Direct Cremation vs Funeral Home Services: An Affordable Alternative

The cost of a traditional casket funeral with a viewing of the body and the use of a funeral home can be very expensive. The average in America is around $11,000. In some cases, a traditional funeral can cost much more.

Total Funeral Costs

Here is a breakdown of the typical expenses for a traditional funeral:

  • Cemetery Costs: An average cost for a burial plot is $3,000 to $5,000. The cost for opening or closing a grave is around $1,000. A simple marker for a grave costs $1,000. An elaborate headstone is about $2,000. Additional fees may be charged for maintenance.
  • Funeral Home Costs: Transfer of the body from a home or the hospital costs up to $350. The funeral director and staff is around $1,500. Embalming costs are $600 to $1,000.
  • Casket: A wooden casket is about $2,000. Steel caskets that are airtight cost up to $5,000.
  • Funeral Services: Viewing is usually about $1,000. Transportation of the casket by hearse, to the church or the memorial service and then to the gravesite, costs about $500. Additional limousines for other people in the funeral party cost up to $200 each.
  • Church or Memorial Services: The average cost for a ceremony is $1,000. Flowers add $300 to $500.
  • Reception: Rental of a space for the reception may run $300 to $500. Food and drinks add another $500 or more depending on the number of people invited.

When it all adds up, the bill can easily exceed $11,000 for a traditional funeral.

Total Cremation Costs

A simple direct cremation costs from $1,300 to $3,000 and usually includes the following:

  • Transportation of body from a home or hospital to the crematorium.
  • The cost of cremation services.
  • The crematory fees.
  • Any state fees for required permits.
  • A certified copy of the death certificate (extra copies are an additional cost).
  • A basic container for the ashes.
  • Delivery of the ashes to the next of kin or the executor of the estate.

Some like to add optional extras to the basic, simple, direct cremation that include using a cremation container to transport the body to the crematorium. This container goes along with the body into the oven to be cremated. These special containers are made of sturdy cardboard or wood. The wood may be covered with soft cloth. They cost around $350 to $500.

Another commonly desired item is an urn to hold the ashes. These can cost $50 to $300 if purchased from a crematorium. They can cost much more for customized work. One nice idea is to commission an artist to create the bust of the deceased person to serve as a physical reminder of them and to be a nice place to hold their ashes.

Cremation services have many advantages over traditional funerals. They offer more flexibility in scheduling the memorial service. A cremation has the added benefit of fewer restrictions on the location where the memorial services may be held. With cremation, there are many nice, natural settings that can be chosen to spread the ashes.

How to Find Affordable Cremation Near Me

The price of cremation varies from state to state. The cost is the highest in the state of Connecticut and the lowest in the state of Nevada. The cremation prices for a simple cremation range from around $1,300 to about $3,000. This is still a bargain when compared to the average cost of a traditional funeral, which is about $11,000.

The average cost for an affordable cremation in each state is as follows:

  • Alabama - $2,108
  • Alaska - $1,617
  • Arizona - $1,705
  • Arkansas - $1,480
  • California - $1,570
  • Colorado - $1,619
  • Connecticut - $2,998
  • Delaware - $2,389
  • Florida - $1,757
  • Georgia - $1,929
  • Hawaii - $1,394
  • Idaho - $1,653
  • Illinois - $2,299
  • Indiana - $2,243
  • Iowa - $2,463
  • Kansas - $2,324
  • Kentucky - $1,996
  • Louisiana - $2,237
  • Maine - $2,241
  • Maryland - $2,318
  • Massachusetts - $2,383
  • Michigan - $1,970
  • Minnesota - $2,912
  • Mississippi - $1,921
  • Missouri - $1,779
  • Montana - $2,087
  • Nebraska - $2,579
  • Nevada - $1,378
  • New Hampshire - $2,093
  • New Jersey - $2,320
  • New Mexico - $1,739
  • New York - $1,924
  • North Carolina - $1,880
  • North Dakota - $2,653
  • Ohio - $1,382
  • Oklahoma - $1,954
  • Oregon - $1,382
  • Pennsylvania - $2,021
  • Rhode Island - $2,477
  • South Carolina - $1,955
  • South Dakota - $2,552
  • Tennessee - $2,039
  • Texas - $2,070
  • Utah - $1,564
  • Vermont - $2,132
  • Virginia - $2,416
  • Washington - $1,413
  • West Virginia - $2,100
  • Wisconsin - $2,382
  • Wyoming - $2,648

Cremation prices vary from different providers. To select a provider in your area go to and select your state on this web page -

The cremation cost for a simple, direct cremation usually includes these items:

  • Collection and transportation of body of the deceased from the home or hospital to the crematorium.
  • Cremation services.
  • Crematory fees.
  • State fees for any permits required.
  • Completion of the death certificate (certified copies are usually extra).
  • A basic container (cardboard or plastic box) for the cremains.
  • Delivery of the cremains to the surviving family members or the person in charge of the estate of the deceased.

