What Type of Stone Are Headstones Made Of?

Most modern headstones are made of different stone and rock materials.

Some of the most widely used headstone materials include granite, limestone, sandstone, marble, and slate, with each being used to create a variety of different headstone styles.

Besides headstones, these materials are also used to craft many other types of memorials.

You may also come across headstones that are made of bronze, iron, and wood, though these are much less commonly requested materials and were more popularly used for creating memorials during times of the past.

The term “headstone” is typically used to describe an upright memorial on a grave, but it can also be used more generally to describe a memorial marker on any resting place, no matter whether your departed loved one has been traditionally buried or cremated.

What is the Best Material to Use for a Headstone?

Each headstone material can make a case for why it is the best, so it really all comes down to the type of memorial you would like and which aspects of the available materials for that memorial type are most important to you.

For example, natural granite is the most widely used headstone material due to its versatility and longevity, which makes it a fantastic choice for those who want the memorial to be extremely long-lasting and easily maintained.

Meanwhile, a material such as marble typically has a much shorter lifespan than granite, but a marble headstone may be preferred by many due to its undoubted aesthetic beauty and uniqueness.

Certain headstone materials are better suited to intricate carved designs, while others are better suited to simple block engravings.

Ultimately, the best headstone material to use depends on your own personal taste, choice of design, and the longevity you require.

Some cemeteries and graveyards may also restrict the use of certain headstone materials, so this is something else you should check before choosing the best headstone material to use for your memorial.

Gravestones in a cemetery

Why is Stone Granite Used for Most Headstones?

Granite offers four main benefits that make it an ideal stone material of choice for a headstone:


  1. Durability
  2. Choice
  3. Versatility
  4. Low Maintenance


If you’d like your headstone to last many generations while maintaining its quality, the strength and durability of high-grade granite stone stands out among many other materials as the most superior.

Robust and solid in structure, granite has proven that it can stand the test of time. Natural granite has heat, scratch, and stain resistances, and it doesn’t absorb liquids when properly sealed, making it the perfect headstone material to withstand all types of weathering.


Natural granite stone is available in a wide range of colours, shades, and grades, meaning there is sure to be a granite stone that matches everyone’s taste and budget.

Granite stone colours such as black, grey, ruby red, tropical green, blue pearl, and many more, allows a headstone to be truly personal in appearance and stand out from the rest.

Headstones in a range of different granite stone colours


It can be difficult finding a stone that is suitable for many different creative uses, but granite is quite unique in its versatility when it comes to how it can be used and crafted.

Granite headstones can be easily polished or honed, creatively shaped, beautifully engraved, and finely etched. Skilful stonemasons are able to carve and etch delicate designs into granite stone that will look stunning and last for many decades to come.

Low Maintenance

Compared to other memorial materials, granite stone is extremely low maintenance and only requires a gentle clean from time to time to ensure it remains in top condition.

The polished finished that is applied to most granite headstones (and other granite memorials) makes it incredibly easy for them to be wiped over with a damp, lint free cloth.

Black granite stone material for headstones

Why Do Some Choose Marble for Their Headstone?

Although granite has all the hallmarks of a fantastic headstone material and is the most widely used stone for memorials, many people can’t help but fall in love with the distinct elegance and timeless beauty of marble.

It’s the reason marble has such a rich history as a luxurious material of exceptional quality.

The unique appearance and qualities of marble does come at more than just an additional financial cost, as the material also requires a higher level of maintenance, but when correctly maintained throughout the year, it’s easy to see why marble is the headstone material of choice for many people.

A marble headstone really can provide a truly beautiful way to commemorate the life of a lost loved one.

Marble stone used for headstones

Here at Wilson Morgan, our experienced memorial designers and stonemasons can bring any memorial idea to life. You can choose from our range of lawn memorials, cremation memorials, memorial vases, and full kerb sets, or discuss your bespoke memorial requirements with our family advisors. With memorial masonry experience in Penarth and the Vale of Glamorgan that stretches back to 1904, you can be sure the creation of your memorial is in the safest of hands.

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