Headstones and Grave Markers - Two Unique Types of Burial Monuments

Burial monuments are customizable grave markers that memorialize you or your loved one.

Most people typically think of a tombstone, but there are in fact many different types of burial monuments and gravestones.

For instance, many people who plan their funeral opt for a flat grave marker rather than an upright tombstone or headstone.

If you choose to have an in-ground burial, depending on the cemetery location, you will need a memorial such as a flat grave marker or upright monument. When you plan your monument you can select exactly what you want your headstone or grave marker to say.

As with many aspects of burial planning, choosing and customizing your ideal burial monument is likely foreign to you. That's why MemorialPlanning.com has outlined the many different monument and gravestone types available, as well as information like price, benefits, and more.

What is the difference between Headstones & Grave Markers?

There are two main types of burial monuments: A flat grave marker and a raised headstone.

  • Grave markers are flat bronze plaques installed on a granite stone base for the purpose of identifying the deceased.
  • Burial headstones are upright granite monuments for the same identification purpose.

There are many different styles and types of gravestones and markers available, with different design and personalization options and different average costs of each.

a group of people standing next to a fence

What Are the Different Types of Gravestones Available?

While there are many different, specific types of gravestones, these are three of the most general styles of gravestones:

Upright Headstones

The stone form of a tombstone ("the term is used synonymously with gravestone and tombstone") burial monument is typically what we imagine when envisioning a cemetery resting place. Undoubtedly the most common type of burial monument used, the upright headstone is a simple stone placed at the head of the grave. While these types of markers can certainly be simple, there are many different options and designs available in multiple shapes, sizes, and level of complexity and elegance.

This form of identification is a proud and dignified way to demonstrate that the deceased was loved and continues to be remembered.

The memorial headstone can be personalized in terms of shape, size, and inscription. The messaging typically inscribed on a burial monument includes:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Words of loving identification such as father, daughter, sibling, friend
  • Date of birth and death
  • Philosophical or religious sayings
a sign on the grass

Slanted Headstones

A variation on the upright headstone, but with the front of the headstone featuring a dramatic slant.


Obselik Burial Monument

These tall stone pillars actually originated in Ancient Egypt. While they are much less common than a traditional upright monument, obseliks are sometimes used to memorialize those who pass in a striking and spectacular way.


Burial Monuments Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Different Types of Gravestones Cost?

Since the design of an upright gravestone can vary greatly, so can the price. While a basic upright memorial usually costs between $1,000+, the price can be... read more

Why Choose a Flat Grave Marker?

A flat, lawn grave marker is an elegant way to memorialize the deceased. It allows for personal information such as date of birth and death, name of the... read more

What are the Different Types of Flat Grave or Burial Markers?

Much like with traditional headstones, there are different types of markers available:Flush Grave Marker As the name... read more

How Much Does a Flat Grave Marker Cost?

A basic flat grave marker will vary based on the inscription on the marker, the color of the stone, and other cosmetic details. As with an upright... read more

Learn More About Burial Monument Types

Interested in learning more about personalization and exact costs of cemetery headstones and grave markers? Download your free, no-obligation guide now, or contact your preferred cemetery to find out what is available there.

Not applicable in the state of New Jersey.