Cremation Options

In addition to basic simple cremations services, many select from a variety of nice options that include:

  • Cremation Container: This differs from an urn. A cremation container is used to nicely transport the body from the home or hospital to the crematorium. It can be made of strong cardboard, wood, or wood covered with cloth. It is placed in the cremation oven along with the body that is inside of it.
  • Urn: A urn is used to hold the cremains, which are the ashes that remain after the body has been cremated. An urn can be very decorative and make a great keepsake to put on display in order to remember a beloved person who has passed.
  • Cremation Jewelry: Other popular items include jewelry that can hold a small portion of the cremains, such as a nice locket that is worn around the neck on a chain. Many find it comforting to always have a part of the person with them.

What are my options for low-cost cremation services?

The least expensive cremation is called direct cremation. Depending on where you live, the basic cremation costs can be $600 to $3,000.

Here is an explanation of a basic low-cost cremation and the options that can be added to the cremation services as desired.

Cremation Services

This usually includes transport of the body to the crematorium. In its basic form, this is the cremation of the body in the crematorium oven. The body is subjected to intense heat for many hours until it is reduced to ash. One option is to place the body in a cremation container. This helps with the transport of the body and keeps it safe until it is placed in the oven. These containers are burned along with the body. The can be made of strong cardboard or wood.

Disposition of the Cremains

Some spiritual and religious traditions, such as the Hindu religion or the Buddhist practice have certain rites that are performed as part of the cremation process. These can be accommodated and add an extra expense to the cremation costs.

Copies of the Death Certificate

The crematorium can provide certified copies of the death certificates. These are needed for many purposes by the executor of the estate and/or the surviving family members, such as making a life insurance claim, canceling debts, or stopping the payments of Social Security benefits. It is usually a good idea to have quite a few certified copies of the death certificate to use for these purposes.

Crematory Fees

The crematory may charge a fee and there may be state taxes or permit fees to pay depending on where the crematorium is located.

Urns and Cremation Jewelry

Many appreciate having an attractive urn to use for safekeeping of the ashes of the deceased person (called the “cremains”). There are many urns to choose from at a crematorium or a person can use one that they bring from some other source.

If the crematorium does not provide an urn or does not have one given to them to use, the cremains are returned in a sealed plastic bag that is placed in a strong cardboard box or a plastic container. In such a case, the cremains can then be placed in an urn at a later time or spread somewhere.

Another option is to put a portion of the ashes in cremation jewelry that can be worn, such as a locket on a chain. This option allows more than one person to have some of the ashes of the deceased as a keepsake.

Memorial Services and Remembrances

Optional services include having an obituary placed in the local newspaper. A memorial service can be provided that is also called a “Celebration of Life” service. This may be held at the crematorium, if space is available for that purpose, or at another appropriate location.

How much does it cost to be cremated?

The cost of cremation ranges from around $600 to $3,000 depending on what part of the country you live in and what type of cremation services you choose. You can go to the system, search for your location, and find out the cost for cremation services near where you live.

How do I save money by using cremation services near me?

Cremation can be combined with traditional funeral services to reduce the overall cost. This can save the price of a burial if the body is cremated after being placed on view at the funeral home. To bury a casket requires paying for the burial plot, which ranges from $3,000 to $5,000.

You will also save on the cost of opening and closing the grave, which is typically about $1,000. In addition, you can avoid the cost of a grave marker (around $1,000) or a headstone (up to $3,000). Just by avoiding the casket burial portion of a funeral you might be able to save up to $9,000.

If there is no desire for viewing the body, the price of the casket is also avoided, which can be $2,000 to $5,000. Having a memorial service can be substituted for a traditional funeral service. If you do not need to use the services of a funeral home or a funeral director, this can save up to $2,000. To accomplish these savings, you may want to opt for a direct cremation.

What is a direct cremation that is offered by a crematorium near me?

Direct cremation is the best choice for low-cost cremation. Once the person dies and has officially been pronounced dead, the staff from the crematorium picks up the body from the home or the hospital. The body is cremated and all the legal paperwork is prepared. Then the ashes (called “cremains”) are returned to the surviving family members or the designated person in charge of the deceased affairs.

The Advantages of Simple Cremation

The process of direct cremation is simple and elegant. It is accomplished quickly (usually within 24 hours) and does not take a lot of effort to make the arrangements. When someone has just died, it can be really difficult to deal with all the arrangements necessary to create a traditional funeral.

This pressure of having to decide all the details of a traditional funeral are avoided when cremation is used. Time is available to grieve properly and then the arrangements for a memorial ceremony can be made at a later date. This relief from the pressure of decision-making alone is a good enough reason to choose cremation over a traditional casket-burial funeral.

Choosing cremation can be a part of a traditional funeral to substitute for some of it or this can be done in the simplest way possible to keep the costs down with a cheap cremation. Many appreciate the idea of saving expenses on the funeral process. This may allow them to use the money that is saved to provide for a nice memorial service that is easier for all to attend or for another important purpose.

How do I find cremation services near me?

