How to Choose a Coffin or Casket - FuneralGuide.co.uk

How to choose a coffin or casket 


Arranging a funeral need not be the complicated scenario you envision. It only seems more harrowing because usually at the time of making decisions you are grieving. It could be helpful to have someone else present to help guide your decisions, an unconnected friend or another family member. While there isn't many aspects to decide upon, because of what the coffin or casket will mean to the service does bring a burden that it otherwise shouldn't. 

What Is The Difference Between A Coffin And A Casket? 

  • Caskets are rectangular shaped and tend to be more elaborate, often with split open top for viewing. 
  • Coffins are the more traditional five sided shape, with a tapered surround towards the shoulders and head. 

As with everything in life, you cannot please everyone and you should really try to only meet the wishes of the departed. Anything else, such as furnishings and casket furniture are additions that you can make should you feel them necessary. They are by no means essential. So how do you choose a coffin or casket for the funeral? 

What Is There To Consider When Choosing A Coffin? 

Evidently the coffin cost or expense of a casket, unless borne by the deceased will narrow your options. It is probably best to start with the necessities such as a basic coffin and build in the different materials, style and design from therein. 

Materials range from cardboard, plywood to solid timbers and metal through to eco minded natural materials such as banana leaf, seagrass, bamboo and calico cotton. These decisions will of course be challenged by the cost but also the wishes of the person you are saying Goodbye to. You may need to consider their personality, especially when it comes to individualisation of the coffin or casket. 

What does that mean? Well, we each find our own path in life and it is exactly the same procedure on the way out. While there are of course a great many religiously themed coffins, there are alternatives that take into account for a person's musical fandom, the many decades they supported a football club or another belief system or simply one based upon a care for the earth and using ecologically sound materials.

A coffin could be wrapped in a foil which allows for any number of designs to be printed, a football club emblem, a nation's flag, a favourite film character. Pictures of family. A cardboard coffin could be decorated by family members and children,leaving a personal message or picture. Caskets can also be adorned with a varying degree of exuberance or a more contemporary coffin design which emphasises individual character.​

Are There Any Laws Or Guidelines Defining Coffin Use?

There are rules, regulations and laws that stipulate how a body and coffin might be buried. These may vary across country borders too. You will need to take into account burial and cremation when it comes to selecting the coffin, as not all materials are suited for each eventuality. Burial sites may also require certain materials be used or not utilised.

Repatriation laws are often handled by airlines, in most cases a coffin may need to be zinc lined and the body embalmed before flight. Sea burials too, have stipulations and even with cremation, the dispersal of ashes after a service need to be met by local laws.

You need not be hassled by all these regulations, a funeral director will be able to easily ascertain which apply according to the materials, styles, service and choices you make.

Frequently Asked Questions About Coffins:

How Much Is A Coffin? Should No Expense Be Spared?

Coffin Comparison - what you get in return

Do I have to have a coffin to be buried / cremated?

What Are Customisable Coffins?

Are Cardboard Coffins Really Cheaper Than Traditional Coffins?

What is a body disposal?

Does Direct Burial mean no coffin?

With a funeral plan paid, how do I choose a coffin?

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