Choices to Make When Buying a Casket

Planning a funeral is one of the most difficult tasks you can do. To make the process easier, here’s a list of things to consider when buying a casket.

Consider Your Budget

Caskets can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on what materials you choose. To avoid overspending, shop in advance to get an idea of what you’d like to spend before making a purchase. Many funeral directors are required to show you a price list before you start looking at potential caskets, to prevent you from looking outside your price range.

Think of the Deceased

What would the deceased want to be buried in? Consider that when shopping for caskets, especially if they left you specific instructions with their wishes. However, if nothing was left, think about who that person was and what they liked and disliked aesthetically in order to narrow down your choices. If you’re shopping for yourself, think about how you want to be memorialized in your final resting place.

Bring Company

While the funeral home staff will have your best interests in mind during this difficult time, they’re also salespeople. Have a friend or family member accompany you when picking out a casket, as they will be your voice of reason and help you stay on track. Having company also encourages you to speak more freely and request more information on lower-priced casket models.

Don’t Rush

Picking a casket for someone close to you is hard enough to deal with. Don’t make it harder on yourself by jumping in full force, expecting to find something right away. Take your time, whether that means shopping around or just taking a few deep breaths to recentre yourself.

Ask Questions

If a funeral home director or employee makes you feel uncomfortable when asking questions, then walk away. No reputable dealer will pressure you into making a purchase or withhold accurate information and pricing. You as the customer have rights, and there are regulations in place to protect you from such situations.

The Casket Itself

This is the main component behind the differences in pricing between caskets. A simple pine wood box will cost far less than an elaborately detailed bronze casket with velvet lining. Wood and metal are the most common casket materials, specifically harder woods and bronze (most expensive), and pine, poplar, copper and stainless steel (least expensive). Fibreglass and plastic caskets are also becoming more widely available as affordable alternatives.

The metals used are more durable the wood, and won’t rust. However, bronze and copper options tend to oxidize over time. Your choice of lining will also affect the price, as velvet, satin, crepe, velour, linen and more are available at different price points. Ruffled, tufted or tailored, the number of options for customizing a casket seems endless.

There are even various choices regarding the casket’s lid. Half couch, which refers to a two-piece lid that’s split down the middle for viewing purposes, and full couch, where the lid is one solid piece. Hidden compartments are also available in the lid of some caskets, so you can bury personal items to accompany the deceased.


The width of a casket can be more concerning to some customers than the length. A standard casket is around seven feet long, two feet wide and two feet tall. Be sure to ask for specific measurements if the deceased is larger than average.

At Amherst Funeral Home, our mission is to provide you with a simple and comprehensive burial service package. We give you up-front pricing without any hidden fees and no hassle. Located in Vancouver, BC and 2017’s winner of the best funeral home in Vancouver award, call or visit our website to pick the best service to honour your loved one.