Many are choosing a simple cremation over a much more costly traditional funeral because of the enormous savings. A cheap cremation is available in some areas for only around $600. In other areas, the cost for cremation can run up to $3,000. Nevertheless, when this amount is compared to the cost of a traditional funeral with a casket burial the savings can be anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000 because the average funeral cost is around $11,000.

Besides the cost savings, there are many advantages for a low-cost cremation that include easier scheduling for the memorial service and being able to have a service in a convenient location. You also get to choose whether to keep the cremains in a decorative urn or take them to a special location to spread them around.

These advantages are why cremation has become the preferred choice of over 40% of Americans and why the percentage of those choosing a low-cost cremation is increasing.

Compare Cremation Services has a convenient list of crematorium locations at This system makes it easy to find affordable cremation services near you.

The least expensive cremation method is called direct cremation. For these services, the body is taken directly to the crematorium soon after death, prior to any funeral or memorial service. There is no need to involve a funeral director or pay for any funeral home staff and services. There is no embalming of the body necessary or getting the body ready for an open casket viewing. Having a funeral or memorial service is optional but not required.

This creates significant savings because the crematorium staff handles the affairs, which are much simpler. They take care of the body transfer, handle the proper paperwork, and then return the cremains to the surviving family members or the person in charge of the deceased affairs.

How do I find a crematorium near me?

Using makes it easy to compare providers in your area. Select the services you want and you will get an immediate quote displayed on the web page. There is no need to talk with a salesperson or even give your email address.

This service is very useful for those pre-planning their final affairs. By simply answering a few questions and making a few choices you can see all the cremation prices. This helps everyone understand exactly the costs involved. With this information, you can make your final wishes clearly known in a will. You can pay for these services so that the financial burden is taken away from surviving family members and friends.

Cremation Urns

Besides the basic cremation cost, you may want to have an urn to hold the cremains. The cost of an urn is around $50 to $300. If the budget is tight, then consider using any other container that you can get for a cheaper price, such as a nice ceramic vase with a top or a beautiful jar. You can also get creative and use something that reminds you of a favorite thing such as a nice empty liquor bottle, a jewelry box, or even place the cremains underneath a favorite potted plant. There really is no reason to limit your choices about this. Be as creative as you like. This freedom of expression is another great reason to choose cremation.

What is the cost of cremation vs. burial?

The vast majority of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck. Over half of the population of adult Americans rely for their survival on money that comes from the federal government. This includes financial assistance for low-income people and those with a disability. It also includes social security payments.

A recent federal survey concluded that 40% of adult Americans were not capable of covering a $400 emergency expense. These people may have a job but they do not have much put away in savings. Many in this group are called the “working poor.”

The average cost of a traditional funeral is around $11,000. The vast majority of Americans have no way to cover such a large, and often, totally-unexpected expense. Planning for final expenses, when a person is older and has an illness, is a logical thing to do. However, what about the younger, healthy people who die in an accident? For most people, coming up with $11,000 over a few days is literally impossible. What is the answer?

Low Cost Cremation

The average cost of a cremation is around $1,100 (in some areas this may be higher up to $3,000). Maybe a few people have to chip in together to cover this expense; however, it is a far cry from having to come up with $11,000. Many are choosing affordable cremation because it is the better choice when compared to wasting so much money on an expensive traditional funeral.

The National Cremation Research Council recently reported that the number of those choosing a simple cremation for their loved ones rose to over 40% from about 10% to 15% less than a decade ago.

Cremation Services

Choosing a direct cremation process is the least expensive way to go. Also, just because one chooses to have a cheap cremation, this does not change the possibility of having a memorial ceremony or religious services that are desired. All major religions have officially supported cremation as a positive alternative to traditional casket burials.

Cremation Costs

The average cost of cremation includes these items:

  • Body pickup and transfer directly to the crematorium, bypassing any funeral home expenses.
  • Professional cremation services performed with dignity and respect.
  • Delivery of the cremains in a basic container (sturdy cardboard box) or an optional decorative urn (additional expense).

Why should I choose cremation services near me?

Transporting a body is very expensive, especially when it needs to go across state lines. This is why it is important to work with a crematorium near where you live in your state. This will be easy to find if you use the locator on at to find a crematorium in your area.

Another good reason to use direct cremation is if a person dies in a place that is not near where they would normally be buried. The cost of handling and shipping a human body are very high. It may cost up to $6,000 just to bring a body back for burial. A better idea is to have the body cremated first and then the cremains can be shipped for a much lower cost.

How to Save Money with Direct Cremation Services

The average funeral with a casket burial costs $11,000. That is the figure we will start with and see how we can reduce the amount spent by using direct cremation services instead.

What is direct cremation?

The first question that usually comes up is “How much does it cost to be cremated?” and the answer to that question is the average in America for a simple cremation is $1,100. For a super cheap cremation, offered in some areas, the amount can be as low as $900. The cremation prices change depending on whether you live in the country or in a big city.

To find the cost of cremation for the area where you live, you can answer the question of “How do I find cremation services near me?” by simply going to the location selector of - This is how to easily find the answer the question, “Is there a crematorium near me?”

