Caskets serve not only as a resting place but also as a receptacle to respectfully transport a body before burial or cremation. There are multiple caskets to choose from, from the highly ornate to the simplest of construction. Narrowing down the selection doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The following information will help you understand your options and how to decide among them.
Caskets are typically categorized by two basic material types: metal and wood. From there, you can decide on colors, styles, and price points for the casket.
Metal caskets are durable and offer an austere appearance. They are often made of steel, stainless steel, or precious metals such as bronze or copper. Some metal caskets will be “gasketed.” A gasketed casket has a rubber component located on the casket’s lid that helps keep outside elements from entering the casket once it is closed.
The quality and thickness of the material used in production will determine the cost of a metal casket. Aesthetic features, such as a brushed effect, and the external hardware on a metal casket will also dictate prices.
Wood caskets are often selected because of their natural beauty and warmth. They can be made from premium wood species such as mahogany, cherry, and walnut, while other less expressive caskets can be made from poplar or other hardwoods.
In some cases, casket manufacturers will use less expensive wood to construct much of the casket and cover it with a premium wood veneer. This helps keep the cost of a wood casket down but still offers the same elegant look.
Both metal and wood caskets can be finished with handcrafted interiors, including velvet, linen, and crepe. Frequently, you can customize the color of the material or how you would like the interior to be tailored.
Did you know you can rent a casket?
The reusability of a rental casket is a way to reduce funeral costs and is also an environmentally sound choice, so many, but not all funeral homes offer this option. Rental caskets can be wood or metal and are used during the gathering and/or service before burial or cremation.
The rental casket typically has a simplified inner container in which the body is placed. After any gathering or services, the funeral director removes the inner container from the rental casket and transports the body to the crematory or cemetery. For families seeking a traditional appearance who are looking to reduce costs or lessen the carbon footprint they leave behind, a rental casket may be a perfect choice if offered.
Preplanning and looking ahead is helpful so that you make all of your preferences known, including your casket choice, at a time when you have a clear mind not clouded by grief or distracted by the many other decisions that need to be made after the death of a friend or family member.