Purpose The aim is to investigate the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in children with myelomeningocele (MMC), compare the results with those of healthy children, and determine the factors related to HRQOL. Methods Fifty children with MMC with a mean age of 8.96 +/- 2.57 and 50 healthy children with a mean age of 9.50 +/- 2.42 were included in the study. The demographic information form and the CHQ-PF-50 (Child Health Questionnaire Parent form 50) were completed to determine the quality of life (QOL) for the children. Ambulation levels of children with MMC and disease-specific findings were recorded. The HRQOL scores of children with MMC were compared with healthy children and assessed according to lesion levels and ambulation status. Results The CHQ-PF-50 scores of healthy and MMC children had no significant difference in the sub-dimensions of health change (p > 0.05), but the mean QOL score of children with MMC was significantly lower in all other sub-dimensions (p < 0.05). In addition, QOL scores according to lesion levels in children with MMC were significantly different between the three groups (p < 0.05). The QOL scores were the highest in the sacral group and the lowest in the thoracic-high lumbar group. The QOL for non-ambulatory children was significantly lower than for ambulatory children with MMC (p < 0.05). Conclusions The present study confirms that children with MMC have diminished HRQOL and non-ambulatory and children with high lesion levels are affected the most. Our result suggests that focusing on the activities that will enable children to acquire the ability to walk can positively affect the HRQOL.