Various geometrically constructed packings and plates are commonly used as separating tools in distillation columns since they possess different mass transfer efficiency due to their shape and surface properties. The strategic design factors required for the selection of a proper distillation column have been analyzed on the basis of a large literature data bank and the operating properties of relevant contacting tools have been compared. In the design practice, the mass transfer interfacial area, the efficiency, the pressure drop and the vapor capacity are the most promising factors that need to be characterized. In view of these design factors, the common design models covering plate devices, and random and structured packings have been discussed. The evaluated packed column design models are generally dependent on the film or penetration theory. In this regard, the predictive performances of the most useful models for the packed column design have been compared. Here, the main goal is placed on the description of the confidence levels of packed column design models. These common design approaches are presented in the relevant tables.