Losing someone you love is one of the most unbearable pains you’ll ever experience in life. During such challenging times, the last thing on your mind you’ll want to think about is the excessive cost of organising a funeral service.
You may be aware that even the simplest and most basic funeral service is already expensive. The average funeral cost in the U.K. is around £4,417. But depending on the area you live in, the extra services you go for, and the preferred type of funeral, prices may vary significantly.
The price of a casket, coffin, or cremation urn also plays an important role in determining the overall funeral cost. This article will help you find out about the prices, material used, designs, etc., as well as understand why they are priced that way.
Quick Understanding To Coffin, Casket, & Urn
A huge factor that affects the total cost of a funeral is coffin prices. You may be confused as to which is the most affordable or perhaps what is the best option for your loved one. Although they are all used to carry the remains of the deceased, they differ from one another.
- Coffin – A coffin is a box used for keeping a deceased person for cremation or burial. The standard coffin is shaped with 6-8 sides. It is generally wider at the top or head and narrow towards the bottom. You will typically see coffins in hexagonal or octagonal shape and made using a variety of materials such as cardboard, wood, willow, metal, etc.
- Casket – A casket, on the other hand, is also a long container used to rest a deceased body. It is considered more luxurious than a coffin due to its eloquent designs and state-of-the-art craftsmanship.
Caskets usually consist of four sides and are built using wood, steel, or a material similar to fibreglass. They also tend to be lustrous, shiny and have soft interior padding. They may also feature intricate patterns, grooves, and other details to make them look more attractive. People tend to prefer caskets to protect the dignity of their loved one and display the remains of the deceased more pleasantly during the funeral rites.
- Urns – Are appealing vessels used to preserve or store ashes of the deceased after cremation. Funeral urns come in a variety of sizes, shapes, styles, and colours. They can be displayed at home, buried, or scattered in a desired location. A non-biodegradable urn is preferable if you want to store the ashes of your loved one; otherwise, an urn made using soluble and biodegradable materials like salt, gelatin etc. are more advisable.
What you select amongst urns, caskets, and coffins depends on your personal preference or the wish of the deceased. Simple coffins in the U.K. are preferred when families opt for direct burial, which is the most affordable option. Families who hold a large funeral or have a bigger budget usually opt for caskets.
Various Types of Coffin, Caskets, and Urn
Coffin & Casket
Traditional coffins and caskets are made of wood. The best part about wooden coffins is that they are completely biodegradable and do not leave behind carbon footprints. This is because even if you choose cremation, the carbon dioxide produced from burning would be inhaled by plants and trees.
Also, the suppliers sell these containers created from recycled woods. A wooden coffin and casket can be crafted using a variety of woods, such as cherry, oak, mahogany, pine, etc. Mahogany, cherry, and oak are amongst the most expensive and elegant materials. Oak is known for its prominent graining pattern, while maple offers hardness and strength to the vessel. These containers come in a wide range of finishes— from natural satin-finish to highly polished glossy look.
The most popular used metals for this purpose are steel and copper. They can also be designed using expensive metals like gold, bronze, or copper, offering timeless elegance. These containers are embellished with metal hardware and look luxurious. They are usually costly because they are lined with plush padding, fabric, and embellishments. They are also lined with a thick rubber gasket so that outside elements cannot penetrate their interior. These containers, however, are suitable only for burial.
Cardboard coffins and caskets are used primarily for cremation. They are amongst the most economical and the most eco-friendly options. They come in a variety of patterns like images of sunrise, flowers, gardens, etc. You can also get cardboard coffins customised with designs, patterns, and messages dear to the deceased.
Suppose you are working on a budget and can’t afford to buy a traditional wooden container. In that case, you can opt for high-end cardboard caskets and coffins, which can look very similar to the traditional ones because of their double lid top, glossy finish, white velvet lining, and brass handles.
Losing a small child is an excruciating experience for any family. Untimely, sudden deaths are the most difficult to deal with. Paying tribute to your precious child through a specially decorated white coffin or casket would be an ideal choice.
