This paper describes apparatus, techniques and methods used by participants in MAST G6M project 4 (Cohesive Sediments) for determining cohesive sediment properties. This comparison of methods aims to stimulate a more general discussion on standardisation of techniques which will lead to characterisation of muds in terms of physical parameters. Such characterisation would allow intercomparison of muds from different sources. Methods are given for sediment properties of grain size distribution, settling velocity and theological parameters and for water-bed exchange properties of permeability, effective stress and critical shear stress for erosion and deposition. Accuracy and repeatability are discussed. A typical range of values is indicated for each of these parameters.