Death isn’t the no.1 topic for regular conversations. Heck, it may never be the subject to talk about unless you have to deal with funeral services.
Despite technology’s impressive development, we still don’t have another solution for ending life, and death will eventually come into our life.
Whether you like to organize every little detail of your life and you're the one shopping for caskets, or you have to buy one for someone you've just lost, the market provides you plenty of options. It can get confusing pretty fast when you know nothing about it. You'd better start small and decide if you want to go with metal or wood, as they're still the top choices for materials.
Is there a unique way to select a casket?
Taking it slowly when selecting a casket is ideal. Even if you don't have the time, you should at least learn a thing or two about the colors, designs, and also price ranges.
When you're purchasing the casket for someone in your family or a friend, the container should reflect the deceased's personality, values, and even lifestyle. The manufacturers today can customize a casket in numerous ways, so don't hold if you have the budget for it.
Since it's a highly emotional time, you won't be able to think clearly. It's a good thing to bring a friend along when shopping. Moral support is fundamental when dealing with death, and when you also need to take care of the funeral services, the emotional consumption is tremendous.
Having said that, let’s get back to square one, with you picking between wood or metal.
What makes people select wood caskets?
Regardless of new materials being used for manufacturing caskets, there is no other material as warm and elegant as wood. It's not only a great variety of styles that you may select but also numerous species to check.
Oak, maple, walnut, cherry, pecan, and mahogany, and pine are some of the most typical options, with the latter being the most affordable.
Even if some will argue that wood isn’t as flexible as metal, the wood craftsmen will strongly disagree. The finishes and handcrafts that wood allows explain why people still fancy the wood caskets. One may like the natural satin-finish, whereas others can go for the highly polished gloss a lot more. At the end of the day, it’s only a matter of personal preference.
When we're talking about elegant appearance, it's walnut, cherry, and mahogany that catch our attention. Maple is a durable and hardwood, and many chose it for this reason. Oak is another popular wood, and we all spot it easily thanks to its unique graining pattern.
Due to the impressive variety of finishes, quality, and craftsmanship, the prices for wood caskets vary a lot, fitting different budgets.
Who likes metal caskets?
It was only a matter of time until people realized that no metal casket is going to preserve a dead body in perfect shape forever. Be that as it may, the mere thought that a metal casket can protect the deceased for a very long time (and even centuries) comforts the mourners. Durability is definitely the essential reason for which people still choose metal caskets. Unlike the wood counterparts, metal caskets are resistant to corrosion, even if the most affordable metal (carbon steel) is less resistant than others.
Various metals are used for caskets, and steel is probably the most popular to name. If species affect the quality and price for wood caskets, in the case of metal caskets, the thickness and the metal per se are the most important to consider. 20-gauge steel is a standard and affordable option, for instance, but it's the 16- and 18- a gauge that is more resistant and more expensive (a small number for gauges relates to higher resistance and higher prices).
If mahogany or cherry are some of the most expensive woods to use for caskets, copper, bronze, and gold are the most exquisite to name for the metal category.
Another reason for which people choose metal caskets is that they can be "gasketed." It means that they feature a rubber gasket across the lid so that the casket's interior is all sealed. The seal keeps the elements away from the inside, protecting the deceased.
Metal caskets also allow customization, and they actually come in many colors, finishes, or feature ornaments for personalization.
So which one should you choose: metal or wood?
Listing things always seems to be effective, so here are the main aspects to think about when deciding between the two:
Many agree that wood caskets have a warmer feel. On the other hand, metal caskets seem a bit more austere and cold. Some think that metal caskets are rather flashy, whereas wood caskets look elegant without making much effort.
No matter the style, metal caskets will always feel more modern than the wooden models. Both metal and wood caskets can be decorated, even if metal allows more accents since it’s more flexible than wood.
It’s beyond a doubt that any metal casket is going to be more durable than a wood model. Metal caskets come with thick and rust-proof shell, and the rubber gasket improves the protection of the body for a very long time.
Even if wood can be coated for higher durability, it’s still going to decay after a while.
There's nothing much to say, and price doesn't make a difference between the two. You can find affordable metal and wood caskets, the same way you can find incredibly expensive metal and wood caskets. Bronze and copper are the most precious metals, but mahogany doesn't come cheap either.
Should you worry about your footprint and impact on nature, it's more than evident that the wood casket is the choice for you. Even if the wood has a coating for a longer lifespan, it's still going to decay and eventually return to earth.
It's different for metal caskets, which will not decompose any time soon. Remember that durability is the selling point for customers.
Anyone interested in protecting the body inside the casket should go with a metal casket, however, if you know that "from dust to dust" matters the most, then the wood casket is a better option. Especially if you care enough about the environment.