What does affordable cremation really cost


Topic overview


Why is there a coffin?

A coffin is usually required for the transportation, laying out and burial of a deceased person. There are coffins for burials and cremations. In the case of cremations, the coffin is burned with the deceased and is therefore usually chosen in an inexpensive version. The use of a coffin is mandatory for both burial and cremation. Coffins differ in terms of material, equipment and price.

Material of coffins

What is a coffin made of?

Simple coffins are often made of pine or spruce wood with four or six coffin handles. Upscale models are made of oak or mahogany, the handles are often covered with brass. For several years, so-called designer coffins have been offered, which are individually made in terms of colors and decorations. In addition to wood, special materials such as synthetic resin are used for production. When making coffins, it is important that the materials are biodegradable. Cellulose coffins can now also be used for cremation. These are more environmentally friendly when cremated due to the lower CO2 emissions.

You can choose the coffin directly from the undertaker. Most companies can show you different models. The cost of a coffin usually differs from undertaker to undertaker. Compare the different prices of different companies so that you can get a feel for the different prices. There is also the option of having the coffin designed individually or helping to create it yourself. For example, they can represent a special passion like walking on the coffin.


Why is a coffin needed for cremation?

For cremations there are so-called cremation coffins that have no handles. They are made specifically for the purpose of cremation and are used to transport the deceased. The processing is less stable because the coffin does not have to withstand the pressure of the earth. In general, however, any coffin can be selected for cremation.

The use of a coffin for cremation is stipulated in the funeral laws of the federal states. That means that a coffin has to be chosen. The laws also stipulate that the coffins must guarantee low-emission combustion. In addition to being combustible, the coffin serves to respect the deceased.

Cardboard coffin

Are there cardboard coffins?

A cardboard coffin is not a nice idea for most people. It sounds disrespectful and doesn't seem appropriate for a funeral. On the other hand, such a coffin is particularly suitable for environmentally conscious people, which is made entirely of cellulose - which is also made of cardboard. When cremating a cellulose coffin, only a quarter of the greenhouse gas CO2 is released compared to the cremation of a wooden coffin. However, environmental protection begins with production. A traditional coffin is made from a high quality, flawless log. A cellulose coffin is made from reforested wood, which saves resources.

The costs are also lower and the material enables individualization, for example by printing a picture or a desired motif. In contrast to special requests for the production of a traditional coffin, the price hardly increases with individual requests for this model.

Nevertheless, cellulose coffins are not accepted without hesitation and are considered inappropriate by many people, despite their environmental friendliness. The cellulose coffin meets the requirements for stability and quality just like the wooden coffin. The designation as a cardboard coffin is not appropriate due to the high quality, appearance and stability and gives the wrong impression.

  • Cellulose coffin - motif rose
  • Cellulose coffin - poppy motif
  • Cellulose coffin - motif Jesus

Cost of a coffin

What does a coffin cost?

The cost of a coffin is very different. Simple models made from plywood start at around 200 euros at. Solid pine coffins are in the mid-range price range and are priced from around 800 euros offered. Oak coffins are among the high-quality models and are priced accordingly. These models start at around 1,500 euros.

For individual productions, for example with decorations made of crystals, or designer coffins, prices of several thousand euros must be expected.

A transfer coffin made of zinc is also required for the transfer of the deceased abroad. This zinc coffin is welded for the transfer and there are additional costs.

Equipment of coffins

How is a coffin lined inside?

Coffins are equipped with crepe paper, foils and a cotton mattress. In addition, blankets, pillows and cushions support the inside of a coffin. The type of equipment can also be selected. Even with cremations, the coffin must be equipped with blankets, pillows and cushions. Depending on the material of the ceiling sets, different costs can arise.

Types of coffins

Which Sargarten are there?

The most famous shape today is a wooden coffin. In the past, coffins were used, especially for the clergy, which were lavishly decorated and shod with gold. In addition to the well-known form, there is also the tumba, the sarcophagus and the shrine. The tumba is a tomb made of stone or metal. Visually, this type resembles the sarcophagus, but there is usually no corpse in the tumba. Unlike a wooden coffin, a sarcophagus is intended for permanent preservation and is usually free-standing. In ancient Egypt, the shape was adapted to the human body and the lid showed a stylized representation of the head of the deceased.

A shrine describes a coffin, usually decorated with stainless steel and precious stones, which contains the bones of a saint. A glass coffin like in a fairy tale is unique. The beatified Pope John XXIII, who is laid out in St. Peter's Basilica as a full-body relic, was buried in one.

History of the coffin

Where did the coffin come from?

The history of the coffin goes back to the Neolithic, around 3000 BC. The coffins of that time were made from split tree trunks. These tree coffins, hollowed out and covered with furs, were used for the burial of the deceased. It was customary to paint and decorate the coffins lavishly. On the one hand, this was intended to tell the life of the deceased, but also to clarify his or her social position. Grave goods were also found in coffins dating from the Neolithic Age. These should ensure the well-being of the deceased in the afterlife.

In the Middle Ages, so-called wooden conduct coffins were often only used as a means of transport. The poorer society was brought from the place of death to the morgue, wrapped in shrouds and buried without a coffin. The conduct coffins were used several times. The burial of each corpse in its own coffin was simply viewed as a waste of wood. At the end of the 19th century, this custom changed for hygienic reasons. In Germany, the coffin is still required regardless of the type of burial.

Concept emergence

How did the concept of the coffin come about?

The term coffin replaced the previously used words death chest and death shrine. The term coffin is derived from the Greek "sarkophagos". Originally, the term was used for a specific limestone, which has the property of causing a corpse to decompose in a short time. Coffins were made from this, or the stone was placed inside a coffin. In the course of time, the term was carried over to other types of stone and finally to other permanent materials. The term coffin is a short form of the word sarcophagus.

Author: Annika Wenzel - Image source: © U. Beyer - Slider 1: © Irina Hradský - Designed urns and coffins - Slider 2: © Arcum - FLAMEA coffins

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