Casket Sizes: How To Pick the Right Size for Your Loved One

Planning a funeral is a challenge in itself, and grief can make it seem impossible. One of the toughest decisions mourners have to make is picking the right casket for their loved ones. Caskets come in different sizes, each meant to fit a specific body type and mourners’ preferences.

Here are some tips for picking the right size casket for your loved one: 

  1. Consider your loved one’s height. 
  2. Account for their weight as well. 
  3. Get advice from the funeral director. 
  4. Too large is better than too small.
  5. Half-couch caskets can help. 

Let’s break down each of these tips and help you find the right size casket for your loved one. 

1. Consider Your Loved One’s Height

The standard casket is 79 inches (200 cm) long. Since 72 inches is equivalent to six feet (1.82 m), this means that caskets can handle people who are about 6’7” (200 cm). However, this is not a final number since the funeral director can help taller people fit inside. We’ll talk more about how they can achieve this later. 

If your loved one is 6’5” (195.6 cm) or close to that height, their height will allow them to fit in a standard casket. If your loved one is 6’10” (208 cm) or taller, an oversized casket will be more ideal. This will ensure that there is enough room in the casket without positioning them awkwardly, which is especially important in an open-casket funeral service. 

Oversized caskets can go up to 90 inches (228.6 cm) long if needed. In terms of height, an oversized casket is 7’6” (228.6 cm). So, whether your loved one was very tall or just on the line of a standard casket, an oversized casket will be able to support their height. 

2. Account for Their Weight as Well

Weight is another factor that you should consider when choosing the right size casket. Many estimate that standard caskets can hold a person that weighs up to about 350 pounds (159 kg), but this is not a definite number. Rather than only focusing on the actual weight of your loved one, consider the width of the deceased. 

A standard casket is 24 inches (61 cm) wide. If you think your loved one may not fit properly in a standard casket because of the width, consider an oversized casket. Even if your loved one is close to the estimated weight cut-off, you still may want to consider one just to be safe. 

Close up of the wooden casket displayed in a casket store.

After considering the width, it is important to consider the weight limit of the casket. Weight limits of a casket may not seem like a big deal, but they are vital in ensuring the funeral home can transport your loved one safely. 

Using a casket made for a lower weight than your loved one can risk the casket falling apart when transporting the body to and from the funeral service. If that happens and deals any damage to the casket, the funeral home and cemetery will not cover any expenses to fix it unless it is their fault. So, make sure your loved one falls within the casket weight limit. 

3. Get Advice From the Funeral Director

While the tips covered in this post can help you narrow down a size, the best source for casket sizing help is the funeral director. They have plenty of experience dealing with caskets and will be able to tell you what your loved one needs. 

The funeral director will be able to recommend the right size casket after seeing your loved one’s body and receiving their measurements. They have plenty of experience with fitting bodies into caskets and determining which size is the right one. So, don’t be afraid to ask them what size they think is right. 

If the funeral director recommends an oversized casket, please be understanding. It’s easy to get offended by that recommendation especially when you’re grieving, but getting an oversized casket for your loved one is not an insult. So do your best to listen and be understanding of the recommendations of the funeral director. 

If you are hesitant to buy an oversized casket that the funeral director recommends, remember that this can be because of the height or weight of the deceased. It can also be because the funeral director wants to ensure that your loved one has plenty of room. So, talk to the funeral director about the best casket size and see what they recommend. 

4. Too Large Is Better Than Too Small

While getting an oversized casket may feel unnecessary, it can be beneficial to you and your loved one. Let’s talk about why. 

An oversized casket can give your loved one plenty of space in their casket. While this may not be important to everyone, some people want to make sure that their loved one is able to rest in a comfortable space. Even when it seems unnecessary to everyone else, giving your loved one extra room can give you a sense of peace in a time of loss. 

Another way that an oversized casket can be beneficial is because it saves you from buying another casket in the future. If you order a casket and your loved one doesn’t fit inside, you will need to order a different size. This means that you will be spending even more money on the funeral.

Depending on material, size, and specifications, the average casket will cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. Unfortunately, there are many conditions to returning a casket, and you may not be able to get your money back for a casket that is not the correct size. Most companies require notice of a refund within 48 hours of receiving the casket. 

So, a refund may not be an option if you need an oversized casket for your loved one. This means you might end up spending double the time and money to acquire a casket, which isn’t ideal to say the least. To avoid all the hassle, consider ordering an oversized casket in the first place if you suspect that your loved one may have trouble fitting in a standard casket. 

5. Half-Couch Caskets Can Help

Half-couch casket setups can help you find the right casket size. There are many ways that the funeral director can help your loved one fit in a standard casket even if it’s a little too small. 

