How do direct cremation prices vary in an area?

cremation prices

The price for a direct cremation service can vary considerably in a geographical area between different funeral service providers. Why is this? Presumably, if it is the service package from a funeral home’s General Price List, it is a standard itemized service from all funeral homes.

Use our Guide to Cremation Costs in 2024 to learn more about finding an affordable cremation provider. This guide includes a breakdown of low-cost direct cremation prices in major cities across the U.S.

cremation prices

A direct cremation service usually includes:

  • Local transfer of remains to the funeral home or crematory
  • Basic services of funeral director & staff for completion of all legal requirements, paperwork & obtaining permits
  • Shelter of remains (additional storage fees may be added if shelter of remains exceeds a defined number of days)
  • Temporary cremation urn

The following are included in the majority of direct cremation packages, however, there are funeral homes who charge these as additional fees.

  • Basic cremation container
  • Crematory fee
cremation costs

The Funeral Consumers Alliance has argued that there should be no difference in pricing, as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that direct cremation service packages be identical to those of all funeral and cremation providers.

Yet, funeral homes will argue that the price they charge for a direct cremation reflects the standard of service and quality their establishment offers.

I understand a difference in pricing for a direct cremation when services are delivered without staff time to conduct in-person arrangements at the funeral home. For example, a growing number of cremation service providers are offering ‘online only’ discounted pricing.

When a family submits the required forms online and makes payment, a funeral home can save considerable staff time. The funeral business can then offset this saving to the family.

However, when comparing direct cremation prices in a given area, one will still see a distinct disparity in the range of prices for the same service.  In many metro areas, the range of price for a direct cremation can vary from $795 to $3,300.

It is important to ensure a like-for-like comparison and check for any ‘hidden’ fees that are added to a lower-priced direct cremation package.

Visit our Local Provider Search for a low-cost cremation service provider near you.

Sara Marsden

I have been researching and writing about the death care industry for the last fifteen years. End of life services and experiences are something most of us choose not to reflect upon until we are suddenly faced with dealing with it. I have been contributing comprehensive and independent resources for families that explain how the funeral industry operates, and the laws that govern funeral practices. Sara writes for US Funerals Online and DFS Memorials LLC, as well as contributing to other forums and publications for the death care industry. I have a BA in Cultural Studies. This helps my analysis of cultural death care rituals, alongside a career background in Business Management. The death care industry is undergoing an epoch of change and this fascinates me.

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