How much do coffins cost?

Getting the right coffin for your loved one.

Over 50s Life Insurance
  • Traditional wooden coffin cost
  • Why to consider a casket
  • Fitting coffins into your budget

When planning a funeral, making sure the budget covers everything helps avoid debt and manage cost.

But it can be hard to know what things cost, especially if you’ve never had to organise or plan for a funeral before. And you may not have been aware how many things you need to budget for.

One item that is indispensable is a coffin or casket. Whether you want a traditional, open casket or an eco-friendly cardboard coffin, it’s necessary for the funeral – whether cremation or burial.

And because there’s so much choice for what’s available, there’s a lot of difference in price too.

Traditional wooden coffin cost

What’s the difference between a coffin and a casket? In short it’s a matter of design. Coffins are typically smaller and taper towards the bottom, often with six sides rather than four. The design saves on wood and so usually means that coffins are more cost-effective options. Unlike caskets, coffins don’t often open in the middle.

There are many things to consider when buying a coffin, including the material (cardboard, plywood, solid wood, bamboo, wool, recycled material and even a type of cotton), the design and less traditional options – like whether you want illustrations on the outside.

Which you choose might also be affected by the type of funeral you’re having. A burial funeral might be more traditional, implying a solid wooden coffin, while you may not want to go to great expense on a coffin if you’re having a cremation funeral. It is all a matter of personal taste.

The very cheapest coffins, normally made out of bio-degradable cardboard, can be purchased in the low-hundreds, while the more elaborate can easily reach the low-thousands.

The size will also be an important factor in deciding cost.

So it’s really a matter of personal taste. Perhaps a more useful question is: What type of coffin do I want?

If you’re planning a funeral for your loved one, you may have already discussed the type of coffin they want and are in the process of researching prices.

But if not, choosing the right coffin is an important way of symbolising a person’s life. For instance, a bio-degradable cardboard coffin might be the perfect symbol for someone who cared greatly for the natural world during their lifetime.

Similarly, coffins with images and designs printed on the outside can give us strong (and even humorous) reminders of the person residing inside. There’s a big range of such designs available.

For the more traditional person, the most common coffins are still those made of solid wood. But even in this you have a lot of choice. You might want to ask what wood best symbolises their life. For instance, an oak coffin might symbolise strength, endurance and peacefulness. The most common coffin woods are oak, maple, cherry, mahogany and rosewood, each with its own colour scale and qualities.

The ornamentation on a coffin will also affect price. Handles, the metal or other material they’re made from, as well as carving and illustration can all add character to a coffin.

The interior can be an important factor for many who wish their loved ones to be comfortable.

What about caskets?

In general, caskets are more expensive, with prices ranging up-to and beyond £10,000. These can be truly elaborate and also made of a range of materials. It’s less common for caskets to come in the cardboard range as they are usually used in burial funerals. Because of this, they are also commonly made from metals.

How can I pay for a coffin?

Since a coffin or casket is necessary in the course of funeral planning, you might want to take special consideration when choosing what is most appropriate. After all, it is one of the final images of your loved one on this earth and can leave a lasting impact.

That doesn’t mean it needs to be as grand as your budget will allow. As we said earlier, it all depends on the life of the person inside.

Making sure that your budget can cover everything is important. One way of planning is to get an Over 50s Life Insurance policy. These are available to people within a certain age-range, for instance 50 to 80, who want a payout to contribute towards a funeral, settle outstanding debt or leave as a gift for loved ones.

Planning your funeral can help you decide the size of the payout you want and therefore how much you want to pay each month in premiums. Typically, Over 50s policies do not expire, meaning that if you keep up your monthly payments, your loved ones are guaranteed a payout when you die.

Putting savings aside can help your loved ones enormously when you pass on. Even if your budget only covers your coffin or casket, you will have saved them the cost of potentially one of the most expensive items in a funeral. After all, thinking about how we are leaving this world is also about thinking about the life of the next generation.

Ways to get covered

Post Office Life Insurance

Choose between level, decreasing or increasing term insurance, each designed to offer you peace of mind based on your circumstances.

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Post Office Over 50s Life Insurance

If you're aged between 50 and 80 Post Office could help you to leave your family the gift of a cash sum or help towards your funeral costs

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Optional extras with your Post Office Life Insurance

Post Office Children's Cover

Get extra cover for your little ones and financial peace of mind that your children are covered, by adding the optional children's cover to your Post Office Life Insurance.

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Post Office Critical Illness Cover

Get extra protection and financial peace of mind by adding the optional critical illness cover to your Post Office Life Insurance.

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Still have questions?

You can find more information on life insurance by visiting Post Office life insurance guides and articles.

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