Our Guide to the Top 8 Rising Funeral Trends for 2024

A woven coffin in a bluebell forest 

The Top 8 Funeral Trends for 2024 

The funeral industry is a constantly evolving sector, with new technologies and practices being developed, and environmental and financial factors impacting consumer preferences. Here at Tributes, we’ve researched and analysed the market and have put together our predictions for the top 8 funeral trends we expect to see grow in 2024.  


1. Direct Cremation 

In 2023, cremations were still the most popular funeral option, with burials accounting for only 27% of the market. Data from the past five years shows a year-on-year increase in consumer preference for direct cremations 

Direct cremations are cremations without a formal funeral service, with no ceremony performed beforehand. In these cases, the ashes are returned to the family to either scatter or keep in a decorative urn. With the average cost of funerals rising by 4.7% to £4,141 in 2023, it’s no surprise that this affordable option is seeing a rise in popularity.  

If you are interested to learn more about direct cremations, read our article for further information. 


2. Green Funerals 

With continued focus on environmental concerns, the funeral industry is predicting a rising trend in eco-friendly ‘green funerals’.  These types of funerals are about making conscious decisions which are more environmentally friendly compared to traditional funeral options.  

There is a growing popularity in choosing coffins and caskets made from sustainable materials such as bamboo and willow. Compared to the hardwood used in traditional coffins, willow grows much faster, producing a lot of biomass in a short space of time. As a result, willow coffins are considered to be much more environmentally friendly and a great choice for green funerals.    

For more information on how to have a green funeral, read our article for further details.  


3. Natural Burial Options 

Continuing the theme of environmentally friendly funeral trends, the funeral industry will also see a rise in interest towards natural burial options in 2024. These eco funeral practices often involve laying a body to rest in the ground in a tranquil woodland area without a headstone.  

Traditional coffins are typically not used in natural burials. Instead, woven coffins made from willow, bamboo or rattan are used as they biodegrade quicker, meaning that the body will support the local ecosystem and wildlife, serving as a beautiful representation of the cycle of life.  


4. Using Death Doulas 

Also known as “soul midwives”, a death doula is a trained nonmedical professional who can provide emotional and spiritual support to someone in their final stage of life.  

In both the USA and the UK, there has been a noticeable rise in people seeking a death doula to support them at the end of their lives. These carers can also continue to support the family for a continued period following the bereavement, helping them come to terms with their loss. 


5. Personalised Memorials and Keepsakes 

When celebrating someone’s life in a funeral, it’s important to personalise the funeral plans in such a way that the soul of a loved one is truly commemorated. With the growing rise of popularity in personalised memorials and keepsakes, we have developed several bespoke and customisable products designed to capture the spirit of the departed.  

For coffins, we have our striking Bamboo Plaque which can be engraved with any words and images chosen by the bereaved.  For those who opt for cremation, we have a beautiful range of customisable urns and caskets, including our solid bamboo Ringmer Casket which can be engraved with personal messages and images. We also have our hugely popular Tribute Heart Keepsake, a sentimental keepsake which can used to display photos, a token amount of ashes or even a lock of hair.  


6. Water Cremation (Resomation) 

Resomation, also referred to as “water cremation”, is an alternative to traditional cremation using fire, instead using a combination of water, lye and heat to break down human remains.  

This new process of cremation is predicted to grow in popularity in the UK in 2024 as it has environmental benefits, with providers claiming that the flameless process of resomation produces less greenhouse gas and uses less than one-fifth of the energy.    

Currently, the Co-op Funeralcare group are the only provider set to offer water cremation in the UK, but it’s likely that more providers will be able to offer these services which may come with a reduction in costs.  


7. Living Funerals 

For those diagnosed with a terminal illness, living funerals offer the opportunity to bring together family and friends, in the same way a traditional funeral might, so that the loved one can be present during the celebration of their life.  

Living funerals often have a similar structure to that of a funeral with food, music and photos of the person being celebrated. This event gives the honouree the opportunity to hear the cherished memories of their loved ones before their passing.  


8. Pre-planned Funerals  

There has been a growing trend in people planning and pre-paying for their own funerals and memorials in the UK. Doing so allows for the funerals to be tailored to suit their own preferences, while pre-paying for the service can help take the financial burden away from the family after death.  

If you could use some guidance on planning your own funeral, read our article for further information.  


Final Thoughts

As the world continues to be impacted by environmental, financial and political concerns, there is no doubt that we will continue to see the landscape of the funeral industry evolve, with new attitudes and preferences ebbing and flowing. To stay up to date on funeral industry trends, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.  

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Suggested reading

What is a direct cremation?  
How can I make my funeral more eco-friendly?
Can I plan my own funeral?

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Traditional English Willow Coffin
Ringmer Casket
Tribute Heart Keepsake
Bamboo Plaque

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