Direct Cremation Cost versus Funeral Costs

There is up to a $10,000 difference between the cost of a direct cremation that is a simple elegant process and a funeral that includes a traditional casket burial.

There are many costs for a traditional funeral that are not necessary with a direct cremation. Funeral costs include the expense of the services for the funeral home, a funeral director, and the staff. The cost of embalming the body. The cost of a casket. The cost of putting the body on display for viewing. Transportation is required to take the casket by hearse to a church (if desired) and to the gravesite for burial. At the cemetery, there is the cost of the burial plot, digging the grave, and marking the grave with a headstone.

Here is the breakdown of the average savings by using direct cremation:

  • No need for a funeral director and staff - saves $1,500.
  • No need for embalming of the body - saves $600.
  • No need for a casket - saves $2,000.
  • No need for viewing - saves $1,000.
  • No need for hearse transportation - saves $400.
  • No need for grave digging - saves $1,000.
  • No need for burial plot - saves $2,500.
  • No need for headstone - saves $1,000.

That total is an amazing $10,000 savings by using direct cremation. Please notice that we did not include the cost of a memorial or religious funeral ceremony because those can be used for either full-casket funerals or cremations.

More Advantages of Using Cremation Services

Besides the enormous amount of savings, there is the added convenience of deciding on the date of the memorial services, which is more convenient for those who wish to attend. Perhaps, it is better for those persons if there is less need to travel a long distance, such as choosing to have a memorial service closer to where most of the family members are currently living. Also, the cremains can be distributed in a favorite location of the deceased person, which is a very touching way to remember the good times of their life. These are some of the reasons why more American are choosing direct cremation.

How much does a funeral cost?

Funerals can be surprisingly expensive. The financial burden may add to the emotional pressure that can overwhelm almost any person. It is difficult to concentrate on financial matters when grieving over someone who just died.

Funerals do not happen that frequently. This is the reason that many are not aware of the expenses involved. There are many things that make up the cost of a traditional funeral with a casket burial, which include:

  • Cemetery Costs: Burial Plot, Headstone, and Maintenance.
  • Funeral Home Costs: Body Pickup, Funeral Director and Staff, Embalming, Casket, Viewing, and Transportation.
  • Church or Memorial Services: Religious Leader and Flowers.
  • Reception

Cemetery Costs

The funeral director may serve as the intermediary and help make the arrangements with the cemetery or the arrangements can be made directly. If a funeral director handles all the arrangements, there is a commission added to the cost. The average cost of a burial plot is $3,000 to $5,000 depending on where it is located in a cemetery. The cost to open or close a grave by digging is around $1,000 more.

A grave marker costs around $1,000. A more elaborate headstone costs about $2,000. Additional fees may include a maintenance plan (billed monthly, quarterly, or annually). This is to pay for the grounds-keeping over a long period.

Funeral Home Costs

After a death certificate has been prepared and signed by the appropriate authority, the body of the deceased is picked up from either the home, hospital, or mortuary. This transportation usually costs around $250 to $350. The funeral director and staff cost around $1,500. The embalming costs are around $600 to $1,000.

A decent casket that is made from wood costs about $2,000. Steel caskets cost more than wooden ones do. Waterproof, airtight, steel caskets are some of the most expensive kinds. Viewing services typically cost about $1,000. Transportation of the casket, in a hearse, to the funeral services and then to the gravesite costs around $500. Additional limousines to take family members and friends to the cemetery cost about $200 each.

Church or Memorial Service

These expenses include the cost of renting out the meeting space and the fee for a religious leader to preside over the services. The average cost for the funeral ceremony is around $1,000. Flowers are usually used at these services and may also be used at the gravesite. These may cost $300 to $500.


After the funeral, the guests normally go to a reception. This may be held in a home or in a public space, or at the funeral home. If the reception is held at a space that is not a home, there is the cost of the space that can be around $300 to $500. Then, there is the cost of the food and drinks to serve to the people who attended. This may be another $500 or so.

Total Funeral Costs

The average no-frills funeral and burial costs are about $11,000. The reception can add another $1,000. These expenses may be twice that amount when extras are added.

How Much Does Cremation Cost?

The Cremation Research Council reported that the average price of an affordable cremation is about $1,100 depending on what part of the USA is considered.

A full funeral may cost over $11,000. Cremation avoids having to buy a casket. Caskets cost $2,000 or more. When cremation is chosen, there is no need to have the body embalmed for showing in an open casket. The embalming cost plus funeral home services can easily be $3,000 or more.

Transportation from the funeral home to the cemetery may add another $1,500 to $2,000. Memorial services cost $2,000 to $3,000 on top of this. Add in flowers, the cost of the burial plot, and a headstone, then the cost for a traditional funeral easily adds up to more than $11,000.

Cremation Prices

Direct cremation is the cheapest of the low-cost cremation services. With direct cremation, the body of the deceased person is taken from the home or hospital after a doctor signs the death certificate. It is transported by a licensed professional to the crematorium and does not have to be taken first to a funeral home. This results in significant cost savings. Use the location service of - to find a crematorium near you.

