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3 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Casket

Selecting the right casket for your loved one is one of the ways you can honor them after they've passed on. As you look for options at a funeral home or online, you suddenly start to feel confused. With such a large casket selection available to you, how can you choose the right one for your loved one?

As you consider your casket options, pay attention to three categories: material, features, and price.

Material

Caskets are made from two main types of materials: wood and metal.

Wood caskets come in many options. Softer woods like aspen and pine are less expensive than stronger hardwoods like rosewood, poplar, walnut, and maple. The right wood depends on your preference for how you want the casket to look. You might prefer a light, soft wood like aspen or a dark, rich wood like rosewood.

Metal caskets come in various options as well. Standard steel caskets are usually the most common and the most affordable. Another option is stainless steel, which is more corrosion-resistant than standard steel. More expensive and luxurious corrosion-resistant metals include gold, bronze, and copper.

Whether metal or wood, your casket's finish also affects its appearance. For example, you might prefer a highly-polished, mirror-like effect in a metal casket. Or, you might look for a natural, soft accent for a wood casket. Look at different options to choose a casket material and finish that fits your loved one's personality and style.

Features

Once you've selected the right casket material, you’ll have several other choices to make concerning different features and looks, such as the following.

Interior Materials

No matter what exterior material you choose, you'll need to select the right interior for your casket. The two main choices are velvet and crepe. Velvet is softer and more luxurious. Crepe portrays a simple, effortless beauty and is more affordable than velvet. The interiors come in different colors so you can choose your loved one's favorite shade.

Shell Design

As you look at different casket options, you should also pay attention to the shell design. For example, you can choose a casket with traditional square corners or a contemporary style with rounded corners.

Thickness

For metal caskets, there are other features to consider as well. One is the thickness level. The most popular choices are 18-gauge and 20-gauge, with 18-gauge as the thicker option.

Gaskets

Choosing a metal casket also means choosing whether to use a gasket. A gasket seals the casket to shield it from the elements. If you're placing your loved one in a mausoleum, you should avoid using a gasket. A gasket can increase the body's decomposition rate. Gaskets aren't available for wood caskets. Wood caskets are porous and thus cannot have a complete seal.

Size

Don't forget to consider the casket's size. Standard size caskets are 28 inches wide. You can also choose a larger sized casket to make your loved one's body more comfortable. Oversized caskets typically come in 28, 29, 33, 36, or 42".

Price

Just as with any significant purchase, price is one of your most important considerations.

It's understandable that you want to honor your loved one with a high-quality, durable casket rather than the cheapest option. However, you can still honor your loved one without choosing the most expensive casket available. A high-priced casket won't necessarily preserve your loved one's body better than a medium-priced casket.

Keep in mind that you can save money by purchasing a casket from a third-party company. In fact, you can pay half the price you'd pay if you bought directly from the funeral home.

Follow these guidelines to choose a casket that honors your loved one's memory. If you need help finding a casket that meets your preferences, a casket company can help direct you to the right options.

For a wide selection of beautiful, affordable caskets, turn to Elmwood Caskets.