When you’re planning for a funeral, a lot of important decisions are made and often on short-notice with very little information provided. One of the most significant costs of the funeral is the casket you choose. There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a casket.
There are different caskets to choose from all with different aspects and details, some of which we may find more important than the others. One family may prefer a wooden casket, while another may prefer metal, some may prefer a casket made of more natural, biodegradable materials.
The different terminology that separates one casket from another, presented in a cluster upon the page, may confuse many people. To help you understand these differences, we are outlining details about the different aspects of a casket which will hopefully simplify the process of choosing a casket.
Before we begin, we would like to discuss one of the main discrepancies in casket terminology. Contrary to popular belief, a coffin and a casket are not the same thing. They have a different design and shape, which sets them apart from one another. Specifically, a coffin has six sides, while a casket has four.
Determining whether you prefer a wooden casket, a metal casket, or a green or eco-friendly casket for your funeral is your first choice. This is simply a matter of preference.
Wood caskets and metal caskets have low-cost varieties and high-cost varieties while green caskets are generally lower cost across the board. Noc asket is designed to last forever, so do not pick one that is “more protective” than another. With time, both the casket and the body inside will breakdown and return to earth. In fact, that is what a green casket is designed to do.
Green caskets are also known as “eco-friendly” caskets. Made of natural materials such as bamboo, banana leaf, rattan (wicker), sea grass, cardboard, or a simple wood (like pine), these caskets have far less complexity to them.
Wooden caskets have far less technical terminology used in describing its details since wooden caskets do not have the gaskets or hand cranks that metal caskets sometimes do (see below).
Metal caskets on the other hand, have a few more terms associated with them. Read on below to learn more about the different Technical and Decorative terminology associated with caskets.
Whether welded or spot-welded, almost all seams and corners of the casket are covered by decorative hardware.
Hardwood caskets NEVER have a gasket, but may have an end-crank/casket key to secure the lid.
All metal caskets—steel, stainless steel, copper, or bronze—can be painted to change the final appearance.
Additionally, the paint can be brushed to give a different look, lending the nomenclature of “brushed finish” to a casket that has undergone that process.
Wood caskets are stained to achieve different colors and finishes such as mahogany, cherry, walnut, etc. Once stained, a clear coated us applied on top of the stain.
Cloth covered caskets are cardboard or partical board caskets that are covered in cloth.
1. Square Cornered Standard Straight Design Casket
2. Square Cornered Urn Design Casket
3. Round Cornered Design Casket
4. Round Cornered Urn Design Casket
5. Straight Side – Round End Casket
Many of the caskets sold via funeral home are made by the largest American manufacturers who do not sell direct to the consumer, meaning they are only available for purchase via select funeral homes. These brands include: Batesville, Matthews, Aurora (now part of Matthews), and Schuylkill Haven to name a few.
However, many other companies, both domestic and foreign, manufacture and distribute via local store-front retailers or online such as Casket Emporium and other online retailers.