Guide to Casket Prices: How Much Do Caskets Cost?
A casket is a huge funeral expense. With an average cost of $2,000 to $5,000, it’s often the most expensive aspect of a funeral. Getting a casket price list from the funeral home you work with, comparison shopping online, and choosing the right burial or funeral insurance policy are all helpful ways to save money when buying a casket.
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Caskets are a very pricey final expense, having an average cost between $2,000 and $5,000. A casket’s price is based on factors such as:
- Added features like gaskets, decorative handles, and plaques
By Gauge Size
Standard steel and stainless steel metal caskets are sold in different metal thicknesses, or gauge sizes. A lower gauge indicates thicker steel, which makes lower gauges more expensive. In general, the cost range for steel caskets varies between $850 and $1,600, but the price depends on the type of steel and its gauge. Keep in mind the costs below do not factor in any color finishes or added features:
- Steel – $1,000 – $2,000
- Stainless steel – $2,350 – $3,050
- 16-gauge (16-ga.) – $2,300 – $3,400
- 18-gauge (18-ga.) – $1,125 – $2,750
- 20-gauge (20-ga.) – $825 – $1,125
The most common casket types are metal and wood, but there are a variety of options to choose from at a wide range of price points.
Bronze or Copper
Unlike other metal caskets, bronze and copper models aren’t sold by gauge size. Similar to gauges, however, the price increases with weight.
- Bronze – $4,125 – $8,100
- Copper – $3,900 – $4,800
- Promethean bronze – $22,000
The price of a wooden casket depends on the exact type of wood used to make it. In general, the cost ranges from $1,000 to $3,550. Pine caskets are cheaper, while caskets made of oak, cherry, maple, or walnut are more expensive.
Fiberglass is very light, so caskets made of this material are usually used to hold small bodies, like those of infants and children. They’re available in several different finish options to make them more attractive, like faux wood and marble. Talk to your funeral director about this option to get a list of models and prices.
Green caskets are biodegradable containers used for green burials. The vessel and the body naturally decompose in the soil when buried this way. The cost depends entirely on the material and whether you buy one or make it on your own, but the average price is between $100 and $700.
There are a lot of options for green caskets, including:
All of these materials are free of stains, paints, varnishes, and other substances that risk harming the environment when buried. Those looking for a more upscale option often purchase a pine box, which is more expensive than the other options with a price range between $500 and $2,000.
A standard casket is 24 to 27 inches wide and is designed to hold a person of healthy weight. Obese individuals may require an oversize casket, which measures anywhere between 28 and 51 inches wide. Because of their larger size, these models are more expensive than their smaller counterparts, costing an average of $1,550 to $4,150.
Many people choose to make their own caskets. Skilled craftsmen can build one for the cost of some wood, stain, and any decorative features they want to add. Some companies also sell DIY kits, which cost an average of $850.
Cremation vessels hold the body while it undergoes the cremation process. They can be made of a very inexpensive material, such as cardboard or pressed wood, and cost as little as $200. More ornate versions used to display the body for a funeral service are more expensive with a price range between $625 and $2,425.
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Casket Prices in Funeral Homes
Many people buy caskets from the funeral home they work with when planning a funeral. The price varies based on the model you choose and the funeral home itself. Buying directly from the funeral home is usually not the most cost-effective option. In addition to charging a service fee, funeral homes often charge hundreds or thousands of dollars more than what they paid.
It’s worth doing comparison shopping online before buying a casket from a funeral home. If you find a lower price for the same or a similar casket from a different retailer, you may be able to negotiate the price with the funeral home.
Casket Spray Prices
A casket spray is a flower arrangement that’s placed on top of the casket lid during the viewing, burial, or both. The price depends on the type of flowers you use as well as the size of the spray. In general, they cost between $50 and $100 for small arrangements and $450 or more for larger ones.
