In this study, we discussed a simple hydrothermal synthesis of self-adsorbing mesoporous silica using different templates and pore size engineering under various preparation conditions. The structural properties of the synthesized mesoporous materials were tunable by varying the reaction parameters. A hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide template resulted in the formation of meosporous materials possessing a large surface area with narrow pore size distribution. The present synthesis route has the advantage of being a single-step self-assembly approach and involves the use of a low-cost and environmentally friendly precursor. In this work, the physical adsorption of heavy metal ions was investigated. The adsorption capacities of mesoporous materials were in the order of ZC-16 > ZC-14, ZC-12 > ZC-9, and the selectivity of heavy metal ions was in the order of Pb(2+) > Cu(2+) > Ni(2+). A comparative study of adsorption capacity of synthesized mesoporous materials with commercially available beta-zeolite was carried out and discussed.