Is it Better to Get Cremated or Buried?

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Have you been thinking about what your funeral will be like? If you have burial insurance or final expense insurance, you may have already planned out your funeral.

However, if you haven’t gotten that far, you might be now considering whether it is better to get cremated or buried. There isn’t one right answer for this. It depends on your own personal preferences. There are certainly many pros and cons to each of these options. This guide can give you more of the information you need to help decide whether cremation or burial is right for you.

Cost Comparisons for Burial vs. Cremations

Many people will choose to get cremated because they believe it will cost much less than getting buried. While this is generally the case, there are some options that one might choose with cremation that can make that option more expensive. Learning more about the costs associated with basic burials and cremations can help you to assess which option might be best for you.

For basic burials, you can expect to pay the following:

  • Fees for the services – $2,000
  • Transportation to the desired funeral home – $300
  • Body preparation – $200
  • Embalming process – $700
  • Transportation for flowers and belongings – $130
  • Staff and facility costs for viewing and the funeral – $900
  • Using the hearse – $300
  • Print packages for the memorial – $150
  • Plot at graveyard – $1,000
  • Getting a burial vault – $1,300
  • Opening the casket and closing the casket – $1,200
  • Metal casket – $1,000 to $15,000
  • The headstone – $1,500

While these prices are just approximations, they give you an idea of what to expect for a basic burial.

When it comes to the cremation costs, you can expect to pay the following:

  • Renting the casket – $1,000
  • The urn – $250
  • Cremation process – $30

These are just the basic costs associated with a cremation. However, many people who choose to get cremated also want to have an empty casket funeral and memorial service. This adds more onto the total cost for the cremation.

Pros and Cons for Cremation

When it comes to getting cremated, you are going to have both pros and cons for this option. Knowing about both the pros and cons can help you to better decide if cremation is the right choice.

Some of the cremation benefits include the following:

  • A funeral service can still be done and it doesn’t have to be as expensive as an actual burial
  • Cremation is quicker than a burial as there are usually fewer decision to make
  • Don’t have to find a plot at a cemetery
  • Someone can transport your ashes to where you would like to be spread
  • Your loved ones can keep your ashes

These are just some of the pros of being cremated instead of being buried. With this being said, there are some downsides of cremation, as well.

Some of the cons of cremation include the following:

  • May go against your religion or your family’s religion
  • Many family members may find it more difficult to mourn the loss of your life

If you still have more questions about the cremation pros and cons or the process of cremation, be sure to call a crematory.

Pros and Cons of Burial

Similar to a cremation, there are going to be pros and cons of a burial, as well. Learning more about these pros and cons can help you to decide whether a burial is the right option for you, instead of cremation.

Some of the burial benefits include the following:

  • Have a gravesite where your friends and family members can visit
  • More natural to most people
  • Required if you are of a certain religion
  • Exhumation can happen later (if needed)
  • Your loved one’s might have more closure with a burial instead of cremation

These are only some of the benefits of getting buried instead of cremated. However, there are some downsides of burial, as well.

Some of the downsides of being buried, instead of cremated, include the following:

  • Usually this is more expensive than getting cremated
  • Tough for loved ones that live further away to come visit
  • There are restrictions at some cemeteries about taking pictures, visiting times, or leaving any flowers or other memorial items

These are some downsides that you might need to consider if you are thinking about being buried.

Environmental Effects for Cremations and Burials

It is important to know how your choice is going to affect the environment.

If you choose to have a traditional burial, this does affect the environment. The formaldehyde that is used during the embalming process negatively impacts the environment. In addition, the steel casket that is placed into the ground can negatively impact animal and plant life surrounding the area.

If you choose to be cremated, there may be some environment concerns surrounding this option, as well. During the cremation process, vaporized mercury can be a problem for the environment. This mercury is also called acid rain. It hits the land and water and can get into food that humans eat.

With this information being placed out there, generally the safest option for the environment is a cremation. The mercury that is released from your personal cremation is much less than diesel vehicles release and less than a filling at a dentist office.

How Can You Help

Do you want to help the environment, no matter what option you choose? If so, then this information can be beneficial to you.

If you are going to get buried, there are ways that you can help the environment. You can choose to have a cardboard, wicker, or biodegradable wood casket. These are better absorbed by the earth.

In addition, they aren’t as expensive as the metal caskets. With a burial, you could also get a shroud. In addition, you could choose not to be embalmed. You don’t have to be embalmed unless you are being brought to someplace farther away or if you have a communicable disease. Not being embalmed means you are doing your part not to have the formaldehyde released into the environment.

If you are going to be cremated, there are ways that you can help the environment, as well. When you are choosing a crematory, ask them for information regarding their mercury emissions or pollutant filters they use. You should also ask them if they will take out any medical implants or prosthetic limbs that you have. If you are going to have your ashes buried, ask them for an urn that is biodegradable.

You could also ask about promession. This helps the body to naturally decompose into the earth. This can be done with burials and cremations.

These are some of the things that you can do to help the environment, whether you are getting buried or cremated.


You don’t have to take this decision lightly. You should take your time to think about whether you want to be buried or cremated. Hopefully, the pros and cons, along with the other information mentioned here today, can give you a better idea of what option you want to choose for yourself.

Keep in mind that no matter what option you choose burial insurance or final expense insurance could help to make things a bit easier for your family after you pass away.

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