Casket Vault Prices
A vault is made of concrete and lines the grave before the casket is placed inside. Vaults help protect caskets from deteriorating and cost an average of $1,800. They’re not required by state laws, but some cemeteries require them. A simple concrete box with no air seal is cheapest, while a burial vault with a top seal and inner lining is more expensive. Plastic lining will be cheaper than a steel lining. For the air seal, the thicker the metal used on the vault, the more expensive it will be.
If you prefer the shape and overall look of a coffin, you’ll pay about the same price as you would for a casket. On average, metal models cost between $850 and $3,050, and wood versions cost between $900 and $2,775.
Wooden Casket Prices
The general price range for wooden caskets is $1,000 to $3,550. The type of wood used determines the cost. The most popular wooden caskets and their price ranges include:
- Cedar – $2,000 – $4,000
- Cherry – $2,800 – $5,450
- Mahogany – $2,950 – $5,400
- Maple – $2,150 – $3,200
- Oak – $2,200 – $3,850
- Pecan – $2,650 – $2,950
- Pine – $1,475 – $3,100
- Poplar – $1,500 – $6,000
- Walnut – $3,350 – $3,900
Walmart Casket Prices
Walmart sells metal and wood models for those looking for affordable caskets:
- Metal – $1,000 – $1,400
- Wood – $1,100 – $2,700
Many locations allow you to place your order online and pick up your purchase at the store for no added charge, making it a great option for any budget.
Costco Casket Prices
Costco also sells a handful of caskets. The prices range from $900 to $13,000.
Amazon Casket Prices
Amazon also sells caskets. Prices range from $800 to $2,900. Some sellers ship directly to funeral homes for no added cost.
What is the difference between a casket and a burial coffin?
A casket is a four-sided rectangle with a lid that opens for viewing the body. A coffin has six or eight sides, and it has a wider area at the head and becomes more tapered at the feet. Coffins are usually made of higher-quality wood and other materials than caskets.
What are cremation caskets?
Cremation caskets hold the body as it is processed in the cremation chamber and burn along with the body. They must be rigid, combustible containers, which can include caskets made of any of the following materials:
- Unfinished wood
The options above are great for those who don’t have a large funeral budget, because they’re much less expensive than caskets used to display and bury a body. However, you can use a more traditional model as long as it doesn’t have metal parts, which don’t incinerate during the cremation process.
You’re not required to have a cremation casket with direct cremation. The Funeral Rule from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires funeral homes that offer direct cremation services to provide a container if you want to use one. However, the rule doesn’t require them to give you a high-end version, so most funeral homes provide inexpensive models.
Can I rent a casket?
Caskets are available to rent at funeral homes for between $725 and $1,250, which is simply a convenience fee to clean the casket and transfer the body. Many people who are going to be cremated are placed in a rental casket for the viewing before their body is processed. Other people choose to rent a more elaborate, expensive casket to display the body during funeral services and purchase a less expensive one to bury the body.
What is the process of buying a casket from a funeral home?
Because of the Funeral Rule, your funeral director must provide you a hard copy of a list of all of their prices for you to reference during the funeral-planning process. This is known as a General Price List (GPL), and it ensures you won’t receive any surprise charges. The GPL also includes the prices of all of the caskets the funeral home has available, which is called a Casket Price List (CPL).
Most often, they show customers three different models: one in the low, middle, and high price ranges. However, they sometimes show three of their highest-priced models hoping to make a bigger sale. Be sure to look at the CPL and ask to see anything in your price range that interests you.
Will a funeral home use the casket I bought from another vendor?
The Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to use any casket you provide. They also can’t charge you a fee to do so.
Who are the primary casket manufacturers?
The primary casket manufacturers include:
- Batesville Services, Inc.
- Aurora Casket Company, Inc.
- Universal Casket Co.
Funeral homes usually sell models from one or more of these companies.
Does a casket preserve the body forever?
No matter its material, style, and added features, a casket won’t preserve a body forever. Many feature gaskets or seals to help keep water and other natural elements out, but the body inside will still decompose eventually. A funeral home can’t claim a specific casket or burial vault will permanently preserve the body.