Cremation Costs Breakdown 2023: How You Can Save $2450
Article HighlightsPaying For A Funeral Average Cremation Costs in 2022 What is Direct Cremation? Additional Costs Burial vs Cremation Costs Pet Cremation Costs Pet Memorial Costs Are Cremation Prices Regulated? Funeral Assistance Expert Advice and Tips
It’s the question all of my clients want to know first- how much is a cremation funeral going to cost?
And with the cost of funerals continuing to rise, this is completely understandable.
The average national cost of cremation in the US is around $3000-$4000.
But the question is, will you actually pay that?
The reality is, most people will pay a lot more…
In this cremation costs guide, I’m going to explain everything you need to know about budgeting for cremation.
I will also give you some inside information (What funeral directors don’t want you to know!) about the costs breakdown and how to stick to your budget.
Paying For A Funeral
It’s important to also discuss the other side of the coin- how to pay for a funeral.
I will go into all the other payment options in more detail further down in this article. But the key thing to remember is- having a plan as early as possible is key to covering costs.
Probably the simplest, quickest, and most cost effective ways is with Cremation Insurance.
It’s a type of final expense insurance which is specifically designed to help you cover the cost of a funeral.
Average Cremation Costs in 2022
To give you an idea of average cremation costs, here is a table (provided by parting.com) which shows the range of prices in different cities).
As you can see, the typical cost of a basic cremation is between $800-$4000
Keep in mind this is for a direct cremation, but as you can see, it pays to get a few quotes.
Prices in the US: Top 10 most expensive cities
|1. New York City, NY||$550||$10,200|
|2. Washington, DC||$700||$7,600|
|3. Houston, TX||$675||$6,800|
|4. Dallas, TX||$850||$6,300|
|5. Indianapolis, PA||$900||$6,100|
|6. Chicago, IL||$895||$4,600|
|7. Charlotte, NC||$875||$4,400|
|8. Nashville, TN||$1,295||$4,400|
|9. Virginia Beach, VA||$900||$4,300|
|10. Providence, RI||$1,400||$4,100|
What is Direct Cremation?
Often described as low cost cremation, it does not include traditional funeral proceedings, which makes it the most economical choice.
Many of the costs of a typical funeral are avoided, for instance:
- the body is normally cremated in a simple container instead of an exceptionally costly casket.
- there is no viewing, wake, or visitation, therefore the need and cost of embalming and other body preparation is eliminated.
- unless you opt to bury the cremated remains, you avoid the cost of a plot, digging of the grave, and a headstone or marker
Dealing directly with the Crematorium
The crematory staff will manage most aspects of the whole cremation process. This includes completing the death certificate and picking up and transporting the body to the crematorium.
Even if there is a fee for some of these services, it’s usually nominal and typically a fraction of funeral homes prices.
If you wish to have a service, there are fees for any additional options added. Comparing and paying close attention can save you a great deal of money. Below are some of those extras and the average prices related to each one:
Funeral Director fees
Funeral homes normally charge a basic fee for their services, which can average from $1,500 – $3,500, but can be as much as $7,000.
This fee generally includes some services such as taking care of any necessary permits, acquiring copies of the death certificate, and assisting with other necessary paperwork.
Some other overhead costs related to the funeral home that may or may not be included are the use of their facilities and staff, transporting the body, and others.
The actual cremation
It’s seldom carried out by the funeral home, but is contracted to a third-party crematory. Crematories typically charge $250 – $400.
When a funeral home offers you a package, make sure the price they disclose actually includes the actual cremating process.
Amazingly, the cost you pay for the actual process is not included in the package fee in some cases.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy a traditional casket for a cremation.
Nevertheless, some people wish to have services before being cremated, which would necessitate a casket, therefore there are alternative options.
Caskets made specifically for cremating cost as low as $500 – $600, much less than a traditional one. They are normally available for purchase at the funeral home or crematory.
Renting a casket
An additional option, is to rent a casket for the viewing, wake, or funeral service. The body is encompassed in a box, typically called an “alternative casket”, which is inserted into the casket.
After the service, this box, holding the body is removed from the casket and then cremated. The cost for renting is about $400 – $600.
