The Cost of Cremation vs. Burial

The Cost of Cremation vs. Burial

Recently, cremation has become the most popular option for Americans when making final arrangements; it is more cost-effective than traditional burial, and it offers a variety of ways to memorialize our loved ones. Here are just some of the reasons that its popularity has skyrocketed within recent years:

  • Ashes can be interred, scattered, or even transformed into keepsakes such as jewelry and statues
  • Lower average cost than traditional burial
  • It has become increasingly embraced by different religions
  • It is more practical than traditional burial

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, cremation rates will continue to increase, and it has been predicted that in 20 years, over 80% of Americans will choose cremation. There are many reasons why cremation has experienced a recent increase in popularity, including the unbeatable price point compared to traditional burial.


Breaking Down the Costs

According to the NFDA, the average price of burial, including a typical casket, is around $9,500 to $12,500, adjusted for inflation. If you also purchase a burial vault, the cost can easily top $13,000. Caskets alone can cost thousands of dollars.

The average cost to be cremated is comparably lower than that of a traditional burial. However,  prices can vary depending on the state, transportation requirements, and choosing a final resting place.

Additionally, the memorial service you choose can also affect the cost. There are a variety of ways to memorialize your loved one:

  • Interring their cremains in a columbarium or vault
  • A simple, basic urn
  • Having them interred at the Neptune Memorial Reef or scattering them at a landmark like a national park, garden, or beach.

Be Conscious of Related Fees

Remember, these services also come along with separate related costs. According to the Federal Trade Commission, funeral costs for both burial and cremation might include:

  • Transferring the deceased to a funeral home
  • Printed memorial materials like cards or pamphlets
  • Use of the facility and staff
  • Transportation
  • Basic service fees

The additional costs associated with traditional burials can lead to significant financial strain for those on a budget. We’ve covered the casket and burial vault, but think about the headstone – something that can easily run $2,000.

Opening and closing fees cost an additional $1,200, and the grave plot itself can reach $1,000 or more.

Traditional burials can result in thousands of dollars of debt passed on to relatives, and preplanning cremation can help relieve your family of that financial burden in advance. 


Types of Cremation

  • Traditional Cremation: Cremation that includes a traditional funeral service, where the body is embalmed and then cremated afterward. This is the most expensive option and generally requires a casket to be rented for the service.
  •  Cremation with Memorial: A memorial service will not have the cremains present but is similar to a funeral service as it is held to honor your loved one’s memory. A memorial can also be considered a “celebration of life.”
  • Direct Cremation: The most affordable service, direct cremation, does not feature a funeral or memorial service. The body is not embalmed, and there is no viewing or visitation unless requested. The body is directly cremated soon after passing, and the cremated remains are given to the next of kin.
How long does cremation take?

The process generally takes 3-15 business days but can vary due to a variety of factors. The average adult body takes up to 90 minutes to cremate.


The Bottom Line

When compared to traditional burial, there is no denying that cremation is the more economical choice. For many years it was not widely accepted and seen as unconventional.

But in recent years, it has become a mainstream practice for more than half of Americans. The National Cremation Society is proud to offer plans that are flexible and affordable.

National Cremation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of simple and affordable cremation services. Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan your cremation services in advance, we’re always available to assist you and your family. Contact us online or call (855)-469-9474 today.