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Funeral Caskets

Funeral casket selection can be one of the most difficult decisions that you will have to make during funeral planning.  Caskets are are often the most costly item of funeral services.  Casket prices vary widely, ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the materials used, features and workmanship.   Caskets come in a many different materials, styles, colors and can have a variety of features.  There is usually a showroom at the funeral home, and your funeral director can answer questions concerning caskets. Taking a little time to understand your options can help you choose the right casket at the right price for your budget.


Funeral Casket Materials

Solid Wood Caskets -- Solid wood caskets can be made of solid hardwoods such as maple, mahogany,  oak and cherry.  These caskets vary in price but are usually more expensive than steel caskets.  Pricing also depends special features or special carvings, or hand-craftsmanship.

Laminate Caskets  --  Laminate Caskets are made from plywood that have thin strips of hardwood glued to its surface.  This casket are priced in the mid range.

Cloth-Covered Wood
--   These caskets are can be made of particle wood, soft (woods such as pine) or corrugated materials, covered in an attractive cloth.   These are generally the least expensive caskets on the market.

Fiberglass Caskets -- Fiberglass caskets are very lightweight, strong, and can be given a wide variety of finishes, including paint, faux wood grain and faux marble.  They are very moderately prices, and are frequently used for children's funerals.

Steel Caskets -- Steel caskets are the purchased most often, due to their strength and durability and lower price.  Steel caskets come in a variety of gauges or "thicknesses", ranging from 16 gauge (which is the thickest) to 20 gauge.

Stainless Steel Caskets 
-- Stainless steel caskets are made an alloy of steel, carbon and chromium, and resist corrosion.  They are more expensive than regular steel caskets.

Copper of Bronze Caskets
  -- Usually the most expensive caskets on the market. 

Casket Features

Caskets have several features available.  Special features tend to increase the price of the casket.  Some of these features include:

  • Interior Liners that are puncture and leak resistant.  These liners available in a variety of materials such as velvet, velour or linen, and come in a wide range of colors.

  • Internal lift and tilt hardware to elevate body

  • Special compartments for enclosing special notes and items of the deceased.

Selecting a funeral casket is a very important decision, but knowing your options may help make this task easier.  It is important to remember, however, that regardless of price, no casket can preserve a body forever.  Also, keep in mind that your funeral director should be able to answer any questions that you have, and should show you a variety of caskets at many different prices.  Funeral directors are also required to show you a General Price List (according to the FTC "Funeral Rule"), so that you can compare prices.
Also See Articles on:
Funeral Planning
Funeral Costs
Funeral Planning Checklist
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