Infant vessels come in pre-printed colourful designs and are usually lined with soft fabrics. By giving your little one a comfortable and beautiful resting place, you can preserve their memory and convey how much you treasure them despite being with them for a short period of time—placing items such as books, soft toys, photographs, and cutesy decorative pieces to make the container even more loving.
- Eco-friendly (Willow)
Willow coffins and caskets are completely organic and have a unique appearance. They are made using the weaving technique. Willow is a fast-growing plant and does not need to be cut for harvesting. This makes it a highly sustainable material.
We recommend these coffins and caskets to the families who are looking for a durable funeral container with an attractive design and flat top, and a simple yet dignified goodbye to their loved one. The material will break down naturally in time after being buried and is also suitable for cremation.
As you can gather from the name, this type of urn is utilised to store only a small portion of ashes. You will come across a wide range of options in terms of designs, shapes, and patterns. They are made using metals so that they can remain unaffected for years. These urns are the perfect option for sharing cremation ashes among friends and family members. They are also used to store a tiny amount of cremation remains to make jewellery, tattoo, etc.
Many families choose a biodegradable option if they want to place the ashes into water or bury it. They are made using handmade paper, gelatin, cornstarch, sand, salt, and plant-based materials.
Companion urns are generally two identical urns to be shared by two people or companions. They can be crafted using any material like wood, stone, metal, ceramic, etc.
Infant urns are tiny in size as they are specifically designed to keep small children. As they are a way to pay tribute to a lost child as well as remember them forever, you will find urns with name tags, special characters, unique shapes, and bright colours.
These urns are created to honour firemen, police, and veterans who lost their lives while serving their community and country. Veteran urns usually have a flag display case, tag, pedestal, and are a perfect way to protect, preserve, and proudly showcase the cherished memories of priced people.
- Picture Urn
Some people do not want the deceased to be absent from their lives and often prefer urns with their pictures and special messages. In this way, they can keep the person with them until the end.
- Pet Urn
Pet owners tend to draw their strength from their pets, so losing your pet is just like losing a family member. Fortunately, we can arrange customised urns with a portrait of your pet or a miniature version of them. This will let you store all the loving memories they had with you.
Average Costs of Casket, Coffin, and Urn
The most frequent queries we get from our clients are regarding coffin prices in the U.K. Because these funeral containers are constructed using different materials and are decorated in various details, the coffin prices vary. However, we are listing the average price of these carriers.
Casket & Coffin
An average cardboard coffin would cost you £450, while a wooden coffin comes in at £950. You will find a wicker coffin starting from £400. Many families choose to invest in cost-effective coffins, ranging from £100 to £300 and then decorate it with messages, pictures, paintings, scribbles, etc. to make it fancy and personal.
We can arrange wooden caskets starting from £263, which are generally chipboard coffins. Such coffins look like solid wood until touched. You will have to pay £650 for the containers made using plain oak—the price increases based on the type of wood you choose. The average price of the carriers crafted from solid wood is £950. If you go for the American style casket, you may have to shell out £1200 for these high-end coffins.
Metal caskets and coffins are expensive and prices begin at £2000. Depending on the metal used, the price will rise. A copper vessel would cost you around £5000, and if you go for the gold one, be ready to spend more than £25,000.
A cardboard coffin’s price ranges from £250- £700, so they can be placed in the category of cheap coffins. If you choose the plain, single-coloured coffins, you would have to pay almost £450. For glossy and printed cardboard vessels, the price can be near £635—the price increases with further customisations and additions.
If you want to cut down on cost, you can choose a white coffin made of natural fabrics like cotton. These cheap coffins or carriers will cost you £275. Wool coffins are more expensive, and the price can be around £900.
Wicker casket or coffins range from £400 – £900. A wicker casket or basket coffin is completely biodegradable and looks more natural than cardboard.
- Bamboo – You can organise a bamboo eco coffin for £450 and above.
