Selecting a Casket

Selecting a casket will be one of the critical decisions of funeral planning and will likely be among the costliest purchases you make regarding the funeral. Usually, you casket selection is for a ground burial, but not always, as there are also cremation caskets which we will also discuss.

Selecting the ideal casket for your loved one is an important decision. Your funeral director can guide you as you explore various casket options in shape, size, and material composition, discussing their pros and cons and keeping within your budget for services and burial costs.

A casket is a box where bodies are kept during visitations, viewing, or open-casket funeral services. Usually, constructed from wood or metal and equipped with a lid for easy closure.

It is also a lot more for families whose loved one it holds

Casket Selection Tips and Tricks

The term “casket” or “coffin” can be used interchangeably, but historically were meant to differentiate a design shape that is either tapered at the top with 6 sides or rectangular. The design of a casket can range from elaborate and ornate to traditional and simple, there is really limitless customization and personalization that can be incorporated into the design of the casket.

Keep in mind of course that the more customization done, the more expensive the casket will be, but it is completely your choice. The “Funeral Rule” protects a person’s right to choose who to buy a casket from (separate from a funeral home such as an outside retailer) and may exercise this right as protected under US Federal Law 16 CFR,Part 453.

Some caskets, leaning toward a green burial, may have a more environmental appeal and may be constructed of wicker or cardboard material. Additionally, caskets may feature memory drawers to store personal effects buried with your loved one and gaskets to help protect the interior.  The interiors can also be constructed of different cloth materials. There is a lot of variety, so let us cover some casket points.

Cost of Caskets – The Budget

One of the first considerations when purchasing a casket should be your budget. Many factors, including material, type, styling, and size, impact its cost. The most expensive casket we currently sell is bronze for about $50,000. We have yet to sell one of these!

Prices typically range between $1000 and up. With our firm’s families, the average purchase of caskets is between $1300 and $7000. Metal caskets tend to be more economical (but not always), while wooden ones usually prove more costly. There are also less expensive cardboard or cloth caskets The look and feel of traditional wooden caskets, however, may  have more appeal.

Cost of of an item usually a factor in purchase

Casket size should also be taken into consideration when selecting one. Caskets come in various forms and sizes – from those designed specifically for children to oversized caskets suitable for adults. Furthermore, many caskets include memory drawers that allow family members to store personal mementos alongside the deceased in their casket. The interior casket head (embroidered head panels) can also be customized to suit the family’s preferences.

In the United States many cemeteries require a vault in addition to a casket for burial. A vault is used on the exterior of the casket to support the weight of the soil when buried, ideally preventing a collapse.

We recommend purchasing your casket from the funeral home you plan with- if possible. This is easier, and you can get customizations and support a local business. It is also far easier to return a damaged casket for an immediate replacement should the need arise.

Personal preference for Casket Selection

Besides price, the material will be a significant consideration when selecting a casket. Caskets come in all shapes, colors, and sizes ranging from steel (of various thicknesses) to wood; Whatever material you decide upon, there are many customization options available so your loved one’s memorial service will reflect their individuality.

Your burial container selection casket can also be personalized by selecting an interior fabric and liner material such as satin or velour to add a personal touch and reflect the deceased’s interests. Furthermore, there’s the option of including a memory drawer that offers hidden storage for souvenirs that will be interred alongside their casket. Some caskets also feature known as a gasket seal. The seal is simply a rubber ring that runs around the opening of the casket and helps prevent moisture, dirt, and other impurities from entering the casket when the lid is closed.

Casket Materials

The cost of caskets is affected by several factors, with the materials used being one of the main deciding factors.

Prices will depend on the kind of wood or metal (including metal thickness) chosen. Some materials are expensive, such as oak and mahogany options to lower-priced pine or poplar options.  Any customizations such as embroidery emblems, ornaments, or specific handles will increase or significantly affect the final price tag of a casket.

Casket interiors may be customized to personal tastes using a variety of fabrics such as polyester, satin, and velvet in various colors. 

Caskets are made from

Besides traditional metal and wooden caskets, eco-friendly options such as bamboo coffins and cardboard coffins may also be considered. You must check with the cemetery if you plan to use something other than wood or metals. Many cemeteries do not allow certain caskets.

