The passing of a loved one is not to be taken lightly. Families go through the grieving process for a long period, even amidst planning for the departed’s funeral service.

Part of the planning phase is picking the right casket shell or coffin to hold the departed’s remains and ensure a personalised, memorable tribute for them.

The casket selection process is very personal and paramount when arranging the funeral service. Often, families debate between wood and metal caskets and which is most appropriate for the occasion.

After all, the deceased deserves a final resting place honourable and reflective of their personality. Families take a great deal of time to decide on the right design before laying their loved ones to rest.

At Casket Fairprice, we offer many caskets/coffins, available in multiple colours, finishes, and customised adornments. We wish to ease the burden of planning the funeral service. So, we’ve crafted this guide to help distinguish between metal and wood caskets and shed light on other considerations.

What Are Metal Caskets?

What Are Metal Caskets?

Metal caskets or coffins are often fabricated from copper, bronze, stainless steel, or steel. These are usually constructed from various steel gauges and thicknesses, creating a modern and clean appearance.

Many refer to metal coffins or caskets as “gasketed” or “sealed” based on the material’s construction. They are often built with a thick rubber gasket that lines the material’s lid and creates a sealed enclosure. This is done to prevent outside elements from seeping into the casket’s interiors.

Caskets are meant to be personalised according to the deceased’s personality or family’s wishes. .

But for families on a budget, economical metal caskets with few additions or ornaments are the go-to choice. They’re affordable, durable, and provide ample protection against the elements.

Price Of Metal Caskets In Singapore

The price points for metal caskets vary depending on the material’s type, thickness, manufacturing method, and style.

Metal caskets on the cheaper side (often made from carbon or standard steel) can be priced anywhere from $900 and $4,000.But it’s still better to engage with a Singapore funeral parlour for an accurate quotation of their casket services.

What Are Wood Caskets?

What Are Wood Caskets?

The classic look of wooden caskets also makes them a popular choice amongst families planning funeral arrangements. They exude elegance and exquisiteness without breaking the bank. Therefore, it’s not difficult to find an affordable wooden casket that aptly honours the deceased’s memory.

Unlike metal caskets, wood caskets tend to sport a more subdued design, thanks to the natural wood materials used in their construction. They can also sport different finishes, oak, ash, polished, matte, satin, semi-gloss, or whatever the family prefers.

But families are at liberty to add or modify the design of the wood casket as they wish. They need only communicate their preferences to a funeral services provider for a customised look.

Price Of Wood Caskets In Singapore

The price of wood caskets also varies, depending on the make and material. You can find wood caskets in the market, averaging a few hundreds  to over a few thousand dollars. Again, the price can change based on several factors.

More expensive materials like mahogany, cherry, walnut, or oakwood may be priced higher.

Types Of Wood Caskets

You’ll encounter various wooden caskets across funeral parlours:

  • Walnut – Walnut is a fine selection if your family has chosen a wooden coffin over a metal one. They can come in a classic polished finish with a lock mechanism for improved security.
  • Mahogany – Mahogany is another excellent choice for wood caskets, as they’re durable and highly resistant to termites, moisture, and temperature changes. It often comes in different tones and can be modified into various finishes. But mahogany caskets tend to fetch higher prices because of their scarcity. Nevertheless, they’re an elegant choice to house a loved one’s remains.
  • Maple – Maple caskets have a lighter hue, with natural pitch dots and mineral streaks. A natural satin finish can easily accentuate a maple coffin’s velveteen interior, making it an attractive option.
  • Cherry – Solid cherry wood caskets are highly durable, with a unique grain pattern that highlights their exquisiteness. A high-gloss finish is popular, but this hardwood material is far less durable than oak.
  • Cedar – Cedar caskets are easily recognisable, sporting a unique grain design not found in other materials. Designs vary from rustic brown (for a more natural hue) or rich red.
  • Oak – Oak caskets are said to be the most durable and can stand the test of time. Well-made coffins with hardwood oak material often last for several decades, if not hundreds of years.
  • Pine – Pine caskets don’t usually come in a finish and are more widely used to contain a deceased’s cremated remains. They’re commonplace in funerals that follow much more religious traditions than in modern-day services.

What To Consider When Choosing A Casket

What To Consider When Choosing A Casket

Where To Buy The Casket

Mourning a family member’s loss shouldn’t come second to planning funeral matters. To minimise the burden of choosing a casket or coffin, it’s best to engage with funeral directors.

What we offer: Our funeral directors here at Casket Fairprice offer free pre-planning consultation services for families. We will discuss the casket selection process with you, ensuring your family’s preferences are prioritised.

Aside from that, we will also assist you with funeral matters to ensure you’re financially and mentally prepared before sending off the departed on their final journey.

Design Of The Casket

Your family can choose from a range of pre-made and custom-built coffins (though the latter is much more expensive). You can also go for traditional caskets with a mark, logo, or artwork consistent with the deceased’s personality. It’s all up to the family.

Added Casket Features

Many modern caskets are also designed with special features for an added level of customisation. For instance, you can choose between half-couch or full-couch caskets depending on your preferences for viewing your departed loved one during the funeral wake. 

You can contact our funeral directors to assess your options.

Size Of The Casket

Caskets are made in different sizes to accommodate the deceased’s body. But standard caskets in the market often come 70 cm wide and 190cm cm long. Depending on the deceased’s body measurements, smaller or oversized caskets are also an option.

Conclusion About Wood Vs Metal Caskets In Singapore

It’s never easy for grieving families to choose a casket for their dearly departed, much less plan for a full funeral service.

This is why Casket Fairprice seeks to make the entire process less burdensome. We offer a selection of caskets which can be modified to meet your needs.

All funeral pre-planning consultations are free to help families ease the mental and emotional toll of making hard decisions.

Let us assist you with funeral matters today so you can spend more time grieving and healing through this difficult time. Call us for more information on our funeral packages in Singapore.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wood Vs Metal Caskets

Which Is Better, A Wood Or Metal Casket?

It depends on the material type. Most metal caskets (especially those made of steel) are more durable than their wooden counterparts. However, many families opt for wood caskets with beautiful finishes for a more classic and traditional look.

How Long Do Metal Coffins Last?

Metal coffins made of steel can last for several decades, between 50 to 80 years.

How Long Do Wood Coffins Last?

In regular soil, wood caskets can retain their shape anywhere between 5 to 100 years. Singapore follows a crypt burial system, where coffins and caskets have to be exhumed after 15 years. 

Do Coffins Rot When Buried?

Soil conditions can affect the coffin’s rate of decomposition. Sealing it in moist, heavy clay ground can make the coffin last longer. Meanwhile, the decay may be faster in light, dry, and loose soil, as there are more air pockets where the elements can seep through.