- Banana – Banana eco coffins would cost £500.
- Willow – The average price of willow coffins is £770, and the cost rises based on the quality of the material used.
The price of funeral urns is not exorbitant. They generally cost from £50 upwards. You can find urns for lesser prices as well. The costs vary according to the size, design, craftsmanship, and quality of the urn.
Tips On Shopping Casket, Coffin, And Urn
- Type Of Casket, Coffin, Urn
When choosing a casket, coffin, or urn, our funeral service advisors will say you should first look for the various types of containers available. If you want to have an eco-friendly funeral, we recommend you go for fabric, wicker, and biodegradable containers that do not cause any harm to the environment. For opulent funerals, a metal casket lined with high-quality fabric is recommended. These caskets look extremely elegant and would be a suitable tribute to a loved one.
- Consider Your Loved One’s Wishes
Just like in weddings, your loved one may have had wishes regarding their funeral. They might have requested for a fun funeral service where people remember them for their goofiness and playfulness. So, you may choose a printed casket or coffin of their favourite football team, video game, character, etc. alternatively, they may have been sentimental and wanted something more simple to reflect their character.
Consider the weight and height of the person so that the right coffin or casket for the funeral can be arranged. Almost all carriers can bear more than 200 kgs., but the width would be different for varying body types.
Set a budget for cremation cost or burial expenses. Depending on how much you set, look for a casket, coffin, or urn that fall within your budget or price range.
You must pay attention to who you are buying from, most especially if you are buying online. The container may appear to be appealing and of high-quality in photographs, but actually, they may be of low quality and worthless. In such cases, a bad manufacturer will not offer a refund. So, you must purchase the urn, casket, or coffin from a reputed and trusted manufacturer. Never pay in cash and always get a receipt.
- Buy online
If you are still grieving going to a store to select a coffin can be painful, so buying online may be a better option. Before spending on anything, check reviews, research about the company, and consult people around you so that you will not end up with an unsatisfactory purchase at a high cost. We understand this process can be draining; that is why we’re here to help, get in touch with one of our trusted advisors to learn more.
- U.K. Funeral Rule
There are various rules for funerals of adults and infants. In some areas, you may not be permitted to bury or cremate certain types of caskets and coffins. Due to limited space, you may be asked to refrain from burying the deceased in a metal casket. Some cemeteries also do not offer cremation services. Make sure to check all the policies before finalising funeral arrangements.
Planning the Funeral Service Ahead of Time
As humans, we often do not like thinking about death, especially if you have family and children. However, death is uncertain and with such a terrifying experience, it might be impossible for your family members to host a funeral that would fulfil all your wishes.
Moreover, the costs associated with a funeral in the UK is more than £4000 and increasing every year, so it is essential to invest in a funeral plan offered by a reliable funeral service. This way, you will not only plan for the expenses and cover burial or cremation costs, but you will also relieve your family of any burden of carrying out funeral arrangements at such a difficult time.
Funeral plans would be a wise choice because you can handpick everything—from decoration, casket or coffin, theme, venue, etc.—and live your life peacefully without worrying about not getting things right on your funeral. You may want to keep it simple instead of burial and choose cremation services. If the expenses are a lesser issue, your family may want to spend more but without having to work much. Another perk of choosing a funeral plan is that you can pay for the funeral either in manageable monthly instalments or in full. This way, when the time comes, your grieving family will not have to bear the total financial cost of organising a funeral service without any support.
Funeral planning involves a lot of thought; this can be overwhelming, from buying the right casket, coffin, or urn, to managing the venue expenses. The last thing you want to do is wait for the unexpected to happen and spend valuable time looking for affordable deals. Making such decisions can be challenging and draining for anyone.
At My Estate Planning, we aim to make these difficult times easier for you and your loved ones by providing a reliable and reputable funeral service platform. No family should go through the suffering and grief alone; our trustworthy advisors are here to listen to your needs and guide you sensitively and professionally.