Things to consider when choosing a casket
The difference in materials and design of caskets satisfy our personal preference rather than add to the function of the casket. The practical use of a casket is to carry the body of a deceased person with dignity, especially during the funeral. Caskets, regardless of materials used or design, do not contribute to the preservation of the deceased’s body. If anyone claims that their casket’s features help preserve the body, it’s better to take it with a grain of salt.
Here are the basic things you have to consider when choosing a casket based on your budget, purpose, and preference.
Caskets may be made with wood, metal, a combination of both, fiberglass, or plastic. Caskets made with biodegradable materials are also gaining popularity recently as people are becoming more environment-conscious. It is important to note that the price of the casket is primarily determined by the choice for its material.
Metal caskets vary in prices based on the thickness of the steel used. The thickness of the steel is measured in terms of gauges. The thicker the steel, the lower the gauge. Accordingly, the price of the casket increases as the gauge of the steel used for it decreases. Steel caskets often come with a warranty from the manufacturer as its built is more to ensure its longevity.
For wooden caskets, high-end choices are made with hardwood like oak, mahogany, or maple. Most who buy caskets prefer those made of hardwood because aside from their strength, the hardwood’s natural pattern and finish make each casket distinctly elegant.
For those looking for a more economical choice, caskets made of pine wood are a suitable alternative. When looking for caskets made of pine wood, be sure to ask the funeral home or the manufacturer because oftentimes, they choose to showcase their high-end caskets. Similar to caskets made of metal, caskets made of hard wood usually come with warranty.
Regardless of the material, some casket makers allow for customization of the casket’s shell, lid, handles, and corners. The casket shell may be painted with other colors or wrapped with images to reflect the personality of the deceased. Casket lids, on the other hand, may be full or single to allow for the viewing of the whole body or may come in two pieces to allow for the viewing of the deceased’s upper body. The design of the casket’s handles and corners may be customized based on personal preference. Handles and corners may be made of wood, metal, or plastic. You can choose from ready-made designs or have them custom-made.
Caskets have an interior lining that serves as a “bed” for the body. Usually, caskets have the more economical polyester lining with varying designs. Some may choose to use more luxurious fabrics such as velvet or silk for the lining. While casket linings often come in white or cream, it can be personalized by choosing fabrics with printed patterns or with another color to suit the personality of the deceased. Aside from the lining, caskets are often sealed or “gasketed.” Gaskets lessen the exposure of the body to air or other elements when the casket is closed. However, caskets cannot be completely sealed and caskets cannot have features that help preserve the body.
Some caskets are equipped with an external compartment or tube that allows the family of the deceased to put in small items that they want to go with the deceased. Some memory compartments are also leak proof, which allows for storage of valuable information about the deceased for easy identification without the need to open the casket’s lid.
More families now opt for cremation over the traditional burial due to practical considerations, as many nowadays find it impractical to buy a casket only to be used for visitation and funeral. But if having a casket remains your preference, there’s the option of renting one from the funeral home for this purpose. Another inexpensive alternative would be to ask the funeral home for other choices such as a cardboard or pressboard casket that may carry the body even during cremation.
When buying caskets, it is best to know what you want ahead of time and is of best value. So, it’s best to ask for all the options available that suits your budget and taste.
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