A Complete Guide to Choosing a Casket or Urn

Posted on July 22, 2019 by Bevis Funeral Home under Burial, Cremation, Making Arrangements
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Casket and urn display

When choosing a casket or urn for yourself or a loved one, there are numerous factors to consider, including the type of burial or ceremony you’re planning as well as your budget and personal preferences.

Caskets and urns come in a variety of materials and styles, so prices will vary depending on what you’re interested in. Whether you’re interested in preplanning your own service or you’re making arrangements for a loved one who has passed away, this guide will help you choose the right option for your needs.

Types of Caskets

Metal Caskets – Metal caskets are a popular choice because they are durable and offer extra protection from the elements. These caskets contain a thick rubber gasket surrounding the lid that creates a sealed enclosure, so they are often referred to as gasketed, protective or sealer caskets. Metal caskets are typically constructed from materials ranging from basic steel, available in a variety of thickness, to precious metals, including copper, bronze or gold.

Wood Caskets – Wood caskets also are a top choice due to their hand-crafted quality and vast selection. However, buyers must pay close attention to the details when purchasing these caskets as they can often be constructed of common woods that are finished to appear to be standard or premium hardwoods when they are of lower quality. Be careful not to pay a higher price for a lower grade of wood that is veneered to look like something it is not.

Rental Caskets – This category of casket is intended to be displayed at a funeral but will not ultimately be used for burial. They are most commonly needed when the deceased has been cremated, but a traditional funeral service will still be held.

Eco-Friendly Caskets – While there are a variety of environmentally options when it comes to burial containers, the term eco-friendly casket refers to biodegradable caskets made from natural materials such as willow (wicker), bamboo, banana leaf or unfinished woods. Though eco-friendly caskets will come in the material’s natural color, they can be dyed for decorative purposes at the family’s request.

Cardboard Caskets – Since this category of casket is made from biodegradable cardboard and is considered eco-friendly, cardboard caskets are frequently used for cremation and green burials. Many families who choose cardboard caskets personalize them with paint or digital printing. Due to the low-cost material, carboard caskets are considered to be one of the least expensive options.

Types of Urns

Keepsake Urns – Keepsake urns come in small sizes and are primarily used by families who wish to share the ashes of a lost loved one. These small urns also are useful for families who have scattered the ashes of a loved one, but chose to keep a portion of the remains. Keepsake urns come in a variety of styles, shapes and materials.

Wood Urns – These urns can be made of any type of wood, but popular choices include cherry, maple, pine, oak and walnut. Wood urns are generally stained and often adorned with inlays and laser etchings.

Biodegradable Urns – As green burial practices have continued to gain popularity throughout the funeral industry, environmentally friendly burial containers also have seen an increase in demand. Biodegradable urns are most commonly used when ashes are going to be scattered

Companion Urns – This special type of urn stores the cremated ashes of two individuals. Similar to other types of urns, companion urns are made from a variety of materials and come in an array of styles. These urns can be purchased in two different types of models that include either a double or single compartment. Companion urns are typically larger in size compared to other types of urns to allow room for the ashes to be stored adequately.

Photo Urns – For people who are planning on displaying a loved one’s cremated ashes in their homes, photo or picture urns are a perfect discrete option. Photo urns look very similar to a picture frame, but they include a hidden chamber where the cremation ashes of the deceased are stored. The photos on the urn can either be laser engraved onto the urn or placed directly into the frame.

Religious Urns – With scenes and words that relate directly to religious and spiritual practices, religious urns are available representing all faiths. They typically showcase a variety of religious symbols, such as crosses and praying hands, excerpts from religious texts and more.

Art Urns – These urns are works of fine art that have been designed to include a hidden chamber where cremation ashes can be stored. Due to the unique and laborious process of creating these art vessels, art urns are typically priced higher than other types of urns, but they are perfect for people who are looking for a one-of-a-kind way to pay tribute to a loved one. The often-handmade urns are offered in a variety of materials, including bronze, glass and ceramics.

Hobby and Sports Urns – If you’d like to memorialize the deceased by celebrating their special interests and passions, there are a variety of these kinds of specialty urns available. Hobby-based urns are specifically designed cremation vessels that provide visual reminders of hobbies, sports and other special interests. These urns come in a variety of styles and can represent a range of hobbies, from hunting to ballet.

Military Urns – Families who have chosen cremation for a loved one with a history of military service may be interested in a military urn that honors the deceased’s contributions to our country. These patriotic urns are typically engraved with an eagle or other symbols of service and also can include seals for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard and Army.

If you need assistance choosing a casket or urn or you have any questions regarding the funeral or memorial planning process, call Bevis Funeral Home at (850) 385-2193 to speak with one of our expert funeral directors today.

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