If you’re planning a loved one’s funeral, you may need to choose their casket. It’s understandable if you’re not sure which style is right. There are many different types of caskets from which to choose, and you want to make sure you select the perfect one. On top of that, you need to keep your budget in mind when making a final decision.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What’s a Cedar Casket?
- How Much Do Cedar Caskets Usually Cost?
- Main Types of Cedar Caskets
- Where Can You Buy a Cedar Casket?
That’s why reading articles like this one can help make this process much less overwhelming. By researching different styles of caskets, you can narrow down your options.
This particular article will offer some general information on cedar caskets. It explains what they are, what they typically cost, what types of cedar caskets are available, and where you can buy one.
What’s a Cedar Casket?
Part of knowing how to plan a funeral involves knowing about the different common types of caskets. A cedar casket is a relatively popular choice due to the natural beauty of the wood. Many people who are fond of the outdoors (or who are planning the funeral of someone who was) will choose a cedar casket for this very reason.
As you’ve probably guessed, the wood used to make cedar caskets comes from cedar trees. Because cedar trees share many properties with pine trees, cedar caskets are very similar to pine caskets (like this one), but they aren’t technically the same.
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An important cedar casket feature
Later, we'll describe some of the various types of cedar caskets you might consider purchasing. If you choose to buy a traditional cedar casket, it’s important to know the difference between half-couch caskets and full-couch caskets.
The lid of a half-couch casket consists of two individual segments. If you were planning a viewing for a loved one’s funeral, like many, you might want to keep only one half of the lid open, showing their face and upper body while hiding the rest. A half-couch casket allows you to do so. Because a full-couch casket’s lid is one single piece, this isn’t an option. Cedar caskets are available in both varieties.
How Much Do Cedar Caskets Usually Cost?
Understanding how much a casket costs is always essential when considering your options. You want a casket that will do your loved one’s memory justice, but you also need to keep your budget in mind when making this purchase.
There’s no set price for a cedar casket. Many different factors, including additional features you might add to a casket, its shape, shipping methods, and numerous others will contribute to the price. That said, a typical cedar casket usually starts at around $1,400.
If you want to keep a loved one’s body in a cedar casket for a viewing, but that price is a little too steep for your budget, there are suppliers from whom you can rent caskets. This will reduce the cost.
Main Types of Cedar Caskets
Cedar caskets don’t come in one single style. There are various types of cedar caskets available. Here are a few common options.
1. Traditional cedar casket
Many cedar caskets have fairly traditional shapes and features. Their bases are rectangular, and while the lids may be raised and flat, sometimes they’re curved. The wood may also feature carved or sanded areas to give the casket a slightly more elaborate shape than a basic rectangle.
As with most other types of wood caskets, a traditional cedar casket may also be available in a variety of shades. For example, some cedar caskets boast a rich, almost red color, while others are more classically rustic and brown.
Browse your options to find one that appeals most to you. Styles to consider include Wisconsin cedar and Carolina cedar.
2. Coffin-shaped cedar casket
Some suppliers make a distinction between coffins and caskets based on their shape. For example, the shape of an item a supplier lists as a cedar coffin (as opposed to a cedar casket) will often be a shape you might associate with Dracula and other classic gothic tales.
A typical cedar casket will be a basic rectangle. The edges of a cedar coffin will usually slant towards each other near the top, resulting in an iconic shape that might appeal to you.
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3. Biodegradable cedar casket
Some people believe it’s very important to be eco-conscious when planning a funeral. This is why natural burials are becoming more and more popular. This type of burial will usually involve burying someone in a biodegradable casket.
Although pine, wicker, and similar materials are more common biodegradable casket materials, some cedar caskets are also biodegradable.
4. Cedar pet casket
Are you planning a funeral for a beloved pet? If so, you’ll want to choose a casket that does their memory justice.
Luckily, many suppliers offer cedar pet caskets. These can be fairly plain, or they can feature imagery that makes you think of your pet, such as an image of a pawprint.
5. Cedar cremation caskets
In most cases, you still need to keep a body in some type of casket when it’s being cremated. This casket must be combustible, and it typically can’t include any metal pieces. That’s why cedar is often a popular choice for a cremation casket.
