What Are the Best Types of Caskets: A Funeral Guide

Most people are busy living their lives and don’t take the time to think about funeral arrangements or what types of caskets there are.

Sometimes it is really difficult to make that first step, but it will help to know you are far from alone. In the United States, an average of 2.4 million funerals occurs each year.

Funeral services are a valuable way to memorialize your loved ones and are important to many people.

But planning a funeral is a lot, and you need help during this tough time. We are here for you with this guide to inform you of the best types of caskets and what your options are.

Buying a Casket

Buying a casket is one of the most challenging and life-changing purchases you can make. Making financial decisions when you are grieving is no simple task.

Your best plan is to shop in advance if possible. When you are rushed into a decision, you will tend to overspend much more. But there are steps to take to make this process easier such as:

  • Be sure to set a budget
  • Figure out a budget before you hit the shops
  • A casket can range from a few thousand dollars to much more
  • Consider your loved one’s wishes and any instructions left
  • What would they want and what kind of taste did they have
  • If you are buying for yourself think about your preferences and budget
  • Take someone with you like a family member or a friend for support

Check out all your options. From funeral homes, online vendors, to big box stores are options to look at. Don’t forget to check for any delivery fees!

Be aware of your rights! The Federal Trade Commission has rules and regulations for the sale of funeral products. With these regulations, you have the right to ask for a price list and to choose the services you want.

Types of Caskets

There are two main types of caskets to choose from, wood or metal material. Choosing the type of casket is a very personal process.

Metal caskets are usually more durable than wood caskets and are often referred to as protective. Metal caskets have a rubber gasket to seal and prevent the elements outside from coming in. 

The steel varies in thickness, depending on the type of metal used. The thicker the metal, the more expensive the casket will be. Types of metals you will find are:

  • Bronze and copper are durable and won’t rust
  • Bronze is also the most expensive
  • Stainless and carbon steel are the cheapest
  • Stainless and carbon come in different thickness levels
  • And don’t forget gold is best for elegance and a big budget

Wood caskets are perfect for people who have a love for quality wood products. Wood is also a great natural solution and can be a great choice for the environment. Types of wood used include:

  • Mahogany is a harder wood and higher quality
  • Walnut is higher quality and cost
  • Cherry is also a higher cost
  • Maple is middle of the range for cost
  • Willow, pine, and poplar are the most affordable

A cheaper option for solid hardwood is wood veneer. This consists of pressed wood covered by cloth.

There are also lots of colors and polishes to choose from to finish the wood with. Poplar wood caskets particularly have a lot of finishing and polishing options available, making them a good flexible choice.

One of the biggest differences between a metal casket and a wood casket is that a wood casket does not have a gasket. The porous property of wood also makes it almost impossible to seal completely.

Special Features

Caskets have special features you can opt for. Memory drawers or hidden compartments can be used for small personal items.

Certain models of caskets also have options to attach “casket corners” which can be used to display symbols for public service or the military.

Casket Lining

There also different types of lining you can choose for the interior of the casket. The most popular linings include satin, velvet, and crepe. There are also custom options for lining, like a favorite band, sports team, or hobby.

Casket Lids

Caskets have two different types of lids. These are referred to as half couch and full couch. Half couch means the lid is two pieces of equal lengths and is the most common style. Full couch describes a one-piece lid that extends the length of the casket.

Casket Size

The standard size of a casket is usually 84 inches long, 28 inches wide, and 23 inches tall. Depending on which model it is, the dimensions can vary some so always check to be sure.

The standard size casket will work for the average person, but some may need an oversized casket with widths of 31 inches or more.

Caskets for Cremation

Caskets are also available for cremation, but the big difference is they can not have metal parts. Discuss this option with your funeral service provider so you can make the best decision.

For Your Casket and Burial Service Needs

There are few easy options when it comes to choosing a coffin, or planning a burial service and funeral.

But you have La Vista Memorial Park and Mortuary to guide you through this phase. We are one of the most respected funeral homes in the San Diego area, and offer affordable services and casket options.

If you want to learn more and see what we can help you with, then get in touch with us today. We look forward to hearing from you!