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Wooden casket with spray of white flowers on top

While you may have known that caskets come in different colors and are made from many kinds of materials, did you know that there are also oversized caskets available? In this quick guide, we’ll discuss what oversized caskets are, why you might need one, and other basic questions about their use.

Let’s get started!

 What is an oversized casket?

As the name implies, an oversized casket is one that’s larger than the standard size. A standard casket measures 84” long, 28” wide, and 23” high. However, oversized caskets typically range in width from 29 inches to 44 inches, depending on the need. If an even larger or longer casket is needed, a custom casket can be ordered.

Man in black suit holding white rose as he stands next to casket

Why would you need an oversized casket?

There are two main reasons why an oversized casket might be needed: a person’s weight or height.

Depending on the casket, most standard caskets can only support a weight of up to around 350 pounds. If the person weighs more than their chosen casket can support, then an oversized version of that casket may be needed.

In the same way, if a person is more than 7 feet tall, an oversized casket would better fit the needs of the individual. In some cases, a tall person’s legs may be bent at the knee enough to allow them to fit in a standard casket, but there are times when an oversized casket is the better option.

Your funeral director can help you determine whether an oversized casket is needed based on the deceased’s weight and/or height.

Procession as pallbearers carry casket into church for funeral service

How do they determine if an oversized casket is needed?

Most often, the deceased’s weight, height, and width are measured. To determine width, the body is measured from elbow to elbow.

Are oversized caskets easily accessible?

Absolutely. The funeral home will likely have oversized caskets available to choose from, or they can order a specific one, if you prefer. Roughly 10% of the population require an oversized casket, so they are readily available.

Do oversized caskets cost more?

Short answer, yes, but it’s based on the type of material you choose. An oversized casket made of mahogany is going to cost more than an oversized casket made of pine or willow. Generally speaking, an oversized casket isn’t going to cost much more than a standard casket, but you can keep costs down by choosing a lower cost material. For more information about casket materials, click here.

Aerial view of a casket with flower sprays set up around it

Will an oversized casket fit in a standard grave liner or burial vault?

Most cemeteries require the use of a grave liner or burial vault. Encasing a casket in a grave liner or burial vault prevents the ground around the grave from shifting as the casket decays. This is how cemeteries prevent uneven ground and keep maintenance costs down.

Standard burial vaults have a width of around 30 inches, so a small uptick in the casket size won’t affect the burial vault. However, if an even greater width is needed, then a larger burial vault or grave liner will add a little extra to the total cost.

Do oversized caskets come in all materials?

If you find a casket you like in standard size, it’s likely that the same casket is available in oversize. You can find oversize caskets in all the standard wood options (mahogany, walnut, cherry, oak, birch, maple, pine, willow, etc.) as well in steel, copper, and bronze. If you prefer green burial, there are oversize options available in bamboo, willow, seagrass, and even cardboard.

Woman wearing black dress stands next to open casket as she places red rose inside

Where can you purchase an oversized casket?

Your local funeral home will have oversized caskets available in their inventory, so they will be the easiest and most convenient option for you. If they don’t have what you want on site, they can put in an order specifically for your needs. Alternatively, you can purchase an oversized casket online. However, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the funeral home has access to the casket.

If you have additional questions about oversized caskets, contact a trusted local funeral home. They will ensure that your every question is answered to your satisfaction.

And if you’d like more information about caskets, check out these resources:

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