Cremation Urns

Cremains are put in an urn instead of a casket. Urns can cost substantially less than a casket. There are very nice urns that cost only a few hundred dollars. A nice vase or decorative wooden box can also be used to hold the cremains.

The cremains are inert material and cannot cause any harm to anyone, so they can safely be kept in any place or home. Many like to put the urn in a prominent place so that it is easily seen to remind them of the beloved person who passed.

Sharing Cremains

There are more advantages of simple cremation than just the money that can be saved with a cheap cremation. The memorial service can be scheduled at a convenient time. The cremains can be divided up to be shared among those that were close to the deceased.

One clever way to do this is to put some portion of the cremains in a locket that can be worn as a piece of jewelry and kept as a keepsake. Saving the cremains can be done to continue to honor the memory of their life. The lockets can become a family heirloom.

Pre-Planning for Cremation Services Near Me

Cremation prices vary from one area to another. The advantage of pre-planning for a low-cost cremation is that the steps to take upon a person’s death are known ahead of time and the cost of the services is also known. Many think there is great comfort in providing for these cremation arrangements prior to their death. In this way, there is no burden on the surviving friends and family members. Everything is easily taken care of when that person passes.

Understanding the Cost of Cremation Services

In comparison with the cost of traditional funeral services, the average cost of cremation is much less. helps you find low-cost cremation. Smart Asset reported that in 2018 the average cost of a funeral service in America was $7,181. The average savings from using cremation services is at least 20% to 35%. Besides the financial benefits, many are choosing cremation because it is more eco-friendly and the memorial services can be held at a good time when everyone is able to participate.

How much does it cost to be cremated?

There are basic cremation services that are designed to be the lowest cost possible. In many parts of America, these direct cremation services can be found for $1,000 to $3,000. Some prefer to have additional services, which might include a church service, a special urn, and support for a memorial service

Cremation Cost Breakdown

Cremation services are generally comprised of the following costs:

Pie Chart Demonstrating the Cost of Cremation Services
  • Cremation Service: This includes the transfer of the deceased body from the place of death to a funeral home's secure holding place, body identification (which is done in-person or via photographs), processing of all mandatory legal forms, transfer of the body to a crematorium, and delivery of the cremains to the estate manager.
  • Cremation Container: This is NOT the same thing as the urn; it is a combustible container typically composed of cardboard/plywood, wood, cloth covered wood fiber, and other flammable materials in which the body of the deceased is placed during the cremation process. It provides protection during the transportation process and maintains the dignity of the deceased. Costs range from as little as $100 for basic cardboard/plywood options to thousands of dollars for more ornate wood containers.
  • Method of Disposition: This refers to the the way in which the ashes ("cremains") are handled after the cremation. The cheapest cremation disposition option is usually to pick up the remains at the crematorium in person. Other options typically include delivery by mail, or having the remains scattered in a desirable location. Some funeral homes may offer additional disposition services including traditional ceremonies. This cost typically ranges from as little as $0 for self-pickup to thousands of dollars for ceremonies that involve spreading of ashes according to traditions such as Hindu funerary rights.
  • Number of Certified Death Certificates: Most funeral homes will charge per-copy for any additional Death Certificates. The fee per certificate is usually between $5-20 per copy.
  • Crematory Fees: The crematory fee is the cost of the cremation itself and includes a temporary urn or container for holding the cremains. This cost is set by the crematorium and is generally without any options or variants.
  • Additional Permits and Fees: Each state charges a fee for issuance of the cremation permit and additional filing fees may apply. This varies from state-to-state, and is typically not a significant cost (for example, in New Jersey, the State Permit & Filing Fee is $5.00)

Basic Direct Cremation Services

Direct cremation means that the body is taken after death to the crematorium. It is put in a special sanitized oven that holds a very high heat for many hours until the body is reduced to ash. The remaining ash is collected using a very careful process and put into a simple container, such as a strong cardboard box. These are called the “cremains.” The cremains are given to the surviving person who is in charge of the estate of the deceased.

Enhanced Cremation Services

In addition to basic cremation services, many like to add a memorial service, including any religious service according to their faith. These services may add $2,000 to $3,000 more to the cost of direct cremation.

Some people prefer to have a decorative urn to hold the cremains to have a keepsake. There are many types of urns that can be used for this purpose. The price of these urns can start at a few hundred dollars and go up to any amount. For example. a diamond-encrusted urn made from gold by a famous artist might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is no upper limit. One favorite design is to use a lifelike bust of a person as the holder for the cremains. The decision about the urn can be made at any time after the cremation.

One attractive benefit of low-cost cremation is that the cremains can be easily carried to any location that permits disbursement of the cremains. Many like the idea of having their cremains placed in a favorite spot that they loved while they were alive. This is a soothing thought and often requested in the will of the deceased. The only concern is to be sure to have permission from the property owner. For example, Disney World is now allowing people to legitimacy place cremains for safekeeping on the Disney properties. This in response to the popularity of this place noted in many last wishes of the deceased.

