How to Buy a Casket

You will need to know how to buy a casket if you decide to go for a traditional burial service as buying a casket is an important part of making any funeral arrangements. A casket is one of the most important purchases you can make regarding the funeral.

Before purchasing a casket, do some research on various types of caskets and the costs associated with it. People who don’t plan in advance are usually thrust into deciding on purchasing a casket during an extremely emotional time, resulting in overspending.

Following some basic procedures will make the casket selection process easy and ensure that the casket you must buy will suit your needs without making a burden on your budget. Doing your homework will make sure that you will get a beautiful casket that fits your budget and honors your loved one.


WHAT IS A CASKET?

A casket is a four-sided, rectangular, hinged-lidded box burial vessel. Unlike a coffin, a casket doesn’t have the negative connotation associated with a coffin. The rectangular shape casket was found to be more comforting to mourners than the human-shaped container coffin. You can buy caskets from funeral homes, showrooms, and online casket retailers. The price of the caskets can range from $700-$20,000.


DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CASKET AND COFFIN

The casket and coffin are terms that are often used interchangeably; generally, the word casket is more common in America and coffin in the U.K.

  • COFFIN – originated in the 16th century. It is typically connected with a burial vessel made of wood and shaped like a box with 6 or 8 sides, which is wide at the shoulders and tapering at the head and feet.
  • CASKET – are used in the mid-19th century. It pertains to a rectangular box with four sides and two lids and hinges for the purpose of viewing.


DIFFERENT TYPES OF CASKETS

Caskets are available in different materials such as:

Wooden Caskets – these caskets are made of hardwood, such as oak, mahogany, walnut, maple, cherry, poplar, pecan, and pine. These wooden caskets are often hand-sculpted and polished to shine or satin finish, to make it more appealing.

Casket pricing is like solid wood furniture. Hardwood like mahogany, cherry, and walnut are at the high end and higher price. Mid-range materials include oak, maple, and birch. Poplar, willow, and pine are at the low end.

The less expensive alternatives to solid hardwood include:

Veneered – Wooden fiberboard painted with a wood veneer

Laminate – Hardwood laminated plywood

Cloth-covered – plywood or fiberboard

Metal caskets

Caskets made of metal are long-lasting compared with wooden caskets. Copper, bronze, or stainless steel the primary materials. The price of copper and bronze constructed caskets is according to their weight per square foot.  The price of a casket made from stainless-steel varies according to their thickness or gauge.

Bronze and copper – these materials are more durable. They are rust-resistant compared with steel. Over time, they will oxidize and break down, but it will last longer than steel; however, they are more expensive than steel. The price of these metals is according to its weight per square foot. So, a 32-ounce copper casket is more expensive than a copper casket with 24-ounce weight.

Standard steel – caskets made from standard steel are cheaper than bronze and copper casket. They come in various gauges or thickness, typically 16, 18, and 20 gauge. 18-gauge steel is thinner 16 gauge. The lower the gauge, the thicker the steel.

Stainless steel – is more durable than standard steel but a little more expensive. It is also available in the same gauge as the standard steel.

Fiberglass Caskets

You can also buy fiberglass caskets. Fiberglass is an extremely light material. It is typically used to bury infants and children. Some people thought that caskets made from fiberglass are inferior in quality, but it is a misconception. This material is also particularly durable, and they come in different finishes like faux marble and faux wood.

Eco-friendly Caskets

There is also an environmentally-friendly option for those who want to go green. There are wicker caskets made from willow, bamboo, or seagrass. You can also go for a cardboard casket, which is easy to personalize with digitally printed designs. There are also some burial shrouds made of cotton, linen, silk, or wool to choose from.

If you want to be environmentally-friendly but desire a traditional wooden casket, you can choose a casket made from sustainable wood.

Cremation Caskets

If you want to have a cremation. You can choose a cremation casket made of wood that may be used in cremation after the service. Cremation caskets are usually made of highly combustible, rigid, leak-proof materials like unfinished wood, fiberboard, cardboard, or composition materials.