Memorial service after cremation
The service is usually conducted in the presence of the ashes contained an urn.
A clergy can hold the cremation ceremony or it may simply be a gathering of family and friends, celebrating the life of the deceased.
Therefore, the price can be as little or as much as you desire.
Many funeral homes and crematories furnish a basic container. Otherwise, urns are the most popular choice and can be priced anywhere from $50 – $1,000.
There are so many different types of urns depending on your needs and tastes. If you’re interested, our team has created a number of guides for these specific types:
Companion Urns: These double urns are used for a couple who has passed away, a mother and daughter, or maybe a large person. Prices are usually between $150 & $500.
Biodegradable Urns: If you’re conscious about the environment, an eco urn might be suitable for you. They can be water urns ideal for scattering, or even a biodegradable tree urn.
Cremation Boxes: These simple yet elegant memorials usually range between $50-$100. If you want to see more, take a look at our cremation boxes guide
Wooden Urns: A natural look that will fit in perfectly at home, the cost is usually between $50-$150. Have a look at our wooden urns article for more information.
Baby Urns: These urns tend to be less than your typical urn. Our infant urns guide will give you an idea of what’s available and how much they cost.
The price of course depends on the type and abundance of flowers.
For a decent sized funeral flower arrangement with carnations or flowers that are in season, expect to spend around $50 – $150, for roses or exotic flowers, expect $200 – $300.
A casket spray will cost from $50 – $450. For the full package including all the above, plan on anywhere from $200 – $1,000.
If you’re having a memorial service after, a nice size bouquet next to the urn is a nice touch for about $50 – $100.
This charge is often unexpected because people assume it is included. It can vary depending on local rates and on the size and condition of the body.
A body that has significant injuries or has been autopsied often cost more. The average charge is typically $200 – $800.
This frequently does not cover other duties such as cleansing, dressing, and preparing the body cosmetically, which can run around $100 – $500.
is the same as with a tradition burial where family and friends are able to visit and usually view the body before the cremation takes place. This may or may not be included in the service fee.
Third party costs
These can include ordering the flowers, organists, soloists, pallbearers, and obituary notices. It’s best to determine these in advance if possible to ensure you are not overcharged.
Another bit of information to remember is that funeral directors are required to inform you of any refunds or rebates that are available from the vendors.
Burial vs Cremation Costs
As we have established, the traditional burial of a body is the most expensive means of disposition. The following prices will give you an idea of burial vs cremation.
- $1,500 – Fee for the funeral director, which most often includes use of the facility, staff, death certificates, and other documents.
- $1,500 – Preparation of the body for viewing. If an open casket, a stylist is necessary to apply make-up and hair techniques as well. These services are not needed for cremation.
- $2,400 – $10,000 – For a traditional casket.
- $2,500 – The gravesite, which includes the plot, digging, and grave liner. None of these pertain to cremation unless you bury the ashes.
- $1,500 – Headstone or grave marker.
That’s a total of at least $9,400 for a traditional burial and as discussed above, there are multiple other charges that may be added as well.
Pet Cremation Costs
Cremating a pet is now the most common choice for animals after they die. It is the most cost effective and environmentally friendly means of doing so.
- Domestic Pets – $50 -$350 depending on the type of option chosen and the weight of your pet. The lowest cost would be for a direct communal cremation with no return of the ashes.
- Horses – $250 – $1,500 depending on the weight, the area in which you live, and whether pick-up is required.
- Pick-up – For the crematorium to pick up your pet, it’s usually included if it’s within the facility’s regular business hours on a weekday and within a certain driving distance. Outside business hours or on the weekend, the charge is typically around $30 – $45 for domestic pets. Outside a certain driving distance, the charge is also around $30 – $45.
- Horse pick-up can cost as much as $1,000, depending on the horse’s size and the distance.
- Witnessed cremation – If you wish to view the process, there is typically an extra charge of approximately $20 – $30.
- Urn – If you desire that the ashes are placed in an urn or other container, they generally cost from $50 – $1,000, and even more. Some facilities include a basic urn or box for small pets.
