Selecting a Funeral Home
Last updated December 2021
In addition to deciding on services and merchandise, you need to choose a funeral home. We have gathered some data to help you.
Ratings from Clients
We surveyed area consumers for their ratings of funeral homes (we regularly survey Checkbook and Consumer Reports subscribers plus other randomly selected individuals in the area whom we invite to participate). Our Ratings Tables show results for the homes for which we received 10 or more ratings. In general, most of the ratings we receive for funeral homes are favorable, but a few firms received “superior” overall ratings from fewer than 60 percent of their surveyed customers. Click here for more information on our survey and other research methods.
Our undercover shoppers called the funeral homes listed on our Ratings Tables and asked for prices of three types of services:
- Direct cremation—Includes home’s basic fee, least expensive cremation container/casket, and crematory cost.
- Immediate burial—Includes home’s basic fee, least expensive casket, and least expensive grave liner.
- Traditional funeral—Includes the minimum services of the funeral director and staff; transfer of deceased from place of death to funeral home; embalming, cosmetology, hairdressing, dressing, and casketing; least expensive oak casket; least expensive grave liner; one two-hour visitation session at funeral home the day before the service; supervision by staff of funeral service at a church; hearse; and supervision of a committal/graveside service.
As our Ratings Tables indicate, the price range for each type of service was very large. The price of direct cremation ranged from $1,220 to $5,480, with an average of $3,053. For our sample traditional funeral, the price ranged from $7,490 to $16,950—a $9,460 spread—with an average of $11,370.
In addition to customer ratings and prices, consider a home’s location, tastefulness, and willingness to accommodate your wishes.