Exploring Coffin Costs in Australia

Exploring Coffin Costs in Australia

When pondering the question of 'how much does a coffin cost?' one realises it's akin to asking 'how long is a piece of string?' The pricing of coffins or caskets varies significantly based on customisation and the chosen funeral director.

A considerable portion of the overall funeral cost stems from the coffin or casket expenses. This variation can be attributed not only to customisation but also to funeral directors potentially imposing inflated charges. Funeral homes often capitalise on these high-value items, leading to prevalent upselling within the Australian funeral industry.

At Funera Sydney, we challenge the notion that the cost of a coffin reflects the love for the departed. Our mission is to reshape this culture, encouraging Australians to invest more in living rather than in the expenses of death.

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of coffin costs in Australia and present some economical coffin alternatives.

Understanding Coffin Costs

The price range for coffins is vast, starting from as low as AUD 300 and escalating to a substantial AUD 10,000 for intricate, fully customised designs. While coffins generally prove more affordable than caskets, for simplicity, we'll refer to both as 'coffins' throughout this article. To explore the disparities between coffins and caskets, you can refer to our detailed article here.

Online listings suggest that a simple cardboard coffin, typically used for an unattended 'funera cremation,' can cost between AUD 300 and AUD 800. Families opting for a personalised and adorned cardboard coffin for an attended ceremony might encounter costs ranging from AUD 3,000 to AUD 5,000.

Determining the cost involves various factors:

  • Deceased person’s wishes
  • Display at the funeral/memorial
  • Affordability and budget
  • Religious or cultural requirements
  • Traditional vs modern preferences
  • Environmental considerations
  • Open-casket viewing feasibility
  • Colour, material, shape, or design specifications

The impact of COVID-19 has triggered material and transportation shortages across industries, including the funeral sector. Consequently, worldwide reports from international news outlets indicate an expected rise in the costs of coffins and caskets.

Unraveling the Pricing of Simple Coffins

Different funeral homes present varied pricing for their most affordable coffin options. 'Cardboard coffins' emerge as the most economical choice, typically ranging from AUD 300 to AUD 600. Crafted from sturdy recycled materials, these coffins can support up to approximately 200kg. They are primarily used for direct cremations, where they won't be on display during any ceremony.

Despite their lower production costs, anecdotes suggest that some funeral directors assert cardboard coffins are more expensive than pine coffins. It pays to explore and compare prices diligently.

For a cremation quote with Funera Sydney, you can call (02) 9954 6655 or visit the Funera Sydney website.

Beyond cardboard, another budget-friendly option is plywood or medium-density fibreboard (MDF) coffins. These cost-effective funeral alternatives typically feature a flat lid and plastic handles.

Comparing Coffins and Caskets

The primary distinction between a coffin and a casket lies in their shape. Coffins are wider at the top, tapering towards the bottom, with a single flip-open lid. In contrast, caskets boast a split lid in the centre, facilitating open-casket viewings.

Both coffin and casket prices vary considerably depending on the provider and the considerations outlined earlier. Caskets tend to be pricier due to finer materials and additional features like cushions and interior trimmings.

Coffin prices span from around AUD 600 for a basic model to over AUD 10,000 for premium features or personalised designs. Caskets, on the other hand, range from approximately AUD 1,500 for a basic product to upwards of AUD 15,000 for a premium casket.

Rethinking the Necessity of Coffins at Funerals

Attitudes towards funerals are evolving in Australia. More Australians now view spending thousands on an elaborate wooden box, destined for burial or cremation, as an extravagant use of resources and money.

A survey of 850 Australians revealed that less than half (41%) believe a coffin or casket is a crucial element of a funeral or memorial. Changing perspectives influenced by COVID restrictions are leading families to opt for unattended 'funera' cremations or burials. Subsequently, they plan attended memorials once restrictions ease, often without a coffin present.

Funera Sydney, as a direct cremation provider, empowers Australian families to disassociate interment from the ceremony, resulting in substantial savings compared to traditional funerals.

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