As modern high-resolution imaging devices allow to acquire increasingly large and complex volume data sets, their effective and compact representation for visualization becomes a challenging task. The Tucker decomposition has already confirmed higher-order tensor approximation (TA) as a viable technique for compressed volume representation; however, alternative decomposition approaches exist. In this work, we review the main TA models proposed in the literature on multiway data analysis and study their application in a visualization context, where reconstruction performance is emphasized along with reduced data representation costs. Progressive and selective detail reconstruction is a main goal for such representations and can efficiently be achieved by truncating an existing decomposition. To this end, we explore alternative incremental variations of the CANDECOMP/PARAFAC and Tucker models. We give theoretical time and space complexity estimates for every discussed approach and variant. Additionally, their empirical decomposition and reconstruction times and approximation quality are tested in both C++ and MATLAB implementations. Several scanned real-life exemplar volumes are used varying data sizes, initialization methods, degree of compression and truncation. As a result of this, we demonstrate the superiority of the Tucker model for most visualization purposes, while canonical-based models offer benefits only in limited situations.