Casket Dimensions should be considered in casket selection

Choosing a casket that suits the deceased’s body size preserves their dignity in their final journey. A too-small or too-large casket can evoke discomfort and disrespect among those attending the funeral. The casket should provide an appropriate fit, or the deceased does not look as good as they should.

Different-sized caskets are available to accommodate diverse body types of individuals. Standard dimensions are typically 24 to 27 inches wide, 75 to 83 inches long, and 23 to 27 inches high. These dimensions offer a general guideline for choosing a casket that would be suitable for an average-sized adult. If the person is very tall or very heavy, an oversized casket may be needed, and such caskets are available.  a few days before a burial the cemetery always asks us the size of casket we will be using. It would be very awkward for all if the grave was not large enough when the casket was being lowered.

Design of Caskets

While selecting a casket may seem like an insignificant task, it’s an important one that must be done carefully. There are various considerations, such as design and price, to consider; selecting one that reflects their individuality will pay a lasting tribute to them in memory. If price is a concern, shop around first – you may discover you can afford a casket that meets all your needs at a lower cost!

There are various designs of caskets, from simple to elaborate. Many families choose one that reflects their loved one’s life. For instance, if they were passionate about nature, opting for a wood casket with floral or nature-themed decorations would likely reflect this preference. Other choices include embroidered panels and ornaments that add visual interest, while interior lining options range from polyester satin velvet.

Some might favor metal’s durability and design options for burial caskets; others prefer wood for its warmth and soft texture.Cultural preferences are also a factor in casket selection. Furthermore, you can further personalize your casket by including special features like memory drawers, memorial tubes, or an embroidered panel. These features may further personalize it and ensure its legacy.

International Standards for Design of Caskets

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) sets guidelines for caskets covering design features such as dimensions, materials, and labeling. Additionally, they must comply with safety standards to ensure they don’t pose any health risks or environmental hazards. These criteria cover emission, finish, and fire resistance guidelines. Regulatory agencies perform tests to evaluate these aspects and award certificates to casket manufacturers meeting safety standards.

Cremation Casket Specifically

One crucial decision affecting casket selection is what the casket is for. If you are doing a cremation, you will need an appropriate casket in the cremation chamber with the body.  

When selecting the casket, biodegradable options may also be considered more eco-friendly. An example of a cremation casket is shown here. They tend to be a bit lighter in construction and easier to cremate. You will incur an additional charge from the funeral home for the cremation of the casket, probably a few hundred dollars.

There is always the option of a rental casket with a removable interior. This will likely be a more economical option.

Example of a cremation casket

This is an example of a cremation casket families often select. A manufacturer produces this particular one we often use, Matthews Aurora™.

