Not everyone wants to be buried in something that is extravagant and only going to be seen for a short amount of time. While others cannot afford it or just want to help save the environment. But what is the cheapest casket you can buy and where do you get one?
The cheapest casket you can buy is a cardboard casket, and they start at $150. You can make the casket out of pine, for a similar price. You can buy kits to make/assemble caskets online or purchase the actual casket there as well. It is rare that buying from a funeral home will be a cheaper option.
No matter the reason for you wanting to get an inexpensive casket, I’m here to help.
Below I have included information to inform you about the different types of materials these caskets can be made from, how they are manufactured and where you can locate one, whether it be locally or online.
Types of Funerals
If you are looking to have a funeral that is cheap, but still want to use a casket, you have two options. You can have a burial or cremation. The traditional funeral and burial in the ground will be more expensive while cremation will be cheaper.
While it is legal and you have every right to buy your casket from an outside source, it will be best to check with the funeral home first to see if they allow that type of casket for cremation or burial.
If you want to have an even cheaper funeral think about green burial and you can learn more about them in my article here.
Types of Caskets and Costs
Whether it’s to save money, be eco-friendly or create something meaningful and sentimental, these coffins offer a unique option that all should consider when planning a funeral.
You will notice that these caskets are not only cheaper but almost always come in eco-friendly options.
More Costly Traditional Caskets
To get an idea of how much you will be saving by buying one of these other options, knowing how much a traditional casket is your first step. These caskets are around $2,000 but can cost over $10,000. You can find them cheaper online but this is a good place to base your starting cost.
I’m sure most people are a bit turned off or weirded out when we first heard about a cardboard casket. The idea of a shoebox or some corrugated cardboard comes to mind.
Though similar materials this is not what these are made of and look like. So before you judge to give them a look and read more about these.
While you can still buy a premade cardboard coffin most of them are custom-designed and made specifically to meet the needs of the customer.
They have options such as ones for green burials or coffins that you are able to write on and decorate. While most of these caskets are biodegradable and manufactured in a way that uses environmentally sustainable practices some are not and similar to traditional caskets.
Cost of the cardboard casket
You will also be surprised that the prices for these caskets, while they are cheaper than a traditional casket, can get expensive. The cost for a low-end cardboard casket is about $150 and can get up to $1,000’s for a higher-end customized casket.
The caskets you can purchase from funeral homes tend to be less expensive. The material that they are made from may not be as stable when transporting, and they usually are processed with chemicals and not eco-friendly.
This is not always the case and you can ask the funeral home for one to meet your needs, they usually will be happy to oblige.
Why is a cardboard casket special?
First off, you can personalize them. These caskets can be painted, drawn on, or even notes and last words to loved ones can be written on them.
You could have pictures with memories even printed on them. All of these things are a great way to process grief in this trying time and to show acts of love. This is a big opportunity for children to be involved without feeling put to the side.
If you are wondering when a child should start to attend a funeral read more in my article here.
Where can I buy a cardboard casket?
Many companies specialize in the creation, customization, and delivery of cardboard caskets. Here are a few to help you find what you need.
Wooden caskets are another option for an option that still looks good and friendly on the pocketbook. These caskets are also appropriate for green burial and also look and feel of a traditional casket, for those wanting to stick to more formal traditions. These again can be custom made and or bought premade to save time and money.
What are they made of and the cost?
The price ranges here again greatly and it will depend on a lot of factors. For the cheapest and best looking one, pine is the best option.
It is a sustainable tree in the U.S and they can be grown and replanted quickly. The cost of a pine casket is about $400 for a premade one and $1,600 for a custom made.
While you do not have to go with pine though it is usually the cheapest, getting one made from your local woodworker could be more cost-effective. The other option is you purchase it online which will save you money, just make sure that it is from a reputable dealer.
Where can I buy a wooden casket?
The best place to buy a wooden casket would be at a local shop, they can make the specifications you need and source the wood locally for the cheapest price. Online is also another great option.
You can pick this up from Titancaskets.com for a little over $1000, it’s really a great deal and more than half the price of a similar casket from a funeral home.
Woven Fiber Casket
These caskets are also cheap compared to traditional ones but on the higher end. They are caskets made of woven materials, biodegradable and usually from sustainable sources.
These are very sturdy while still looking elegant. The prices range from $600 for a simple locally sourced one up to $3,000 for something that has to be imported and is heavily customized.
What are they made of and what shapes/colors do they come in?
You have a few fiber options from renewable resources these include rattan, willow, hemp, bamboo, cotton, seagrass, and banana leaf.
They also come in a variety of shapes like rectangular (casket shaped) oval, hexagonal (coffin shaped). With natural fibers, you can have an assortment of eye-pleasing natural colors and the ability to dye them if you want.
Where can you buy them?
This US company is a great place to get one and they deliver throughout the country and also make special caskets for babies, children, and pets.
Most woven caskets are made in Indonesia because of local religions and access to the materials. The companies that import these caskets try to minimize the carbon footprint but buying local if possible is your best and cheapest option.
