Why Are Caskets So Expensive?

Why Are Caskets So Expensive
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Planning a funeral for a loved one can be emotionally draining and exhausting, and picking up a casket is in itself a daunting task. They are the focal points of most traditional funerals. They are placed right in the center and are also on display during a public visitation. But, why are caskets so expensive?

For a lot of people, a casket is an essential item in a traditional funeral. In fact, people tend to put a ton of emotional significance on it as it takes their loved one’s body.

For some, it is seen as a thing that protects the body, while for others, it is the last visible thing when final goodbyes are said. Yet somehow it turns out the be the most expensive thing at the funeral. Why so? Let’s find out.

The Purpose of a Casket

In the most practical sense, a casket is just a container that holds the remains of the deceased. The casket protects the dead individual’s dignity and provides a beautiful way to have their remains displayed during memorial services or a funeral.

Back in the day, caskets were primarily functional. However, today, buying one on the basis of designs has become quite popular.

Is there a Difference Between a Casket and a Coffin?

The purpose of both the coffin and the casket is exactly the same in that they both are used to provide the deceased with a dignified way to house their remains. The only difference between them is the design.

A coffin will have eight sides. This is typically shaped like a human body. A casket, on the other hand, is rectangular in shape. It is quite rare to find coffins being used in North America. However, in several other parts of the world, coffins are more common than caskets.

How Much Do Caskets Cost?

There is no exact answer to this question because the costs can vary quite widely. You could get an extremely simple casket with no frills attached to it for as low as a thousand dollars. If you are looking for a highly customized casket with intricate detailing and designs, then be ready to shell out tens of thousands of dollars at least.

While this range is quite massive, there is an upside to it. Such a wide range of costs for caskets means that you will be able to find a beautiful casket for your loved one that will exactly suit your style as well as your budget.

Why Are Caskets So Expensive?

One of the biggest reasons why casket tends to get so expensive is due to what it is primarily made out of. Here, the pricing is not like the furniture you use in your home. Even if you opt for those high-end bronze caskets, they will typically be far more expensive than the stainless-steel counterparts.

For instance, if you are looking for a casket that is made from some of the rarest of hardwoods, such as mahogany, then it only makes sense that just acquiring the wood itself would be the most expensive thing. You will spend half or lesser if you opt for something that is readily available, like pine.

The material used to build it is just one factor when it comes to its pricing. What follows is also the type and amount of ornamentation. That too can significantly add to the casket’s cost. Then, there is an additional cost for personalization as well as customization.

All these individual factors can substantially increase the costs. Furthermore, the mark-up for the caskets also varies as widely as the prices.

On Markups

It goes without saying that shopping for caskets and finding a good deal, especially when you are mourning the loss of a loved one, is not an easy thing to do. So, there are certain things you can keep in mind that could help you save some money.

In terms of mark-ups, funeral homes tend to have the highest of them all. This is closely followed by retail showrooms. The one place where the markups tend to be the lowest and you will likely get the best deal from is through online providers.

It is also important to note that there is no compulsion that you have to buy a casket from the funeral home. There is a law that is designed to protect consumers, and this law clearly states that a funeral home is required to accept any casket even from a third-party seller.

Effective Cost-Cutting Options

Caskets are undoubtedly expensive, and not everyone can afford to buy one. Thankfully, there are some alternatives that will help save up a lot of money.

Green Burials

These have become more and more popular in recent times. Green burial, also called natural burial, is a simpler, eco-friendly, and a much cheaper burial option than a traditional one.

The whole concept with this kind of burial is that the body and the container must decompose in a natural manner. This means that there is no use of costly metal caskets, no embalming fluid, and no concrete headstones.

Wicker Coffins

These are quite new but are also becoming increasingly popular. One of the biggest reasons why they are becoming so popular is because these are very environmentally friendly.

These coffins are woven by hand by a skilled basket maker. This makes every single wicker coffin unique and special. Furthermore, these are significantly cheaper than a traditional casket, but they definitely look as good as them.

Burial Shrouds

Similar to green burial, burial shrouds are a cheaper and biodegradable option to the traditional casket. These shrouds are available in linens, silks, and cotton. Some of them even come with embroidered options, such as peacock and delicate floral patterns.


Now you know exactly why are caskets so expensive. As mentioned earlier, there are countless factors that affect the price of a casket. The biggest reasons why depend on the kind of wood used and the amount of personalization and customizations they offer.

While these aren’t too difficult to avoid, the reason why people tend to spend more money on funerals is mainly that they end up making hasty decisions as they are under a lot of pressure during such an emotional and tumultuous time.

Using this article as a reference, you can be more aware of what you need and where to look for them. That will undoubtedly be able to help you save money on caskets.