OBJECTIVE : To assess the performance of thiol Michael photocurable composites based on ester-free thiols and vinyl sulfonamides of varying monomer structures and varied filler loadings and to contrast the properties of the prototype composites with conventional BisGMA-TEGDMA methacrylate composite. METHODS : Synthetic divinyl sulfonamides and ester-free tetrafunctional thiol monomers were utilized for thiol-Michael composite development with the incorporation of thiolated microfiller. Polymerization kinetics was investigated using FTIR spectroscopy. Resin viscosities were assessed with rheometry. Water uptake properties were assessed according to standardized methods. Thermomechanical properties were analyzed by dynamic mechanical analysis. Flexural modulus/strength and flexural toughness were measured on a universal testing machine in three-point bending testing mode. RESULTS : The vinyl sulfonamide-based thiol-Michael resin formulation demonstrated a wide range of viscosities with a significant increase in the functional group conversion when compared to the BisGMA-TEGDMA system. The two different types of vinyl sulfonamide under investigation demonstrated significant differences towards the water sorption. Tertiary vinyl sulfonamide did not undergo visible swelling whereas the secondary vinyl sulfonamide composite swelled extensively in water. With the introduction of rigid monomer into the polymer matrix the glass transition temperature increased and so increased the toughness. Glassy thiol-Michael composites were obtained by ambient curing. CONCLUSIONS : Employing the newly developed step-growth thiol-Michael resins in dental composites will provide structural uniformity, improved stability and lower water sorption.