Preparation of phantoms with reproducible and homogenous optical properties is tricky. The microscopic heterogeneity and macroscopic homogeneity of tissue phantoms were compared using reflectance-mode confocal laser scanning microscopy. Tissue phantoms were prepared using polystyrene microspheres as scattering medium in aqueous and gel matrix. Uniform distribution of microparticles in phantoms was evaluated by confocal imaging. Comparison of the heterogeneity of the phantoms was accomplished based on microscopic optical scattering properties. Distribution of optical properties at the microscopic levels was determined by a simple theory developed based on the depth-dependent decay of the reflectance-mode confocal signal. The variability of these optical properties is correlated to heterogeneity of the phantom. These microscopic properties were compared with macroscopic properties determined by ballistic transmission experiment. This enabled to optimize the phantom preparation procedure.