Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen, which encounters reactive oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine, electrophile and sulfur species (ROS, RNS, RCS, RES and RSS) by the host immune system, during cellular metabolism or antibiotics treatments. To defend against redox active species and antibiotics, S. aureus is equipped with redox sensing regulators that often use thiol switches to control the expression of specific detoxification pathways. In addition, the maintenance of the redox balance is crucial for survival of S. aureus under redox stress during infections, which is accomplished by the low molecular weight (LMW) thiol bacillithiol (BSH) and the associated bacilliredoxin (Brx)/BSH/bacillithiol disulfide reductase (YpdA)/NADPH pathway. Here, we present an overview of thiol-based redox sensors, its associated enzymatic detoxification systems and BSH-related regulatory mechanisms in S. aureus, which are important for the defense under redox stress conditions. Application of the novel Brx-roGFP2 biosensor provides new insights on the impact of these systems on the BSH redox potential. These thiol switches of S. aureus function in protection against redox active desinfectants and antimicrobials, including HOCl, the AGXX (R) antimicrobial surface coating, allicin from garlic and the naphthoquinone lapachol. Thus, thiol switches could be novel drug targets for the development of alternative redox-based therapies to combat multi-drug resistant S. aureus isolates.