- Pet Cemetery – The plot and digging the grave can run approximately $400 – $600. Most cemeteries require you to bury your pet in a casket, which runs about $50 – $500 and sometimes much higher.
You will most likely want a tombstone or marker as well. They are from very simple up to exceedingly elaborate and range from $150 – $1,000 and more.
For those needing to cremate a pet, feel free to check out our guides on cremating a cat and cremating a dog.
Pet Memorial Costs
Many of us want to create some kind of memorial for our departed furry friend. In terms of price, you are looking somewhere between $15 and $200.
If you’re looking for ideas, take a look at our memorials for a dog guide. Alternatively you read our more specific dog urns and dog headstones articles.
For your feline friend, check out the cat urns guide.
Are Cremation Prices Regulated?
While the Federal Trade Commission does require that all funeral providers follow specific rules, the actual prices they charge for each service is not regulated.
However, they are required to provide an itemized and accurate price list when requested by a consumer.
Funeral providers are not required to disclose their prices on their websites, which can make it more difficult to make comparisons.
Only around 25% of funeral providers display their prices online.
There’s no doubt that a funeral is a big expensive and can be a huge financial burden to a family. Fortunately, more people are using crowdfunding to help pay for funerals.
Crowdfunding allows you to set up a campaign for your loved one’s funeral expenses. Once published and shared via social media, family, friends, and even strangers can make small donations towards your funeral budget goal.
It’s an amazing tool which really helps vulnerable people in need. More importantly it works incredibly well- showing that people are incredibly generous and kind hearted.
Expert Advice and Tips
Below are a few tips and some advice to help you when making these difficult decisions.
- Purchasing the casket is almost always the largest expense.
- A direct cremation is normally the most economical plan by far.
- Adding extras can substantially add to the price.
- Don’t forget that even though they are sympathetic in most cases, funeral homes are businesses and are there to make money.
- When comparing different facilities, always ask for an itemized list of their costs for each product and service. Check the final bill to ensure there are no unauthorized expenses.
- If using a funeral director that does not have cremation facilities, determine in advance if the cost for a third-party crematory will be extra.
- Don’t allow anyone to talk you into adding extras that you don’t understand or are unsure about.
- Consult online directory sites to search for funeral homes in your area.
- Ask for help and recommendations from people you know personally. Usually friends are best since family members are grieving as well.
Cremation prices US: Remaining 40 most expensive cities
|11. Pittsburg, PA||$700||$3,950|
|12. Boston, MA||$1,000||$3,925|
|13. Baltimore, MD||$790||$3,900|
|14. Milwaukee, WI||$600||$3,700|
|15. Cleveland, OH||$675||$3,690|
|16. St. Louis, MO||$690||$3,650|
|17. Atlanta, GA||$945||$3,640|
|18. San Antonio, TX||$700||$3,600|
|19. Seattle, WA||$475||$3,400|
|20. Sacramento, CA||$600||$3,340|
|21. Philadelphia, PA||$640||$3,300|
|22. San Jose, CA||$700||$3,300|
|23. Orlando, FL||$825||$3,290|
|24. Portland, OR||$500||$3,100|
|25. Minneapolis, MN||$1,300||$3,065|
|26. Austin, TX||$700||$3,000|
|27. Los Angeles, CA||$600||$2,990|
|28. Jacksonville, FL||$700||$2,950|
|29. Detroit, MI||$650||$2,890|
|30. Cincinnati, OH||$900||$2,850|
|31. Columbus, OH||$750||$2,795|
|32. Kansas City, MO||$775||$2,780|
|33. San Diego, CA||$650||$2,645|
|34. Phoenix, AR||$500||$2,500|
|35. Miami, FL||$550||$2,440|
|36. San Francisco, CA||$740||$2,400|
|37. Denver, CO||$1,150||$2,340|
|38. Tampa, FL||$2,300||$4,700|
|39. Las Vegas, NV||$550||$2,190|
|40. Riverside, CA||$700||$2,100|
I wish I’d seen this article last year when organising a cremation for my late mother, God rest her soul. I’m not sure if it was a direct cremation, but I think we ended up paying $1100 all up. This was in Tampa, Florida. We were very happy with the professional staff.
Did you make all the arrangements yourself, or did you go thru a Cremation business?
