If you are planning your a loved one's funeral and have decided on a burial and casket rather than cremation, you may be wondering what the differences are in the various types of caskets that are available. Caskets break down basically into what type of material they are made from, namely metal or wood. Here is a basic primer on caskets to help you make the right decision for you.

Metal Caskets

A metal casket can be manufactured from standard steel, stainless steel, bronze, copper, or even silver and gold. Bronze and copper are popular as they don't rust like other metals eventually will. For this reason, these are popular materials to work with, just as sculptors have recognized for centuries when crafting monuments.

Stainless steel caskets, while not rust-proof, are rust-resistant. Stainless steel is often used to fabricate cookware or quality watches. It is strong, durable, and it has a good mid-line price point. Standard steel caskets are also strong and durable; however, they are not quite as resistant to corrosion as stainless steel or other metals.

One of the biggest differences between metal and wood caskets is the seal. Metal caskets are usually fitted with an interior gasket. The gasket goes around the perimeter of the casket, and when the lid is closed and all is said and done, a key is inserted into the end and turned to complete the seal. This secure closure prevents water and other natural elements from entering the casket. Natural decomposition still occurs; it just occurs protected from outside forces.

Wooden Caskets

Caskets made from wood are the traditional choice. Just as fine furniture offers different choices of wood and finishes, so do casket makers. Customers can choose from beautiful and elegant hardwoods like cherry, walnut, and mahogany, which has a gorgeous grain and finish. Oak and maple are other beautiful options, both with a lovely grain and light-colored finish. They are all hardwoods, so while they will eventually naturally decompose unlike metal, it will be many, many decades before composing inside of the concrete vault which it will be placed. Pine, poplar, and veneer caskets are other economical options.

Casket Interiors

The lining in a casket is very similar to fine bed linens. You can choose from chiffon to velvet to crepe or any other number of exquisite fabrics, and a variety of patterns, thickness, color, and accents are all available.