Psychiatric length of stay (LOS) has reduced but is still longer than for physical disorders. Inpatient costs are 16% of total mental health spending. Regression analyses of the determinants of LOS for US adult psychiatric inpatients were systematically reviewed. Most studies predated recent LOS reductions. Psychosis, female gender and larger hospital size were associated with longer LOS, while discharge against medical advice, prospective payment, being married, being detained and either younger or middle age were associated with shorter LOS. Associations appeared consistent, especially where sample size was above 3,000. Updated studies should be adequately powered and include the variables above.