Pre-planning funeral and other arrangements for after your death can be difficult, but advanced planning can help reduce the emotional and financial burden on your loved ones. Choosing a casket is a major decision that is made as part of these efforts. With many options available options ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars, the choices can seem daunting. However, keeping in mind a few key tips will help ensure you select the casket that is right for you — and your budget.

1. Set a price range first, then narrow down your options

Casket prices range drastically. Having a rough estimate of how much money you are able or willing to spend can help cut down on the number and types of caskets to consider. Steel caskets cost around $1,000-$2,000, while wood caskets generally range from $2,000-$4,000, depending on the type of wood and interior.

Copper and bronze caskets will cost $3,000 and upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. On the cheaper end, cardboard caskets generally cost under $1,000. Fiberglass caskets are also an option, and are priced just slightly higher than stainless steel models. Your price range may lead you to a certain type of casket based on its cost. 

Just remember to stick to something in your funeral planning budget!


2. Is the material important to you?

Wood caskets, metal caskets and fiber glass caskets are all very sturdy. There are many options of wood caskets including mahogany caskets, walnut caskets, cherry caskets, maple caskets, oak caskets, poplar caskets and pine caskets, to name a few. But, they each have a different look and aesthetic. If you like the "look" of one over the other, it's perfectly acceptable to select the casket based on that.

Are you looking for an environmentally friendly casket? Cardboard caskets are less sturdy and disintegrate over time, but this makes them an environmentally friendly option for those looking for a "green" casket. Some special casket makers market a wide range of environmentally friendly options including bamboo caskets, banana leaf caskets, sea grass caskets, fabric caskets and more!

Sample higher-end casket

Sample High End Casket

3. Determine where you'll buy the casket

Caskets can be purchased from funeral homes, directly from casket companies, from discounts stores, such as Costco and Wal-Mart, and online. Funeral homes traditionally mark-up the price of a casket, so buying a casket directly from a funeral home may be a pricier option.

Funeral homes are required by law, under the Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule, to allow you to use your own, pre-purchased casket. They are also prohibited from charging a handling fee if you use your own casket, rather than purchasing one directly from them.

If you decide not to purchase a casket from a funeral home, casket companies, such as Batesville and Aurora Casket Company, are another option, and many casket makers have showrooms where caskets can be viewed and selected.

Discounts stores are often a cost-conscious option, but if pre-planning, keep in mind that you'll need a place to store the casket until it is used. Online retailers also sell caskets and often present the cheapest option.

However, buyers of online caskets must keep in mind shipping costs as well as consider where they'll store the casket until their death. Additionally, take steps to ensure the online seller is reputable and your financial transaction is protected and safe. 


Selecting a casket may not be easy, but it is a wise decision to make. Considering your price range, options and which type of seller you'll use are the three main considerations to keep in mind.