If you decide you’d like a traditional burial, you will need to choose a casket. This article with give you an idea of the things to look for and the options that are available.
Types of Caskets
A casket has four sides and often has a split lid for viewings. A coffin (sometimes used interchangeably with casket) has six sides. Depending on where you are in the world, a casket or coffin may be a more popular choice. Now, let’s talk about material.
Caskets are generally made of wood or metal with a few exceptions.
Depending on the type of wood used, wooden caskets can often be more expensive. Here is a breakdown of the wood types:
- High-cost materials: Mahogany, Walnut, and Cherry
- Medium-cost materials: Oak, Birch, and Maple
- Low-cost materials: Pine, Poplar, and Willow
When people think of metal, what often comes to mind is steel. There are two types of steel that caskets are usually made of: standard and stainless. Standard is less expensive but stainless is more durable. Thickness is measured by gauges. The smaller the gauge, the thicker the metal. For example, 16-gauge steel is thicker than 20-gauge steel.
Other metal options (but more expensive) are copper and bronze. Both have rust-resistant properties that steel does not have. Oddly enough, they are not measured in the same way as steel but measured are by weight instead.
Alternative Containers, Cremation Caskets, and Rental Caskets
Even if you are planning a cremation, there are still a few things to consider. If you plan on having a visitation or ceremony, many funeral homes offer a rental casket in which an alternative container or cremation casket (generally made of wood, cardboard, or fiberboard) can be inserted. After the ceremony, the cremation casket is removed and transferred to the crematory.