Selecting a Casket

Selection a Casket – A Comprehensive Guide

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

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 – but look more traditional and 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.

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. If a special-sized casket is required, let the cemetery know (they always ask) because they must dig an appropriate grave.

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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