Casket Selection Summary

Many decisions must be made when selecting a casket, and after passing, emotions are heightened. Select one that you believe the departed loved one would like. It does not have to break the bank but it should be respectful.
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Heike Paulsen
Heike Paulsen
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Very knowledgeable, professional, kind and caring.
Maria Quinones
Maria Quinones
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Thanking Dana at Funerals Your Way for the kind and warmed services during our time of sorrow. They expedited the process and made sure we got our beloved Michael A. Encarnacion remains in due time.Thank you again.Maria and Larry
Trevor Roe-Satkowski
Trevor Roe-Satkowski
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Funerals Your Way was excellent and beyond professional during what was the toughest experience of my life; losing an immediate family member. The team there carried us through the process allowing my family to grieve and deal with the loss instead of the isolated feeling of needing to navigate this on our own. Highly professional, affordable and the exact mannerisms & execution you’d want from such business during an unfortunate life event. We actually changed from another mortuary because of the feelings of being isolated and overwhelmed there and we’re so glad we did. Dana was impressive and my point of contact and was an excellent leader throughout the process. Thank you to Dana and the team who had no problem going above and beyond for my family during a time of grief. We appreciate you and thank you for helping execute our funeral & burial in the most professional and appropriate way. Thank you. 5 stars.
Debbie Barlow
Debbie Barlow
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Chantel was very compassionate and helpful throughout the whole process. She was very responsive and respectful in what was a difficult time for our family. This was our first cremation for us and her guidance was exactly what we needed.
Christina Filler
Christina Filler
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I cannot tell you how much Dana did to make this decision a verycomforting experience. Dana and staff were so professional, friendly and informative. Took such a load off of our shoulders! Funerals Your Way will get our reference to anyone who asks. If we could give more stars, we would!C and B Filler
Thai Le
Thai Le
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During one of the toughest times of our lives, the Funerals Your Way team truly became our guiding light. From the moment we stepped through their doors, we were met with compassion and understanding that made navigating through our loss just a bit easier.Their staff members were more than just professionals; they were empathetic souls who genuinely cared about easing our burden. Blanca the hearst driver, with her comforting presence, helped transport our loved one with dignity and respect.Sal who respectfully handled the transfer of my father was not just efficient, but also incredibly compassionate, recognizing the sensitivity of the situation.Our interactions with the funeral director Dana and his sweet dog Mia who greeted everyone, were nothing short of exceptional. Their expertise and attention to detail made the entire process feel manageable. They listened attentively to our wishes, offering guidance without ever imposing, and ensuring that every aspect of the arrangements honored our loved one's memory.Even in the most challenging moments, the cremators handled their responsibilities with professionalism. It was evident that they approached their work with the utmost respect.One of the most touching aspects of our experience was how the Funerals Your Way team honored and respected our Asian culture. Their sensitivity and willingness to accommodate our traditions meant the world to us during this difficult time.Moreover, the affordability of their services was a huge relief. At a time when expenses can feel overwhelming, they provided transparent pricing without sacrificing the quality of their care.In hindsight, we couldn't have chosen a better place to help us navigate through our grief. We highly recommend Funerals Your Way to anyone in need of compassionate, professional, and respectful funeral services. They truly go above and beyond to support families during their darkest moments."
Fonzi
Fonzi
1713155181
Dana with Funerals Your Way showed care and compassion with my brother’s burial, including a military ceremony with honors. He took the worry and stress off my shoulders and made the entire affair effortless. He was professional, respectful and efficient. The cost was much less than other quotes I was given. I would highly recommend Funerals Your Way for any loved ones needs.
Julia S
Julia S
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Chantel at Funerals Your Way was kind, respectful and professional both on the phone and in person. The man who picked up my father did so with the utmost respect and care. It was much appreciated during such a difficult time. Thank you.
Debbie Ward
Debbie Ward
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Patricia Provato
Patricia Provato
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Funerals your way took care of our dad when he passed. They were both professional and compassionate. I would give them 5 stars
Bruce Coughran
Bruce Coughran
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Very professional and compassionate service. Thanks, Dana!
Dominique Castro
Dominique Castro
