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How to Choose a Funeral Casket

Picking out a funeral casket can be an emotional process, but it's a necessary part of planning a funeral. These burial boxes range in style, shape, and makeup, often leaving buyers overwhelmed during a difficult time. When shopping for one, make sure to consider casket features, and above all else, keep your loved one's wishes in mind, as doing so will make this difficult time a little more bearable.

How Do I Determine Box Material?

There are several types of materials used for caskets, including metal, wood, and fiberglass, and choosing the right one is ultimately a matter of personal preferences and religious beliefs. In addition to box material, you will also need to take lining fabric into account. Common choices for lining include velvet, satin, and crepe, though velour and linen are also desirable options. The color of both the box and the interior lining can be personalized as desired.

  • Metal Boxes: These funeral caskets may be made of copper, bronze, or stainless steel. Copper and bronze caskets are priced according to weight per square foot, while stainless-steel caskets are categorized by their thickness (or gauge). Metal is often preferred for its sturdiness and rust-resistant properties.
  • Wooden Boxes: These funeral caskets may be made from ash, maple, elm, or cottonwood. Many are hand-carved and contain intricate detailing.
  • Fiberglass Boxes: These funeral caskets are renowned for their light weight and are often used for infant burials. They come in a wide array of finishes, including faux wood and faux marble.

How Do I Determine Box Size?

Funeral caskets range in size, with typical sizes measuring 84 inches long, 23 inches tall, and 24 to 27 inches wide; however, there are exceptions to this standard. As such, it is important to think about specific dimensions when deciding between models. You will need to decide between lid type. Casket lids come in two basic types: half-couch and full couch. Half couch lids feature two equal-length lids, with one lid generally left open for viewing purposes at the funeral home. Conversely, full couch lids feature a one-piece lid that extends the entire length of the casket.

  • Oversize Caskets: With obesity on the rise, the demand for oversize caskets has increased as well. These boxes are wider than those of average size and typically measure between 28 and 31 inches, with some measuring as wide as 51 inches.
  • Infant and Child Caskets: Oftentimes, the viewing of a child's body in an adult box is too much to bear at a funeral, so child boxes help to remove at least some of that pain. These boxes are available in a wide array of designs and are shorter in length than adult boxes are.
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