7 Different Types of Materials Used for Coffins

In the United Kingdom, there are several types of materials used for coffins, ranging from traditional solid wood to more eco-friendly options such as cardboard and bamboo. Each material has its own unique characteristics and can be chosen based on personal preferences, budget, and environmental concerns. This blog takes a closer look at the different types of materials used for coffins in the UK.

Solid wood

Solid wood is a traditional and popular material used for coffins in the UK. The most common types of wood used for coffins are oak, mahogany, and ash. These types of wood are known for their strength, durability, and attractive appearance. Coffins made from solid wood can be polished or varnished to provide a high-quality finish and can be customised with different designs and engravings.

Veneered wood

Veneered wood is another popular material. It’s made by bonding a thin layer of high-quality wood to a cheaper base material such as MDF (medium-density fibreboard). This creates a strong and durable coffin that has a similar appearance to solid wood but at a more affordable price point. Again, these coffins can be customised and personalised accordingly.


Cardboard coffins have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their affordability and eco-friendliness. They are made from recycled cardboard and can be decorated with a whole range of designs and patterns. Cardboard coffins are lightweight, easy to handle, and can be easily disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. They’re often chosen by those who want to reduce their environmental impact and who prefer a more natural and simple approach to burial.


Wicker coffins are made from woven wool, bamboo, or other natural fibres. They possess a rustic and natural appearance and are often chosen for eco-friendly or green burials. Wicker coffins are biodegradable and can decompose naturally in the soil. They are also another lightweight option and are a popular choice for outdoor funerals or burials in rural areas.


Metal coffins are made from steel, copper, or bronze and are known for their strength and durability. They’re often used for burials that require a high level of protection or for burials that involve transportation over long distances. Metal coffins can be customised with various finishes and designs, including brushed, polished, or painted options.

Picture coffins

Picture coffins are a more recent type of coffin that allows families to personalise the coffin with images or great interests/passions of the loved one. The images can be of anything you wish, and they are printed onto the coffin using a special process. Picture coffins are available in a range of designs and can be made from traditional materials such as oak, and pine, or now from eco-friendly materials such as cardboard.

Eco-friendly materials

In addition to cardboard and wicker, there are several other eco-friendly materials that can be used for coffins in the UK. These include bamboo, seagrass, and recycled materials such as recycled paper or wool. Eco-friendly coffins are often chosen by those who have a far more sustainable approach to burials.

Overall, there are many different types of materials used for coffins in the UK, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits. Whether you prefer a traditional solid wood coffin, a more affordable veneered wood option, a picture one, or an eco-friendly alternative such as cardboard or wicker, there is a coffin to suit every preference and budget. If you would like to find out more information regarding options for coffins, then please do get in touch with us here at SC & BS Cocks.