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Dana and my experience with Funerals Your Way was something my family and I are very grateful for. Dana helped guide us through the process of transporting Dad from Arizona to San Diego for his burial at Miramar National Cemetery and coordinated with the out of state funeral home to help make the whole process seamless and worry free. Pricing for their services was very reasonable. A well deserved 5 star rating.
tuan phan
tuan phan
1709605462
Mr. Dana and his staff are very helpful. All emails and phone calls were replied on time. All documents are well-prepared and accurate. Prices are very reasonable. Thank you.
Mark Stubbs
Mark Stubbs
1707500112
We had to make funeral arrangements from a great distance away. Dana and staff were helpful, easy to work with and reasonably priced. I would recommend them.
Vince Mesa
Vince Mesa
1706392752
Excellent and very professional staff. Family was very impressed with the services received.
zack shelton
zack shelton
1704758763
Dana and his team were consistently available, helpful and supportive turning a very stressful time of my life. The Military Honors Service was beautiful and I will refer them to others in the future. Thank you!
Joe Stagg
Joe Stagg
1704221120
FuneralsYourWay was very helpful in a difficult time. They took care of everything for my father's cremation & memorial service at Miramar National Cemetery. The staff were always calm & respectful, taking care of things with a minimum of fuss. The whole process was surprisingly easy. Many thanks to Dana and the rest of the staff!
Sunflowers
Sunflowers
1703266946
Exceptional service. Staff are kind and compassionate. Their customer service way above and beyond what one would expect. They have an A+ rating with the BBB and actually deserve an A+++
ProduceGood
ProduceGood
1702915331
Very thoughtful, compassionate service with a minimum of fuss. Chantel was very helpful, even coming in on a Saturday to allow me to get my mother's ashes before I left on a trip. I would highly recommend!
Sugar Sugar
Sugar Sugar
1702844604
The entire staff, and Dana in particular, were absolutely awesome! They are extremely professional yet very compassionate about your unfortunate circumstance. I highly recommend them to guide you through this dark time.
Laila Rad
Laila Rad
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We worked with Chantel and had a great experience during this difficult time. Chantel was very responsive both by phone and email and answered all of our questions thoroughly and with care. All of the arrangements were done quickly. I would highly recommend working with Funerals Your Way.
Clark Champ
Clark Champ
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Very easy, informative, and helpful process to establish the "pre-need" for funeral arrangements. While many people may not preplan for such an event, it's so important to do this, so as not to burden or have family members trying to make decisions at an uncomfortable time. Dana made the whole process easy to understand and offered helpful pre planning advice. Would highly recommend such services.
Rajiv Roy
Rajiv Roy
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I had to have my best friend cremated today. We needed to have a Hindu ceremony. We got was needed for my friend to rest in peace.Chantelle, was just such a wonderful, compassionate person to work with. Highly recommend them.
Carrie Hogue
Carrie Hogue
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Dana and his colleagues were very helpful and patient with me during what was the most painful part of my life. They handled all the details for paperwork to setting up the ceremony for my husband's funeral in a sensitive and professional manner. I would highly recommend them to anyone who requires this service, and will be using them to make advance preparations for myself to make things simpler for my family.
Erik Elam
Erik Elam
1698283599
I worked with Dana the funeral director, and Shantale, his assistant. Dana was sincere and helpful throughout the process following the death of my mom. Shantale was present for the viewing and the actual burial. Shantale seemed experienced in helping our family through the process and was a good person to have as support at the burial. Writing a review of a funeral home is not really something you want to be doing soon after you bury your mom, but I am willing to give a positive review to support their business and to help others who are trying to choose amongst many competitors during a time of difficult emotions.
Mark Murphy
Mark Murphy
1697566971
I highly recommend Funerals Your Way. Chantel helped us throughout this difficult time, answered questions and took care of our needs. With living in Texas and an unexpected death, we were glad to have chosen Funerals Your Way. Thank you for taking care of our son.
Debi Boehm
Debi Boehm
1697127408
We called Funerals Your Way to perform a memorial service for my mother in law. We were drawn to the name as we were looking to put together a memorial that was done the way we wanted for our mother..not too spiritual, but personal and unique filled with stories of her life. Connie showed up and was very comforting and helped to guide us in setting things up, how the flow would work and general guidance..which is a huge comfort as we have never organized a memorial and we also wanted it perfect. Connie helped in every way and on the day of the memorial she read some spiritual bible verses and also read our stories of Nettie that we had prepared and just basically kept the flow and the Memorial was perfect and thank you Connie and Funerals Your Way for a beautiful respectful memorial ceremony.
Carlos Palos
Carlos Palos
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I had a great experience with Dana and his staff making arrangements for my wife after her passing. I would recommend Funerals Your Way to family and friends, they were wonderful throughout the process and highly recommended by a close friend. I was very happy with the results and at a very reasonable price.
