Anyone having to go shopping for a casket will realize pretty quickly that there are many things to take into account.
Even if the budget is the most crucial aspect to consider, there are plenty of other things that play a role in making your final decision. With the material being the most significant aspect, customers still need to think about the size of the casket too.
Do caskets come in standard size?
Just like with everything else in life, caskets also come in a standard size. The dimensions for a standard casket are 24" for the width and 79" for the length.
Most people are 70” or 5’10”, weighing around 180lbs or so. Nine times out of ten, people will fit in a standard casket. Anyone up to 6'10" and weighing less than 350lbs will fit in a standard coffin.
As a matter of fact, people a bit over 6’10” can also fit, as long as the funeral directors bend their knees a bit.
There are also caskets of 28", which is the interior width dimension. The interior's length is 79" for this size. A coffin of this size can fit a person around 6'10" and weighing up to 450lbs. Even a 28" casket can be placed inside a standard size vault.
Some manufacturers can also make 31” caskets. Even if they’re referred at as 31", they're actually 30.5" inside and don't go longer than 85". And once you go with the 31” casket, you will also need to look for a bigger vault. It’s one thing to discuss with the funeral director.
Are oversized caskets necessary?
Should the person who died need an oversized casket, it’s good to know that there are many options for customized size.
Custom-built caskets are quite often made. Nobody should worry about not being able to find a casket for fitting a big body.
We should highlight that oversized caskets are available readily from the same places that also provide standard-sized caskets. It may also come as a surprise for the prices not to be much higher than the costs of regular coffins.
When you cannot find an oversize casket at your provider, it’s better that you look elsewhere. You’re going to find one that can deliver even faster than you’d think.
Is an oversized casket really that big?
Anything more massive than the standard size is defined as an oversized casket. More specifically, anything that is more significant than 84in for the length and more massive than 28in (height) and more extensive than 23in is considered to be oversized.
Again, the dimensions above are for the majority of standard caskets, and most human bodies fit in caskets of this size.
The experts think that around 10% of the population (give or take) will not perfectly fit in a standard casket. However, the category of oversized caskets is there for help.
A typical oversize casket can go as long as 90 in, 36in wide, and 30in tall. If someone in your family weighing around 550 pounds dies, finding a casket will not be like finding the needle in the hey stack. It's not a challenge anymore to find a coffin for a big guy. The stories when families had to get a large container designed for shipping elephants or pianos are all gone. Nowadays, it's only a tiny part of massive people that cannot fit in an oversized casket. No retailer cannot afford not to sell oversized caskets as well.
Do only big people use oversized caskets?
You might think that it's only the massive people who buy the oversized caskets, but you couldn't be farther from the truth. There are plenty of people who are interested in oversized caskets, for different reasons.
It’s also fair to mention that people working in the industry are willing to make any internal alterations (packing with extra cushions, for instance) for the best accommodation of the people who don't necessarily need the extra space.
Due to the increasing rate of obesity, more and larger oversized caskets are made in the US. It didn't take long for the customers to realize that casket retailers would sell the oversized caskets at a lower price, in an attempt to remove them from stock faster. Therefore, it's common for people to buy an oversize casket and add more layers of cushioning to it, trying to cut down the spending for the funeral. With the casket being buried, some don't bother to add cushioning leaving the coffin as it is.
At the end of the day, considering today's economy, anyone can use an oversized casket, especially when the money for the funeral is tight.
What are the options when you cannot find an oversized casket?
Even if it’s not that difficult to get an oversized casket, some people seem to have problems while trying to purchase one. Let’s also mention the discomfort of some people when ordering a large casket.
However, there are alternatives to consider, as well.
Cremation ashes don't imply the need for a casket in any way. There are many oversized people who ask for their bodies to be cremated when it's time. It could be considered an act of humility to spare the family the spending and challenges of finding a casket large enough for their body.
But cremation doesn't eliminate the problem, as there’s still the issue of the remains. The majority of cremation urns come in sizes that go up to 300 cubic inches. It may sound harsh, but every pound of body weight will turn into one cubic inch. It’s pure mathematics. Therefore, a large body may not fit in a regular cremation urn.
The market provides cremation urns that come in sizes up to 600 cubic inches, which can hold the remains of most human bodies. The “companion” urns are designed to fit the remains of two people, so any significant person's ashes should fit.
Make the standard size casket work
It’s not the most fun topic, but there have been situations when large bodies had to be fitted in the regular casket. Experienced morticians who master the art of embalming have plenty of tricks up their sleeves. They may remove feet and other limbs that aren't visible in open-casket viewing so that a large body can fit in a standard-sized casket.
We should remind you that it's a solution to follow only when the relatives of the deceased ask for it. There have been plenty of stories in recent years about the tricks that were used without the family’s permission or knowledge. Even if it’s a rare situation, the risk for it to happen isn’t null.