10 Important Benefits of Cremation Over Burial

Cremation has many benefits. That’s why it is rapidly becoming the standard option for final disposition.

Many people who, like yourself, are considering cremation over burial find themselves asking the question, Why should I choose cremation?

So let’s take a look at some of the benefits of cremation versus burial.

What is Cremation?

Cremation is accelerated decomposition of the human body by incineration. Typically done by machine, cremation is becoming more common in the USA and all over the world.

The body is placed into the cremation chamber, which is then heated to extreme temperatures for several hours. All that “remains” is bone material, which is gathered, processed, and crushed to result in the cremated remains you receive back from the crematorium.

Learn about the cremation process here.

Benefits of Cremation Over Burial

Depending on what you and your loved ones value, cremation has many benefits over traditional ground burial. Here are some.

1. Cremation is cheaper than burial

When all the costs are added up, a full-service funeral with cremation can be about half the cost of the same service with traditional burial. If you are actively looking for a low-cost option, a method such as direct cremation can cost under $1000.

With a service at home or at your church or community center and these 15 ideas for a memorial service on a budget, expenses can truly be kept to a minimum.

2. Cremation allows you to arrange the perfect time for the service

With traditional burial, your funeral arrangements will be necessarily under a timeframe that feels like a ticking clock. This can add lots of additional stress to an already stressful time.

When you add in the difficulty of scheduling a venue to coincide with family and friends arriving from out of town, the perfect time for a memorial service can be pretty tough to find.

With cremation, you have plenty of time to juggle schedules, reserve a location, order the ideal cremation urn, and look into ways you can scatter the ashes or prepare a eco-friendly “living memorial” tribute.

3. Cremation offers more options for final resting place

Floating Shelf Urn
The Memorial Shelf Urn from Urns Northwest, a unique way to honor your loved one without drawing attention to the urn.

When you choose cremation, you are freed from the shackles of a cemetery.

You can keep the remains at home in a gorgeous wood art urn. Your loved one might have wanted you to scatter their remains in a favorite camping or hiking spot, or go out to sea for an eco-friendly ocean burial.

Perhaps you could store the remains in a niche so you can always see your loved one’s urn without keeping it at home. Or, if you prefer to keep it at home, display it discreetly and creatively with this memorial shelf urn (pictured above).

Related: Here Are 68 Interesting Things to Do with Ashes From Cremation

4. Cremation means portability

Jumping off the last thought, another of the benefits of cremation over burial is that when a body is cremated, the remains are completely portable.

You can take them to the top of a mountain or just move them into a different room in your home. A month at a vacation home, a move across town, or a new job out of the country are no longer obstacles to having a sense of nearness with your loved one.

5. Cremation jewelry keeps loved ones closer than ever

If you would like to keep your loved one “close to your heart,” you are no longer limited to a lock of hair.

If you choose cremation, one popular option is to get a work of elegant memorial cremation jewelry. These jewelry pieces have a tiny inner chamber that holds a very small amount of remains. Available in sterling silver or gold, in a variety of sizes and style, including rings, bracelets, and necklaces.

More info: Everything You Need to Know About Cremation Jewelry

6. Cremation allows each family member to participate

The “standard” sized cremation urn is not the only option for holding the remains. There are a variety of sharing keepsake urns that allow you to divide up the ashes so that multiple family members can keep, store, or scatter the remains.

This has many benefits:

  • Each family member that wants to participate in the scattering can do so
  • Each family member that wants to keep some remains can do so
  • You can keep a small amount of the remains and bury/scatter the rest
  • You can have a small urn that matches the larger urn

7. Cremation saves land

The cemeteries of the future are phasing out land-consuming burial plots. Cremation is a vital part of the land conservation movement within the funeral industry.

With cremation, little to no land is permanently set aside, as the remains are kept in the home, scattered, or stored in a small columbarium that can hold many, many urns in a small area.

8. Cremation skips embalming

Modern traditional embalming techniques use formaldehyde, a chemical that is very bad for the environment.

You can choose to skip embalming with a traditional burial, and you can also choose to have the body embalmed for viewing prior to cremation, but generally it is much easier to skip the embalming entirely with cremation.

9. Cremation lets you be creative

Just check out this list of all the things you can do with cremated remains, and this list of 20 reasons people are choosing cremation.

10. Cremation still allows for burial

If you change your mind about keeping the urn at home or interring it in a columbarium, you can still bury the urn. With the portability of cremated remains, many options remain open to you.

More benefits of cremation

Want to read more? Here are 20 reasons, from real people, on why they chose cremation.

Every Reason Why Cremation is Better

18 thoughts on “10 Important Benefits of Cremation Over Burial”

  1. Direct Cremation:
    Quicker, Cheaper, Faster, no hassle, no muss, no fuss.
    No one there
    No tears shared
    No platform to mourn
    No recognition of the death
    No recognition of the life
    As if death never happened
    As if you never were
    Success accomplished / Unpleasantness avoided
    “Is that all there is my friend?”

