Overview of Different Types of Funeral Caskets Available

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A funeral can be made a very memorable experience by choosing the right things for the funeral. The choice of the right casket is the most important part of it as it’s the last thing we can buy for the deceased person. A casket is a specially designed box, to lay the deceased person during a funeral service. For a burial ceremony, the casket, along with the body of the deceased is buried into the ground. If it’s a cremation, then it is used for visitation. 

The process of selecting the right casket can be categorized into two steps. Understanding the basic requirements of a funeral or burial process is the first step. The next step is to select the casket according to the different features offered which can be customized according to one’s own choices.

There are various options available for the process of selecting the right casket based on the requirements to be fulfilled, which are as follows: 

  • The purpose for which the casket is used: Type of casket needed, can be decided according to the purpose for which it’s used: for visitation as per the cremation process, or for the burial.

  • Sizes based on the need: Size of the casket has to be decided as per the need of the deceased person whether he or she is an infant, child, adult or for an oversized person. 

  • Materials used in the manufacturing of the casket: The caskets may be mainly made of wooden, metal, semi-metal, or biodegradable caskets. The price of a casket varies as per the materials used for manufacturing the casket. Plastic and fiberglass are the newest choices among them. 

Wooden caskets may be made up of oak trees, maple trees, pine trees, or walnut, mahogany, cherry, pecan, and poplar. The most expensive wooden caskets are those made up of mahogany, walnut, and cherry while those with pine, willow, and poplar are less expensive ones. The cheapest are those with pressed wood or cloth-covered fiberboard.  

Metal caskets are made up of bronze, copper, or steel. They are more durable than wooden caskets. The metal caskets made of bronze and copper are non-rusting ones and are long-lasting and expensive compared to those made up of steel. 

While wooden caskets are preferred for a luxurious and comforting look of the furniture, metal caskets are painted according to one’s preferences. 

Eco-friendly/biodegradable caskets consist of caskets made of bamboo, seagrass, willow, or cardboard. Caskets made of cardboards can be designed through digital printing. 

Once these initial requirements are filled out, then the later part in choosing the right one becomes easier. Now, the choice can be further narrowed to the price, the interior of the casket, the material and its thickness through which it is built, and the color of the casket. The different features of casket offered are:

  • Type of casket lids: half couch or full couch. The most commonly used is, half couch style, which has two pieces lid of equal length, whereas full couch is the one with a piece of lid only.  
  • Lining materials used in the making of its interior, and its color: Satin, crepe, velvet, velour, or linen are the materials used for the lining; most expensive being the velvet, and the crepe is least expensive. The interior of the casket can also be customized according to the interests and hobbies of the deceased person. For example, the deceased person’s love for a particular sport, golf. The price of the casket will increase according to the increase in designs used in the customization of the casket.  
  • Memory drawers, which looks like a small drawer in the lid is used to keep personal items of the deceased. 
  • Different shapes of caskets are also available, like for example, caskets with square-shaped or rounded shaped corners. Casket corners can be attached to the casket which is symbolic of the deceased person’s hobbies, like, golfing. 
  • Other customizable designs may be embroidered head panels. 

The casket can be brought from an online retailer, casket retailer or from the funeral home. If the casket is brought from the funeral home, then you will be protected by The Funeral Rule. The caskets can also be rented from funeral homes that are eco-friendly and are reusable. Then, the total funeral cost would be reduced. If the decision is to purchase a casket, then, get the quote, that is, the price list details in writing so that the details of the cost involved can be understood and clarified if necessary. The exact time and date of delivery have to be confirmed with the vendor to avoid any delays. You can also make DIY caskets using the kits sold on online stores or through bookstores, with full instructions given, which may be an excellent tribute to the deceased person with love.

The purchase of the casket is the most expensive process in the funeral service process. So do detailed research and analysis about the different types of caskets available in the market and customizable options, to give the best tribute to the loved one!

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Janie Singleton, an owner, previously worked in manufacturing and mortgage banking before starting her career in the funeral industry in 2008. She is a licensed funeral director in Arkansas and a fully licensed life insurance agent in Arkansas and Missouri. Janie is a member of the Northside Church of Christ in Blytheville, Arkansas and a supporter of Relay For Life.