The demand for grid-scale energy storage systems has rapidly grown over recent years, to meet the requirements of structural innovation within the energy industry. Due to their inexpensive manufacturing and operating costs, and the similar electrochemical mechanism with the well-established lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), sodium ion batteries (SIBs) have been considered as an attractive candidate for grid-scale energy storage systems. A variety of cobalt-based cathode and anode materials, including cobalt oxides, cobalt chalcogenide and layered sodium cobaltate, have been synthesized and evaluated for sodium storage within the academic literature. In this article, we present a comprehensive review of the recent progress with cobalt-based electrodes (both as an anode and cathode material) used in SIBs. In detail, the electrochemical mechanisms, advantages and disadvantages, the relationship between crystalline structure and electrochemical performance and strategies to enhance the overall electrochemical performance of cobalt-based cathode and anode materials are discussed. Up to now, some cathode materials have already reached a high energy density, which is comparable to commercial LIBs. Furthermore, some cobalt-based materials can maintain a high Coulombic efficiency of over 99% with high reversible capacity during long cycling life. These encouraging results, allow such cobalt-based electrode materials to be a potential solution for grid-scale SIB systems.