Thank you for the information on direct cremation.Now it will make it a lot of less stress
when dealing with relatives or myself. Thank you again. Sincerely Mr. Mackay
Thank you for the taking the time to give this information. I am sitting here with my mother who wishes to be cremated. This certainly helps with our conversation.
I really appreciate your information that direct cremation is usually the best for people on a budget because a casket is typically the largest expense. This makes me wonder if I could rent a casket for a viewing before a cremation. In my mind, this would be the best of both worlds, so I will start looking into funeral homes and see if this could be an option before putting it in my will.
Thank you this has helped me make the decision for my partner.
This guide was a fantastic idea. It is such a taboo topic And not many people want to talk about it. I would think that no one really wants to shop around for such services when the time is upon us and we are at the stressful point of grieving. I found it to be very well written and packed with crucial information. Thank you so much!
Thank you for writing this article! I want to be cremated, now I know how to write it up so that my family will know exactly what I want.
Thank you kindly for this blog. It was really informative. If you have never gone through this, then you really have no idea what you are getting yourself into. That’s my story. Now when I go to make the arrangements, I will be armed with good information.
Thank you for this info it is helpful
I’m planning for myself being I have no spouse or children. I definitely needed something cheap and no viewing or memorial necessary. Thank you for putting this information out there.
Your blog is informative that direct cremation is the most cost effective. However, you are wrong that dealing directly with a crematorium, the crematory staff will manage most aspects of the whole cremation process. This includes completing the death certificate and picking up and transporting the body to the crematorium.
In NY,the funeral director must transport the body from place of death to the crematory, and the funeral director does the paperwork and applies for the death certificate as well as the cremation permit. The crematory is a third party/cash advance that is paid directly to the crematory for the actual cremation itself.You must use a funeral service or funeral home for the cremation. I found low cost funeral service company online that offered excellent service at affordable prices. By doing paperwork online, I saved a large amount of money over a traditional funeral home.
Hello Maria, can you please share the name of the low cost funeral service you found online? Thanks
I am looking for a low cost funeral service also. I live in upstate NY
I turn 72 a week from Monday and I finally have broached the subject with my sons of final arrangements. I told both of them that, since I won’t be here, I want to have these arrangements be most comfortable to them. We’ve decided on cremation but, after reading your article, it seems there are still options as to what sort of service, if any, will be held. I am so grateful for your informative piece. It gives so much info as to just what these final arrangements might entail. I now have some of the info necessary to make known to my sons what the options are. I sincerely appreciate all the trouble you’ve gone to and am very thankful that there’s a comprehensive list of the services one might want to have. Thank you so much!
Thanks for your information on the cost of cremation. I am trying to plan a funeral with my cousins. We’ll make sure to pay attention to the cost of any funeral services.
One thing to consider is medical examiner. My husband died of what appears to be a heat attack. He’d had one six months before. But because he was at home, the m e had to certify. Took over two weeks. Then another week for the death certificates. Any them they were permitted to cremate. No excuse for any of that to take that long. Cremation was the weeks after death. Unnecessary agony. It’s one thing if there were suspicious circumstances or violence. I don’t know if I get billed one hundred dollars a day for refrigeration or not yet.
I was at Moss-Feaster in Dunedin, FL today. Their price for direct cremation with basic container is $2390. I showed them a quote that I received from Neptune Society last year for $1128 and they matched it! However, they insisted that I buy IEA travel insurance for $495 – raising the total to $1623. I told them I would think about it.
I notice that the Cremation Fee is only $375. Container: $195. Refrigeration: $395. Funeral director services: $730. Transportation: $695. That comes to $2390. So they are willing to give me a $1262 discount – which is great – except for the unnecessary and nonrefundable insurance. I will research further, since I am only 64 and in very good health.
Cost varies from firm to firm because they offer different packages, each of which features a different level of services so that you choose one that works best for your budget. If you’re looking for the cremation option with the lowest price, direct cremation may be the right service for you.
I am almost 37 but I have health issues and have been denied life insurance. I am not married and have no children. I am have to put money aside so that my siblings won’t have to struggle to bury me. Thank you for your article as it has given me a ball park figure on how much I should save.
