When a loved one passes away there are always many decisions that need to be made. Those left behind are often overwhelmed with grief and find it difficult to think clearly about some of the finer details involved in arranging a funeral. This article discusses all the options available pertaining to casket dimensions including standard-sized coffins, extra-large coffins, and custom-built caskets. The casket size selected may also have an impact on what size casket vault will be required.
Standard Coffin Dimensions
Most adults will fit within a standard-sized coffin. The dimensions for a standard-sized casket are as follows:
- Width — 24 inches (two feet).
- Length — 79 inches(about 6.5 feet).
- Height — 23 inches (just under 2 feet).
These dimensions are more than adequate for most, since much of the population is no more than 5’10” (70 inches) in height and the average weight for humans is still less than 200 pounds. Even if the deceased is larger than either of these dimensions, they may still be able to fit within a standard-sized coffin. Standard coffins are designed to hold up to 350 pounds and funeral directors are often able to fit an adult as tall as 6’10” within a standard-sized coffin by bending the knees of the deceased.
What is a Vault?
Most cemeteries require that caskets be placed inside another container before burial. This container is also known as a burial vault. Depending upon the size of the casket that is selected, it may have an impact on the size that will be required for the burial vault. The following are the exterior dimensions of a standard-sized vault:
- Length — 90″ (7.5 feet).
- Width — 34″ (almost 3 feet).
It is possible to purchase a vault that will fit either a plus-sized casket or custom-sized coffin as well.
Plus-sized or extra-large coffins are available for those individuals who are either very tall and/or plus-sized in weight. The key point to consider when selecting a plus-sized coffin is whether it will still fit within a standard-sized vault.
Option 1 — Some coffin manufacturers offer extra-large coffins that are 28″ wide. Since they are still a standard size in length (79″), they will fit within a standard-sized vault.
Option 2 — It’s also possible to purchase a coffin that is 31″ in width. The lengths for these types of caskets are available to up to 85″. The main caveat to selecting this option is that a coffin that is at least 31″ in width will not fit inside a standard-sized vault.
Are Plus-Sized Caskets More Expensive?
It’s reasonable to assume that an extra-large casket is more expensive than a standard-sized casket; however, that is not necessarily the case. Over the years, the higher rate of obesity throughout the general population has led casket manufacturers to produce more plus-sized caskets than ever before. Many of them offer larger caskets that are no more expensive than a standard-sized coffin. For those who need budget-friendly options, it may be beneficial to compare the price of an extra-large casket to the cost associated with a standard-sized coffin.
Caskets can also be custom-made to fit a desired height, length, and/or width. Key points to consider when requesting a custom-sized casket is whether it will fit within a standard vault or if an extra-large or custom vault will also be required.
Another point to consider is whether the custom casket will fit within the deceased’s designated burial plot. According to the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, the standard burial plot size is 8 feet in length and 2.5 feet in width. If the deceased’s remaining loved ones decide to purchase a custom-sized casket and/or vault, to ensure a proper fit, they may need to contact the cemetery where their loved one will be buried.
Are Child-Sized Caskets Available?
Yes. Child-sized caskets are available in a variety of different sizes ranging from preemie, infant, toddler, to youth-sized caskets. Vaults and burial plots can be purchased to fit a child’s smaller casket as well.
The director of the funeral home you select to handle all the arrangements associated with the burial of your loved one is an invaluable resource when you have additional questions. You may also want to contact the cemetery where you plan to bury your loved one if you have additional questions about the burial site or a graveside service. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you and your family are most in need of comfort and assistance.