Like all other sponges, they are sedentary filter feeders. All three sponge body plans are represented within class Calcarea : asconoid, syconoid, and leuconoid. Typically, calcareous sponges are small, measuring less than 10 cm (3.9 in) in height, and drab in colour.
Sponges were traditionally distributed in three classes: calcareous sponges (Calcarea), glass sponges (Hexactinellida) and demosponges (Demospongiae). However, studies have shown that the Homoscleromorpha, a group thought to belong to the Demospongiae, is actually phylogenetically well separated.