Best Caskets

Updated April 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

35 Models Considered
26 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
155 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best caskets

When planning a funeral for a departed loved one, a casket is essential. You can buy direct from a funeral home as part of a funeral package, but they tend to have inflated prices, making buying a casket yourself a more affordable option.

Buying online doesn't mean you're scrimping on quality. You can find all sorts or caskets as a final resting place for your loved one, from intricate and ornate offerings to biodegradable caskets suitable for a natural burial. There are a range of factors to consider when selecting a casket, such as linings, hardware, memory drawers, and personal touches.

We know how tough a time this is for anyone, so we want to talk you through all your options to make your decision easier, whether you ultimately end up buying a casket online or via your funeral director. Keep reading for our full guide to caskets, which will tell you everything you need to know.

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If you're thinking about buying your own casket so your family doesn't have to stress about your funeral arrangements, speak to a funeral director, as you can arrange and pay for your funeral in advance and pick a casket without needing to keep and store it yourself.

Key considerations

Types of caskets

Classic caskets
If you picture a casket, you're probably thinking about a classic casket. These are large, sturdy models made from either metal or varnished wood. They have metal handles and other fittings on the outside and a quilted lining inside. If you're looking for a traditional casket for burial, this is the type of casket you should look at. On the downside, classic caskets usually aren't suitable for cremation or natural burial. They can also be expensive.

Biodegradable caskets
Biodegradable caskets are made from materials that will completely degrade in the earth. Common materials for biodegradable caskets include cardboard, untreated pine, seagrass, wicker, bamboo, and willow. They don't have plush linings or metal fittings. Not only are biodegradable caskets more affordable than classic caskets, they're also better for the environment. If the departed wanted a woodland burial or other natural burial, it's usually mandatory that they're buried in a 100% biodegradable casket.

Cremation caskets
A growing number of people are opting for cremation rather than burial, which means a classic casket is off the cards. For safe cremation, the casket must be made entirely from combustible materials, which rules out metal fittings. Cremation caskets are usually fairly simple and made from untreated wood with wooden handles. You may have the option to rent a more conventional casket should you wish to have an open casket at the funeral.

Lining

You can choose from a range of lining materials and colors. Silk is seen to be a luxurious lining material for caskets, but you get much the same appearance from a synthetic satin lining at a far lower cost. Velvet is another popular choice of lining material, as it has a classic and attractive finish. Again, there's a cheaper alternative which looks similar — velour. If you'd prefer a simple and affordable lining material, opt for crepe.

Then you have colors to think of. White is probably the most common choice of lining color, but you may prefer to choose the favorite color of the deceased or opt for another hue that you think works well with the finish of the casket.

Decorative caskets

It goes without saying that it's terribly sad to lose someone, but not everybody wants their funeral to be an exclusively somber affair. You can find all kinds of decorative caskets featuring designs from guitar amps to sports team logos to picturesque landscapes. If you know your dear departed wouldn't have wanted a traditional casket, a decorative option is an excellent choice.

Decorative caskets can bring a little something of your lost loved one's personality to the funeral, which can't be said for a generic casket. The bonus is that they're usually biodegradable and free from metal parts, so they're suitable for natural burials and cremations. These decorative options aren't to everyone's taste — plenty of people would rather go for a classic casket — but it's an alternative worth thinking about, especially when sadly burying young people or anyone who had a hobby they were obsessed with.

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Did You Know?
Some online casket retailers only ship to certain states, so check before you spend too much time browsing their offerings or get set on a certain model.
Staff
BestReviews

Features

Lid style

There are two types of casket lids: full couch and half couch. Full couch casket lids consist of a single continuous piece. Half couch casket lids are split in half, allowing the top half to be lifted for viewing, so people see the deceased from the waist up. Half couch lids are by far the most popular for classic caskets.

Memory drawer

Some caskets feature a memory drawer in which you can place significant personal effects belonging to the deceased, such as wedding rings or family photos.

Fittings

The fittings of a casket are the handles, casket corners, and other hardware on the exterior of the coffin. On classic coffins, these are almost always made of metal with different types of metal and finishes available. Biodegradable and cremation caskets have handles made from wood, natural rope, bamboo, or other biodegradable materials. 

Funeral homes occasionally try to convince you that you must buy a casket from them, but it's illegal for them to refuse to accept a casket sold by a third party or charge a handling fee.

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Casket prices

Inexpensive: If you're on a budget, you can find a selection of caskets made from cardboard, untreated wood, and other biodegradable materials for between $300 and $1,000.

Mid-priced: Those looking for an affordable classic casket should expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000.

Expensive: The costliest classic caskets sell for anywhere between $3,000 and $15,000, but there's no need to spend this much to get a quality, tasteful casket.

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Did You Know?
If you don't have a huge budget for a casket, some funeral homes rent out classic caskets for viewings. Then, you can use a simpler casket or alternative container for the burial or cremation.
Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • When choosing a casket, consider the wishes and interests of your lost loved one. They may have left instructions as to the type of casket they'd prefer, but otherwise, you'll just have to make the best guess based on what you know about them.
  • You may find it helpful to ask a friend or family member to help you pick a casket. Ideally, this would be someone who knew the deceased but wasn't extremely close to them, so they have some knowledge of what they would have liked but aren't too upset to offer you support.
  • Take your time when picking a casket. Yes, it's somewhat time sensitive, as you need the casket to arrive before the funeral, but it's not so urgent that you can't take a few hours, have a cup of tea, and think about your choices.
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Speak to your funeral director — you may be able to arrange to have the casket delivered directly to the funeral home to save having to transport it there yourself.

FAQ

Q. What size is the average casket?

A. The average casket has interior dimensions of approximately 24 inches wide and 80 inches long. We know, however, that people come in a range of shapes and sizes, so average caskets don't fit everyone. You can buy larger caskets, which are usually referred to as "oversized" caskets. You may be able to choose from a range of widths and lengths so you can find an option that best fits the departed.

Q. If I order online, how long will a casket take to arrive?

A. The trouble with buying online is shipping times. Some caskets are guaranteed to arrive in just a few days, whereas others can take weeks to arrive. Those with longer shipping times may not arrive in time for the date of the funeral. It's easy to overlook small details, such as shipping times, when you're grieving a loved one, but it could be disastrous if you have the funeral booked and the casket doesn't arrive in time, so it's worth spending a few extra minutes on these kinds of details.

Q. Can I personalize details on a casket?

A. This depends on the retailer and whether they make the coffins themselves or simply sell coffins made by a third party. In some cases, you can personalize small details on the casket, such as the color of the lining and fitting material. You may also be able to add a personalized plaque or add "casket corners" — decorative pieces that fit on the corners of the casket and often depict a hobby or interest of the deceased. If these types of personal details are important to you, make sure your chosen casket retailer can provide them.
 

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