Guide to affordable cremation in Chicago, IL

Cremation is becoming an increasingly popular funeral alternative for families in Chicago, and we have put together this short guide to help families assess the cremation options available to them in Chicago.  There are so many cremation providers to choose from in the Greater Chicago area, that it can be difficult knowing where to start and how to find the best value cremation service.

What is the average cost of a cremation in Chicago?

direct-cremation-chicagoWe get asked this question often, and it is not the easiest question to answer simply.  There are a selection of different cremation services you can choose from and this affects what can be quoted as an average cremation cost.  A typical cremation service that replaces a traditional funeral service involves full services of the funeral home, a funeral service, a rental casket, prayer cards, guest book and a mid-range cremation urn, would cost in the region of $3,700.

A cremation can save a family around 50% on the cost of a traditional burial funeral, as cemetery costs can be eliminated, or significantly reduced if a cremation niche is required.  It is important, if you wish to keep your cremation costs down, to keep a check on what ancillary products and services are offered.   Many funeral homes offer a rental casket for a cremation funeral, so that you do not have to purchase a casket just for the service.

Cremation Packages

Many funeral homes and cremation service providers offer cremation packages now.  There will be a selection of offerings from a basic immediate cremation with no service to a full chapel cremation service.  A cremation package is a great way of knowing what your overall cost will be, and is sometimes much easier than trying to put together a cremation cost from a funeral home’s price list (GPL), where an ‘a la carte’ style of selecting services/products can  result in an inflated overall cost of your funeral.  Always check exactly what IS included in any cremation package, and if comparing costs, ensure you are comparing like for like services.  Cash advance items (such as death certificates and cremation permits) can often be additional fees.  Similarly some funeral homes advertise a low direct cremation price that does NOT include the cremation container.

Direct cremation in Chicago

This brings me to mention direct cremation – this is the industry term for a basic cremation without any services.  It is the least expensive type of cremation service.  The funeral home collects the deceased, transports him/her to the funeral home/crematory, arrange all the necessary paperwork with you, conduct the cremation process (using a basic cremation container) and then return the cremated remains to the family in a temporary cremation urn (or an upgraded urn can be selected).  In Chicago a direct cremation costs between $975 and $3,300.

How do I choose a cremation provider in Chicago?

Deciding which funeral home or cremation service provider to select is not always straight-forward.  There are over 250 funeral homes in the Chicago area, so it can be a confusing task knowing where to start.  Traditionally families opted for a local funeral chapel or one recommended.  Today as families have more specific needs, the cremation trend is changing consumers’ choices, and finances are a key concern, more families are investigating different options than just what is offer by their local funeral home.  As I have mentioned funeral prices do vary considerably between providers, so it can be imperative to shop around and compare to ensure the funeral home or cremation provider you select, offers the best value services to meet your needs.  Many of the low cost cremation providers are covering a much wider service area for direct cremation services than a traditional funeral home (as no ceremonies are conducted) and this has made the market for affordable cremation more competitive in the Chicago metro area.

Comparing cremation costs and providers in Chicago

It can be daunting trying to compare the services offered by different cremation providers.  To help you get an idea of how cremation costs compare, we have selected a number of funeral homes in Chicago and conducted a cremation price comparison for a basic direct cremation.  As you can see from the chart below the cost of a cremation can vary quite considerably!


Disclaimer: This cremation cost information was obtained from providers in November 2013. Prices are posted to help families make informed decisions. However, periodically providers change their prices. We make every effort to ensure the prices are accurate, but prices must be verified directly with the listed funeral home.

Hopefully this information can assist you make an informed decision and appreciate how much the cost of a cremation service can vary in Chicago.

The DFS Memorials provider in Chicago offers the most competitive direct cremation price for the Chicagoland area.

DFS Memorials – Chicago (312) 448-8445 – Call with any questions you may have

Direct Cremation $975*

*Note: This direct cremation package price is complete. It includes a wooden urn with name & dates, all permits, and 3 certified copies of the death certificate.  At no extra charge the family can also attend the cremation center to witness the cremation.

What if I cannot afford basic funeral services?  Is financial aid for a cremation available?

There is a lump sum death benefit payment from Social Security (if you qualify) of $255. There are various veteran, union, and other organizations that provide benefits to help pay for funerals.   Each state has some form of public aid allowance that is managed at county level. Sometimes these allowances can be combined to help a family cover funeral costs.  A funeral director is generally aware of the various benefits available at a local level and how to obtain them.

$975 complete direct cremation package is available throughout Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry & Will Counties and Albany Park, Avondale, Belmont Cragin, Dunning, Edgewater, Edison Park, Forest Glen, Hermosa, Irving Park, Jefferson Park, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Loop, Montclare, Near North Side , Near South Side, North Center, North Park, Norwood Park, O’Hare, Portage Park, Rogers Park, Uptown and West Ridge