When you want to celebrate the life of someone you loved, planning for his or her funeral is an important process. Along with details regarding speakers, songs, and where you hold the memorial, one of the most important decisions is the casket you choose.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Is a Luxury Casket?
- What Are the Different Types of Luxury Caskets?
- Where do People Buy Luxury Caskets?
Caskets are the final resting place for your loved one. Many people believe the casket should be beautiful and carry on the legacy or status of their loved one. Some families want a casket that their loved one would be proud to rest in. Others decide on a casket by choosing an option related to a theme or object their loved one enjoyed during their life.
No matter which type of casket you choose, it’s always a very personal decision and one that families sometimes struggle to make. Thankfully, you can find numerous caskets for all styles and personalities, including fine luxury caskets.
What Is a Luxury Casket?
Caskets come in a wide variety of styles, materials, and appearances — you can find many types of caskets, including luxury caskets.
Luxury caskets are in a category all their own, as are biodegradable caskets and military caskets. When searching for a luxury casket, online and brick-and-mortar storefronts often have a section dedicated specifically to caskets in this category.
What makes a luxury casket luxury? They are often made of higher-end casket materials and have numerous customization options such as embroidery work, plush bedding, embossing, and inlay work.
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What Are the Different Types of Luxury Caskets?
Whether you want wood, metal, or another type of body, luxury casket makers work hard to provide you with as many options and choices as possible.
1. Solid oak wood casket
Oak is a prized wood for its durability, strength, and warm honey color. Home furnishings, doors, and housing structures have long been made from this sturdy wood, as well as caskets. You can get solid oak caskets finished with a matte or high-gloss finish for a stately open casket. As with many luxury caskets, you can choose numerous customization options for the outside handle finish, inside lining, and other special features. Since oak is a more plentiful wood than other options, this is a more affordable option in the luxury category.
Solid oak caskets cost around $7,000 at funeral homes and around $2,000 at online retailers.
2. Solid cherry wood casket
Any time you have a casket made entirely of solid wood instead of wood veneer, the luxury look and feel increases. This is certainly true for the red hue of cherry wood. Though less pricey than other luxury woods, cherry is a solid contender in the luxury category. These caskets typically have customized interior velvet, handle finishes, with embroidery on the headboard.
Solid cherry wood caskets have a starting price of around $8,500 at funeral homes and $2,500 at most online retailers.
3. Solid mahogany wood casket
Mahogany is prized for its rich grain and deep color. A solid mahogany wood casket is constructed entirely of wood and finished with a high sheen gloss. The rich color is accented with your custom choice of handles, velvet plush interior, a full couch, and embroidery work.
These caskets range in price starting from $12,000 at funeral homes or around $3,000 at online retailers.
4. Handmade wood casket
For a true one-of-a-kind casket, opt for handmade wood caskets. Though often simple in design, they are made of solid wood and appear elegant in style and artistry. You can commission handmade caskets from local woodworkers, monasteries, and the Amish. Plan ahead if you plan to order one of these, as each casket can take weeks to complete.
The prices for handmade caskets widely vary depending on the maker, but you should expect to budget at least $4,000 plus shipping. If the casket maker is local, you might be able to avoid shipping fees by agreeing to transport the casket to the funeral home yourself.
5. Solid bronze casket
As with wood caskets, one of the differences between a luxury casket and a regular casket is the type, quality, and degree of metal used in construction. Solid bronze caskets fit squarely in the luxury casket category whereas bronze-finished stainless steel caskets are not.
Most caskets made of solid bronze most often are constructed with 32-ounce bronze. This means there are 32 ounces of bronze per square foot of metal. For an increase in quality, you can choose a 48-ounce bronze casket instead.
Solid bronze caskets start at around $4,000 at online retailers and $10,000 at funeral homes.
6. Solid copper casket
Similar to solid bronze caskets, solid copper caskets are made entirely of copper. The standard construction is made from 32-ounce copper, meaning there are 32 ounces of copper per foot of casket construction.
Solid copper caskets offer a unique look and feel that is accented by the best in luxury velvet lining, embroidery work, and handle choices.
These caskets are priced starting around $4,000 at online retailers and over $10,000 in funeral homes.
7. Luxury steel caskets
Though not often thought of as a luxury metal, steel caskets can certainly qualify. Most steel caskets are made of 20- or 18-gauge stainless. Luxury coffins, however, are made of 16-gauge steel — the thickest option for casket making available. Whereas 20- and some 18-gauge steel caskets won’t provide a good seal, 16-gauge steel caskets are made to seal and are all customizable with a variety of options including luxury velvet interiors, handles of choice, casket color, and embroidery work on the headpiece.
Steel caskets made of 16-gauge metal start around $3,000 at online retailers and double or more at funeral homes.
