The cost of a coffin or a casket will vary greatly depending on your personal taste and preferences. The material used, the intricacy of the style, the size, the fabrics, and any personalization options will all impact the final cost.
You can expect a coffin to cost between $2,000 and $5,000. A more affordable coffin will be made from more common materials and exhibit a simple design. A more expensive coffin can feature exotic, luxurious materials and intricate design and personalization.
In the rest of this article, we will dive deeper into the typical prices for coffins and caskets in 2022. We will explore what factors influence the pricing and what each end of the price spectrum includes. We will also have a look at pricing for alternative green burial containers as they become increasingly popular this year.
Choosing a Coffin or a Casket
When it comes time to choose a coffin or a casket, you will likely have a wide variety of choices.
For traditional burials, it is common to have different styles and designs made from different materials. Sizes can vary, and you might also be able to select different fabrics used on the inside lining.
Depending on the funeral home you are working with, you might even have options when it comes to personalization.
If you’re currently looking for a casket, I recommend skipping the rest of the article and heading directly towards our detailed casket buying guide. It will help you make an informed decision and to find the right casket for your needs.
A popular choice for many families is wood, which is a typical material used in both coffin and casket construction and gives the burial container a natural but warm feel. However, even within the category of wood, there are still many options and many corresponding price points.
Wood Types and Prices
Just like with furniture, the type of tree the wood comes from will directly impact how much the coffin or casket costs. Mahogany, for example, is one of the most exotic and expensive varieties of wood.
Mahogany can be used to create a stunning casket, but it will be one of your more expensive options. The same goes for wood from cherry, maple, and walnut trees. These will be your higher-end materials, and you can expect to pay more for a coffin or casket sourced from these types of trees.
It’s not uncommon to wonder why the prices of caskets can be quite high. You can learn more about this by reading this page on my website.
Next, you can find oak and ash caskets. These are great choices as the wood is a solid, high-quality material but will have a more reasonable price tag.
Finally, for the more affordable options, you can consider a pine or poplar. These woods are softer and will have a different look than the harder grain woods. However, with the right finish of your choice, you can still have a beautiful casket for your loved one at a more affordable price.
Your most affordable wooden caskets will start around $1000, and the price can easily climb to $4000 for the more exotic wood options.
Metal Types and Prices
Metal is another popular choice when it comes to coffins and caskets. Some people opt for metal since it can be a more durable material, and there are more options in the colors and finishes for this type of material.
In the US, a big part of the burial process is preservation.
The embalming of the body is part of a culture that places value on the preservation of the body as opposed to its decomposition. While this is changing as direct and green burials become more popular, traditional burials still value this idea.
Metal caskets can feel more stabilizing to some families, and the material is stronger and not prone to decomposition. For families who are looking to lay their loved one to rest in a preserved, contained way, a metal casket can be a perfect choice.
When choosing a metal casket, you can opt for a semi-precious metal, like bronze or copper.
Both of these options are fully rust-resistant and won’t corrode over time as they rest in the earth and are exposed to the elements. The price for copper caskets is usually around $4000 to $5000. Bronze will be even more expensive, with the typical price range being between $4000 and $8000.
You can also find stainless steel caskets.
These are comparatively more affordable and still offer a completely rust-resistant option for families. Even at their lower price point, these caskets have a sleek appearance and still provide the durability families are seeking.
For stainless steel caskets, expect to pay between $1000 and $3000.
You can even find caskets made of standard steel. This material is usually further divided into categories that will help determine the quality and price.
You can find standard steel in these types:
- Heavyweight (16 Gauge)
- Medium weight (18 Gauge)
- Lightweight (20 Gauge)
The heavier the weight of the steel, the better the quality and the higher the price. Your standard steel casket will cost somewhere between $1000 and $4000, depending on the gauge you choose.
Caskets and coffins have standard sizes. However, if the deceased were above average in size in any way, they might require an extra-large casket.
As the caskets get bigger, the price usually increases to match the extra materials and labor. Your funeral home might add a percentage of the cost to compensate for the larger size. Or the final price may simply be higher, depending on the funeral home you are working with.
Design, Style, and Personalization
The stylistic features that can be added to a casket are endless. From smooth corners to intricate patterns, you can customize the coffin or casket to be exactly right for your loved one’s burial.
However, the more time and labor-intensive the details are, you can expect to continue to pay more and more.
On the other hand, simple caskets and coffins will be a more affordable option. Simple rectangular shapes with natural edges will still give your loved one all the protection you are seeking for them at a more affordable price.
The hardware on your casket can be another place to personalize and stylize your casket. These handles and fixtures can be simple and functional, or they can be mini works of art.
It is up to your taste and budget when it comes to style and personalization options.
Finally, you may be able to go a step further with personalization depending on the funeral home you are working with. Embroidery is commonly used as a personalization option on the fabric parts of the coffin. This personalization could include text, symbols, or images, depending on your preference.