These may not come to mind when you are thinking cheap but with mass productions, these are now viable options. They are not eco-friendly and as cheap as the last three options.
But if you are looking for something that looks just like a traditional casket, are readily available these could be a good option for you.
How much are metal caskets and where can I get them?
These caskets range from $800 to over $3,000. The best and easiest places to buy them would be online at the major retailers of Costco, Walmart, and Amazon.
However, I really like the service provided by Titancaskets.com, they have very reasonably priced caskets and speedy delivery.
What to know about purchasing a casket online
This is most likely going to be your easiest and cheapest option. You will be very surprised that with a simple search the number of places that have online sales.
The funeral industry is worth billions of dollars and the number of companies online is growing. This site can help you as it lets you check by the state on the legal issues that may happen during planning.
The key as with everything online is to find a reputable company that has been reviewed and can be trusted.
Alibaba is a very cheap Chinese version of eBay/Amazon that connects you to wholesalers. You may find a good seller but be wary of sites like these because they often do not offer money-back or much customer service. They fall out of the purview of U.S laws and there is not much you can do besides writing a bad review.
What are the main costs of buying a casket online?
Here is what you are paying for when you buy it online and be careful of extra charges and don’t just look at the initial price. The main costs when buying a casket are:
- The casket itself
- Handels as some places don’t include these and are add ons
- Standard Delivery and possibly more for expedited delivery.
Below are a few websites that you can use to help purchase your casket online, make sure to check where they are coming from, so you can plan for the time and cost of shipping.
Do It Yourself (DIY)
If you are handy, have woodworking skills and some time, this could be your cheapest option. If you can’t do it alone, maybe you have a friend or family member that would do it or can help you.
This is also a great way to recycle wood, which is the main cost of constructing a coffin beside the labor. These can also be green if you choose the right materials to craft the coffin.
You can read my article about building your own coffin here.
What is the cost of a DIY casket?
Depending on the style, type of wood, material, etc., it can cost $100 if you reuse materials and do it all yourself to over a $1,000 if you have to buy all the materials and rent the equipment.
How do I do it myself?
Having a plan is the first step. Then you would take the dimensions of the person into consideration. After that getting the materials, tools and then constructing it. This obviously is a huge oversimplification check out these websites for plans and instructions:
Ways to Save
Know the laws- While there are not many laws and regulations federally for funerals and caskets, the one important one to know is that, under the federal Funeral Rule, a funeral home or mortuary must allow a customer to use a casket purchased elsewhere.
Get Support- This is a trying time for all and you may not be in the best mindset to choose the best and cheapest option. Having a friend or family member with you while shopping or looking online can be a great help.
While most funeral homes and mortuaries are looking out for the customer, they are still a business and looking to make a profit. Do not feel bad to ask to see less expensive caskets, again by law they have to supply and show you a list of all the caskets they have available.
Shop Around- Getting a casket online will probably be the cheapest option, it is not always. By just calling the local funeral homes and asking for the cheapest one you may find one that is cheaper.
You also have to remember that when buying online shipping and time may become an issue. So it might be a little more expensive to buy one at a funeral home, it could save you the hassle of dealing with online shopping.
Plan Ahead- This is hard to do and most people do not want to think about their own funeral. By purchasing or making the casket ahead of time you can not only save time and money but your family’s peace of mind as well.
If you don’t purchase it, by just having the stipulations in your will that you want the cheapest one possible can also alleviate some stress for those taking care of the arrangements.
Keep it Simple –When a loved one dies, planning and preparing a funeral is not something that is pleasant and easy to do, and this is even more so if you are on a tight budget.
Think about a simple funeral, with an inexpensive casket, even a cheap casket. The main goal of a funeral is to aid in grieving and to remember the deceased while honoring their memory. You don’t have to have a lavish funeral for this and they probably wouldn’t want you to.
Get Financial Assistance
If finances are the main concern, you may be a good candidate for financial assistance through your state or county. They could cover some of the costs. If searching online has not gotten you anywhere, the local funeral homes are a good resource in helping you find financial assistance.
The Social Security Act allows a one-time payout of $225 for a death benefit to the surviving beneficiary. You could use that if they qualify to put towards the casket. If they served in the military the Department of Veterans Affairs and American Legion are also good resources.
Can I rent a casket?
Yes, you can some funeral homes or mortuaries offer the option. They will allow you to rent a wood or metal casket with a strong cardboard liner.
Usually, after the viewing or service, the removable inner liner is taken out and put used for the burial or cremation. Only the outer shell is reused. You can read more about the prices and how it works in my full article here.
Are cardboard caskets legal in America?
Yes, they are but be aware that each state/region has different regulations. Most of the time it is not an issue with the government but with the cemetery, so make sure to ask first before purchasing a plot and a casket.
Are cardboard caskets really eco- friendly?
For the most part yes. If you are environmentally conscious, besides burying the body without a casket, these are the next best choice.
What is the difference between a casket and a coffin?
Traditionally, a coffin narrows at the feet and is six-sided. As opposed to a casket is where it is shaped like a standard rectangle. While the casket is now the standard word for both of them, the word coffin is being used as a “style” of the casket with its six sides.