Mourner Touching Wooden Coffin

There are many different types of coffins to choose from to reflect your loved one and their taste.

For support arranging a funeral that includes all of the essentials without any costly extras, our knowledgeable team can offer guidance. Give us a call on 01543 212000.

The types of coffins available for modern funerals are not limited to the traditional wooden style. Coffins and caskets come in different colours, materials and price ranges, allowing you to make a choice that you feel suits your loved one.

Familiarising yourself with the coffin options available lets you find a coffin that reflects the style of funeral you are arranging and fits your budget.

Those who had extravagant preferences in life may have left their wishes requesting a luxurious coffin. Low cost funerals with simple inexpensive coffins are also available to suit those with modest budgets or tastes.

What are the different types of coffins available?

The first step to choosing a coffin is getting to know your options. At Distinct Cremations, we specialise in simple cremations so our cremation services include a simple light oak style coffin.


Simple wooden coffin with simple flower arrangement

Choosing a simple coffin or coffin alternative is a practical choice if you would like to keep funeral costs low, but still make sure your loved one has a dignified send-off.

  • Simple wood
    There are types of coffins available in many different woods, including cherry wood, pine and oak.
  • Shroud
    Another inexpensive option is a shroud which is a simple covering made of fabric instead of wood.


Casket Coffin With Flowers On Top

An elaborate coffin complements an extravagant funeral but will cost more.

  • Personalised coffins
    Coffins can be personalised with pictures or entirely bespoke designs.
  • Ornate coffins
    Features may include engravings into the wood, metal ornamentation and a velvet, silk or satin quilted interior.
  • Caskets
    Whereas coffins are slimmer at the feet, a casket is square and usually more ornate.

Eco friendly

Wicker Coffin With Flowers On

Coffins made of natural materials usually have the smallest environmental footprint.

  • Willow or bamboo
    These woven style coffins are often used for woodland burials.
  • Cardboard
    Cardboard coffins have the benefits of being simple, eco-friendly and inexpensive, but are less sturdy.
  • Reclaimed/recycled wood
    Fewer trees are needed to produce this type of coffin making them kinder to the planet.

Our eco-friendly coffin option

Our Go Greener extra, which can be added to any of our cremation funerals or funeral plans, includes a coffin made from a mix of virgin recovered and recycled wood fibre which uses fewer trees than a standard coffin to produce.

The add-on also includes carbon offsetting of our services and a tree planted as a natural solution to tackle climate change.

Find out more

Average cost of coffins

A coffin may be included in the cost of the funeral you have chosen. If not, a coffin can cost from a few hundred pounds to thousands for the ornate end of the scale. Thinking about what your loved one would have wanted can help you decide how much to spend.

In 2023, 16% of people chose to prioritise money elsewhere by choosing a cheaper coffin.*

Joanne Taylor

Crematorium Manager, Mercia Forest Crematorium

"Coffin choices are extremely personal to individuals and families. Those planning a funeral may be surprised by the variety in the types of coffins available. In my role as Crematorium Manager at Mercia Forest Crematorium, I’ve seen many varied and unique coffins.

“Some people choose to reflect their loved one’s personalities with ornate or highly decorative coffins. But a traditional or understated coffin can also perfectly reflect someone. There are no wrong choices so trust your gut on what feels right for you and your loved one.”

* In 2023, 16% of people chose a cheaper coffin (SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2024,

Coffin restrictions for different funeral types

The type of funeral you or your loved one has chosen may place some restrictions on the type of coffin you can use.

Cremation funeral

Some more ornate coffins are not suitable for cremation because of the materials they are made from. Some crematoriums will also require a coffin to be used not a shroud.

Woodland burial

The coffin for a woodland burial will need to be made from biodegradable natural material. There may also be restrictions on embalming as the chemicals used are bad for the soil.

If you're not sure whether the coffin you want is suitable for the funeral you'd like to have, ask your funeral provider. They can offer guidance about the coffin options available to you.

How do you carry a coffin?