Where Do People Buy Luxury Caskets?
Casket prices often take up to a third or more of funeral costs. The highest-end luxury caskets can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 if you purchase them directly from a funeral home. However, it’s possible to find an affordable casket with luxury quality by shopping around and comparing prices.
You are not required to buy a casket from the funeral home. This federal law makes it possible to shop around for the best prices to find what you want while remaining within budget. Here are several places you can find luxury caskets.
Most funeral homes sell caskets in addition to other funeral services. As mentioned, however, this is one location where you won’t have many options when it comes to price comparison.
Funeral homes sell their caskets priced well above retail price, so you won’t get the best price and you can almost always find the same casket elsewhere for less. If you’re in a hurry, however, funeral homes have a decent selection to choose from and a number of high-end luxury caskets onsite and available.
The other benefit from purchasing from the funeral home is that they often have caskets in stock and on site so you can avoid time delays and expenses due to shipping.
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If you like the idea of going into a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront, speaking with a salesman, looking at various options, and choosing a casket, then you’ll want to visit a casket company. Though not as plentiful as they once were, you can still find casket companies that sell direct to customers and keep a showroom to display the caskets they offer.
While not as pricey as purchasing from a funeral home, casket companies will still be more expensive than purchasing caskets through less traditional means. If, however, supporting locally owned businesses is important to you or the deceased, this is an excellent choice.
Pro tip: Some companies will charge to deliver to the funeral home. Factor any delivery fees into your total price when purchasing from a casket company.
Online casket companies
Many casket sellers have switched from brick-and-mortar storefronts to online casket stores. By reducing their overhead and stock, they can sell directly to customers and forward savings to their customers. Buying online is an excellent option if you’re comfortable with purchasing sight unseen.
If you choose to purchase this way, be sure to check third-party reviews from independent review sites such as Google, Trust Pilot, and Yelp. If a company only has reviews on its own site, keep looking. Finding a reputable online company is critical to ensure you’ll get a good product instead of taken for a scam.
Pro tip: Some companies include shipping to the funeral home in their prices while others add shipping costs on at the end.
Online multi-retail sites
Online multi-retail storefronts like Amazon and eBay offer luxury casket options from dozens of retailers at the same time. Both of these sites make price comparison easy. These sites also have fairly reliable customer feedback so you can order with confidence. Some retailers offer free shipping to the funeral home which further reduces the price for a luxury casket.
The downside to shopping at these sites is that you may not be able to customize the casket with items like custom embroidery or inlay work. They are beneficial if you need a luxury casket quickly, however, as most have the item available to ship out on a moment’s notice.
Big box stores
It might come as a surprise, but stores like Costco sell luxury goods ranging from certified diamond and platinum wedding ring sets to luxury caskets.
Because they sell in bulk and direct to customers, they pass their savings on to you, resulting in a luxury casket at affordable prices.
Alternatives to Luxury Caskets
If you know you want luxury for your own or a loved one's final resting place, but you're not positive you want to be buried in a casket, consider these other options:
- Luxury urns. If you choose cremation over burial, you might be interested in a high-end urn. This may mean urns made out of solid wood, such as this oak urn, or a fully custom-built urn from a company like Foreverence.
- Cremation diamonds. Another luxury option for cremated remains is a cremation diamond. Eterneva takes a small amount of cremated remains and transforms them into a real diamond.
- Natural burial. Everyone's idea of luxury is different. If yours involves returning to nature and becoming a part of the lush scenery, you might consider natural burial. You can use a casket made out of biodegradable materials, like wicker, or even a simple burial shroud.
- Green ash burial. If you like the concept of natural burial but are considering cremation, you might be interested in a Living Urn. This unique option helps your remains return to the Earth in a helpful and meaningful way.
Laid to Rest in Style
A casket provides one final opportunity to view the deceased by family and friends prior to burial. It’s also the last place a person will lay in repose before being laid to rest. As such, a casket should reflect the deceased individual’s personality and style and pay tribute to your loved one’s time on earth. Choosing a luxury casket is one way to honor your loved one before saying your final goodbyes.
- “Fine Wood Caskets.” Luxury Caskets, Divine Caskets, 2020. divinecaskets.com/Wood-Caskets-s/1818.htm
- “Luxury Metal Caskets.” Metal Caskets, Collier’s Affordable Caskets, 2020. colliercasket.com/metal-caskets/luxury-metal-caskets/
- “16-Gauge Steel and Stainless Steel Caskets.” Steel Caskets, Peninsular Caskets, 2020. peninsularcasket.com/stainless_steel.htm
- “Handmade Caskets.” Traditional Caskets. Abbey Caskets, 2020. abbeycaskets.com/product-category/traditional-caskets/