Cremation caskets are like traditional caskets, but it must be fully combustible with no non-combusting material to be safe for the operator.

Rental Caskets

If you want a ceremonial casket during the funeral, most funeral homes offer a rental casket for the service. Rental caskets are designed with the cremation casket inserted into it. The cremation casket fits inside the ceremonial rental casket for the service.

After the funeral service, the cremation casket is removed for cremation. It is a cheaper alternative than buying a burial casket.

Do-it-yourself (DIY) Caskets

If you want to construct your burial casket, you can opt for a DIY casket. You don’t need to be a skilled craftsman to build your casket, and there are different DIY kits on the market today.

Constructing your casket can save you a lot from the cost of buying a ready-made one. You can make it personal by decorating your casket, in the manner you like. You can typically see DIY caskets in-home burials.

Oversize Caskets

The width of a regular casket is 24 – 27 inches and 84 inches long. As obesity becomes an epidemic in America, the need for oversized caskets increases. If your loved one is larger than the average, you must look for an “oversized” casket. 31 inches is the standard size for oversized caskets, but there are different width to accommodate your needs.

Oversized caskets are wider than the standard measuring around 28 and 31 inches wide. One oversized casket manufacturer is Goliath Casket. They specialize in manufacturing oversized casket. They make customized coffins up to 51 inches wide.

With an increased demand for larger caskets, you can find many oversize caskets in the market now.

Caskets for Jewish Funeral

Burial containers for the Jewish faith must be simple and natural as possible, with no metal in it. Basic pine caskets are specifically designed to comply with their faith requirements. The casket is made of wood with no ornate fittings or fancy handles. Most of the time, the handles are removed before the burial. So that the deceased can be buried in a simple box as possible.


CHOOSING CASKET FEATURES

Casket Lids

There are two basic casket lid types 1. full couch and 2. half couch. There are two lids of the same lengths on a half couch. Most of the time, only the upper lid is opened for viewing. The top cover is open to show the face up to the waist. It’s the most used style of lids. The full couch uses only one lid to show the whole body of the deceased.

Casket Lining

There are different choices for casket interior. The commonly used materials are satin, crepe, and velvet. Linen and velour are also available for casket lining. Velvet fabric is the most costly material, while crepe is the cheapest.

Casket Interior

You can choose different fabrics for the casket interior. You can select tufted, ruffled, or tailored in different colors. Specialty interiors are also available in the market.

If you desire, you can personalize the interior to reflect the deceased personality; however, the more customization you make, the more expensive it gets.

Other Casket Features

Corner casket details are also available in different shapes, like contoured sides, rounded corners, or square. Some casket models, allows you to personalize casket corners to put on the edges of the casket. Those casket corners can reflect the personality of the deceased, and you can put a symbol of his hobbies on these corners.

Special Casket Features

You can put a memory drawer or a compartment that is hidden in the lid of the casket. You can use this small drawer to put little personal items to accompany your loved one. Anything you left in the memory drawer will be buried with the remains.

Other Custom Features

There are different embroidered head panels, cap panels, or casket lid insets, and additional customization available to make the casket unique. Be mindful of your budget when choosing customization since it will make cost higher.

Select the interior design, but make sure they will last longer. Fabrics are better than anything painted or glued that will disintegrate within a year. When choosing the exterior of the casket, choose the color and material that you think would best suit the deceased.


WHERE CAN YOU BUY A CASKET?

When buying a casket you can generally choose from: a funeral home, online provider, and casket retailer. There are pros and cons for each one, but the best for your loved one will be based on your budget and preferences.

1. Funeral home – it is most convenient to buy from the funeral home, which will be handling your funeral arrangements. When purchasing from a funeral home, the FTC Funeral Rule protects you. This law commands the funeral home to provide you with an itemized price list before showing you their inventory.

2. Online providers – buying a casket has been easier through online providers. Popular stores like Walmart and Costco are now selling caskets online. In recent years there are many online casket providers to choose from. Many people prefer buying from online providers because it is cheaper than buying from funeral homes.

