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Coffins Unleashed: A Guide to the Most Popular Coffin Types

Unfortunately, choosing one of the types of the coffin is something we usually do when our emotions are in a mess, so they are not always the most accurate. However, even for this moment, the ideal is to be prepared, so we will avoid ourselves or our loved ones so that the irremediable process is more uncomfortable than necessary. To select from among so many models of coffins, today a variety of factors can be considered. To help in this arduous task, we have created a summary guide of the most common options on the market, their characteristics, as well as some global estimates of how much a coffin costs.

Metal coffins

They are the most expensive coffins, made with materials such as bronze, copper or solid or stainless steel, they are more resistant than those made of wood or other materials, and they are also used for funerals and burials. However, they are not suitable for the purpose of cremation, since their main characteristic is their adequate sealing for the preservation of the body for a longer time.

Manufacturers of metal coffins offer terms of the durability of the protective qualities according to the material, which determines the degree of resistance to the entry of air, water and other external elements. Copper and bronze chests tend to be the most durable, as they are more resistant to rust and corrosion and are priced by weight; while steel ones are classified by their thickness or gauge, with gauge 16 being the thickest followed by gauge 18 and gauge 20 as lower price and quality options.

A standard size metal coffin weighs approximately between 80 and 100 kilograms; it will also depend on other details of luxury and functionality such as decorated lids with full or half hinges for display purposes.

Wooden coffins

They are the most popular material in the world for the manufacture of coffins, generally made of hardwood such as oak, walnut, mahogany and cherry; but pine is also used for cheaper versions. On the other hand, they are made of mahogany as one of the most expensive options.

They are made entirely of solid wood and unique in design as no two solid wood coffins are exactly alike, however more affordable versions covered in fabric, laminate or veneer are available on the market. For example, a plywood funeral box provides a hardwood look but at a lower cost.

An option that has become popular due to its low cost is that of fiberwood or fiberglass coffins. They are strong, lightweight and have a finish that simulates metal and wood. These composite boards are medium-density fiberboards (MDF) that are produced by breaking down hardwood or softwood waste into wood fibers and combining them with wax and a resin binder. The latter starts at $800 but prices for solid wood caskets can cost more than $9,000. Weight limits for wooden coffins do not usually exceed 159 kilograms.

A question that many people ask frequently is: are wicker coffins cheaper than wood? Wicker coffins are often considered a more affordable and eco-friendlier alternative to traditional wooden coffins. Crafted from natural, biodegradable materials such as willow, bamboo, or seagrass, wicker coffins are generally cheaper than their wooden counterparts due to the lower cost of materials and manufacturing. However, the price of a wicker coffin can vary depending on the quality of the materials, craftsmanship, and the design itself.

Despite the cost advantage, some individuals may still prefer the look and feel of wooden coffins, which have long been the standard for burial ceremonies. Ultimately, the choice between wicker and wooden coffin comes down to personal preference, budget, and environmental considerations.

Cremation coffin

This type of coffin is made with cheaper and more sustainable materials than the two options mentioned above, since more than for wakes and other protocols, they are specific for the cremation process. Unlike metal coffins, these are specially designed for this purpose using elements such as pressed cardboard and canvas.

This option has become one of the most popular in recent years, if you are wondering how to make a cardboard coffin, not only because of its low price and eco-friendly purpose but also the modern features added by printing. Great for your decoration, according to the taste and imagination of the buyer. These coffins can be personalized with photographs, texts or paintings, so there is a wide range of prices that will depend on the details and preferences.

In some cases, the cardboard or canvas coffin is used as a container for a more expensive rental coffin for funeral purposes, but in general, the price of a dead box does not exceed $700, and its weight compared to other caskets is only 91 kilograms approx.

Biodegradable coffins

Green coffins are designed with the aim of causing the least possible impact on the environment. They are especially handmade products, woven by hand and at a very low cost. An eco-friendly dead body coffin is made from renewable resources, such as willows and kelp that is harvested each year and require minimal processing. In addition, the dead body coffin degrades quickly in the soil and helps lock in carbon emissions in its willow stems.

Included in this category are simple wooden ones, woven coffins and shrouds, without the use of metal, varnish or glue. They can also be easily customized and accepted on many sites. The most common materials are wicker, bamboo or willow; they are usually unique pieces and elaborated in detail, as well as resistant enough to transport bodies. Shrouds are also added to this category, they are a piece of cloth used to wrap the body, made with elements such as cotton, silk, muslin, wool, bamboo, or hemp.

As you can imagine, these types of coffins are usually cheaper and lighter, but they will still depend on the type of material selected. If you are wondering how much a wicker coffin is worth, these can vary by up to $1,500 and shrouds do not exceed $1,000. Depending on the fabric, they can weigh up to 68 kilograms.

Already as a last or only instance, among the types of coffins, there is the modality of the rental coffin, which is becoming increasingly popular in several countries. Thus, many families have managed to prepare more formal and luxurious ceremonies and wakes, for subsequent burial or cremation, for a fraction of the price. Shopping after choosing from so many casket models is not a task most people are prepared for or have a lot of experience with but remember that making this last-minute decision can be complicated, overwhelming, and often expensive.

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