Burial Options For The Morbidly Obese

Considering 2 in 3 American adults struggle with obesity or morbid obesity, it may be quite surprising to see how little the discussion of options in death for them are discussed.  The reality is that for some people, traditional caskets, transportation and even crematoriums simply cannot accommodate their needs.  This can be very distressing for people in this situation, as well as their loved ones, who fear that their body will be treated poorly or have nowhere to go.  

The good news is, there are options.  So what are they? And which option is right for you?


While too often the butt of a bad joke, there are times when someone who is larger or taller will require a larger casket.   Fortunately, there are funeral homes that offer a variety of more spacious options, including:

  • Enlarged caskets, made specifically for such a purpose
  • Customization of a standard sized casket, where the maker can create more space by making the walls thinner.  This can be very beneficial if it’s a viable option as it means the body can be placed in a standard sized casket, which can be placed in a standard sized vault, and a standard sized burial plot, which can save money and stress.

Burial Plots

A standard burial plot will not typically be able to accommodate a larger casket.  This means it’s important to ensure that the cemetery will be willing and able to offer a larger plot, as not all cemeteries can or will due to planning or space limitations.  If you need more room, it may be beneficial to acquire a plot in a more spacious, spread out area, where a burial plot can have more space to spread out, otherwise, you may be required to buy additional plots.  


A vault is the traditional “outer shell”, typically made of steel or concrete, that a casket is placed in before burial.  Vaults, like everything else aforementioned, are typically a standard size, and unfortunately due to the materials they are made of, customization of a pre-made vault is basically impossible.  So if you require a larger casket, you may also require a larger vault. 


When considering cremation for an obese or mobidly obese individual, it’s worth noting that the process requires more heat for a longer amount of time.  Standard chamber doors may not be able to allow a morbidly obese body through, and a wider-framed retorts (cremation machines) may be required.   Be sure to make sure the crematorium you use has this type of machine however, because not all crematoriums do.   

While it may not be a very comfortable topic to discuss, if you have concerns around weight when it comes to you or your loved ones and what to do after passing, it’s important to have that conversation and make the right preparations to ensure all arrangements are safe, dignified, and taken care of.  If you are having trouble figuring out where to start, you can speak to a friendly, knowledgeable expert who can guide you every step of the way, absolutely free.   

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