As cremation becomes increasingly popular in the United States, it’s only natural for people to have questions about the process. What happens to your body after death is an important and highly personal decision. It can help to familiarize yourself with the cremation process when you are deciding if cremation is the right choice for you.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What is a Cremation Casket?
- How Much Do Cremation Caskets Typically Cost?
- Is a Cremation Casket Required
- Are There Different Types of Cremation Caskets?
- Where Can You Purchase a Cremation Casket?
- Can You Rent a Cremation Casket?
There are many decisions to make regarding your final wishes, and it’s easy to feel burnt out by the process. What do you want your funeral to look like? Do you want to be buried, cremated, or something else? What are the different types of caskets, and what’s a cremation casket? Why is a casket needed at all if the body is going to be cremated? Asking the right questions — and getting the correct answers — is key to making an informed and empowered decision.
Whether you’ve already decided on cremation or you’re looking to learn more, we’ll explain cremation caskets in this guide. From their prices to different types, you’ll know exactly what happens to a casket after the cremation and how to make the right choice for your needs.
Tip: If you want to do something unique with a loved one's ashes after cremation, you might choose to create a brilliant cremation diamond with Eterneva or beautiful cremation stones with Parting Stone.
What is a Cremation Casket?
In simple terms, a cremation casket is a type of casket that’s used in the crematorium. Though it’s commonly believed that the body is placed directly into the chamber on its own, this isn’t always the case. The body must be placed in a cremation container, also known as a cremation casket.
This can be a traditional casket, or it might just be a cardboard container. There are strict rules about what materials can and can’t be included in cremation caskets. For example, cremation caskets can’t have any metal parts, which means you’ll have to avoid metal if you opt for a traditional casket.
If you’re wondering why metal can’t be used, it’s because metal isn’t combustible. The cremation casket goes with the body into the crematorium and needs to be entirely combustible. Caskets can be made of cardboard, plywood, and so on. The funeral home can help you select the right casket.
Difference between a cremation casket and an urn
There is sometimes a bit of confusion related to this process. How does a cremation casket differ from an urn? The cremation casket holds the body as it goes into the cremation chamber. This means it combusts with the body, and the ashes of the container will mix with the body’s ashes.
On the other hand, an urn is a container for ashes. The urn never enters the cremation chamber. It’s only used afterward as a way to display a loved one’s cremains. Urns for ashes come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s no need to worry about the material since it will not be a part of the cremation process.
How Much Do Cremation Caskets Typically Cost?
With casket prices costing up to several thousand dollars, it’s normal to ask just how much you might have to spend on a cremation casket. The price varies greatly on the material, but most cost between $700 and $1,500.
A wooden casket will cost more than a cardboard or plastic one. The good news is that there are a lot of different options to choose from within any budget.
While cremation is more affordable than burials, it’s still important to consider the full cost when making your decision. Choosing a direct cremation will help keep the cost down since you won’t need to have the body embalmed or prepared in any way for a wake or funeral.
Is a Cremation Casket Required?
The answer to whether a cremation casket is required depends on your specific location. Different states and different crematoriums have their own rules and regulations.
It’s essential to keep in mind that the cremation casket doesn’t serve a functional purpose, unlike a burial casket. Some states and crematoriums require an “alternative container” or casket that’s fully combustible.
A basic cardboard container is often included in the price of your loved one’s cremation. However, it’s worth asking what’s required in your state and crematorium before making a decision.
Are There Different Kinds of Cremation Caskets?
Like all caskets, there are many different types of cremation caskets. It’s good to have a selection so you can ensure your needs are met. For instance, you might choose a more ornate casket if your body will be present at a wake or funeral service. You might choose a simple wood or cardboard casket if you are most concerned about cost or environmental impact.
With the rise in popularity of green burials, it’s become easy to find green caskets. Green caskets are used in an eco-friendly burial or cremation, so are fully biodegradable and combustible. They are made out of natural materials like:
- Recycled cardboard
Most green casket materials are fully combustible and work as cremation caskets. They are often less expensive than traditional caskets, so make a great budget-friendly choice as well. Many are handmade and look elegant enough for a funeral service.
The most classic cremation casket is a solid wood casket. They are commonly referred to as Jewish caskets since they are often used for Jewish burials.
In the Jewish faith, the body must be buried in a basic wooden casket. Ornate caskets are forbidden in traditional Jewish tradition — the idea is that all humans are created equal in life and in death.
Jewish caskets are made entirely of wood. They have no metal parts, so they’re fully combustible and appropriate for cremation. They are also an affordable option, and there are many different wooden varieties to choose from.
Crematory provided container
Your crematory can also offer an alternative container to be used for cremation. This is usually a cardboard box, but it varies depending on the specific facility.
If your body won’t be present at a wake or funeral, a crematory-provided container might be a good option for you. While this doesn’t allow for any personalization, they are the simplest and least expensive of all of the options.
Where Can You Purchase a Cremation Casket?
If you can’t find what you’re looking for from your funeral home or crematorium, you can purchase a cremation casket online. Any natural materials that are fully combustible will usually work just fine as a cremation casket. If you’re unsure, a safe bet is to limit your search to wooden or eco-friendly options.
Trusted Caskets is one of the leading sources of caskets online. You’ll find all different types of materials. Be mindful not to choose a casket with metal elements, but many of their wooden caskets are perfect for cremation.
Another option is to use one of the kits found on Etsy. If you’re planning on using a simple wooden casket, it’s relatively easy to put one together yourself. You don’t need any fancy skills or equipment if you buy a ready-made kit.
Memorials is a casket supplier that has a wide selection of green caskets. These are all fully combustible, made of materials like bamboo, willow, and seagrass. Their selection is beautiful and works both for eco-friendly burials and cremations.
Green Burial Council
Last but not least, the Green Burial Council recommends many providers with eco-friendly funeral products. These are all approved by the nonprofit, and you can find a wide array of caskets and alternative containers.
Can You Rent a Traditional Casket?
One common option is to rent a traditional casket for the funeral. This allows you to have a fancier casket for display while using a simple and combustible container for cremation. An alternative container might not be as visually appealing as a traditional casket. This allows the family to have the body present at the funeral without using excess materials.
In addition, renting a casket is more affordable than buying a casket outright. Since the body will be cremated instead of buried, there’s no need to purchase more than one casket. Most funeral homes offer casket rentals for just this situation, and the family can use a crematorium-provided casket for the cremation.
Cremation Explained: Caskets and Beyond
Though it might sound strange to choose a cremation casket, this is often an essential step in the cremation process. Your cremation casket will be a part of your final sendoff.
When choosing a cremation casket, be mindful of your options. From simple wooden caskets to handmade eco-friendly creations, you have more options than ever before. With the information provided, you can choose a cremation casket and note your final wishes with confidence.