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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Funerals > Casket

Casket Cost


How Much Does a Casket Cost?

 
low costLow: $200-$1,000+average costMedium: $1,200-$10,000+high costHigh: $15,000-$30,000+

A casket or coffin can be the most expensive item in a arranging for a funeral and burial or cremation. The term "coffin" is rarely used today, and both caskets and coffins are referred to as caskets. Traditionally, a coffin narrows at the feet while a casket is shaped like a standard rectangle (and usually has a split lid that opens halfway for viewing the body).

Typical costs:

  • Simple caskets/containers of fiberboard or cardboard (often used for cremation) start between $20 and $250 for unlined and unfinished models. However, expect to pay $200-$1,000 or more for caskets made of cardboard, fiberboard or inexpensive soft woods and covered with cloth (interior and exterior). Prices depend on the type and amount of cloth used, and how plush the lining is. Midgley Gardenside Mortuary in California sells an unfinished and unlined cardboard casket for $85 and one of cardboard covered with cloth and lined with ivory crepe for $685, while ABetterCasket.com[1] has cloth-covered solid-pine caskets for $350-$1,000 (plus shipping from Los Angeles, but primarily selling locally).
  • Prices for metal caskets range from $1,200-$5,000 and up for steel (20 gauge steel is least expensive; 16 gauge is the most expensive). That increases to $3,000-$10,000 or more for metals such as stainless steel, copper or bronze (frequently referred to in the funeral industry as semi-precious metal caskets). Gasketed caskets (continuous-weld seams plus a gasket to seal out moisture, often also with a locking mechanism) are more expensive than non-gasketed models. For example, Costco[2] sells metal caskets for $925-$2600, or $1,300-$3,000 with expedited shipping (UPS express, 3-5 business days); Walmart sells metal caskets online for $995-$3,200 with delivery in two business days; PerfectMemorials.com offers semi-precious metal caskets for $2,000-$5,000.
  • Veneer-finished or engineered-wood caskets start between $1,000 and $3,000 but can cost $3,500-$8,000 or more for plush, elaborate styles with veneers of expensive or exotic hardwoods. BestPriceCaskets.com[3] offers veneered caskets for $1,000-$7,000, with mahogany and red cedar veneers being the most expensive.
  • Caskets of solid soft woods like pine or popular cost between $900 and $2,700, depending on quality and plushness of materials, and solid hardwood caskets (such as oak, maple or mahogany) start around $2,200-$4,500, but can cost $5,000-$10,000 or more.
  • High-end caskets in wood or metal can be $15,000-$30,000 or more. Webster Funeral Homes[4] in Ohio offers a range of caskets up to a $35,000 gold-plated model.
Related articles: Embalming, Gravesites, Headstones, Funeral Service, Funeral

What should be included:
  • Caskets are made of a wide range of materials, and generally can be square-cornered, round-cornered or a contoured "urn" shape. The Casket & Funeral Supply Association of America provides an overview of casket designs[5] .
  • No casket, no matter how well made or of what type of materials, can preserve a dead body forever. The federal Funeral Rule[6] prohibits funeral homes or mortuaries from using words like "seals," "protective" or "gasketed" to imply that paying for additional options to keep water and soil out will better preserve the body.
Discounts:
  • Do-it-yourself kits to build simple wooden caskets can be $425-$1,300, depending on the style, type of wood and whether a lining, split lid or other options are included.
  • Some funeral homes or mortuaries offer the option of renting a solid wood or metal casket with a strong cardboard liner. After a viewing or service, the removable inner liner is used to cremate or to bury the body. Only the outer shell of the casket gets reused. Casket rental fees can range from $550-$2,000 (including the cost of the insert), depending on the type of casket provided and the length of time it is used. Wasson Funeral Home in Arkansas rents an oak casket for $985.
Shopping for a casket:
  • Under the federal Funeral Rule, a funeral home or mortuary must allow a customer to use a casket purchased elsewhere and can't charge handling fees. The nonprofit Funeral Consumers Alliances lists inexpensive casket options[7] .
  • Family members or friends can provide emotional support when selecting a casket. Funeral homes and mortuaries tend to have their best-looking (and most expensive) caskets on prominent display. The federal Funeral Rule[8] requires them to give customers a written price list of all the caskets they sell, including the least expensive ones. Do not hesitate to ask to see less expensive caskets. Caring.com provides guidelines for choosing a casket[9] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.abettercasket.com/?content=store&category=4&keyword=OFF
  2.  www.costco.com/
  3.  www.bestpricecaskets.com/store/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=BPC&Category_Co...
  4.  www.websterfuneralhomes.com/frames/caskets.html
  5.  www.cfsaa.org/design.php
  6.  www.ftc.gov/bcp/rulemaking/funeral/index.shtm
  7.  www.funerals.org/faq/144-caskets-everything-the-mortician-wont-tell-you-and-some-b...
  8.  www.ftc.gov/bcp/rulemaking/funeral/index.shtm
  9.  www.caring.com/articles/buying-a-casket
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