Why are coffins so expensive? How to save money on funeral expenses


I’m sorry for coming at you that way, but the reason coffins cost so much is because many of us make hasty decisions under pressure during an emotional time.

Funeral coffins don’t have to be that expensive. At least, not if you calm down, do your homework, and scour for the right ones.

More like your pair of sneakers or your fancy sunglasses, if you don’t do your due diligence to research appropriately, you’ll buy a hundred bucks sneakers for three hundred.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some factors that contribute to the expensiveness of a casket.

Why are coffins so expensive?

  1. The materials used:

The first reason is the material used. Various materials are used in designing funeral coffins. The most common ones are wood and metals. But even within those two options, there are various species.

For instance, in the wooden class, you have low-end options like coffins made from pine. And there are high-end options like the ones made from mahogany.

In the metal class, carbon steel coffins are less expensive than their stainless steel counterparts, and even those are less expensive than bronze coffins.

So, in the end, it’s the material you opt for that determines the price point you get.

  1. The amount of personalization and customization

Some families want to replicate the deceased’s necklace molded into the coffin, whereas some don’t really care about personalization.

In the end, the amount of customization you ask for can determine how much you get to pay.

  1. Form, volume, and size of caskets

Clearly, you don’t expect an oversized casket to cost the same as an ordinary-sized casket. If you’re leaving the entire funeral proceedings in the hands of the funeral home, you may not understand the part that size plays in coffin costs. Since they’ll only give you a rough estimate of the overall burial cost. However, when you shop online for a casket, the significance of this variable becomes evident.

  1. Where you’re shopping from

You can buy caskets for your funerals at a local retail coffin shop, a funeral home, or online. Your choice of destination can determine how much you end up paying.

Funeral homes tend to have the highest mark-ups, followed by retail showrooms, while online coffin companies, like Trusted Casket, tend to offer the lowest pricing.

  1. Prevailing market situation

Right now, the United States shipping and supply industry is an unprecedented state. There are so many uncleared cargos left hanging at the ports. Nobody knows how long the crisis will last. But one thing we all know is that the crisis is impacting the delivery and circulation of merchandise.

Due to this, many funeral homes and coffin showrooms are starting to raise the prices of their products. If you’re ordering a coffin at this moment in time, you may have to pay a little bit extra.

Although small online providers like Trusted Casket are doing all they can to keep coffin costs at family-friendly prices.

How much do coffins cost?

Unfortunately, we can’t really put a number on it. As you’ve seen, there are so many variables in play here.

However, we can give you some reasonable guesses.

Average price points for metal caskets: Roughly between $800 – $3,000 with or without ornamentation or customization

Average price points for wooden caskets: Roughly between $800 – $5,000 without ornamentation or customization

You should know, coffins cost between $1400 and $10,000 at funeral homes. Your best bet to buying a coffin for less is to order online.

Differences between a coffin and a casket

Throughout the course of this post, you must have noticed how we’ve used the words ‘coffins’ and ‘caskets’ interchangeably.

So, what is really the difference between coffins and caskets?

Literally, coffins and caskets are both boxes used to hold, convey, and bury dead people. However, a coffin differs from a casket in that it has six sides, and the top of the container is wide than the bottom. Also, coffins are built to align with the shape of a human’s body. Finally, coffins have detachable lids, unlike caskets whose lids are hinged.

How much does a funeral cost?

If you’re leaving all in the hands of funeral homes, a burial can cost you between $7,000 and $12,000. However, if you handle some of the pieces yourself, you can shave a few thousand off a burial cost.

Coffins are not the only piece of the burial jigsaw. Other variables contribute to the overall burial costs.

These include:

How to save money on funeral expenses

Clearly, $9k+ is a lot to spend on funerals. Definitely, you’ll like to shave a few thousand off if you can. So, how can you?

  1. Consider cremation instead of burial

Cremation has to do with burning the body of a deceased and scattering the ashes. It is a procedure that typically costs less than a burial. And can also be handled by a funeral home.

Typically, the cost of cremation is relatively lower than that of burial. Generally speaking, the cremation coffin or casket will be much cheaper since it will be burned eventually. Also, you get to remove funeral items like extras, service cars, memorial packages, viewing, etc.

  1. Bury with the others

Instead of opening a new burial plot for the deceased, you can bury them in the same yard as other loved ones that have passed away in the past. This will typically reduce the funeral costs as you won’t need to pay for a new burial plot

  1. Bury in a place the deceased resided

Burying someone in a place where they were not a resident usually costs more. Choose a burial plot that’s situated in a locality where the deceased once resided.

  1. Choose a funeral director carefully

Your funeral director choice can save you costs in two ways. One, you can save cost on the funeral director fees. For example, a good director can help reduce the costs of transporting your coffin. Secondly, you can save costs by hiring a funeral director capable of bargaining and liaising with third parties expertly.

  1. Funeral personalization

Speak with your funeral director on how you can save costs on the following items.

  • Find coffin alternatives
  • Find cheaper ways to customize coffins
  • Explore cheaper coffin transport


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