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How much does a casket cost?

Caskets are a big part of funeral costs, so it’s important to know what to expect. There are many different types of caskets available that can vary depending on the chosen method of disposition. Keep reading for more information on what to expect when purchasing a casket and about how much you should expect to pay, depending on your choice.

How much do caskets cost?

Casket prices will shift depending on the type of casket you purchase, which material the casket is made out of, the design of the casket, where you’re located, and where you’re purchasing the casket from. On average, the average price of a casket is $2,500 in the United States. This price is lower for cremation caskets, which are around $1,200 on average. It’s much easier to figure out how much a casket will cost when you have the specific type and material in mind.

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What types of caskets are there?

Caskets not only come in a variety of materials, but also come in a variety of types depending on the type of disposition method at hand.

Metal Caskets - Around $1,000 - $5,000+

The most expensive type of casket, a metal casket is made out of steel (stainless steel or standard steel) or precious metals. (This includes bronze, gold, and copper.) A metal casket can vary in type of metal used and thickness, with more material being more expensive. Metal caskets are the sturdiest option out of all caskets and are sometimes referred to as “sealer caskets”. (Keep in mind that even if a casket is referred to as a sealer casket, all bodies in caskets eventually decompose, no matter the material of the casket.)

Of the metal caskets, steel caskets are the most affordable option. Caskets made out of precious metals are more expensive and can reach prices as high as $25,000.

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Wood Caskets - Around $1,000 - $4,000

Wood caskets come in two different categories: solid wood caskets and plywood/fiberglass caskets. Solid wood caskets (also known as hardwood caskets) are considered more durable than plywood caskets. Solid wood caskets come in many different types of woods, including cherry, walnut, pine, oak and mahogany. Hardwood caskets average around $4,000, depending on the type of wood chosen.

Plywood caskets (also known as veneer wood, fiberglass or fiberboard) are made out of a composite of materials that aren’t as solid as the woods used to make solid wood caskets. Once the blend of materials is made to form the casket, it’s covered with a wood veneer to give the appearance of a hardwood casket. Veneer wood caskets are generally less expensive than hardwood caskets and average around $3,000.

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Cremation Caskets - Around $1,000+

Cremation caskets are caskets that are meant to be used in the process of cremating someone. They’re often made out of materials that have no metals to simplify the cremation process and can start at around $1,000. Cremation containers are also often used in cremations and are much cheaper than caskets, starting at around $50. Cremation containers are usually made out of cardboard.

Green Caskets - Around $450+

Green caskets, also referred to as eco-friendly or biodegradable caskets, are caskets that are intended to decompose and breakdown after the burial process. They’re specifically made with the environment in mind and are made from all natural materials such as recycled cardboard, willow, bamboo, and fiber. Biodegradable caskets are most often used in green or eco-friendly cemeteries, so it’s a good idea to speak with your chosen cemetery or funeral home about this before purchasing. A green casket will start around $450 as it’s made from all natural materials and is meant to degrade naturally.

Where do I buy a casket?

In the past, families have generally purchased caskets directly from their funeral home of choice. Now that products are purchasable online, many are turning to the internet to purchase their caskets. Purchasing a casket online is an easy and great way to save thousands of dollars on casket prices and can help you choose the casket you’d like instead of only what’s available at your chosen funeral home. Your funeral home is required by law to accept any casket you choose online, even if you haven’t purchased it directly from them.

You can also choose to purchase a casket directly from the vendor or manufacturer, or from your chosen funeral home. When purchasing from a funeral home, be sure to ask for a price list of all of their available caskets, not just the ones they have on display.

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How much does a burial plot cost?

The cost of a burial plot depends on the type of cemetery chosen (private or public), how many plots are purchased at once, and where you’re located. A burial plot at a private cemetery in California is much more expensive than a burial plot at a public cemetery in rural Iowa. When purchasing a burial plot, it’s important to remember that you’ll likely be paying for more than just the plot itself. A burial plot usually has additional fees associated with it such as the open/closing fee, the burial vault fee, and paperwork fees.

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Overall, a burial plot at a private cemetery is more expensive than a burial plot at a public cemetery. According to Cake, public cemetery burial plots can generally cost around $200 - $2,000 while private cemetery plots can cost around $2,000 - $5,000. These prices are the estimated costs for burials with caskets, not buried cremated remains. If you choose to have your cremains buried, you should generally expect to pay around $350+ for public cemeteries and $1,000+ for private cemeteries.

When purchasing a plot, you may want to consider purchasing multiple plots at the same time, as this is generally less expensive than purchasing a single plot for yourself. Pre-purchasing plots is also less stressful, less expensive, and many burial plots are transferable if needed.

Caskets are expensive and the act of burying someone can come with a lot of unexpected associated costs. If you’re having difficulty covering the costs of these expenses, it might be time to consider starting up a funeral fundraiser. Funeral fundraisers are easy to set up, easy to use, and can help you in burying a loved one.

Start a fundraiser

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Last updated December 30, 2020
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