under a number of headings. The paper concludes by considering the challenges faced by SMS based sensing schemes in terms of their deployment in real world applications and discusses possible future developments of SMS fiber sensors.