When you consider the costs of a funeral or cremation, you may want to explore all of your options in terms of burial details and expenses. One thing to think about is the type of headstones or markers that you want to memorialize the deceased with. There are more options than ever before, and funeral directors and planners will have more information regarding costs and availability.

Consider these options for your distinctive headstone or grave marker:


Granite has long-been a popular choice, providing a durable, resilient material that can be engraved or stenciled to personalize. This stone also is very heavy, which may prevent theft once the stone is in place.


Marble can make a beautiful marker or headstone, but you may want to consider where it will be first. The engraving or lettering on marble can discolor over time, particularly in regions prone to acid rain.


Concrete is becoming more widely used, due to the low cost and versatility of this material. Some individuals may even create their own concrete markers and headstones, to bring distinction and to save money. Concrete is porous and moisture can seep into the material, compromising it over the course of time.


Sandstone is an opaque material that was used for headstones back in the 17th and 18th centuries. This stone is relatively soft, which makes it easy to carve and engrave.


Wood headstones are re-emerging as a widely accepted option, and are presenting a cost-efficient option for buyers. These stones often are favored by environmentally-minded individuals that don't mind the fact that wood breaks down over time and could deteriorate into the earth.


The milky look of limestone makes for a unique marker or headstone, however it is not the best choice for areas that receive a lot of precipitation or that endure harsh weather.


Slate is a cool, elegant material that creates a stunning headstone. The smooth, black facade gives the marker a stately look. Slate is porous, however, and could deteriorate over time in damp climates or wet conditions.


Bronze is made of tin and copper, and these headstones have wide appeal and are considered sophisticated and elegant. White bronze used to be popular, but it requires some sort of internal support to keep it from sinking. White bronze is actually made from zinc and sand.

Stainless steel

Steel headstones are sleek and unique, though they may cost a little more than some of the alternatives. Stainless steel is naturally resilient toward the elements, though its beauty may make it the target of theft.

Talk with funeral directors and headstone experts regarding the availability of the type of grave site marker that you want. They may be able to provide names and information regarding local stone options and alternatives to traditional stone for these burial features.