High Cost of Coffins in South Africa

Coffins symbolize honor and respect for the departed. However, in South Africa, rising funeral costs, including coffins, have become a financial burden for many families. The price of a coffin depends on various factors such as:

  • Materials Used: Metal and wood are common choices, with wood being generally more affordable.
  • Design and Craftsmanship: Ornate designs and finishes add to the cost.
  • Size: Larger sizes may cost more.
  • Location: Prices vary across different regions.

Expected Price Range

Coffin prices in South Africa can range significantly. Here’s a quick overview:

Type Price Range
Basic Pine Coffins Start from around R1,000
Luxury Options Can exceed R20,000 for metal caskets with plush features
Additional Costs Custom finishes and engravings add extra charges

High Cost of Coffins in South Africa

Affordable Options for Coffins

Plain Pine Coffins


  • Cost-effective.
  • Environment-friendly due to minimal processing.


  • Limited design and customization options.
  • May not be suitable for larger individuals.

Cardboard Coffins


  • Lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Fully biodegradable, reducing environmental impact.
  • Customizable with paints or decorations.


  • Perceived as non-traditional or informal.

Alternative Materials

Options like wicker/bamboo baskets and wool-felt cloth-covered caskets offer uniqueness and sustainability, aligning with green burial practices.

Purchasing Affordable Coffins in South Africa

To find the best deals:

  • Direct Purchase: Buying directly from manufacturers or independent sellers often leads to better pricing than going through funeral directors who may have higher markups.
  • Furniture Stores: Some local furniture stores may offer affordable coffin options.
  • Online Retailers: Platforms like Gumtree or OLX can have listings for budget-friendly coffins.
  • Wholesale Providers: Companies like Coffin Direct specialize in offering coffins at wholesale prices.

Tips for Buying an Affordable Coffin

  • Research and Compare: Look for multiple sellers and compare their prices and offerings.
  • Check Reviews: Look for customer feedback to gauge the quality and service.
  • Understand the Total Cost: Ensure all related costs (like transportation and customization) are considered.
  • Green Options: Consider environmentally friendly options if sustainability is a priority.


Affordable coffin options provide a dignified yet budget-conscious way to honor loved ones in South Africa. By exploring options like plain pine coffins, cardboard coffins, and alternative materials, and by purchasing from direct sellers, families can find suitable choices without straining their finances. It’s essential to research, compare prices, and consider all related costs to make an informed decision.