A funeral casket is one of the most important parts of planning a funeral, whether it is in a funeral home or anywhere else, funeral caskets are the focal point of any memorial, wake, funeral service, or burial.
But caskets are not an everyday buy which is why it is understandable that the average person can feel overwhelmed and pressured when buying a casket or choosing a high quality casket during the funeral planning process.
Making funeral arrangements itself is a huge task and taking the burden of buying the perfect casket just makes it all the more stressful. Lucky for you, we have come up with a comprehensive guide on how you can make the best casket purchase with informed solutions to all the dilemmas you might face when planning a funeral or buying a casket online or offline.
A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide For Funeral Caskets
When you walk into funeral homes, one of the first things you’ll notice is the wide range of caskets and coffins they have. While it might seem stressful and overwhelming, there are just a few simple questions you need to answer to find out which funeral casket will be best suited to your needs. Let’s start with the first one.
What Kind of Funeral Are You Having?
According to the deceased person’s spiritual beliefs, religion, culture, or preferences, you might have to plan a funeral that will typically either end in a burial or a cremation. For both these rituals, there are different types of caskets that are made to suit the funeral process.
A cremation casket is a coffin that goes into a crematorium. This is the act of burning the deceased person’s body along with the coffin as the last rite of passage. For the purpose of this type of funeral, wood caskets are used since the casket has to be completely combustible. Additionally, personalized cremation caskets with metal or other noncombustible materials for décor cannot be used or should be removed before the cremation. This is why most people prefer to make cremation caskets simple, without going into too much detail.
Burial caskets do not go into the crematorium, and hence, are not burned. Instead, they are buried underground along with the deceased person’s body. For burial caskets, you can go for more traditional caskets like both wooden and metal caskets with a rubber gasket. However, in modern times, instead of digging the ground and burying the casket, there is an option for a burial vault which is more space-saving and also environmentally safer.
What Material Casket Do You Want?
Among the plethora of coffins you’ll find in any funeral home, the three most popular ones are wooden caskets, metal caskets, and green caskets. Under these, you’ll also find subcategories of different casket materials such as:
Metal caskets are more long-lasting than wood caskets which is why it is a preferred option for those who are planning a burial instead of a cremation. They are erosion-free and do not rust, so it’s more durable when compared to other kinds of coffins. They also come with a rubber gasket which seals in the coffin before the burial happens.
Under metal caskets, you’ll find several other types of materials like bronze and copper caskets, carbon steel, and stainless steel caskets. Some people might choose to go more extravagant and choose gold as their material of preference. You might also find variations in the thickness of the metal or steel caskets- the thicker the material, the higher the price.
Even under wooden caskets, much like for metal caskets, you’ll find that there are different subcategories; namely- composite wood caskets and hardwood caskets. Between the two, a hardwood coffin is way more expensive because it is made of solid wood and has a luxurious feel and look to it. On the other hand, composite wood caskets are blended a made out of materials like fiberglass, plywood, and fiberboard. They are a bit more flimsy than and not as sturdy as hardwood caskets but still give you the appearance of solid wood.
A wooden casket or coffin is made of walnut, oak, cherry, pine, or mahogany comes under hardwood caskets. Among these, pine caskets are some of the most popular as well as expensive casket.
Have you ever heard of green coffins? No, it’s not the color but more about the composition of these coffins. They are eco-friendly coffins that are designed in such a way that they will decompose easily when buried along with the body. Since biodegradable caskets are made of only biodegradable materials, they do not cause any harm to the environment.
Typically, you’ll find that green coffins are made of materials like fiber, cardboard, bamboo, and willow. It’s a good choice for those who are more environmentally conscious or if you choose to honor the deceased wishes of being buried in a green cemetery.
What Are The Casket Features You Want?
You might not think much of it but there are so many details that go into a casket for which you need to make the decision when the day comes. Hence, it is important to keep yourself informed about the various choices so that it becomes less stressful for you when you have to make tough decisions like choosing the perfect funeral casket for a loved one.
