What is the average cost of cremation? (2023)

The cost of cremation services can play a pivotal role when deciding on which funeral home or crematorium to elect for your loved one. If you’re on a tight budget then it’s important to understand exactly what services your funeral provider will be charging you for and whether or not these services are mandatory or optional in the package you’ve selected. In this article we’ll outline the costs you can expect for associated cremation services.

What is the average cost of cremation services?

The national median cost for a full cremation service is $5,150. This cost includes a basic service fees for a viewing, funeral, embalming and crematorium cremation fees as shown in the table below.

The following table outlines the national median cost for a cremation service with viewing and visitation as provided by the National Funeral Directors Association 2019 Cremation and Burial Report.

Non-declinable Service Fee$2,195
Removal & Transfer of Remains$350
Other Preparation of the Body$255
Use of Facilities for Viewing$425
Use of Facilities for Funeral Ceremony$500
Service Car or Van$150
Basic Memorial Printed Package$175
Third-Party Crematorium Cremation Fee$350
Does not include cost of a casket or urn, see below.

What is the average cost of cremation caskets?

The national median cost for a cremation casket is $1,200. Cremation caskets differ from traditional caskets in that they don’t contain any metal. They are entirely made of a combination of wood and/or specialized cardboard.

If your loved one’s funeral is going to have viewing or visitation services prior to cremation then you may have the option of renting a traditional casket. The national median cost for a rental casket is $955.

What is the average cost of cremation urns?

The national median cost for a cremation urn is $295, but these costs can range anywhere between $50 to $1,000 or more depending on the urn’s design, materials, engravings and size.

Cremation urns are used to store the ashes of the deceased. Your funeral provider or crematorium should provide you with a basic cremation container. If you wish, you can purchase your own cremation urn through your funeral provider or a third-party marketplace. Here are some examples of alternative types of cremation urns which you can purchase:

Cremation Jewelry: Cremation jewelry, such as keepsakes and mementos, are becoming more and more popular as an alternative to traditional urns. This option allows you to create a piece of personal jewelry using your loved one’s ashes. Jewelry made with brass can cost $50 or more, jewelry made with gold can cost $300 or more and higher end jewelry crafted by an artisan with crystal made from your loved one’s ashes can cost $500 to $1,000 or more.

Companion Urns: Companion urns are larger than traditional cremation urns because they’re designed to hold the ashes of two people, typically deceased couples. These urns can cost $150 to $500 or more.

Earth-friendly Urns: Earth-friendly urns are any urn that is biodegradable, meaning that it can be properly dissolved by the elements in a natural environment. For example, if you’re on the market for an urn to use in a water burial, purchasing an earth-friendly urn would make sense since it would dissolve quickly in water. These urns can cost $70 to $300 or more.

Cremation Boxes: A cremation box is a decorative box, typically made of wood, designed to hold the ashes of your loved one for an extended period of time. They can be used as a replacement for traditional urns and although prices vary depending on design, you can expect these boxes to cost $50 to $300 or more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest cremation option?
The cheapest option is direct cremation without viewing or visitation services. This means that your loved one won’t have a funeral, memorial or viewing before being cremated.

Do organ donors get free cremation?
Yes, if you’re an organ donor then you can receive a free cremation upon passing and your ashes will be returned to your loved ones afterwards.

Is it cheaper to cremate or bury someone?
Direct cremation is cheaper than burial, but either cremation or burial with associated viewing and visitation services can easily come out to comparable costs.

Can you prepay for a cremation?
Yes, you can prepay for a cremation through your elected funeral home or you can purchase burial insurance so that your loved ones will have the necessary funds for your desired funeral arrangements.