How do I find cremation services near me?

To help find affordable cremation near you, has a convenient location service -

Why Americans Choose Cremation

why do americans choose cremation

The Cremation Association of North America and the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) both report that Americans are more frequently choosing cremation as a funeral choice.

During the past fifteen years, the cremation rate in America almost doubled. In 1999, about 24.8% of funerals were cremations. By 2014, this percentage increased to 46.7%. The trend is for cremation to continue to increase and it is becoming the most popular choice for most Americans.

Americans Choose Cremation for Good Reasons

There are many good reasons to choose cremation when compared to a traditional burial, which include:

Economic Reasons

The average cost of a traditional burial in the USA as reported by Fox Business News is $6,600 when using a simple metal casket. Additionally, the cost of the burial plot and a cement grave liner, adds up to $3,000 more. The top-of-the line metal caskets costs over $10,000. Annual maintenance fees for burial plots continue for a long time.

An average cost for a cremation is around $3,200. For those who have a lack of financial resources, a basic cremation, without a professional memorial service, costs around $600. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has a checklist of funeral items that helps calculate the total costs.

Consumers are now increasingly using online resources, such as Simple Cremation Online to find cremation solutions that are appropriate and affordable within their available budgets.

Freedom and Flexibility for the Memorial Ceremony

A cremation allows the celebration of the life of the departed in almost any location, with only a very few restrictions.

Based on the wishes of the person that passed or the desires of those remaining, some part, or all of the cremains (ashes):

  • are kept in a special place,
  • are stored at home,
  • are spread (scattered) in a natural setting or at sea,
  • or placed in a location that has a special significance to the person and their life.

Cremains can by buried in an urn just like a casket or stored in a crypt. Compared to the burial of a casket, a cremation offers flexibility and more freedom in the memorial ceremony. The memorial ceremony does not have to happen right away, because the cremains do not have the same urgency as dealing with the full body of a deceased person.

The NFDA offers a detailed discussion of cremation options.

Increasing Religious Acceptance

Cremation is an acceptable practice for many religious faiths and in some cases is a requirement.

Hindus must be cremated. Buddhists are most likely cremated.

In the Christian faith, cremation is an acceptable practice for Baptists, Episcopalians, Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Mormons (permitted but burial preferred), Presbyterians (permitted but burial preferred), and Quakers.

Cremation is not permitted for Muslims, Orthodox Jews (cremation is allowed for Reform Jews), and Eastern Orthodox Christians.

Green Funerals

The newest trend is the concept of a “green funeral.” A green funeral avoids using materials that do not biodegrade and those that are toxic for the environment, such as formaldehyde used for embalming fluid. Cremains do not spread disease, are non-toxic, and environmentally friendly.


The increasing popularity of cremation in America shows that many are finding out that cremation is a good choice. To explore the various options, visit Simple Cremation Online for more information.

Why David Bowie Chose Cremation

why did David Bowie choose to be cremated

David Bowie’s career as a musician, actor, and performer, always had a sense of a unique and intriguing style. His last musical album, Blackstar, released January 8, 2016 on his sixty-ninth birthday. The album came out just before his death on January 10, 2016. It contains a song entitled, “Lazarus,” which is the same name as the Biblical character that Jesus rose from the dead.

This was David Bowie’s last gift to his fans and a stylish way to say good-bye. David Bowie knew he was dying. He made it clear that his last wish was to be cremated “without any fuss.” He did not want a funeral or any public memorial. He wanted to exit this life on his own terms and move on to the next experience.

Buddhist Traditions

This sentiment follows the Buddhist tradition. Upon his death, the Supreme Buddha was cremated.

The Buddhists believe that when a person’s dies their energy has left the body to either escape “Samsara,” if they reached Buddha-hood or return to have another life here on Earth. Samsara is the almost endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. The goal of the Buddhist practitioners is to try to gain enough merits while living on Earth in order not to have to return again by rebirth here.

Japanese Zen

David Bowie had a deep appreciation for Japanese culture, which was reflected in his style and interests. Zen is a type of Mahayana Buddhism, made famous for “koans,” which are paradoxical sayings and questions that do not have a clear answer, such as “When a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it; does it make a sound?”

Zen Masters know when the time of their death is near. They gather friends and family to give a last good-bye. One Japanese Zen Master named Hofaku, upon nearing his time of death, called all his monk followers, and told them that his energy was diminishing, there is no reason for worry, yet his death is soon to come.

One monk asked the Master Hofaku, about the meaning of death. The Master told him that death is just the ways of things. The monk asked how to understand the two different states of being alive and being dead. In a typical Zen way, Master Hofaku said, “When it rains, it pours,” and then he died peacefully.

Memories of David Bowie

As reported in the UK Mirror, David Bowie made peace with his own impending death. He prepared his family for the transition. He made sure his wishes were known about what to do after his death. He died completely comfortable with the process. His last album had just come out. One of the last photos of the superstar shows him dapperly dressed in a suit and hat with a great big smile.

He was cremated in New York without any ceremony, with no friends or family in attendance.

