Caskets can vary in price from $895 or lower for a basic steel casket to over $40,000 for a gold plated casket. The type and quality of casket you want will be the biggest factor in price. However, funeral homes will most always have different pricing for caskets. One funeral home will charge $1,350 for a casket whereas the same casket at a different funeral home will cost $2,500.
Each funeral home has access to all the same caskets and can typically find the same kinds of caskets at every funeral home. The important things to know that will affect the casket price are materials, its features and the brand.
What the casket is made of determines the cost of a casket more than any other factor because some materials are more expensive to obtain than others. There are numerous material options but when discussing the ones that impact price, funeral homes typically reference these: cloth covered, 20 gauge steel, 18 gauge steel, softwood, hardwood, semi-precious metal and precious metal.
Cloth Covered Caskets
The most inexpensive caskets are made of very inexpensive materials like particleboard and are covered in a decorative cloth to make it look nice. There are also simple particleboard caskets.
20 Gauge Steel Caskets
The 20 gauge steel casket is probably the most commonly used (anything higher than 20 is very thin metal).
18 Gauge Steel Caskets
An 18 gauge casket is very common and costs more than the 20 gauge because more metal is used in the creation of the casket. The lower the gauge the thicker the metal. Caskets typically come in either 18 or 20 gauge.
Wood is another popular material for caskets. The cheaper of the wood options are called softwoods. These include woods like pine, cedar, aspen, etc.
Hardwood caskets are made of more expensive materials which is reflected in the price. Hardwood caskets are made of oak, cherry, mahogany, etc.
Semi-precious Metal Caskets
Some of the most expensive caskets you’ll typically see in a funeral home will be made of semi-precious metals such as stainless steel, copper, and bronze.
Precious Metal Caskets
Precious metals include materials like silver and gold. Yes, you can buy a gold plated casket. There are a number of funeral homes that sell precious metal caskets for more than $40,000. And yes, they have sold many. To real people.
There are a few features that can change the price of a casket as well. A sealer or gasketed casket means it has a rubber or silicone seal around the opening that when cranked down it has a tighter seal. The gasketed caskets cost more than the non-gasketed.
Customization of a casket will cost a bit extra. Some casket brands have hidden drawers to put in memorabilia, letters and trinkets with your loved ones. Others have the ability to embroider the cloth on the interior of the casket or provide custom carvings on the casket. If the interior is a higher quality cloth like velvet, the price will be more than the more common crape and cotton polyester interiors. Each feature can add to the price of the casket.
Bigger brand name caskets tend to make caskets cost more. Batesville and Aurora are some of the higher end brands. They make a great caskets and have the brand authority to charge for it. Some funeral homes will have contracts with casket companies and only sell their brand.
Other brands you might see are York, Matthews, and Wilbert who also produce quality caskets. There are also countless local companies that ship caskets in from China. Those caskets are usually priced lower because they don’t have the big brand names.