Planning for your funeral or a loved one is not a pleasant conversation. But everyone should discuss a few important details, including choosing a coffin or casket. In this article, we discuss how to choose a coffin and the main differences between a coffin vs a casket.
Coffin vs Casket
Coffins vs caskets is a common question for burials in Australia, but the main difference is the shape and how they open. Before choosing a coffin, here are a few key differences between each option:
- Coffin: A coffin is a six-sided container that’s wide up the top and narrow at the bottom. It’s what you might picture when thinking about a funeral or burial. Furthermore, they have a removable lid.
- Casket: Caskets are rectangular boxes with no change in shape from top to bottom. They typically have a lid with a split down the centre and come with features such as cushions and linings.
Common types of coffins
In a world where anything is customisable, it’s no surprise that the same goes for coffins. Below is a list of the common types of coffins, their main features, and their price range. Therefore, it’s important to determine what kind of coffin you would prefer.
Cardboard coffins, also known as cremation capsules, are cost-effective and easily customisable. As a result, they're becoming increasingly popular. Cardboard coffins also use biodegradable, recycled cardboard making them better for the environment.
In Australia, a traditional coffin can start at roughly $800 to $1000. The cost varies depending on the funeral director and features. Typical features of entry-level coffins include plastic handles, a flat lid and use plywood or medium-density fibreboard.
Wicker coffins are a great alternative to the standard wooden coffin in terms of appearance. Aside from the aesthetics, many people select a wicker coffin because it is environmentally friendly, as it is made entirely of natural materials.
The most expensive coffins can start at $6,000 and go up quickly depending on customisations or adornment. Typical features can include tiered lids, metal-plated bronze or copper handles, and linings using velvet or silk materials.
Things to consider when choosing a coffin
Choosing a coffin is an essential element of the funeral planning process. Wooden coffins, for example, are appropriate for a more traditional service, while metal coffins are more contemporary, and wicker and willow coffins are appropriate for a woodland ceremony.
The coffin typically goes in front during the service for less than an hour before being burnt or buried. With this in mind, keeping prices as low as possible seems logical. However, it’s crucial to choose a coffin that fulfils your wishes or your loved ones.
For example, flags, flowers, and pictures can all be printed on cardboard coffins to commemorate the life and interests of your loved one. Wooden coffins can also come with beautiful foils, printed with personalised designs for the departed.
Here are a few more things to consider when choosing a coffin:
- Your budget
- Materials used
- Style of the coffin
- Your loved one's personality and preferences
- Whether the coffin is for cremation or burial
Choosing a coffin can seem like a morbid experience, but it's important to make these wishes known if you imagine yourself buried in something specific. The same goes for your loved ones - having the conversation can make everyone feel better about the decision.
Start writing your Will online so you can make it known what kind of coffin you would prefer.