Once the cremation is over, you might also want to find the ideal urn in which to keep your loved one’s ashes. If so, consider a cedar cremation urn, like this one.
6. Decorative cedar caskets
Sometimes, you want a loved one’s casket to reflect an aspect of their personality or values. If that’s the case, a basic traditional casket might not be the right choice.
That doesn’t mean a cedar casket isn’t an option. On the contrary, because you can easily paint on cedar, you can also easily decorate a cedar casket as you please.
You’ll find that many suppliers sell cedar caskets featuring paintings or other types of imagery that might make a person think of nature or the outdoors. This is often due to cedar’s naturally rustic quality.
However, with a little searching, you might also find artists willing to create a custom cedar casket that features specific images you want them to include. Just keep in mind that ordering a custom casket will usually involve paying more than you likely would for a casket that’s already been manufactured.
It’s also worth noting that the imagery a cedar casket includes can be religious. For example, a casket’s lid might feature a cross or Star of David. Keep that in mind if you want your loved one’s funeral to embody their religious beliefs and values.
7. Minimalist cedar caskets
For various reasons, ranging from cultural traditions to personal values, some people believe it’s not appropriate for a funeral to include excessive displays of wealth. For example, some want a funeral to focus solely on the deceased and feel elaborate caskets could draw attention away from them.
Consider a minimalist cedar casket if you feel this way. Many cedar caskets are essentially basic wooden boxes with no distinctive features. Such a casket might be exactly the type you’re looking for.
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Where Can You Buy a Cedar Casket?
It’s not difficult to find cedar caskets. Because this is a fairly common option for burial, most casket suppliers will offer it. The following are a few types of suppliers to consider purchasing one from.
Online or local specialty retailers
Many suppliers and retailers specialize in selling caskets and similar items. Some of them are local businesses primarily serving their regions, while others operate mainly online. Each has its pros and cons worth being aware of.
On the one hand, if you choose to buy a cedar casket from a local company, you may find it’s easier to confidently determine you’re buying one from a supplier you can trust. A local retailer who’s managed to stay in business for decades likely does right by their customers. Additionally, you may have friends or family members who can vouch for a particular supplier.
If you decide to buy a cedar casket online, you’ll have to conduct thorough research to ensure you’re purchasing from a reputable company. However, depending on the number of suppliers in your immediate area, searching for a casket online may give you the freedom to consider a wider range of options.
It’s also possible to buy a casket from a major brand or marketplace, such as Target, Alibaba, Amazon, Walmart, and numerous others. Unfortunately, most of the caskets offered by these retailers are made of steel or hardwood.
Still, this is an option worth keeping in mind if there aren’t many well-known suppliers in your area and you want to be confident you’re buying a casket from an established and trustworthy company.
Your chosen funeral home likely also sells caskets. If they offer one that suits your needs, budget, and preferences, you could save time by not having to search for an outside supplier. (Keep in mind that you're not required to buy a casket from the funeral home you're using for other services. The funeral home must accept a casket purchased elsewhere)
Cedar Casket Alternatives
If you don't find what you're looking for in a cedar casket, consider these alternatives.
- Pine casket. As mentioned above, cedar caskets and pine caskets can look similar. Pine caskets, though, are often simpler in design and less expensive than cedar caskets. They're often made of only natural materials, making them eco-friendly. We like this pine casket that you can buy on Amazon.
- Burial shroud. An even more simplistic and eco-friendly method of burial is using a burial shroud. A shroud is a simple fabric "cocoon" and an ancient form of burial. You can buy natural burial shrouds, like this one, online. You could even make one yourself out of cotton cloth.
- Hardwood caskets. If you like the look of a traditional cedar casket, you might also like caskets made of hardwood. These include mahogany and poplar, and they come in a range of styles and shades.
- Metal caskets. Steel caskets are even more common and popular than hardwood caskets. You can buy a steel casket in almost any color, and they're widely available. We like the "Reflection" series of caskets, which is available on Amazon.
Cedar Caskets: What You Need to Know
From how much a casket weighs to how much a casket costs, there are many factors you need to keep in mind when choosing a casket for a loved one’s burial.
One such factor is the casket’s material. Hopefully, this guide has helped you better determine if a cedar casket is an option you’d consider.