Solid supported bilayer lipid membranes are model systems to mimic natural cell membranes in order to understand structural and functional properties of such systems. The use of a model system allows for the use of a wide variety of analytical tools including atomic force microscopy, impedance spectroscopy, neutron reflectometry, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Among the large number of different types of model membranes polymer-supported and tethered lipid bilayers have been shown to be versatile and useful systems. Both systems consist of a lipid bilayer, which is de-coupled from an underlying support by a spacer cushion. Both systems will be reviewed, with an emphasis on the effect that the spacer moiety has on the bilayer properties.