Background Those interested in evaluating the effectiveness of community interventions on health and well-being need information about what tools are available and best suited to measure improvements that could be attributed to the intervention. This study evaluated published measurement tools of health and well-being that have the potential to be used before and after an intervention. Methods A literature search of health and sociological databases was undertaken for articles that utilised measurement tools in community settings to measure overall health, well-being or quality of life. Articles were considered potentially relevant because they included use of measurement tools related to general health or wellbeing. These tools were evaluated by further searching of the literature to assess each tool's properties including: reliability; validity; responsiveness; length; use in cross-cultural settings; global health or well-being assessment; use of subjective measures; clarity and cost. A composite score was made based on the average rating of all fields. Results Of 958 abstracts that were screened, 123 articles were extracted for review. From those articles, 27 measurement tools were selected and assessed. Based on the composite score assessing across all domains, five tools were rated as excellent. Conclusions While tools may need to be selected for particular aims and interventions, a range of potential well-described tools already exist and should be considered for use in preference to ad hoc or bespoke tools. Any of the five tools rated as excellent are recommended to assess the impact of a community intervention.