This paper aims to compare different design alternatives of hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) for emulating power converters in Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). It proposes various numerical formats (fixed and floating-point) and different approaches (pure VHSIC Hardware Description Language (VHDL), Intellectual Properties (IPs), automated MATLAB HDL code, and High-Level Synthesis (HLS)) to design power converters. Although the proposed models are simple power electronics HIL systems, the idea can be extended to any HIL system. This study compares the design effort of different coding methods and numerical formats considering possible synthesis tools (Precision and Vivado), and it comprises an analytical discussion in terms of area and speed. The different models are synthesized as ad-hoc modules in general-purpose FPGAs, but also using the NI myRIO device as an example of a commercial tool capable of implementing HIL models. The comparison confirms that the optimum design alternative must be chosen based on the application (complexity, frequency, etc.) and designers’ constraints, such as available area, coding expertise, and design effort.