Being chosen to carry someone’s coffin, which is otherwise known as being a pallbearer, can help you to feel more connected to your loved one during their funeral. However, it can be somewhat daunting if you don’t know what to expect.

  1. Usually, the funeral director will give instructions before the coffin is lifted, especially if the pallbearers are friends and family of the deceased rather than part of the funeral in a professional capacity.
  2. The coffin will be carried slowly either on the pallbearers' shoulders or at their waists. Alternatively, coffin transportation equipment called wheel biers may be used in which case the pallbearers wheel the coffin to the front of the service instead of carrying it.
  3. There will be a place for the coffin to be set down at the front of the chapel which you may hear referred to as the catafalque. Be aware of other pallbearers at this point to make sure everyone carrying the coffin is ready to place it gently down at the same time.

Do you have to have pallbearers?

Pallbearers are a traditional part of a funeral service but you do not have to have them if you’d prefer a simpler, more modern send off.

Hiring pallbearers can add an additional cost to the funeral arrangements. Asking friends and family members to take on the duty can be a way to make them feel included and help them pay respects but can also add to the stress of an already emotional day.

Arrange a simplified funeral

The alternative to pallbearers is to have a simplified service. At our funerals the coffin is already resting in the chapel when the mourners enter so there is no need for pallbearers.

For our unattended direct cremation services, the coffin is brought into the chapel through the front door and rested in the chapel while a piece of music plays. A chapel attendant is present throughout.

Arrange a funeral with Distinct Cremations

Placing personal items in coffins

To make the funeral more personal and to bring comfort that your loved one has something special close to them, sentimental items can be placed in or on the coffin.

Common items include:

  • Letters
  • Photographs
  • Funeral flowers
  • Soft toys
  • A favourite book
  • A certificate or other mark of achievement

Make sure no personal items are placed into the coffin that you or your friends and family could want to keep or look back on in future. Once they are cremated or buried they are gone.

At Distinct Cremations we offer the option to place personal effects in the coffin, as well as have a photo on the coffin during the funeral.

Photo Of Lady With Book And Flowers

Other useful resources

Our compassionate customer service specialists can support you with your arrangements for a simple and affordable cremation funeral. Call us on 01543 212000.

Alternatively, see more guidance to help you plan a funeral service

Choosing a funeral urn

Man Passing Funeral Urn With Ashes To Woman

If you know you would like a cremation funeral, you may also like to research the type of urn which best fits your plans for your loved one's ashes.

How to choose a funeral urn

Funeral charity donations

Coins In Gold Charity Funeral Collection Bowl

Giving back can bring positivity to your loved one's funeral arrangements and honour their memory by supporting those who helped them in life.

Funeral donations to charity

Arrange a funeral

Arrange a Funeral

Find out more about our no fuss funeral options to help you decide whether a Distinct Cremations funeral is right for your loved one.

Arrange a funeral

We offer the highest level of support, but don't take our word for it

Below are a selection of reviews from those who followed their instinct with Distinct and chose to buy a funeral with us.

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Werner 12 Jul 2024
Friendly, pulite and simply SUPER
Nikki 10 Jul 2024
There was nothing too difficult or no question too silly. Every care was taken with all the arrangements and I was kept up to date at all times. I sent through items which were quickly handled and was notified of their receipt and the actions made with them. Even changing things was never too much of a problem.
Anon 27 Jun 2024
The service was first class. Signing up was easy to complete and the follow up call to ensure every thing was as we had expected was a nice personal touch.
John 27 Jun 2024
It was polite, patient and thorough. i was given as much time as I needed to reach a decision.Completely
Anon 30 May 2024
first class
Mark 21 May 2024
Excellent communication, very helpful and we got just what we wanted in a service. Highly recommended and we will use again. Mark Oliver
Anon 2 May 2024
Service very efficient, and comprehensive. Understandably, you "chased me up" when there was a delay in my response to place an order, but this delay was whilst I contacted all those relatives who might have had a view to express.
Anon 24 Apr 2024
I was very happy with the service I received and they are only a phone call away if I or my sons should need advice or help in any way
Based on 721 reviews
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