It would be an interesting study to see if casket styles mimicked home decor trends. When dark cherry dining room tables were the rage, did more people buy dark cherry caskets for their loved ones?
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What’s a Barnwood Casket?
- How Much Does a Barnwood Casket Cost?
- 7 Different Types of Barnwood Caskets
- Where Can You Purchase a Barnwood Casket Online?
- More Barnwood Casket Alternatives
- Other Things to Consider When Buying a Simple Casket
If this pattern does exist, it wouldn’t be a surprise that barnwood caskets are popular right now. You don’t have to watch hours of HGTV per week to know the popularity of the “farmhouse” style (using distressed wood furniture that may or may not have weathered naturally.)
We’ll discuss the features of barnwood caskets and the different types of caskets available on the market. We will also give you ideas of similar styles if barnwood caskets aren't immediately available in your area.
What’s a Barnwood Casket?
Barnwood caskets are made from reclaimed wood that was once originally a barn or some other outdoor building. While some companies brag that their barnwood caskets are made from original wood, others mimic the look and create old-looking barnwood caskets.
Check out our list of different types of barnwood caskets. We will also give you other search options to consider when trying to find a company that makes coffins of this style.
How Much Does a Barnwood Casket Cost?
Barnwood caskets typically cost between $3,000 and $5,000.
Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care has a list price of $3,995 for an Amish Barnwood casket, but Georgia Funeral Care sells a Homestead Distressed Barnwood casket for as low as $2,860.
Some casket companies only sell their products through funeral homes, so the price list is unavailable to members of the general public.
Before you purchase a barnwood casket, consider whether it is essential that the casket is actually made from recycled wood from a barn or materials that were made to look “weathered.” Caskets made from wood from a real barn may cost more than those that were created to look that way.
When purchasing a casket online, it’s also essential to consider the shipping costs and the time it takes for the item to be delivered.
If you wish to purchase a barnwood casket because you think this simple style would be less expensive than buying a casket made of other types of wood, you might be mistaken. You can easily purchase a casket made of hardwood (such as maple, oak, or mahogany) within the same price range as a barnwood casket.
If purchasing a specific type of casket, such as a barnwood casket, is essential to you, plan ahead to save money.
7 Different Types of Barnwood Caskets
Most guides on how to plan a funeral do not consider that the deceased may have wanted a particular type of casket. If you're having an open-casket visitation or funeral service, time is of the essence. You may not have a significant amount of time to look for a casket made of such a specific material.
Barnwood caskets are a relatively niche market, so do not expect your local funeral home to have any in stock.
If you want a casket made of old barn wood, consider pre-purchasing it before it's needed. If that's not possible, look for companies that can promise speedy delivery to your area. Expecting a custom-made barnwood casket within a few days is probably out of the question, so you may have to be happy with the items that are already in stock.
Since each barnwood is unique, you may want to make sure you see the exact casket that you'll receive before ordering. The wood may vary in coloring and level of distress, which may increase this type of casket’s appeal. But if you're particular about having a specific look, ask for several photos before you order.
1. Vintage coffin
This description isn’t what you think it is. Sure, if the word “vintage” is used in an ad, most people understand that this means that the item is used. Vintage coffins, on the other hand, are caskets made of used, weathered wood, not caskets or coffins that had previous occupants.
Besides the material looking old, vintage coffins are usually shaped differently than modern caskets. Instead of being rectangular-prism in shape, they taper in at the head and the legs. These may be called “toe-pinchers.”
Some vintage coffins may be made with rope handles. They may also have lift-off lids instead of hinges.
2. Reclaimed barnwood coffin or casket
Instead of searching for a vintage casket, you may have more luck looking for a reclaimed barn wood coffin. Some companies scour rural America in hopes of procuring materials from falling-down barns. They reuse the wood to create caskets.
One such company offers reclaimed barnwood caskets in shades of weathered red, gray, or brown. While some companies use the old wood to make vintage-looking coffins, other companies use rough wood to create a modern, rectangular casket.
Through your online search, you may also come across this casket company, which can make a rocking chair out of the same material as the casket you order. This piece would be a lovely heirloom to help remember a beloved family member.
3. Eco-friendly casket
If you would feel better being laid to rest in an eco-friendly casket, you may consider purchasing a barnwood coffin. No currently living trees are cut down to make the product. Some companies that specialize in barnwood caskets even plant new trees with every sale, so your purchase has double the environmentally friendly impact.
While reusing materials and products is noble, consider all ecological ramifications of your purchase before making a decision. Most eco-friendly caskets are made of untreated, unpainted lumber. Many of them are made without metal hinges, handles, or nails.
While your barnwood casket may be made from reused material, the wood probably has been painted with toxic oil-based paint. Take all these things into consideration before making your purchase. Barnwood caskets may also be made with metal hinges and nails.
4. Rough wood casket
Rough wood refers to lumbar that has been left with rough, unfinished surfaces. It’s cheaper than lumber that has passed through a planer. (A planer creates smooth surfaces and produces wood with a neater texture.)
If you want the look of a barnwood casket, you may consider looking for a coffin maker who will create a simple one out of rough wood. This type of casket can be extremely inexpensive, and members of the family could even construct it. A rough wood casket tells others that you value life’s simple things and choose to use your resources elsewhere.