Kris Lew
Kris Lew
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I'm thankful I found Funerals Your Way. Dana was so helpful and went above and beyond during this difficult time. They took care of Now husband and I are going to look into setting up our final arrangements with Funerals Your way so our girls will have the same easy experience as we just experienced. Thank you Funerals Your Way for making this difficult time so much easier!
Dandilon Pearson
Dandilon Pearson
1696363071
We absolutely loved working with Funerals Your Way. Each person we spoke to was very kind, warm, and helpful. They are easy to communicate with and always glad to answer questions. They made the whole process stress free from beginning to end. I highly recommend this company!
Alex White
Alex White
1695826705
I recently had the pleasure of working with Connie at Funerals Your Way. I watched her do an incredible job managing an array of logistics all while making family and friends feel comfortable and well cared for. Highly recommend.
Regan Esper
Regan Esper
1694877020
Funerals Your Way was kind, informative and professional. My son passed away and they handled all the details of his cremation and permit for a burial at sea. I highly recommend working with them and in particular Dana Parks.
Joe Rollinson
Joe Rollinson
1694275058
Dana and team were very quick to get help with transport which was a big relief and had great communication throughout. Highly recommended!
Brad Kutzner
Brad Kutzner
1692990872
We called after the sudden death of my wife and we’re treated respectfully and promptly by Funerals Your Way. They communicated clearly what the options were and were patient with us as we considered them. Highly recommend them to anyone needing their services.
Grace Kwok
Grace Kwok
1692489489
Great company!! Having never gone through this process before they made it so unbelievable easy. I called back just to check cause I was thinking it can't be this simple. BUT IT REALLY WAS THAT EASY!! When going through such a tough time in life this is who you want to be working with. Their price is also very reasonable.Thank you!!
Tom Moran
Tom Moran
1692452403
It was a very confusing time. Dana provided a prompt professional service. My brother's death was more complex than most and Dana guided me through the process. I am very grateful to Funerals Your Way
Rob Millburn
Rob Millburn
1692301712
Funerals Your Way was extremely easy to work with, and guided us through this extremely difficult time. My brother lived in San Diego, and since we're from Pennsylvania, we had a daunting task of putting his affairs in order in a short time. Dale was a fantastic to work with, I highly recommend them!
Adriana Erni
Adriana Erni
1690753568
Thank you for such a comforting, attentive, supporting service. Everyone should know that you take care of your customer with the attention they need in such an emotional time in their lives.
Lucy Johnson
Lucy Johnson
1690739338
given the information I received they were very helpful and I would recommend them to others.
Chris Robbins
Chris Robbins
1690311778
The decease of my brother was a shock. Being in the UK I was at a loss on how best to deal with the situation. I was so fortunate to be directed to Funerals Your Way who were able to help in every way and understanding of our needs, despite the distance apart. Very appreciative of having a great burden so well eased by their positive and proactive responses. Many thanks!
Melodie Gren
Melodie Gren
1690251477
Dana from Funerals Your Way helped our family throgh a very difficult time. Our brother passed unexpectedly and all of the siblings live in different places. Dana guided us through the steps we needed to take and exactly what their role is. It was comforting to know that our brother was in capable, honest and caring hands. We are so grateful for Dana's patience and kindness. Our brother is with the family now and Dana made this as smooth a process as possible.
Eva Fregozo
Eva Fregozo
1689007478
It was a prompt response, service and attention for our family needs, Thank you!
Maria Delia
Maria Delia
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Larry McGhee
Larry McGhee
1688193214
You hope you never have to use this service but if you do Dana was a big help and took care of everything. A really big help in a really tough time.
Ruthann “Rudi” Schroeder
Ruthann “Rudi” Schroeder
1687415323
Very personable and helpful staff. Worked with me to do exactly what was needed after my mom passed away. Their rates are very reasonable.
Ray Potts
Ray Potts
1685571153
My wife passed away Sunday morning while under hospice care. I contacted Funerals Your Way and the experience from that moment on was professional and courteous. I waited at the nursing home until the driver showed up. Professionally dressed, poised, and courteous. He explained every detail and question I had. On Monday I went to their office and met Dana, same professionalism and caring courtesy. He answered more questions and I completed the necessary paperwork. My wife’s cremains were ready for pickup in about 2.5 weeks. Everything in proper order. Thank you, Ray
Jeff Pross
Jeff Pross
1684892272
Dana took care of all of our needs for my brother and made the experience of losing a family member that much easier than it could have been. There was nothing more I could have asked for from Dana than what he offered and did for us. Thank you Dana for making a difficult situation a smooth one. I would recommend your services to anyone.
Florinda Sevilla
Florinda Sevilla
1684200397
Superb service! Highly recommended!!! Shout out to Summer who did a great job. And specially to Dana, who assists us from start to finished.
Tom Farley
Tom Farley
1684185718
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