What’s An Oversized Casket? 6 Types Explained

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When it comes to caskets, many are surprised to learn that they come in many shapes and sizes. An oversized casket isn’t something you always hear about, but it’s sometimes necessary, depending on the situation. 

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As the name implies, an oversized casket is one that’s larger than the norm. It has extra space, typically intended to hold a larger individual. Larger caskets can also be more secure, and this allows a lot of peace of mind for the family. 

If you’re looking into different types of caskets, it’s important to be familiar with your different options. While your funeral home can assist with this process in-person, this guide will explain what an oversized casket is and the different types you’ll encounter. 

Oversized Caskets Explained

As the name implies, an “oversized casket” is any casket that’s beyond the standard sizes. The majority of adults fit in a standard casket without issue. However, there are times when an oversized one is needed to make sure the individual fits the casket securely. 

There are two instances where someone will need an oversized casket. The first is if they’re incredibly tall. People up to 6’10” can fit in a traditional casket, but anyone over this height will need an oversized one. Additionally, if the individual weighs over 350 lbs, they’ll need an oversized casket. 

Luckily, oversized caskets are accessible and just as well designed as their standard counterparts. You’ll find the same materials, variety, and designs, though the price point might be a little bit higher.  

How much do oversized caskets usually cost?

The price of the oversized casket will depend primarily on the material. This is true for all caskets, not just oversized ones. The material affects how much a casket weighs and impacts the price since more material is used.

The cost of an oversized casket is typically between $1,000 - $2,000 depending on the material and any extras. In some places, there are special rates to bring down the cost of these oversized caskets. They can be an affordable choice, especially if you’re not picky about the specific material or design. 

What sizes do they usually come in?

Many people are surprised to learn that oversized caskets aren’t necessarily all that much bigger than traditional caskets. A regular, standard casket is under 84 inches in length and 28 inches in height. Anything over this is considered oversized, but that doesn’t mean the size is very noticeably different at first glance. 

An estimated 10% of the population won’t fit into a regular-sized casket, making these unique sizes a necessity. However, it’s important to note that these caskets will only hold individuals up to 550 pounds. For those over this size, an alternative solution is a better choice. Again, this is something you could discuss with your funeral home when purchasing a casket. 

Are oversized caskets only for larger people?

Oversized caskets are generally only for larger people, but exceptions exist. For instance, many people use oversized caskets if they happen to be lower cost than traditional, standard-sized caskets. Because sometimes funeral homes have a difficult time selling these oversized options, they often offer deals. 

Many people buy oversized caskets at a reduced cost and then will layer the cushion to ensure their loved one fits perfectly inside. On the other hand, it is sometimes possible for morticians to arrange the larger body in such a way to fit standard sized caskets. When shopping for a casket, there is more flexibility nowadays than ever before. 

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6 Different Types of Oversized Caskets

When choosing a casket, whether it’s oversized or standard size, you want to make sure you know what to expect. Caskets come in all shapes and sizes, but you’ll want to ensure you’re choosing the right material to suit your needs. 

1. Steel oversized caskets

The first type of oversized casket that’s the most common is steel caskets. These are very durable, yet they’re less expensive than other types of metals. These are the ones you encounter most often, and most oversized caskets are made of this material. 

Even amongst steel caskets, there is some flexibility in the price. It depends on the gauge steel or thickness of the metal. As you might expect, thicker steel is more secure and more expensive. 

2. Bronze or copper oversized caskets

Another metal option that’s more pricey is to choose a bronze or copper oversized casket. These aren’t as easy to find, and they might need to be purchased at an online specialty store to find the right fit. 

Bronze and copper are the highest quality metals available. They’re rust-resistant, and they’re built to last a long time. While this comes at an extra cost, many families think it’s worth the peace of mind. 

3. Wooden oversized caskets

A wooden casket, as the name implies, is made of any solid hardwood or furniture-grade wood veneer. These are typically from oak, maple, poplar, pine, walnut, etc. 

Hardwood is more expensive than softwood, but it’s the classic look that draws many to wooden caskets. With many finishes available, these are a gorgeous reminder of the return of the body to the earth. Because they’re so customizable and made of a natural material, they’re often the most affordable. 

4. Cremation casket

Cremation is increasingly popular amongst people today. For those who are planning on cremating the body, it’s common for a cremation casket to be used. These are made out of wood and other natural materials, and they go into the crematorium with the deceased. 

Cremation caskets come in all shapes and sizes, including oversized. Because they’re made of less expensive materials and only intended to be temporary, these are incredibly affordable. 

5. DIY oversized caskets

If buying a casket doesn’t feel like the right choice, you can also make your own oversized casket for yourself or a loved one. There are DIY kits sold online, but you can also just create one by following your own judgment. 

Any container that holds the body is technically a casket. Many people find a lot of peace in constructing these DIY caskets for loved ones, and there are a lot of ways to make this a personalized tribute. 

6. Green oversized caskets

By “green,” we don’t mean the color of the casket itself. This is a term that refers to any type of casket that’s biodegradable and eco-friendly. Green caskets are increasingly used for green burials, and they take a lot of alternative shapes and forms. 

These caskets are made of renewable or recyclable materials. They’re typically from bamboo, cotton, willow, and cardboard. There are no chemicals or veneers used for these since they’re intended to biodegrade over time. Because these are made of natural, inexpensive materials, it’s easy to find oversized green caskets. 

What to Consider When Choosing a Casket

When working out how to plan a funeral, you’ll need to determine the budget, how you plan to dispose of the body, and so much more. It’s a highly personal process, and emotions are likely already running high. If you’re in the market for a casket, keep some of these things in mind:

  • Budget: How much can you afford to spend on the casket? This is the first concern, and it’s likely to guide the full search. 
  • Burial type: Additionally, what type of burial did your loved one want? Will they be enabled and need a secure, sealed casket? Or would they prefer something eco-friendly?
  • Size: What size casket does your loved one need? Talk to the funeral home about your options. 
  • Environment: Some environments are harsher than others. If the casket is likely to be exposed to harsh weather or flooding, you’ll want something more secure and durable. 
  • Preference: Lastly (and most importantly), did your loved one have any specific wishes about how they’d like to be buried?

Always keep in mind that funerals and even caskets are for the living. Your loved one won’t have any awareness about the type of casket they’re in, so avoid overthinking this process. As long as you have something practical within your budget, you’re honoring their legacy. 

Find the Perfect Casket

Like the family Goldilock story, there is such a thing as a casket that’s too big or too small. Some adults need oversized caskets because they’re not built one-size-fits-all. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be a complicated process. There are more options than ever before, and it’s easy to find an oversized casket that doesn’t compromise on style or durability. 

What does the perfect casket look like to you? Once you’re familiar with the different types available, you’ll quickly realize it’s not a difficult choice to make. This is a decision that falls on your shoulders, but it doesn’t have to weigh you down. 


Sources

  1. St. John, Warren. “On the FInal Journey, One Size Does Not Fit All.” The New York Times. 28 Sept. 2003. NYTimes.com

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