Size Of The Coffin:
Coffins come in different sizes but the most common ones can fall into any one of these three categories:
Child/Infant Size Casket
Standard Size Caskets
As the names suggest, baby or infant caskets are smaller than regular-sized coffins. A standard casket size is made in such a way that it can hold the remains of an average-sized person. On the other hand, an oversized casket might be able to hold a body up to 6’10”. You can even customize your own casket from scratch and get the size personalized if that’s what you want to do.
There are two different types of lids you can choose from: half couch and fullfull-couches. A half couch refers to the type of coffin that comes with a two piece lid so that the casket can open in two different parts. This allows you to have an open casket wake or service. For those who don’t want an open casket service or which for the deceased body to remain covered throughout the service, a full couch is preferable since it is a one-piece lid.
We already know you can choose metal, wooden, or green coffins for the exterior but what about the interior? The interior is just as important as the outside since it is the place where the deceased person’s body will lay. Especially if you are having a wake or an open casket funeral service, it is important to take a look at your lining options.
You can choose to line the insides with fabrics like linen, satin, velvet, velour or crepe, which are the most common choices you will get at any funeral home. You can also choose for the lining to be designed for a ruffled, tufted, or tailored look as per the services granted by the funeral home service providers.
Not just the material, but you will also have to choose a color for the inside of the casket or coffin. For this, you have full liberty over why you want to use a certain color- perhaps it was the deceased person’s favorite color or maybe it suits the funeral outfit the deceased is wearing. Whatever your choices are, it’s up to you to pay your personalized tribute to your loved one however you wish.
Casket Corners, Handles And Special Features:
Many funeral homes offer their customers the option to customize their caskets however they want to when it comes to the looks of it. For example, you can choose a certain shape, add personalized corners or even request for hidden compartments where you can place any personal item that meant a lot to the deceased.
You can also choose to add personalized head panels like writing their name or creating a design that has a hidden or cryptic meaning for the deceased person might be a good personal touch.
What Is The Casket Price List You Can Afford?
Another important factor to look into is the casket prices. Though it doesn’t seem like an event that can rack up huge amounts of money, planning a funeral can end up causing a huge dent in your bank account. From choosing the right funeral home, to checking coffin prices, the funeral expenses should always be under close watch so that you don’t overspend unknowingly.
One way to ensure that you have all the options laid out to you when it comes to casket prices is to make sure you ask your local funeral home or salesperson for all the alternative price points you can choose from. Typically, funeral homes display only the most expensive or profitable coffins for their walk-in customers. However, under the The FTC Funeral Rule, it is their duty to give you all the options you can have so that you’re always making an informed decision on casket costs.
You also have every right under the funeral rule to ask and compare casket prices from one funeral home to another so you can get a better price point. This will directly impact your overall funeral costs to be lower and you can save money.
Should You Buy Your Casket Online Or In Person?
If you’re looking for convenience, buying a coffin online will be a good choice since you can do everything from the comfort of your home. Plus, you’ll be able to easily compare prices between one funeral home and another so that you get a good deal on affordable caskets. Additionally, an online funeral casket companies like Trusted Caskets will have special services like free shipping or overnight delivery on caskets, depending on your location.
If you do decide to buy a casket from a funeral home, you get the benefit of protection by the Funeral rule. Furthermore, you also get to touch and feel the coffins before you make a purchase which is always good on the satisfaction aspect.
Buying the perfect casket may be a lot of pressure but if you know the right questions to ask, you’ll have everything ready in no time at all! Once you know you’ve got your choices locked down, all you need is to find a reliable funeral home that provides you with all the funeral services you require, such as planning the memorial, arranging the venue, having a funeral director, and even counseling, if required.
Losing a loved one is always a stressful event so having support, even in the tiniest ways such as this guide to help you choose the perfect casket, can be so helpful. These few tips will help you in making a clear and correct decision without feeling overburdened by the responsibilities.