A Guide to Buying Caskets
Buying a casket or coffin can be an overwhelming experience. Many people have little idea about what to expect and the options can be seem endless. If you need to purchase a casket, here is what you should know.
Types of caskets
The type of casket you choose will influence the amount of money you end up spending on the casket. While some metal caskets and wood caskets are similarly priced, the price can increase dramatically depending on your design choices and the type of metal or wood you go with.
Wood caskets come in two different categories: hardwood (or solid wood) and composite wood (made out of plywood, fiberglass, or fiberboard) caskets that are then covered with a wood veneer. A solid wood casket can be made out of different types of wood, such as cherry, walnut, pine, oak, and mahogany. A solid wood casket will also generally cost more than a plywood casket due to the materials they're sourced from and their durability. Solid wood caskets (when purchased from a funeral home) are generally around $4,000, but it's possible to find much cheaper solid wood caskets online. Caskets made out of composite wood are blended with wood materials that aren't as solid as a solid wood casket, but have the appearance of a solid wood casket. These caskets generally cost around $3,000.
Metal caskets can be made out of standard steel (carbon steel), stainless steel, or other precious metals (like gold, copper, and bronze). Precious metals are generally the most expensive option when it comes to caskets. Metal caskets vary in the type of metal used as well as the thickness of the metal, which both influence the price. Metal caskets are generally the sturdiest option and are sometimes referred to as "sealer" caskets due to their robustness. Metal caskets can cost anywhere from $1,000 for a standard steel casket to $25,000+ for a precious metals casket.
Green caskets (also known as eco-friendly or biodegradable caskets) are caskets intended to decompose along with the body after being buried. Eco-friendly caskets don't have negative effects on the environment and are generally made from natural materials, such as recycled cardboard, willow, bamboo, and fiber. Green caskets are usually used in green cemeteries, so it's a good idea to coordinate with your chosen cemetery and funeral home before purchasing a biodegradable casket. Eco-friendly caskets start around $450, depending on the materials you choose, and are one of the cheapest options when it comes to caskets.
A cremation casket is a casket used in the process of cremating someone. Cremation caskets often contain no trace of metals to make the cremation process go by smoother. A cremation casket will generally cost around $1,000, but most crematories offer cremation containers (which are usually made out of cardboard) starting at $50.
How much do caskets cost?
The average casket cost will depend on a lot of factors, including the materials used to make the casket, type of casket, design, your location, and where you're purchasing from. In general, a casket will cost over $2,000, making it an extremely expensive purchase for most families. If you're thinking of purchasing a casket just for cremation, those caskets generally start at around $1,200. However, if you look around you’ll find a wide range of prices. You can purchase a simple casket online for less than $500 -- whereas a high-end casket could cost you more than $10,000.
Save money by going online
At a funeral home, caskets can be marked up by 300% or more. If you want to save money, you can find most caskets online for a fraction of the funeral home price, and many websites offer overnight delivery. Shop for a casket online >>
What size are caskets?
A standard casket is about 80 inches long and 24 inches wide and can generally fit someone up to 6’10” and 350 pounds. Extra large caskets are available for larger adults, as well as small caskets for children and pets.