3. Casket retailers – there are many casket retailers with a showroom in your area where you can buy caskets. These casket showrooms are similar to a funeral home. Only they are retailing caskets. Most of these companies offer casket at a lower price than funeral homes.


HOW TO BUY A CASKET

Buying a casket can be easy if you follow these steps:

Step 1: Know what type of casket you want

The first step in buying a casket is deciding what kind of casket you want. Check if the deceased left instructions on what type of casket they want, this information will guide you when shopping for a casket.

Think of the personality and tastes of the deceased to help you narrow down your choices. If you are buying a casket for yourself, think about how you want to be memorialized.

Step 2: Consider your budget

Once you know what you want, your second step is to decide how much to allocate for the casket expense. Regardless of where you will purchase the casket, it’s always a good idea to set a budget. It will help you select the casket that falls within your price range.

Different types of casket vary in price depending on the quality, craftsmanship, and hardware. Caskets can cost from $500 to a few thousand dollars. The best way to avoid overspending is to stick to your budget.

Step 3: Look for Contact Information

When purchasing a casket, it is best to search online to know the nearest funeral homes and casket providers. Get the address and contact information of different providers. Stay away from casket manufacturers that do not include their addresses.

Step 4: Visit Funeral home or Retail Showroom

If you want to see the different types of casket, visit at least five retail showrooms or ask your funeral director to show their caskets. The funeral director is required by law to show you a general price list before showing you the actual casket. It will help you stick to the selection within your budget.

When you visit the funeral home or retail showroom, take a friend or family member with you. Having someone with you will make it easier to request access to more information. Your companion may also give a different view and will help you weigh the pros and cons of casket models and features.

Step 5: Gather necessary information

Talk with the casket provider to find out if there are any special instructions you need to provide when you make the purchase. The funeral home should provide a price list before showing you any inventory. Ask if you will be required to shoulder the delivery fee and make sure there are no hidden costs.

Under the funeral rule, the funeral home should not charge you a fee to accept a casket from an outside vendor. Check with the BBB, Better Business Bureau to see if the funeral home or casket provider has any complaints lodged against them. Also, search for reviews of the company to give you a better idea of the customer service they provide.

If you are buying casket online, do some research on the online casket company. Ask if the type of casket you want available on the site. Ask if they ship to your state for free and if they have hidden costs. Can the company deliver overnight or even same day if needed?

Step 6: Compare prices

After gathering information and visiting showrooms, compare prices from different vendors. Consider the price, quality, and workmanship when choosing a casket. Don’t forget to stick to your budget so you will avoid overspending.

Step 7: Purchasing the casket

Remember that you don’t have to buy a casket from the funeral home. You can also choose to buy a casket from independent retailers and online vendors. Don’t rush through the process of purchasing the casket. Get all the information, explore all the available options, and ask the funeral director or customer service if you have any questions.

Funeral homes are required by law to accept caskets from outside providers without charging you an extra fee. Be mindful of the delivery charges when buying from online or casket retailers. Check the delivery areas and timeframe. Make sure to follow all the steps above to make purchasing the casket easier.


HOW CAN FUNERAL FUNDS HELP ME?

Trying to find a policy if you need to buy a casket needn’t be a frustrating process; working with an independent agency like Funeral Funds will make the process easier and quicker.

If you have a health history or pre-existing medical conditions, let us help you; we will work with you side by side to find a plan that fits your needs.

We will work with you every step of the way to find the plan that fits your financial requirements and budget. You don’t have to waste your precious time anymore searching for multiple insurance companies because we will do the dirty work for you.

We will shop your case to different insurance carriers and get you the best price.

We work with many A+ rated insurance carriers that specialized in covering high-risk clients like you.  We will search all those companies to get the best rate. We will match you up with the best burial insurance company that gives the best rate.

We will assist you in securing the coverage you need at a rate you can afford. So, if you are looking for pre-paid funeral insurance, or pre-paid burial insurance, or pre-paid life insurance.

Fill out our quote form on this page or call us at 888) 862-9456 and we can give you an accurate quote.