All You Need To Know About Choosing A Funeral Headstone Or Monument

Funeral directors provide a range of services and products for bereaved families, and one which does need considerable thought by those purchasing it is the headstone or monument that will be placed at the grave of the departed. We are writing this with advice from funeral directors at, not just for those who have lost a loved one but also those who plan to have every aspect of your funeral pre-arranged and possibly paid for.

We do so due to the increasing number of people who wish to have peace of mind, not just for themselves, but more especially for their family, so that, when they pass, their loved ones do not have the added stress of making decisions, including the location, invitations, and of course, the headstone or monument.

Terminology – Headstone vs. Monument

One of the first things people become confused with is the terminology, and they often think that a headstone is the same as a monument. What confuses them further is that other terms are used to describe headstones, such as tombstones and gravestones.

For this article, we will continue to use ‘headstone’ and explain that its definition is a marker placed at the head of or over a grave, and in most instances, they and any base they sit on are made of stone.

It could be argued that a headstone is a form of monument to the deceased, and that is essentially true; however, when funeral directors refer to monuments, they usually mean a complete memorial which can consist of a headstone but which also has other parts to it such as a stone boundary or kerb around the grave and a full cover for the grave too which can be stone, stone chips, or a garden bed. As for choosing, here are the main factors to consider.

Cemetery Regulations

The first matter to consider is what requirements the cemetery has. There may be rules about the size, style, or material a headstone or monument can have, so check these before you pay for one and then discover it does not meet the allowed criteria.

Religious/Personal Beliefs

This is also important, especially if the deceased had strong religious beliefs. For example, those of the Christian faith, especially Roman Catholics, might desire a cross, whereas those of other religions will have alternative symbols.


Here is where the most choices are, but the most difficulties can occur, given the many options. In truth, if allowed by the cemetery, you could have any shape or colour of headstone or monument, albeit you would have to respect the nearby graves. Figures include flat, curved, upright, angels, and hearts, to name a few, and the colours can vary greatly, too, although black, grey, and white are the most common.


Another choice to be made, although thankfully, there are not quite as many here compared to style. Most headstones and monuments are made from stone, such as limestone, sandstone, granite, and marble, each with specific pros and cons. We advise you to discuss this with your funeral directors, who can advise you of their qualities and benefits.


What each family can afford will vary significantly, so there is little point in us giving you specific amounts, not least because the choice of headstones and monuments differs significantly, too.

A couple of pointers are that a headstone will usually cost less than a monument, and apart from the size being a significant factor in determining the price, the choice of material will, too. Granite will tend to be the most expensive stone, mainly because it is the most durable. Again, if you need advice, speak to your funeral directors.