Gravestone with 2 flowerpots side by side, and more gravestones in the background.

What Are All Of the Different Types of Gravestones?

Choosing a headstone for yourself or a loved one is a heavy task.

At Somerville Memorials, we want to help you through this process in every way we can. Whether you are future planning for yourself or funeral planning for a lost loved one, we are here to help.

We know that lots of options can be overwhelming when you're grieving, so we hope this comprehensive article will help you learn about the best types of gravestones and what you would like.

There are many different types of gravestones. Read on for a breakdown of the different styles, materials, and design options available.


Gravestone Styles

If you are looking to buy a gravestone, knowing what style you want is the best place to start. In this general category, style refers to the shape and height of the gravestone.

Upright Monuments

Upright gravestones are tall stones that will rise above the grass line. These can be made as benches, shaped in a variety of ways, and are going to have more surface area for anything you may want to include.

Flat or Pillow Gravestones

Flat gravestones are flush with the ground. They can be easier to maintain and are a great option if you like something simple.

Pillow gravestones are raised slightly higher than flat gravestones and can have a flat or open book appearance to them.



Slanted Gravestones

Slanted gravestones are of a middling size between upright and flat gravestones. They are raised about ground level, wider at the base, with a slanted flat surface for your loved ones' name and information.

Gravestone Materials

When choosing material for a gravestone, keep in mind the aesthetics and the durability. There will be multiple options for colour in each type of stone.


Marble is a durable material when used indoors; it will never break down or become difficult to read. With its beautiful veining and colours, it is a popular choice.

When exposed to the elements, however, marble will wear down over time. This is not a worry in the immediate lifetimes of the family who places the headstone, but future generations may have a harder time discerning the names and information without proper upkeep.


Due to their natural beauty and durability, even when exposed to the elements, granite gravestones are a popular choice. Each gravestone is still unique due to the variety of colours and natural formations in each piece.


Bronze markers are a great option for flat markers. The warmth of the material, its durability, and its ability to personalize it, make it a popular choice as well.

Personalize With Design

Once you know what type of material and style you would like, there will be lots of options for personalizing your headstone.

At Somerville Memorials, we would love to help you choose the exact right gravestone for you or your loved one.

There will be choices to make for:

• Lettering style
• How to place name and information
• Adding an epitaph
• Any accessories you may want to add.
We also specialize in creating Jewish and Chinese heritage headstones.

Many Types of Gravestones Means You Can Find the Perfect One

While there are lots of decisions to be made when planning a memorial service, and many types of gravestones to choose from, we know you can find the perfect fit to memorialize your loved one.

Trust Somerville Memorials to help you today.


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