Choosing a Coffin
Whichever way you look at it choosing a coffin is not the most fun you are ever going have but it does need some consideration and surprisingly there is a wide selection.
Choosing the right coffin can be really difficult, especially when you consider the cost. Whether you are a ‘only the best will do’ or a ‘can’t see the point of throwing money away’ person, thinking about what type of coffin you want in advance will certainly save your family a few headaches!
If you want to go with tradition, you can choose between solid wood or veneer. For a more contemporary or green feel, willow coffins, seagrass, banana leaves, cardboard coffins, wool and wicker coffins are all becoming more popular. If you prefer to keep things bright, colourful coffins are available, designed from a range of images and patterns or personalised with a photograph if you prefer.
A word to the wise, keep in mind that the life of a coffin is short lived (no pun intended). Ultimately it will either be cremated or buried. Your choice should be based on
• What you can afford
• Which material you think is appropriate
• What you like the look of
Cardboard coffins are becoming more popular as they offer an environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional wooden variety and can be personalised with a picture.
You may have seen the cardboard coffin featured in Coronation Street in January 2014, at the funeral of Hayley Cropper. Amazingly that tv programme alone increased the demand for these more colourful coffins so I expect we will be seeing a lot more of them over coming years.
Wicker coffins or willow coffins offer a unique and natural option and come in a range of colours and shapes. From traditional shaped wicker coffins to ones with curved edges, you can make your choice more personal by including woven or rope handles, name plates and linings.
In addition to wicker and cardboard, you can also choose from this eco range:
Bamboo Coffins – the fastest growing woody plant in the world
Banana Coffins - made from the spun leaves of a banana plant
Seagrass Coffins – grown in paddy fields flooded with sea water
Cane Coffins – grown in degraded forests with poor quality soil
Cocostick Coffins – made from the stems from the leaves of coconut palms
Loom Coffins – made from spun natural paper
Buying a Coffin
Typically they are arranged through the funeral director but be warned, prices vary. Another good reason for planning in advance and shopping around.
As with everything these days, you will now find an increasing number of coffins for sale via the internet, especially the eco coffins.
Some suppliers don’t sell direct to the public but if you do find one you prefer online, you could ask the Funeral Director to get it for you.
If you do get the option to buy directly from the supplier, it could save you money but you should check that the Funeral Director is happy for you to use your own.
Prices vary depending on your preferences and your budget ranging from £100 to £1,000.
If you are thinking about arranging everything in advance, a prepaid funeral plan will include a coffin, the quality of which will depend of the level of service chosen.
If you have a particular one in mind, talk to the funeral director or funeral plan provider to see whether you can choose a more personal option.