Preparing for a traditional burial ceremony includes browsing caskets in search of the right one to honor your loved one. This step can be difficult, but it’s an important part of the process that is made easier when you know where to begin. 

Choosing a casket for your loved one’s burial is an important part of funeral planning. However, getting started can be overwhelming when there are so many options available for purchase or rent from the funeral home and online retailers.

There are many aspects of the planning that are factored into the final costs, but there are many affordable options that take off some burdens of funeral arrangements. 

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Below is a guide for selecting from a variety of trusted caskets to choose the right one for your loved one. 

The Difference Between a Casket and a Coffin

The terms are often used interchangeably because they serve the same purpose, but several design features set them apart. A coffin is composed of six to eight sides to resemble a hexagon or octagon with a wide top and narrow bottom rather than the standard four-sided rectangle of the casket. 

Some coffins may feature a viewing glass on top for paying respect to the deceased. Instead, coffins have a split lid that is intended to be opened during visitation or the ceremony, depending on the request of the loved ones. 

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Coffins tend to be cheaper than caskets because their design requires less material. Caskets are also more popular because they are on display during public funeral services and burial services. 

Types of Caskets

Caskets are available in a variety of styles and materials, but the most common types are wooden and metal. Other options can include banana leaf, bamboo, and cork. They’re not as common, but they are more environmentally friendly since they are created naturally. 

Metal Caskets 

Metal caskets can be made from bronze, copper, and stainless steel. Bronze and copper don’t rust and last longer than steel, so they are considered higher-end, making them more expensive and less commonly used.

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Steel caskets are less expensive, but they’re still durable and can even be easier to find. The design is measured by gauge, which describes the thickness of the steel used. 

There are many customizable features for metal caskets, including painted finishes and gold plating. 

All three materials are believed to last longer than traditional wooden caskets, prolonging the preservation of the body. Some include the option of adding rubber seals to help with the preservation. The rubber seal or gasket is intended to prevent the elements from getting through.

Wood Caskets

Wood caskets are the traditional choice, often considered the most beautiful. They can be made from a variety of hardwoods and softwoods ranging from walnut, oak, cherry, and mahogany to pine and more. Rare woods like mahogany are considered higher-end wood options that will be more expensive.

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Hardwood is typically more expensive than softwood, and all varieties come in a range of options, including gloss polish, satin, and can come cloth-covered. 

Cremation Caskets 

Funeral homes also offer inexpensive cremation caskets that are made out of canvas, cardboard, or pressboard. They hold the remains of the deceased before cremation. 

They’re not intended to be used for viewing, but they are environmentally friendly and offer a budget-friendly option for families choosing cremation. 

Any container material can be selected, but it must be rigid, leak-proof, combustible, non-toxic, and cannot contain metal. 

Biodegradable Caskets

Biodegradable materials can be used to create trusted caskets for a green funeral. They are typically created with materials including bamboo, cardboard, cotton, and willow. Chemicals and metal aren’t used in the design to keep it recyclable. 

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You can purchase one from a funeral home or an online retailer. 

Rental Caskets 

Rentals are the same as the other casket options except for having a removable insert, so they can be used more than once. The insert holds the body of the deceased during the service and is removed at the end. A simple container is placed around the insert to mimic a burial casket. 

Funeral homes have rental options for families who are unable to afford a brand-new casket but want to hold a funeral service. These are another eco-friendly option because they are reusable. 

DIY Caskets

You can even build your own with inexpensive materials or DIY kits that you can order online with included instructions on how to create them. Building your own can help you save on funeral costs that easily amount to thousands of dollars. This can be an intimate way to memorialize your loved one with a special tribute.

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Total costs can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the material, customized features, size, and whether it was purchased from an online retailer or a funeral home. Take a look at all the options available to you before making a decision. 

  • Costs of metal caskets can range anywhere from standard steel for $800 to high-end bronze or copper for $30,000.
  • The costs for wooden caskets can range anywhere from a low $600 to $16,000 for high-end wood like mahogany.
  • Costs for rental caskets range from an affordable $500 to $1,500 for families who are looking for a more budget-friendly or eco-friendly option for loved ones.
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Buying a Casket 

You can purchase a casket from a funeral home or order online from available retailers. When purchasing from a selection of trusted caskets, you are protected by the Federal Trade Commission, allowing you to compare deals on caskets from every funeral home you are considering.

You can view prices on caskets without viewing them first. Not all caskets available for purchase are displayed for viewing. Sometimes these caskets are cheaper than the selections that will be shown to you. You can also have caskets purchased online and delivered to your funeral provider. 

Making a Decision 

Purchasing a casket for a loved one can be a difficult and often expensive task. There are many options to choose from when browsing the most popular types of caskets. Finding the right one for your needs may take some time with the variety of materials, prices, and design options. 

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Click on caskets for more information about selecting the right one for your budget and customization options to honor your loved one.