Direct Cremate

Direct Cremation vs. Direct Burial: How They Compare

How does direct burial compare to direct cremation? Take a closer look at the similarities and differences between direct burial and direct cremation.
Direct Cremation vs. Direct Burial: How They Compare
Cremation, people and mourning concept - cinerary urn, photo frame with black ribbon and woman holding red roses at funeral in church

When you begin exploring disposition options you’ll find some services are dramatically different while others are somewhat similar. Direct cremation and direct burial are both dramatically different and similar at the same time. We get a lot of families asking about how the two compare, so we decided to create a quick overview to explain the similarities and differences between direct cremation and direct burial.

Similarities Between Direct Cremation and Direct Burial

There are a few similarities between direct cremation and direct burial beyond the names. The similarities are important because they are typically the reasons why a family considers either option. 

Everything Happens Quickly

The direct part of the name tells you that these two types of disposition happen a lot quicker than other options. Typically, the burial or cremation will occur as soon as all the necessary permits and paperwork are in place. Generally that’s within a few days of the death. 

No Funeral Services

One reason why direct cremation and direct burial take a lot less time is because there are no funeral services beforehand. The funeral home will do the necessary preparations and then the disposition will be performed without a viewing or visitation. 

More Eco-Friendly Than Traditional Options

Compared to the traditional versions, both direct cremation and direct burial are more eco-friendly. The reason being there’s less involved. When there are no funeral services fewer resources are needed. In particular, direct burial is better than the traditional alternative because the casket that’s used is usually plain and simple rather than ornate and difficult to biodegrade. 

Another notable eco-friendly feature of direct cremation and direct burial is that embalming isn’t needed. Because the disposition is happening quickly and there are no funeral services, toxic embalming fluid is completely unnecessary. 

Differences Between Direct Cremation and Direct Burial

Although there are distinct similarities between the two, direct cremation and direct burial are very different disposition services. Those differences usually mean the difference between which type of disposition is selected. 

Urn vs Plot

The burial plot can be the barrier for burial. In some areas burial plots are getting hard to come by due to lack of burial space. Part of the reason society is leaning away from burial now is in order to conserve land that can be used for other purposes. Just trying to secure a space can be a challenge that sways the family toward direct cremation because urns are much easier to come by. 

RELATED READING: 7 Key Factors in Choosing an Urn

Costs Differences in Direct Disposal

As mentioned above, direct burial is usually more expensive than direct cremation because of the burial plot and related costs. Burial plots can be expensive depending on where the cemetery is located. In New York City, where land is in very short supply, burial plots cost $4,500-$19,000.

In addition to the cost of purchasing the plot, there will likely be ongoing maintenance fees that must be paid to the cemetery. There are other related costs like a gravesite marker as well. 

Direct Cremation Can Still Involve Burial

Another very distinct difference is that with direct cremation you can also choose burial. About a third of families choose to bury a loved one’s cremains. It’s a popular option among people who belong to the Catholic faith. The upside is burial plots for cremated remains are much more affordable because they are much smaller and don’t require a large cement liner. 

If you’d like to arrange direct cremation, Direct Cremate can help. Arrangements can be made over the phone without having to leave home. We’re available to talk 24 hours a day.