How Much Does Cremation Cost?
By: Tom Harries
Jun 12, 2022 | Traditional Funerals3 min read
In recent years cremation has overtaken burial as the most common disposition method in the US.
This article sets out the average price of different types of cremation, and explains some of the key factors that influence total cost. It then looks at alternatives to cremation to give further context for those considering end-of-life plans.
How Much Does Cremation Cost?
The median cost of a funeral with cremation was $6,971 in 2021, according to National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA).
This figure includes the actual cremation, cremation casket and cremation urn, as well as transporting the body, embalming, viewing and the funeral service.
There is another, less expensive form of cremation which is known as ‘direct cremation’. This can be a very cost-effective process, costing $1,000 to $2,000 on average. This is the most basic type of cremation, as well as the quickest and most affordable. The body is collected, the family does not see the body during the process, and the ashes are then returned.
There are two key variables that impact the cost of a cremation. The first is location, with the median total cost varying by as much as $2,000 between different states.
The second is the specific items and services that make up a chosen package. For example, the casket and urn you choose can make a very significant impact on the total cost. Many of the variable costs associated with a traditional funeral service can also add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the bill, depending on the particular choices made.
What are the Other Options?
Traditional burial is the second most common choice for a funeral in the US. The average cost of burial is slightly higher, standing at $7,848 in 2021 according to NFDA. Again, location and choices regarding items like the casket can make a big financial difference.
There are also now a handful of environmentally-friendly funeral options, which present a more sustainable alternative to traditional practices. The appeal of these options is growing rapidly as we improve our understanding of the climate issues the planet faces.
In many industries more environmentally-friendly or sustainable choices are more expensive than traditional equivalents. This is not necessarily the case with funerals, and sustainable options often cost less than traditional cremation or burial.
There are a few key sustainable funeral processes. These include natural or green burials, which seek to avoid the environmentally-damaging aspects of traditional burial by removing or adapting pollutive elements. There are also entirely new funeral processes. Alkaline hydrolysis is one such new process, and another is soil transformation.
Soil transformation, also known as natural organic reduction or human composting, is an environmentally-friendly alternative to burial and cremation. Among other factors, its actively positive impact on the environment and its cost make it a desirable and sustainable choice compared to traditional funerals.
The soil transformation process gently transforms a body into nutrient-rich soil over 45 days. The process does this by recreating conditions found in the natural world through the balancing of elements, and the optimizing of temperature and moisture levels.
Families using Earth’s soil transformation services choose how much soil they would like returned at the end of the process - to scatter or plant. The remainder is sent to our conservation land for land restoration uses. The healthy soil is perfect for conservation projects, because of its ability to filter water, sequester carbon and provide nutrients to wildlife.
Our soil transformation process appeals to nature lovers and those who care about the future of the planet. This is because soil transformation not only avoids environmental damage during the process but also gives back to the earth in a lasting and meaningful way.
If you’re interested in soil transformation and want to know how much Earth’s service costs in your location, you can get an instant price here.
You can purchase now for an immediate need, or we also provide prepaid plans. These allow a purchaser to lock in today’s prices, removing uncertainty and worry about future costs.