Lining and Fabric Options
You will typically find fabric-lined padding inside the casket. There is a wide range of fabrics and colors that can be utilized for this part of the casket. Velvet is one of the more expensive and luxurious options, while you might find a lighter cloth used in more affordable caskets.
To learn more about the different options you will have when choosing a casket and the implications they have on price, check out this informative video on YouTube:
Green Burial Caskets and Coffins
Green burials are becoming an increasingly popular option for people who are concerned about the environmental impact traditional burials have. A green burial typically requires no toxic chemicals to be used anywhere in the burial. This can include the finishes usually applied to traditional wooden caskets.
The burial container for a green burial must be fully biodegradable. While this could be a simple shroud, there are also many styles of biodegradable, toxin-free coffins and caskets to choose from.
You can find simple caskets and coffins made from sturdy cardboard, which are affordable containers that are sturdier than they sound. They can also be decorated and personalized by members of the family to celebrate the life of the one who is being buried.
A well-built, sturdy cardboard coffin or casket can cost somewhere around $300.
A higher-end, more decorated option is a woven casket or coffin that looks something like a wicker basket. They are often handwoven with biodegradable materials and can be incredibly ornate.
These are usually made by hand and can cost anywhere from $1000 to $2000. Moss and Thistle Farms is one example of a woven casket provider. You can view their selection of woven willow caskets on their website.
Finally, you can find wood caskets that are made in a natural way and are free of finishes and chemicals. There are many manufacturers of wooden caskets and coffins that are approved for green burials.
These usually cost between $500 and $2000, depending on the casket you choose.
The Old Pine Box is one company that specializes in both caskets and coffins and is focused on simple, natural pine construction. To view their products and prices, you can visit their website.
Save Money on a Funeral by Buying the Casket Online
Coffins Versus Caskets: The Difference
The terms “coffin” and “casket” may get used interchangeably, but knowing the difference between the two terms is helpful when purchasing one. This page briefly explains the difference between a casket and a coffin.
In the United States, it is far more common to see caskets when compared to coffins. While they are both containers to lay to rest the deceased, there are distinctive differences between the two containers.
A coffin is created in the shape of the human body.
It commonly has six sides but could possibly have eight sides depending on the style. A coffin is broadest around the shoulder area and tapers down slightly above the head, then tapers to its narrowest point towards the feet.
In the US, we can be more accustomed to seeing coffins in pop culture than in real life. In any Dracula-style media, we typically see a six-sided coffin as opposed to a casket for the famous vampire character to sleep in.
A casket, on the other hand, is the most commonly used container in the US to lay a loved one to rest.
These are rectangular in shape and are often lined with padding and fabric. The casket caught on in popularity partially due to how they made it easier to forget there was a dead body inside. With death being an uncomfortable topic for many, it is no wonder that the public took to the shape of the casket compared to that of the coffin.
To get the full story on the differences between coffins and caskets, check out this informative video on YouTube from the channel Ask a Mortician:
Understanding the Purchasing Process
If you find yourself in the position of buying a coffin or a casket, you are likely overwhelmed with both the emotional side of someone passing as well as the logistical side of the burial. Let’s take a closer look at the casket or coffin purchasing process so you can better understand your options and rights as a consumer.
When you meet with the director of the funeral home, and it comes time to select the casket, you will likely be led into a type of showroom to see the different caskets.
While the solid bronze and mahogany caskets with their high price tags might be on prominent display, don’t worry. As a consumer, you are protected by federal legislation to only purchase what you want and need from the funeral home.
Legally, the funeral home must accept your chosen burial container, even if it is purchased from a third party.
You can even be buried without a coffin or casket, more about this can be found here on my website.
You have the right to only accept the services from the funeral home that you personally want. Although they may make you feel like everything must be done through them, you can use your consumer rights to find a more reasonably priced casket.
For more information on the casket and coffin purchasing process, you can check out this informative video on YouTube:
The cost of your coffin or casket will depend greatly on the style, material, and other contributing factors. A coffin or casket for a traditional burial will cost, on average, between $2,000 and $5,000.
Green burial containers will cost between $300 and $2,000. Of course, you can easily spend more if you are committed to luxury materials and high degrees of personalization.
- Carolina Memorial Sanctuary: Biodegradable Burial Containers for Green Burial: Coffins & Caskets
- Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage: Guide to Casket Prices: How Much Do Caskets Cost?
- Moss and Thistle Farms: Woven Willow Caskets
- The Old Pine Box: Home
- YouTube: CollinsFuneral: Choosing a Casket
- YouTube: Ask a Mortician: MORBID MINUTE: Coffins vs. Caskets
- YouTube: Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company: The Casket Buying Process
- The University of Chicago Press Journals: State Casket Sales Restrictions: A Pointless Undertaking?