Grave Markers Vs Headstones – What’s The Difference?


As one of the best headstone makers in Edmonton, we have worked with hundreds of clients who either wanted to honour the passing of their loved ones by designing a monument or individuals who wanted to design their own headstone in an attempt to prepare for their departure from this world.

Over the years we have seen many people use the words grave markers and headstones interchangeably. However, the two terminologies refer to completely different things and cannot be used interchangeably.

We understand that the process of choosing a headstone for your loved one after their departure is difficult which is why at Summit Memorials, we have a team of experts to help guide you through the process. We strive to make the decision as seamless and effortless as possible.

We strive to help our clients choose the best possible option. In light of this, we have written this blog to help you understand why grave markers and headstones cannot be used interchangeably.

Monuments and memorials have been categorized according to their design, cost and the material used.

Grave Markers

A grave marker is typically a flat monument that is placed flush with the ground or onto a foundation in the cemetery. These are the cheapest forms of monuments one can get and cannot be seen from afar.

During the snowy season, due to the accumulation of snow on top of the marker, it is difficult to read the inscription. In addition, they are more susceptible to damage and grime accumulation.

Grave markers are usually made of granite. They can either be encased in concrete or placed on their own. These markers are generally less expensive as they require less material for the finished product as compared to upright monuments.

Pillow monuments are also a version of grave markers. They usually include a base and are thicker/larger than a flat marker. The price will vary depending on the size, colour and shape of the grave marker.


On the contrary, headstones are usually used to refer to upright or pillow monuments. These are typically made from granite or marble. However, over the years, due to its durability and sturdiness, granite headstones have become more common.

These are placed on a foundation made of granite or concrete for added stability as granite is very heavy. Headstones generally cost a bit more than grave markers as there is more material involved as well as more labour to cut and shape the headstone.

As far as design and customization are concerned, headstones provide much more options. You can add inscriptions, pictures and other designs on the front as well as the back.

Since the headstones are sat erect on the ground, it allows individuals who walk past to easily read what is written on the monument.

Grave Marker Vs Headstone – Which Is Better?

If we look at the durability, design, customization available and value for money, headstones are much better than grave markers.

You will not only be able to see the headstone from afar, but it will also provide you with more customization options. You can add images of the loved one who passed away, get their favourite poem inscribed or add a quote that describes them best.

At Summit Memorials, we design headstones using granite quarried from different parts of the world. Our granite headstone comes with a lifetime warranty to give you the peace of mind you deserve.

About Summit Memorials

Let us help you honour your loved ones in the best way possible. Our specially trained staff tries to make the toughest time of your life a little bit easier by providing high-quality memorial services and products. The headstones that our craftsmen build are the best in the business. The granite headstones we provide in Alberta and Saskatchewan are guaranteed to never wear out or crack due to normal elements and weather conditions.

At Summit Memorials, we provide our customers with premium quality and well-crafted monuments, headstones, tombstones, and grave markers. For more information about our services, visit our website or contact us here today.

Helping Families & Friends
Honor Their Loved One