It is estimated that up to 80% of bacterial infections are accompanied by biofilm formation. Since bacteria in biofilms are less susceptible to antibiotics than are bacteria in the planktonic state, biofilm-associated infections pose a major health threat, and there is a pressing need for antibiofilm agents. Here we report that water-soluble cationic pillararenes differing in the quaternary ammonium groups efficiently inhibited the formation of biofilms by clinically important Gram-positive pathogens. Biofilm inhibition did not result from antimicrobial activity; thus, the compounds should not inhibit growth of natural bacterial flora. Moreover, none of the cationic pillararenes caused detectable membrane damage to red blood cells or toxicity to human cells in culture. The results indicate that cationic pillararenes have potential for use in medical applications in which biofilm formation is a problem.