  2. Thanks for sharing, Saraphina! Those are good thoughts, and well expressed, concerning direct cremation. One thing to note, this is an option for those who cannot afford more expensive options and are financially limited in how they mourn and recognize the life and death of a loved one. But choosing direct cremation does not prohibit the family from seeing the body prior to the cremation and saying goodbye, nor does it preclude a memorial service, burial or scattering service, celebration of life event, etc. The family will have the cremated remains, and can even take the time to arrange for a date when traveling friends and relatives can make it. Some food for thought!

  3. I have noticed that cremation is starting to get more popular, and I wanted to know what benefits it has. It’s great that cremation allows every family member to participate in the scattering. Personally, I think that cremation is a very unique and emotional way to say goodbye to your loved one.

  4. Thanks for bringing to my attention that cremation is cheaper than burial is. My mother passed away, and our family is trying to arrange memorial services with our limited funds. Maybe we could go with a cremation instead of a burial so we can save some money that way.

  5. I like how you said that cremation services are almost half as expensive as a normal funeral. My husband’s father is getting to the point that he’ll probably kick the bucket soon. He mentioned that he would want to be cremated, so we’ll have to look around and try to find a good service to do that when necessary.

  6. There really are a ton of advantages to cremation that many people do not take into consideration. One of the bigger ones, as is pointed out, is the fact that cremation allows you to pick the perfect time for a service. After all, if you plan to do a burial it has to be done withing a few weeks of the loved ones death, putting a lot of strain on the rest of the family’s schedules.

  7. My grandfather is in very poor health, and it look as if he will pass away soon. He’s requested that, once he’s passed, he is cremated. It’s a very good option considering cremations means the remains are completely portable and can be taken anywhere. It’s also nice to not have to rush a funeral service.

  8. My husband and I are planning our funeral in advance so that our children will not be stressed and have to pay for anything when we pass away in the future. We are thinking of going the route of cremation and you make a great point that it is a lot cheaper than burial and this will save us a lot of money that we can leave for our children in the future. Also, the fact that it will allow our children to scatter our ashes in memorable places is great.

  9. With traditional funerals it’s within a week people fly in n they fly out it’s expensive and can be a burden on family. The burden can be th costs to get there, hotel, leave from work and with cremation you can take your truck me until everyone’s can afford to get together and have a true celebration of life.
    Pre arranging is not the only SMART it just makes sense and it’s logical not emotional decisions.
    It’s a gift we give our families they should be allowed to grieve not try and make hasty decisions at a very stressful and emotional time.
    Call me 206.288.9101 I’ll help you by educating, when we are educated we make better decisions.

    Raygan Cogburn
    SMART Cremation

  10. I like how you said that cremation offers more options for the final resting place, because you can keep the remains at home, scatter them, or store them, to keep your loved ones close. My friend recently lost a loved one, and isn’t sure what she should do to take care of a burial or ceremony. I’ll have to recommend that she find a professional cremation service in her area, that can take care of the process, and give her the opportunity to keep her loved one close to her and her family, no matter where they go.

  11. That is really interesting that cremation can be about half the cost of a burial. That would be really nice to have my family only have to worry about half the cost instead of all that cost. That would be one of my last good deeds to my children.

  12. Something that would be really nice to have is conservation of land in cemeteries. It is interesting that cremation plays a vital role when it comes to saving the land. That is something that I would want to do so that I could conserve more land.

  13. I liked that you said that choosing cremation memorial services over traditional burial services will allow each family member or loved one to get involved in the process. I would agree that the scattering process makes sure to include everyone rather than involving only a few loved ones. I would be sure to consider using the cremation services when a loved one passes away to help simplify the process and to involve everyone in the memorial.

  14. I was not aware that a full-service funeral with cremation will cost about half of the regular funeral services. My husband’s uncle passed away yesterday, and we are looking for advice to help his family to choose the right funeral service. I will let him know about the benefits of cremation to help them choose the best for them.

  15. It’s good that you point out that cremation is much more affordable than a traditional burial. I don’t want my family to have to spend a lot of money on my funeral, so I am considering planning for cremation after I die. I’m going to look for a good funeral home that offers cremation services in my area.

  16. It’s good that you point out that cremation is more affordable than a traditional burial. I want my family to spend as little as possible after I die, so I’m considering having myself cremated. I’m going to look for a good funeral home in my area that provides cremation services.

  17. It’s good that you point out that being cremated is better for the environment than having a traditional burial. I want to do my part to save the planet, so I’m considering having myself cremated after I die. I’m going to look for a good funeral home in my area that offers cremation services.

  18. I appreciate that you discuss cremation benefits. Among that, you mention I like that you talked about the convenience of keeping the remains at home in a gorgeous wood art urn. Your loved one might have wanted you to scatter their remains in a favorite camping or hiking spot, go out to sea for an eco-friendly ocean burial or even to niche. With these benefits, it would be beneficial to the loved ones that they don’t need to visit them regularly or on special occasions their departed love ones if they chose to keep the urn at home.

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