The energy crisis and environmental pollution require the advancement of large-scale energy storage techniques. Among the various commercialized technologies, batteries have attracted enormous attention due to their relatively high energy density and long cycle life. Nevertheless, the limited supply and uneven distribution of lithium minerals, as well as their high cost, has greatly hindered the application of lithium-ion batteries in large-scale energy storage. Therefore, building next-generation alternative rechargeable batteries that feature low cost, long service life, and high safety is of the utmost importance. Over the past several years, we have witnessed many successful research outcomes for sodium and potassium ion batteries (SIBs and PIBs) in regard to electrode and electrolyte materials. In this Perspective, we summarize the current developments on SIBs/PIBs and their challenges when facing practical applications, including their cost, energy density, ion diffusivity in solids/electrolytes/interphases, cycle life, and safety concerns. Furthermore, we provide an overview of strategies to overcome the remaining challenges for achieving better electrochemical performance. Finally, we outline several possible directions for the future development of these two battery chemistries, with the hope of aiding the transition from the laboratory to next-generation practical applications for SIBs/PIBs batteries in grid-scale energy storage.