The present article attempts an integrative review of knowledge on public trust in institutions and information sources regarding risk management and communication. The review is based on 27 empirical studies, and is organised around four groups of trust‐related factors. The empirical studies reveal that this field of research suffers from a lack of consistency in conceptualising ‘trust’. Based on the review, a ‘layering’ of four different aspects of trust, from more general to more specific, has been designed, reflecting the identified layers of trust‐related factors vis‐à‐vis: (1) socio‐cultural and individual personality characteristics; (2) perceived attributes of institution or information source; (3) risk aspects; (4) information‐specific aspects. This layered conceptualisation of trust demonstrates that trust in those managing and communicating risk is a complex phenomenon operative simultaneously in and interplaying across a number of levels.