Most people don’t do much shopping for caskets during their lifetime. Because of this, there’s understandably a lot of confusion around how they work, different options, and so on.
One of the most confusing parts of shopping for a casket is understanding what size casket you need. There are different dimensions and sizes, and this can adjust the overall casket prices.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Determine What Size Casket You’ll Need
- What are the Dimensions for a Standard Casket?
- Other Casket Dimensions
- Other Casket Factors to Consider
Like most things in life (and death), caskets aren’t one-size-fits-all. While there is a standard size, it’s not always the right fit, depending on your situation and needs.
In this guide, we’ll explain casket sizing so you can decide what casket size you need. With so many things to worry about after the death of a loved one, you don’t want to also be stressed about getting the right sizing.
How to Determine What Size Casket You’ll Need
There are a lot of different factors that go into choosing a casket. With so many types of caskets, it can be a struggle to determine what size casket you’ll need. This is especially true since most people don’t have a lot of experience choosing caskets in their day-to-day life.
There are four main casket sizes you’ll encounter at a funeral home or online retailer:
- Standard: The most common type of casket is the standard casket. This is designed to fit an adult of average height and weight.
- Oversized: As the name implies, oversized caskets are for those who are either too tall or large for a standard casket. However, sometimes there are ways to fit larger folks into a standard size casket as well so this depends on the family’s wishes.
- Child/infant: For those too small for a standard casket, like a child or infant, a specially-designed child casket is used.
- Pet: Last but not least, there are specific pet caskets designed for cats, dogs, and so on. These are similar in size to child or infant caskets, but they are sometimes shaped differently to account for the different body size.
You’ll need to determine what size casket you need based on the deceased individual. That majority of adults fit a standard-sized casket. In fact, people over 6’10” can fit a traditional, standard casket. As long as the deceased is an adult who isn’t taller than 6’10” or over 350 lbs, they more often than not will fit the standard casket size.
There are occasionally a few other factors that affect the sizing of the casket. The material is something to consider since certain types of caskets aren’t designed to fit larger body types. This is most true for natural materials like hemp or cardboard which might not be able to support someone who runs a bit larger.
At the end of the day, don’t let the casket size worry you. Everyone deserves to be buried in a casket that fits them comfortably. Custom-designed caskets are very common, and there is never a problem finding something that fits every body type.
What are the Dimensions for a Standard Casket?
As mentioned above, caskets do come in a standard size. This is designed to fit most but not all body types. The majority of adults fit the standard size, and funeral directors can usually adjust the casket to fit those who might be on the border between sizes.
The standard casket fits anyone who is up to 6’10” in height and weighs up to 350 lbs. The standard casket is 24” in width and 79” long. There are also caskets that are 28” wide to accommodate those up to 450 lbs.
Though most people fit into these sizes, there are alternatives for those who might be bigger or smaller. Luckily, it’s never been easier to find alternative casket dimensions depending on your needs.
Other Casket Dimensions
Caskets aren’t one-size-fits-all. While they are built to accommodate the standard size of a grown adult, there are other sizes to consider as well. If you suspect you’ll need one of these sizes below, talk to your funeral director. They’re the best resource for determining which casket fits your needs.
An oversized casket is designed to fit anyone who might be too large or tall for a standard casket. These are available from the same providers as standard-sized caskets, so they’re not an uncommon thing to find.
Anything over the standard size is considered to be oversized. These are usually as long as 90” (2.29 meters) and 36” (1 meter) wide. They can be up to 30” tall.
Additionally, anyone who weighs over the standard casket weight limit will need an oversized casket to accommodate. This is typically anyone over 450 lbs. In this day and age, it’s no longer difficult to find a casket for a larger individual. Funeral directors and casket manufacturers alike are skilled at helping families navigate this process no matter the size of their loved one.
Oversized caskets aren’t just for those who don’t fit the traditional size. Believe it or not, these are often priced lower than traditional caskets since they’re sold less frequently. Many funeral directors will fill them with additional cushions to fit someone of a smaller size as a way to cut down on funeral costs.
Children or infant caskets
Children or infant caskets come in a variety of sizes to accommodate children of different ages. The smallest type of casket is usually called a “mini” casket, and it’s designed for infants and newborns. From there, you’ll find small, medium, and large caskets to accommodate different sized children.
Any casket that’s smaller than the standard casket is intended for children. Larger children or teens most likely will use an adult, standard casket without issue. It’s entirely up to the family to decide what size makes the most sense for their child.
Since our furry friends are often considered members of the family, it’s no surprise there are also caskets designed just for them. A pet casket is often similar in size to a child casket.
Again, there are different sizes to fit your pet. These are typically sized at 24” (.6 meters) long by 8” (.2 meters) wide, but there’s variation depending on your needs.
Other Casket Factors to Consider
One of the most important decisions when choosing a casket is the size. For most shoppers, the standard casket is the perfect fit. However, this isn’t the only thing to ask yourself. There are other factors to consider when casket shopping like these below:
- Budget: Like most things in life, your budget matters. How much are you able to afford to spend on this casket? The size could play a role in this.
- Material: Caskets come in many different materials like wood, metal, and even natural materials like fabric and hemp. This affects both the size and the price.
- Color: From casket spray ideas to wood stains, there are many different colors to choose from when it comes to designing the right casket to represent your loved one’s memory.
- Alternative providers: While many find their casket from their funeral home, this isn’t your only option. Check other providers like online, in-person providers, or even local makers. (We like this oversized casket, which you can order on Amazon.)
A casket is a highly personal choice. You want to be sure you’re choosing the right final resting place for your loved one. While it might seem like all the weight falls on the casket size, this is simply one part of the bigger picture.
Alternatives to Oversized Caskets
Today, you have more options for your final disposition than ever before. If an oversized casket is too pricy or not quite your style, you can take another route, like one of these alternatives:
- Burial shroud. Some "green" cemeteries will let you be buried in a simple shroud, as opposed to a coffin or casket. You can find burial shrouds, like this one, online or make one yourself. One thing to keep in mind is that a shroud might not be suitable for a funeral or viewing.
- Ash scattering. If you're not attached to the idea of burial, you could have your ashes scattered, instead. This eliminates the cost of a casket entirely, and it can be a much simpler process.
- Ash burial. Instead of scattering the ashes, you could ask your family and friends to bury your ashes in an urn. You can even find urns that plant flowers, plants, or trees, like this Living Urn.
- Casket rental. If you choose a burial shroud or cremation instead of a casket burial, you can still have an open-casket or closed-casket funeral. To do so, you'll just need to rent a casket for the day. Many funeral homes offer this option.
- Cremation diamonds. Cremation also opens up a wide world of memorial art and truly unique methods of final disposition. One example is transforming a portion of your ashes into a real, sparkling diamond with a service like Eterneva.
- Cremation stones. A similar option lets you transform your ashes into natural-looking stones with a service like Parting Stone. The difference is that cremation stones cost less than diamonds, and you can solidify all of a person's ashes rather than just a small portion.
Understanding Casket Sizes and Beyond
Now that you’re familiar with the standard and non-standard sizes when it comes to caskets, you’re prepared to make an informed decision.
Casket shopping doesn’t happen every day, so it’s okay to enter the process with a bit of confusion about what to expect. As long as you’re willing to shop around and ask questions, you’re sure to find the right fit.