I just want cremated, no fuss, no muss and no services. I won’t need this body anymore and don’t think I can donate anything because I have diabetes. Family can give me.a.burial at sea, like goldfish (flushed) for all I care. I want least expensive and least stress for my family.
you can donate your body to medical science IF you live near a major teaching hospital, med students always need body parts to practice on, and the teaching hospital will cremate the remains and return them to your next of kin. Also, no matter what the funeral home says, cremation is just like buying a car, you CAN negotiate each individual item. You don’t need the rust proofing or the dealer prep etc…the funeral home won;t like it but they would rather have SOME of your business than none-
Ideally, my family could just dig a hole in the pet cemetery in my backyard and put me with all.the critters.
This article shows Phoenix, AR with a minimum price for cremation of $500. Could anyone please tell me what funeral home will cremate at that low price?
Thank you in advance,
AR is Arkansas.
Thank you for the information. I knew nothing about cremation procedures and cost. This writing is the first site that i hàve read so far. It has really expanded my inowledge. Thank you , kelli Hodge
Valuable information – now how do you find a place that will do direct crementation. All the places listed on Oahu seem to be funeral homes. Quite difficult to get a quote. My husband is 87 and I am 84 but just want to leave explisit directions for children. My parents were Neptune emembers and it was so easy but can’t seem to find such a thing here. Look forward to your responce.
Thanks for such an informative page. Without question your information is helpful and I will make use of it in planning a cremation for my brother who passed away last week.
Thank you for the information. I really needed this to start preparing for the future.
We save and prepare for everything in life but few look to the other part of life. This is just as important as having and raising a child.
Thank you so much for the info. I’ve been putting this aside as to me is unpleasant, but hey we are all going to die someday and we need to be prepared. I have a few health problems and I better be prepared. I don’t want to burden my only daughter with this. I like the comment of just give me a sea burial, like a goldfish, just flush me. I have options and you have expanded my knowledge on burials. Thanks again. Lucy
My husband just passed away. He was only 53 years old. I have so many options but $3000 is a little steep for a direct cremation.
Dealing with so much right now and dont know where to begin.
This is a very informative site, that will be so helpful to those who need guidance at a time when they least able to cope. Thank you for taking the time to compile this information.
THANK YOU, wow this is so helpful. My brilliant nicest uncle Jim died who needs to be cremated while the rest of my family finds out, hashes out that Jim’s younger 2 brothers who are still alive have a bad case of sibling rivalry have been making false accusations against Jim for decades(so they got Jim’s portion $$$ in wills). Then after things are worked out we can figure out what we’ll do without any pressure. Phew!!! I’m very interested in Jim’s ashes being made into a concrete type ball that’s placed in the ocean to help grow protective coral reefs. I need to find funding though because my greedy siblings are doing the same thing to me, (eye roll).
Found this site while searching for cremation prices and options. I plan to pre-pay like my parents did. It was so convenient and hassle free. Also found a place called Better Place Forests, they will bury your ashes under a tree in a forest, something I’ve always wanted to do but they don’t cremate. It may only cost about $12,000 for both my husband and I for everything. Thank you for the information, it will be very helpful.
Can my husband be buried in our backyard in Douglas county Mo?
How much for a basic cremation in phoenix arizona
Where in South Dakota can I find cremation ?
I like a cremation, a valt / earn combo for family to take for burial. What is the cost
I want to pay so the family can not worry about cost..I I have a plot to bury a earn in ohio
My mother passed away on August 5th, 2022 in Pennsylvania. She previously lived in Florida and moved to PA in 2014. While living in Florida she arranged a pre-paid service/expenses with her local funeral home in 2013. She was very proud of the fact that the “details” of her wishes were complete). At the time of her death the local (PA) funeral home notified the Florida home. It was my mother’s understanding that the money she paid would cover all her expenses. Apparently, I was informed that the Florida State has a “law” that states they can keep all the interest earned and is only obligated to send the deposit made. Clearly after 9 years the cost of services has gone up. Folks, please be sure this little detail is clearly stated. To complete her wishes (that she paid for) my siblings and myself already had a balance. Buyer beware.