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Sensible choice - An affordable cardboard coffin or something more conventional?

Adjusting to a loss or grieving with a lot on your mind, friends and family members of the deceased are often not aware of what organising a funeral implies.

With the weight of 100’s of decisions on an individual's shoulders choosing from a simple cardboard coffin, to looking a more extravagant options is often a daunting task.

However, understanding the various options and how to make the best choice could save you hundreds of pounds with little or no bearing on the quality of the service for the person who has died.

Our goal at Willow is to make this difficult task easier, below we’ve put together a simple guide to help you make an informed decision:

Reasons to consider cheaper coffins

Whether on a budget or simply looking for an alternative to the traditional, there are few things to consider when deciding between a cardboard coffin and the options listed below.

Taking the time to think of the type of funeral ceremony that you are planning can affect your coffin choice– whether it is a sober & simple event or a witty, non-religious funeral – you might consider a traditional model or a cool, custom design coffin.

Bearing in mind the disposable nature of a coffin (it is normally buried or cremated) you might consider a simple shroud, which can be eco-friendly and also less expensive.

Last but not least, if you find the strength and you have the motivation, you might try a DIY project and personalise a pre-made flat-pack coffin or build one from scratch.

And if you are struggling between the desire to go off the beaten path and the fear that you might be judged for your choices, just remember:

This is your chance to honour a loved one and say goodbye for the last time. Tune out all that noise. Listen to your heart and do it as the deceased would have wanted you to, no matter what others would think or say.


Different types of coffins and materials:

The cardboard coffin
cardboard makes a practical, sturdy, and affordable base to create the cheapest coffin out there. Moreover, it can be easily personalised with a wide range of colours and patterns.

The chipboard veneered coffin
Currently one of the most popular options, it is reasonably priced and quite solid. However, some people take the time to consider that this material is not quite environmentally-friendly...

The solid wood coffin
Made of elm or hard oak wood, carrying a traditional shape and more or less embellished, this option can prove rather expensive. Pine wood or other soft foods could somewhat reduce costs. 

The unconventional coffin
Whether a wicker (woven coffin), a leafcocoon (strong wooden frame covered in wool with a strapped woollen shroud), a woollen (processed Yorkshire wool combined with a recycled cardboard frame) or a jute (jute fibres mixed with starch and compressed), there are now many types of versatile types of coffins available.

The shroud
A piece of cloth made of wool or linen, silk, hemp, flax or white cotton designed to wrap the body, it is, again, a surprisingly simple option.

The eco coffin
Combining traditional techniques with various designs and styles, these 100% bio-degradable coffins made of recycled paper make one of the fanciest options currently available.