5. Amish barnwood caskets
While visiting Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio, you may have seen Amish people driving horse-drawn buggies. The Amish have been living in these areas for generations, and they are known for living simply without using modern conveniences.
If purchasing a casket made by these revered craftsmen is vital to you, you may want to go directly to the source. After all, the Amish probably don't sell their products online.
However, some casket retailers might procure Amish-made caskets to sell online. Other companies sell Amish-style barnwood caskets, but an Amish craftsperson may or may not have made them.
6. Pine casket
If you're a fan of American western movies, you may have heard characters discussing how someone needs to “cut down an old pine tree.” This generally means that a character is close to death and that the wood from the pine tree will be needed to make a simple coffin.
Even though a pine casket is not the same as a barnwood coffin, they are similar enough in style that you may like both styles.
Pine caskets can also be relatively eco-friendly options. The pine used in the casket can be untreated, and it may be assembled without metal. These caskets are sometimes referred to as kosher caskets, as Orthodox Jews often use such caskets in their burials.
A benefit of choosing a simple pine casket is that they're more widely available than barnwood. You can even buy one on Amazon.
7. Barnwood coffin
You might notice that the words “casket” and “coffin” are often used interchangeably. Most of the time, the two terms can be treated as synonyms, even though modern English speakers often use the word “casket.”
But if you are looking for a simple box made of humble materials, whether they're reclaimed barnwood or pine, you may also be interested in choosing the shape of the box for burial. Most of the time, modern-style caskets are rectangular. If you want one that narrows at the head and the legs (or just the head), you may search for a “coffin.”
Although it may be disconcerting to some, this older style of coffin may also be called a “vampire coffin.”
This style, since it may be made with less material, may weigh less than a modern casket. If the burial box’s weight is important to you, read more about how much a casket weighs to help you make your decision.
Where Can You Purchase a Barnwood Casket Online?
Finding an authentic barnwood casket may be tricky, especially if you need to have the item within days. Start your search in your local area. Ask the funeral home director. Ask for assistance from craftspeople nearby who create other items made of recycled wood from barns. Even if they don’t usually make caskets, they may be willing to use their skills to create a casket for you.
Once you have exhausted the local resources, you may be forced to search for a barnwood casket online. If you recently lost a loved one, begin this process immediately. Even if the barnwood casket company has items in stock, it may take time to deliver the casket.
Here are some resources for online barnwood casket retailers.
Barnwood Casket Company is located in Georgia. This company creates their products “the Amish way.” Look under the “rustic woods” tab on their website to find caskets made from rustic metal materials from a sawmill and reclaimed oak barnwood. The company also makes caskets out of a couple of types of pine, and the finished product has a rustic, simple appearance.
Barnwood Casket Company does not work directly with consumers. Contact the company to see how to purchase one of their products.
CVI Funeral Supply sells an Amish wood-crafted wooden casket on their website made from “rough-hewn Missouri barnwood.” The caskets are made using “time-honored skills passed down for generations.”
If you are looking for a vintage-looking casket, check out those sold by the Northwoods Casket Company. The website sells toe-pincher coffins made of weathered, reclaimed barn wood. The coffins don’t come with a finished interior.
Thacker Caskets sells a barnwood casket made from solid oak with a “barnwood finish.” The interiors are lined with a natural cotton fabric that comes in a variety of styles and colors.
While this company makes a casket made out of the wood from a barn, you might also take a look at a casket called the “Seymour.” This extremely simple casket is made from unfinished solid pine, with a crepe interior filled with straw. You can purchase the casket with wooden handles made without metal hardware or rope handles.
Olde South Casket Company’s barnwood caskets come with a certificate of authenticity that promises that the wood stood for at least a century on an American farm. This company (as well as a few others on our list) also offers rocking chairs that are made to match the wood from the casket of your loved one.
More Barnwood Casket Alternatives
We already mentioned the option of a pine casket if you're unable to find what you're looking for in a barnwood casket. If you're still searching, here are some additional options that might appeal to you.
- Wicker casket. If you want a casket made of natural materials and crafted simply, a wicker casket is one of the most widely available options.
- Cardboard casket. It may not offer the same rustic look as a barnwood casket, but a cardboard casket is actually more eco-friendly. And you can easily customize these caskets with non-toxic paint and biodegradable cloth.
- Cloth-covered casket. A cloth-covered casket can look homey and comfortable, just like a barnwood casket. And, like pine caskets, they're easily available online.
Other Things to Consider When Buying a Simple Casket
Many people like the idea of purchasing a rustic casket made of barnwood for their final resting place. While it could be that the wood came from a structure significant to the deceased, others simply like using repurposed materials.
If you're interested in having a simple funeral, you may need to research the regulations in your area.
Burial laws vary from state to state. Also, cemeteries in the same area may have different rules.
If you would like your body and casket to return to the earth as quickly as possible, you may want to find a cemetery that does not require that the casket be placed in a vault inside the ground. You may also want to find a cemetery that limits the use of plastic flowers and grave decorations.
But if you want a barnwood casket simply because you like the look, you may have to be willing to pay a premium. After all, you will be competing with all the home interior specialists who are filling homes with farmhouse decor right now.