Lipid model membranes are important tools in the study of biophysical processes such as lipid self-assembly and lipid–lipid interactions in cell membranes. The use of model systems to adequate and modulate complexity helps in the understanding of many events that occur in cellular membranes, that exhibit a wide variety of components, including lipids of different subfamilies (e.g., phospholipids, sphingolipids, sterols…), in addition to proteins and sugars. The capacity of lipids to segregate by themselves into different phases at the nanoscale (nanodomains) is an intriguing feature that is yet to be fully characterized in vivo due to the proposed transient nature of these domains in living systems. Model lipid membranes, instead, have the advantage of (usually) greater phase stability, together with the possibility of fully controlling the system lipid composition. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a powerful tool to detect the presence of meso- and nanodomains in a lipid membrane. It also allows the direct quantification of nanomechanical resistance in each phase present. In this review, we explore the main kinds of lipid assemblies used as model membranes and describe AFM experiments on model membranes. In addition, we discuss how these assemblies have extended our knowledge of membrane biophysics over the last two decades, particularly in issues related to the variability of different model membranes and the impact of supports/cytoskeleton on lipid behavior, such as segregated domain size or bilayer leaflet uncoupling.