Choosing a coffin for someone you love is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. You simply don’t want to be doing it. And it’s even harder when you’re not sure where your budget and your loved one’s wishes overlap. Or if the funeral director is giving you fair coffin prices to go on.

So, how much does a coffin cost, usually? To help you land on the best option, we’ll be explaining the average cost for five of the most popular coffin or casket types here. Let’s take a look.

 

How much does a cardboard coffin cost?

Cardboard coffins cost from about £250 to £700. That might sound like a big range, but the truth is cardboard coffin prices differ quite a bit by look. Plain single-colour coffins are on the cheaper end of the scale, averaging in at £450. On the pricier end are cardboard coffins with a glossy, printed design for £635. There’s a huge range of these to suit almost any person: cardboard coffin can be printed with someone’s favourite flower, their football team … even their favourite brand of tea.

One of the best things about cardboard coffins is that they’re completely biodegradable. They also release less carbon emissions than wood when cremated.

If you’re buying a cardboard coffin online, remember that the cost of a coffin for cremation is sometimes a little higher. Just by £20 or so.

 

How much does a wooden coffin cost?

Not all “wooden” coffins are actually made of solid wood. Those that are, are more expensive. Based on prices supplied by funeral directors nationwide, the average cost of a coffin made of solid wood is £953

Again, the design makes a difference. A plain solid oak coffin prices in at around £650; an American-style padded solid wood casket can be over £1,200.

Meanwhile, you also have: 

  • ‘Wood effect’ coffins: usually a chipboard coffin with a sort of laminate covering printed with a wood design. You would likely only notice it isn’t solid wood if you came very close or touched it. The average coffin price is £263.
  • ‘Wood veneer’ coffins: a chipboard coffin covered with a veneer of real wood. These look and feel exactly like a solid wood coffin, but cost on average much much less at £424. This is the most popular choice here in the UK.

If you’re hoping to arrange an eco-friendly funeral, a wood coffin isn’t actually the best choice. A cremation using a chipboard coffin released the same about of nitrogen oxide gas as a car driving 2,280 miles. Meanwhile, these coffins are also made using formaldehyde, which can seep into the groundwater if buried. For this reason, natural burial grounds usually ask families to choose cardboard or wicker coffins instead. 

 

What about wicker coffin prices? How much does a willow coffin cost?

Wicker coffins are hand woven out of a single natural material. Willow is most common, but bamboo, seagrass and banana leaf are all available. Wicker coffin costs range from around £400 to £900. Coffins with multiple colours and external handles are worth more.

According to our price review of funeral directors in the UK, a traditional willow coffin costs £770 on average. More unusual materials bring the average up to £799.

Like cardboard coffins, wicker coffins are a more sustainable choice. The fronds cut to make an English willow coffin will grow back from the tree, meaning that no trees have to die to make one. All wicker coffins are biodegradable as well, while having a more natural look than cardboard.

 

How much does a glitter coffin cost?

Glitter coffins are getting a lot of interest at the moment! But how much do these dazzling coffins cost?

Well according to the Glitter Coffin Company, prices vary as each one is made bespoke. So, it’s best to speak to your funeral director and ask them to make enquiries on your behalf. 

 

What’s the cheapest coffin you can buy?

The least expensive coffin is a plain brown cardboard coffin. These cost between £100 and £300. 

These coffins very much look like what they are (a cardboard box in the shape of a coffin). But you can very easily decorate them. Some families like to personalise a cardboard coffin by drawing or painting on them, writing messages, and sticking on pictures. This can be a very rewarding way to help with a send-off.

 

What is the most expensive coffin you can buy?

This is hard to say! Of the ready-made coffins that are easy to buy, the most expensive type is the American-style casket. These have a plush padded inner lining and an extra lid that opens from the waist up, for viewings. They can cost over £7,000. 

But this just scrapes the surface of what’s possible when money is no object. The ‘Promethean’, a solid bronze American-style casket used by James Brown and Michael Jackson at their funerals costs $25,000. A 14-karat gold coffin was reputedly made in Malaysia for an incredible $217,000. 

And for free spirits, there’s always a custom casket from Crazy Coffins, like their fabulous canal boat coffin.

 

A quick table to compare coffin prices

Coffin type Average cost given by UK funeral directors
Simple wood effect coffin £263
Standard wood veneer coffin £424
Premium solid wood coffin £953
Traditional shape wicker coffin £770
Alternative material woven coffin £799
Cardboard coffin £450
Customised carboard coffin £635

 

Financial assistance from Beyond

Funerals can be unexpectedly expensive. And when someone close to you has died, the last thing you want to be worrying about is money. We’d like to help.

  • Compare funeral director fees in your area here
  • Spread out the cost of the funeral with our finance service here
  • Crowdfund the funeral costs with a free Beyond obituary here
  • Get advice on getting help with funeral costs here
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