Let’s talk about what they are and how they can help. 

A half-couch casket is a casket with a lid featuring two parts. These two parts allow half the casket lid to be open, revealing the upper half of the body only. This design is highly beneficial for taller individuals who may need some extra legroom in the casket. 

Funeral directors place the body in the casket and arrange them properly for open-casket funeral services. So, if your loved one is a little too tall for the casket, the funeral director can use the half-couch casket to their advantage. They can arrange the body to allow them to fit in the casket properly. This is usually done by slightly bending their knees. 

It is important to note that the law prohibits funeral directors from destroying or desecrating human remains. So, while the funeral director may slightly bend the knees of the deceased to help them fit properly, they will not make uncomfortable, permanent adjustments to the body of your loved one unless they want to face criminal charges. 

Casket Sizes: Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s talk more about casket sizes and answer some questions you may have about choosing the right size for your loved one. 

Can You Rent an Oversized Casket?

You can rent standard and oversized caskets of many different varieties. Renting a casket helps save money and allows other families to use the casket for their loved ones as well. 

While renting a casket may seem strange, it is a great option to save money. The process is quite careful and sanitary: 

  1. The funeral director will place the deceased in a wooden box. 
  2. From there, they will place the wooden box inside of a hollowed-out casket. 

So, the body never touches the casket itself, just the wooden box, which is replaceable. 

There are laws in place to help rental caskets remain sanitary: 

  • Manufacturers must design rental caskets for that purpose. So, they must have a removable interior which is the part that funeral directors replace after each use. 
  • Funeral homes must dispose of stained or contaminated rental caskets. Funeral homes are not able to use these caskets again for rental purposes. 
  • The deceased’s family must receive written notice that the casket is a rental. The written notice must specify that another family may have already used the casket, and they will give it to other families afterward. 

As long as the casket meets the above criteria, the funeral home will allow you to rent one.

Renting a casket only costs $750 to $1,500 on average, which is way cheaper than the average casket purchase price we discussed earlier. So if the budget is tight, choosing this option may come in handy, whether you’re renting a standard oversized casket.

Will an Oversized Casket Fit in a Burial Vault?

An oversized casket will fit inside of a burial vault. Vaults are made large enough to account for the extra size of an oversized casket, but not every single casket will fit. For example, doubly oversized caskets will not fit in a traditional burial vault. 

The average oversized casket measures 28 inches wide and 83 inches long (71 cm wide and 210.8 cm long) , and it can fit in a standard burial vault. Most funeral companies are implementing different ideas when it comes to caskets because of the growing rate of obesity. As such, oversized caskets and large burial vaults are becoming a lot more normal and popular. 

That’s why it is no surprise that most oversized caskets will fit in a standard burial vault. If a casket does not fit inside a burial vault, most people don’t purchase a vault. Instead, they special-order one that fits. Burial vault companies are well aware of this, and have to be smart about the sizes available to consumers. 

It is important to keep in mind that not all oversized caskets will fit in a burial vault. If your loved one requires a double oversized casket, you may need to special order a burial vault as it won’t fit in a traditional vault. 

If the casket requires a larger burial vault, then it may also require a larger grave space. So, keep this in mind if you are looking to purchase a large burial vault. Always stay in touch with the funeral director and the cemetery staff to ensure that anything you purchase is able to fit properly and does not require extra space or fees. 

Are Oversized Caskets More Expensive Than Standard Caskets?

Oversized caskets tend to be more expensive than standard caskets because they require more materials to make. Some companies may offer oversized caskets at a discount price because customers purchase them less often than standard caskets. 

When purchasing an oversized casket, you can expect to pay more simply because they require more materials to make. This is common with larger items compared to their smaller counterparts. So, it is rare to see an oversized casket that doesn’t cost more than a comparable standard casket. 

The only time this may not be true is if an oversized casket is available for a discounted price. While oversized caskets are gaining popularity, they are not quite as popular as standard caskets. So, some companies offer them at a discount to encourage customers to purchase them because families purchase them less frequently. 

This is why it is best to shop around for the best deal when it comes to purchasing a casket. Some retailers can offer you the same or similar caskets at a discounted rate. So, don’t be afraid to shop around for the right size, material, and color of the casket you want. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right size casket is difficult but vital in the funeral planning process. By following our tips, you can ensure that the casket you choose is the right size. And purchasing the right size casket can save you time and money in the future. 

Follow our tips here, but don’t be afraid to consult with the funeral director as well. They have plenty of experience with fitting a body in a casket and will be able to help. 


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Alex Noel

Hi there! I'm Alex Noel and live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I started this website to share my experience. My goal is to provide Americans a more fulfilling goodbye.

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