How to select the right shape for your headstone?

If your loved one has passed away, selecting the right headstone will play a direct role in how you honor them for years to come. There's a lot that goes into choosing a headstone, from understanding the regulations at your cemetery to determining the best materials to use.

However, the shape of a headstone also speaks volumes. It defines the appearance of your loved one's grave and can invoke specific memories of the deceased. Many people tend to overlook the importance of shape when selecting a headstone. Along with the material and engraving of your loved one's gravesite, the right shape will complete the look of the grave and give a good send off to the deceased.

Here are four headstone shapes to consider.

Upright headstones

Perhaps the most common headstone shape used is an upright headstone. In most cases, upright headstones are rectangular in shape with slight decorations on the sides. The upright design comes in handy if you wish for the gravesite to stand out. You can easily see an upright headstone from a distance, and the engravings radiate your loved one's farewell message.

Depending on the material used, upright headstones are also durable options for the gravesite. They expose less of a direct surface for sunlight and water, and they may not require very frequent maintenance.


You can think of flat headstones as the polar opposite of upright headstones. The flat shape lays flat over the grave with no upward projection. Why opt for flat headstones? They essentially cover the piece of earth over which your loved one was laid to rest. You can think of them as having a symbolic meaning, where they juxtapose beautifully over your loved one's grave.

However, flat headstones may need to be sealed against water or sunlight damage. Durable, non-porous stones (such as granite) are also a good choice for flat headstones.

Slant-Shaped headstones

The slant-shape of headstones is a balance between upright and flat headstones. The slanted shape appears peaceful, calm and elegant. On a sunny day, you will notice that sunlight reflects off the surface and edges of your loved one's grave. You can also vary the angle of slant on the headstone to show the engraved message more clearly.

Wedge-Shaped headstones

The wedge shape is an artistic design that resembles a typical wedge. These headstones start off with a wide base, and they become narrow towards the top. The wedge shape is a clever and convenient design because it exposes less of the headstone to wear and tear. Slanted surfaces also present your engraved message in a unique and attractive way.

For more information and assistance with your loved one's funeral, contact your local funeral planning service today.