The aim of this review is to provide a systematic design guideline to users, particularly engineers interested in developing and deploying lung models, and biologists seeking to identify a suitable platform for conducting in vitro experiments involving pulmonary cells or tissues. We first discuss the state of the art on lung in vitro models, describing the most simplistic and traditional ones. Then, we analyze in further detail the more complex dynamic engineered systems that either provide mechanical cues, or allow for more predictive exposure studies, or in some cases even both. This is followed by a dedicated section on microchips of the lung. Lastly, we present a critical discussion of the different characteristics of each type of system and the criteria which may help researchers select the most appropriate technology according to their specific requirements. Readers are encouraged to refer to the tables accompanying the different sections where comprehensive and quantitative information on the operating parameters and performance of the different systems reported in the literature is provided.