Make sure to include the specific casket you wish to have when developing your funeral pre-plan. Don't make your family struggle with this decision. There are a variety of types and styles of caskets and it can become overwhelming for your family. Here are some of the considerations when you begin researching the casket to include in your plan.
Why Your Casket Matters
The casket people see you in during the funeral services is the last item they will associate with you. It is your opportunity to express yourself as you wish people to remember you. This is why it's important for you to select the right casket and not leave it up to your family after you've passed away.
Where to Purchase Your Casket
Funeral homes are a good place to begin your research. Many represent a variety of manufacturers and often have sample designs to look at. The staff in a funeral home can answer most of your questions and help match your needs to a particular casket.
Funeral homes are not the only places that sells caskets. Other sources include:
- direct from the manufacturer
- discount stores (also known as the "big box" stores)
- online funeral supply retailers
You'll get a different level of customer service from each of these sources. Shop around until you find the retailer that has what you want and can answer all of your questions satisfactorily.
Casket Construction Materials
You'll find caskets made of a variety of materials. The price of a casket depends on the quality of the material and amount of design features included. The following are the common materials you'll find in casket construction.
Hardwoods - Natural wood caskets continue to be a favorite. Maple, elm, cottonwood and ash are the typical materials used for these caskets. These woods are heavy, durable and can be carved ornately to enhance the casket appearance. Hardwood caskets tend to be some of the most expensive caskets you'll find.
Softwoods - Soft woods, such as cedar and pine, are also used in casket construction. These woods create a lighter, less expensive casket than the hardwoods. These materials are difficult to carve, so these caskets are often left natural or polished to a high gloss. If you like the idea of a softwood casket, but want a carved design, consider a veneer.
Veneer - This is a softwood casket covered with a thin layer of hardwood that can be carved. If you like the look of an ornately carved casket design, but don't like the cost, a veneer casket may work for you.
Metal - You'll find caskets made of bronze, copper, steel and stainless steel. These expensive caskets can be polished or left with a matte appearance. Molded or hammered metal pieces are attached to the exterior shell to give these caskets a more ornate look.
Fiberglass - These inexpensive caskets are lightweight, but the exterior can be made to look like more expensive materials. You'll find fiberglass caskets that look like wood, metal or stone.
Seagrass and Bamboo - These are some of the sustainable materials used to create eco-friendly caskets. Plain on the outside, they can have elaborate interiors. These caskets are very lightweight and at the lower end of the cost range.
Casket Hardware and Accessories
When looking at caskets, you'll have a choice of accessories. These are used to embellish the design for a more luxurious look. Some of the accessories include:
- Handles, straps and other hand holds that attach to the outside of the casket.
- Lining, sheets, pillows and other linen for the interior of the casket.
- Signs, plaques and markers that can be engraved and attached to the casket.