David Bowie only wished to be remembered for the good times he experienced and his music. His life was a work of art. His simple cremation after his death completed it.


Many are choosing cremation for its elegance and affordability. To explore cremation options visit Simple Cremation Online.

Where Can I Put the Ashes?

where can I dispose of cremation ashes

The choice of cremation offers flexibility in how the cremains (ashes) are kept, where they are put, and how they can be shared with loved ones as a keepsake from those who passed. Moreover, the location for holding a memorial ceremony is less limited and the ceremony can be scheduled on a date that allows all those who wish to participate a chance to organize the time-off needed to attend.

Storage Containers

Popular containers use to store cremains include urns and boxes. Urns are made from metal, ceramic, carved stone, and beautifully finished concrete. Boxes are made from fine wood, carved stone, and metal as well. Many of those remaining, find comfort by placing the urn or box that holds the cremains in a prominent position in the home, such as on a bookshelf, on the top of a fireplace mantle, or in a special place that is created just for the purpose of remembering the loved one that passed.

Often a photograph is used with the urn or box to show the image of the person. Sometimes a few favorite items of the person are placed next to the urn or box. In the Asian traditions, a special place is made in the home for the express purpose of remembering and honoring a person’s ancestors.

One very nice way to commemorate the life of a person who passed, is to have an artist create a bust of that person with a hollow chamber in the center that is a suitable place to store the cremains.

If a physical structure was an important part of the person’s life, then the cremains can become part of that structure, where the location is often identified with a brass plaque telling the person’s name, birth date, and date of death, with some comment about the person’s life.

Outdoor Locations

As reported in Time magazine, scattering the ashes in a place that has meaning to the deceased person is very popular. Ashes can be scattered by hand, from small airplanes, and from boats in the sea. Usually, there are no restrictions in remote natural settings, about where the ashes can be scattered as long as the ceremony does not negatively affect others. For example, it would not be proper to spread ashes on a windy day at a crowded beach. It would be better to come in the early morning, when few people are there.

Permission is needed from the owners of private property to spread ashes on their land. Some restrictions apply to public spaces, so it is always best to check with local authorities. Many times, with advanced planning and permission it is possible to spread ashes in very special places. There are also companies that assist in the process, who have the legal permission to spread ashes on land and at sea.

Many sport stadiums and golf courses do not permit the practice as reported in the Washington Post. The Wall Street Journal says that some stadiums and public places set aside a special place for these ceremonies. Spreading ashes without permission in areas where it is not permitted is discouraged.


Many prefer cremation because the ceremony of spreading the ashes gives comfort to some and keeping the ashes in a special place gives comfort to others. To learn more about cremation options visit Simple Cremation Online.

Cremation Traditions that the World Embraces

cremation vs burial and other end of life traditions

Cremation has worldwide reverence as a very proper burial ceremony. Cremation, for centuries, was the choice to purify the dead body, not to pass on disease, and as a magnificent celebration of the life of the person that just passed.

Many ancient cultures selected cremation as the best way to conduct a memorial for those recently passed.

Here are a few examples:


The story of the Supreme Buddha was that he told his followers of his eminent death of his body. He prepared them for the moment of his transition. Of course, his followers were very sad. Nevertheless, he reminded them, that his main message was that life is not permanent. Everything changes. All people who live, eventually get sick and die.

The Supreme Buddha also taught those who observed his own time of facing death, how to die well. He died with intent. It is not possible to know if the story from history is actually true. Although, there were many witnesses. When it came time for death, the Supreme Buddha self-ignited.

After the fire ceased, the remains were small pieces of bones. These small pieces of bone are great treasures. They were taken by followers all across India and Asia and placed in memorials called stupas. There are hundreds of them that survive to this day.


Hindus in India understand that cremation is the proper way for a burial. It is both a religious matter and a practical matter.

Currently, India has a population of over 1,326,164,000 people. It would be impossible to bury a full body of everyone who dies in India. There is simply not enough room. In India, the Ganges River is sacred. People bathe in the water, brush their teeth, and use the water for cooking.

Open-air cremation occurs frequently on the banks of the Ganges River. The body of the deceased is prepared with fragrant oils and wrapped in white cotton fabric. It is placed on an elevated wood platform and then set afire. After the fire burns down completely, the ashes are tossed in the sacred Ganges River.


A Viking burial sets the standard for excellent style. Leaders of the Viking tribes, who died, were laid out on a boat filled will aromatic wood and pitch that easily catches fire. The boat was cast into the sea after being set on fire.

The tide would take the boat out into the sea as it burned down to the water line. The Vikings believed the soul was set free by this method to join the gods in Valhalla.

Contemporary Practices

Americans embraced cremation as the most preferred choice for the burial ceremony. The main reasons are the purity of the process, the economic benefits, and the freedom to conduct a memorial ceremony in ways that elevate the love of the person that died.

While, it is not possible to bury a full human body in places that are the most happy places, it is possible to spread the ashes of any person in the places that make the nicest celebration of their memory.


