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What You Should Know About Casket Prices

Deciding on the right casket to buy is a difficult decision for anyone to make, especially when you aren’t sure of what prices to expect.

What is the average price of a casket?

Average casket prices vary widely depending on many of the factors listed here such as: materials, markups, type of casket, design, and your location. With that in mind, the average price of a casket is $2500 according to the NFDA. If you’re searching for a cremation casket, those prices will typically be $1200. With such a large range, it’s difficult to know when you’re getting a product that’s worth the price tag, given the different types of caskets available. When you have a type of casket in mind, it’s much easier to determine how much money you should be spending on the casket.

What materials are caskets made of?

The materials a casket is made of will be the main factor in how much the casket ends up costing.

Metal Caskets

A metal casket will be made out of either stainless steel, standard steel (also known as carbon steel), or precious metals (such as gold, bronze, copper) and is generally the most expensive option. Metal caskets will vary in thickness and type of metal used, which will influence the final price point. These caskets are the sturdiest option and are often referred to as “sealer” caskets due to their durability. They stand up against environmental wear and tear and are available in a variety of sizes. Metal caskets can range anywhere from $1,000 for standard steel caskets to $25,000+ for caskets made out of precious metals.

Wood Caskets

When it comes to wooden caskets, there are two categories to consider: hardwood or solid wood and those that are made up of plywood & fiberglass or fiberboard with a wood veneer. Solid wood caskets will come in a variety of woods, with notable ones being mahogany, cherry, walnut, oak, and pine. Solid wood caskets will ring in at a higher price than the plywood caskets due to their durability and materials they’re made from, usually averaging around $4,000 with cheaper options available online. Veneer wood caskets are made with a blend of materials that aren’t as solid as hardwood caskets, but still give off the appearance of a solid wood casket. They’re generally cheaper than hardwood caskets, averaging around $3,000.

Eco friendly / Biodegradable / Green Caskets

Green caskets are caskets that are intended to break down after the burial process is complete. They don’t have any negative effects on the environment and are made from all natural materials such as fiber, bamboo, recycled cardboard, and willow. If you’re planning on purchasing a green casket, or are planning on being buried in a green / eco-friendly cemetery, it’s a good idea to coordinate with the cemetery or funeral home before purchasing the casket. Biodegradable caskets are often much less expensive than wooden or metal caskets and start at around $450 depending on the material you choose.

Cremation Caskets

Caskets for cremation are generally the least expensive type of casket, as they’re used in the process of cremating someone. Cremation caskets are often made of materials that have no metals. Your crematory will likely also have the option for a cremation container instead of a casket, which is generally less expensive than a casket. Cremation caskets start at around $1,000 as they’re made out of wood. A cremation container, alternatively, starts at around $50.

Do I need to have a casket for a cremation?

If the deceased is being cremated, you do not need to have a casket. The funeral home or cremation company can provide a cremation container for around $50. If you're holding a viewing and want visitors to be able to view the body before it's cremated, you can always opt to rent a casket from the funeral home for the purposes of the viewing. This can be useful, especially if you have no intentions of having the body cremated in the casket itself and would like to save on unnecessary costs.

Where can I purchase a casket?

Traditionally, caskets were purchased from the funeral home that was handling the services. Now it’s possible to order caskets online and at a fraction of the cost you’d generally find at a funeral home. The funeral home you’re working with will be required to use any casket you decide on, even if you don’t purchase it directly from them. If you’re interested in purchasing a casket online, feel free to browse Ever Loved’s marketplace. Ever Loved offers high quality metal, stainless steel, and wood caskets at a fraction of funeral home prices. Otherwise, most funeral homes will have a stock of caskets available for you to view at their place of business. It’s also important to remember that if you’re uninterested in the caskets they have on display, they must provide you a list of all caskets they have available as well as the associated prices.

Can I pre-purchase a casket?

Some companies offer pre-need caskets for those that want to prepare and pay off funeral products before the funeral itself. Pre-purchasing a casket alleviates stress from your loved ones and allows you to be prepared ahead of time. Not all companies provide preneed caskets, but it's absolutely possible to find them online, especially in Ever Loved's marketplace.

What is the funeral rule?

The funeral rule is a rule put in place by the FTC to protect consumers when purchasing products in the funeral industry. The Funeral Rule has a list of mandates that funeral homes are required to follow, all of which you can find on the FTC’s website, but some of the rules regarding casket purchasing are below:

You have the right to be given a list of casket prices before purchasing or viewing the caskets. You have the right to an itemized list of costs when you visit the funeral home. You have the right to use a casket or urn purchased outside of the funeral home at no additional cost.

Funeral homes are required to follow these rules and to respect your rights as a consumer under The Funeral Rule. Do not be afraid to speak directly with your funeral home about these terms and guidelines and to stand your ground if they are not abiding by the requirements set out by this rule.

Having the right information and pricing in mind will help you when deciding on which casket is the right one for your needs. Be sure that you have a basic understanding of what to expect when visiting the funeral home or when buying online and don’t be hesitant to do additional research before making a final decision.

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Last updated June 15, 2022
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