Following recent large scale-up of malaria control interventions in Ethiopia, this study aimed to compare ownership and use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN), and the change in malaria prevalence using two population-based household surveys in three regions of the country. Each survey used multistage cluster random sampling with 25 households per cluster. Household net ownership tripled from 19.6% in 2006 to 68.4% in 2007, with mean LLIN per household increasing from 0.3 to 1.2. Net use overall more than doubled from 15.3% to 34.5%, but in households owning LLIN, use declined from 71.7% to 48.3%. Parasitemia declined from 4.1% to 0.4%. Large scale-up of net ownership over a short period of time was possible. However, a large increase in net ownership was not necessarily mirrored directly by increased net use. Better targeting of nets to malaria-risk areas and sustained behavioural change communication are needed to increase and maintain net use.