Cremation is an excellent choice. To find out more please contact the kind staff at to learn more about cremation and memorial ceremonies.

Important Information About Mailing The Cremated Remains of Your Loved Ones

There has recently been a significant change in the way that the United States Postal Service handles mailing cremated remains within the US. Cremated remains were typically shipped via Registered mail, and the package would be scanned at each sorting facility it went through before reaching its destination.

Now, all cremated remains will be classified as Priority Mail Express. In fact, you no longer have the option to ship them as Registered Mail. What this means to you is that they are treated the same as every other package. You are still given a tracking number that you can give to the recipient, but it will only be scanned three times: when it leaves the original post office, when it reaches its destination, and once more when it is delivered.

It is also important to note that if the recipient does not claim the package within two weeks, the remains will be returned to the sender.

We consider this important information because offers the mailing of cremated remains as a standard service. We work closely with the crematory to ensure that the cremated remains are mailed from their facility to you. We also understand that sometimes your family will wish to avoid traveling with or handling the remains, so we will ship to another location instead. Right now the United States Postal Service is the only carrier that you can use to deliver cremated remains.

The USPS has not changed the way that they ship remains internationally, which is also a service that we offer.

Have you ever used the postal service to receive or send cremated remains? How was your experience?

What is the Posi-ID Portal and why is it only available through

If you were to ask someone what their biggest concern is about cremation they would likely tell you it is a fear they might not receive the correct ashes. This is a problem that has been highlighted in the media, so it’s understandably a legitimate concern for family members.

At SimpleCremationOnline, it is our mission to remove any fears about the cremation process and ensure the highest level of comfort and security.

You may find this hard to believe, but currently it’s legally required for the family to identify a body before cremation in only 35 of the 50 states. Many funeral homes rely heavily on good faith that the person they have is the person to be cremated. They may be lazy, it may be a logistical issue, or perhaps they don’t believe they could be wrong. Whatever the reason, does not tolerate such a system and, in fact, has trademarked an identification process to give you 100% confidence in the remains you receive.

We require you to identify your loved one before cremation, rather than just giving you the chance to do so. This is a non-negotiable policy of ours. We refuse to do a cremation unless the family has positively identified the remains. We believe that this peace of mind is worth it, and our families, as well as our reputable Cremation Service Providers, agree with us.

This is why we have created the Posi-ID Portal™ on our website. The Posi-ID Portal™ gives you and your family the ability to identify your loved one in the privacy and security of your own home. When your loved one enters the care of the Service Provider, they are photographed. We never send you the picture through email or a text message as we don’t feel this is a secure process. The picture is instead uploaded to the Portal and you are sent the information to log in. This allows you to access the Portal, view the photograph, and then identify the body all in one secure place at one time. Overall it takes only five minutes to do, and this highly secure, private process is provided at no extra cost. Once you identify the body, the picture is deleted and the account information becomes invalid. We believe that this method provides the most safety and security, and the families we have worked with have found this unique service to be of great value and comfort to them.

We’d love to know what you think. Do you agree that family identification should be the standard? Have you ever had or read about a negative experience with a cremation or funeral that could have been avoided?

4 Benefits of Planning a Cremation in Advance

1. Knowledge is Power.

The importance of doing your homework when it comes to planning funeral or cremation arrangements cannot be understated. As a savvy consumer, you would likely never purchase a new appliance, take a vacation to a foreign country, or send your child to a university without doing thorough research about it beforehand. Taking the time to compare the options and prices will help you make a more informed decision. You have the chance to ask more questions and as a result you’ll be more confident in your choices.

2. Know What to Expect.

The death of a loved one is a scary thought. Not surprisingly, many people avoid thinking about this inevitability until they have no choice. Part of what makes the idea of funeral or cremation arrangements so scary is the fact that most people really don’t know what to expect. They may have never planned a cremation before and find themselves having to make important decisions during times of intense emotional stress. Planning in advance relieves much of this anxiety. Something as simple as a phone conversation with your Funeral Director can restore your confidence and allow you to focus on caring for your family.

3. Your Kids Will Thank You … Later.

Most of us have seen or heard about a situation like this before: Someone passes away, and their children or other relatives are forced to make difficult decisions on the spot. There’s panic, confusion, and often a good deal of conflict (“Who should we be calling right now?” or “How are we going to pay for this?”) Planning a cremation in advance, and even paying for it in advance, is really the only way to dodge this bullet. As difficult as it may be, try to involve other family members in an honest conversation during the planning process. Make them aware of your choices and give them the tools they will need to follow through with your wishes. It’s a gift that they probably won’t want, but they’ll thank you for it later.

4. Get Back in the Driver’s Seat.

Planning your own cremation arrangements in advance is really the best way to ensure that your wishes will be honored when the time comes. We’ve made it easy for you to complete your selections down to the smallest detail, all from the privacy of your own home. While of course we advocate involving family members in this process (or at the very least just informing them of your decisions), we also believe in the value of maintaining control over your cremation arrangements, without the “hard sell” of many traditional funeral homes.'s cremation arrangement tools keep you in the driver's seat.