Cloth caskets are some of the least expensive types of caskets. You may have seen one without realizing it.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What’s a Cloth Casket?
- How Much Does a Cloth Casket Usually Cost?
- 12 Different Types of Cloth Caskets
- Where Can You Buy a Cloth Casket Online?
- Alternatives to Cloth Caskets
If you are pre-planning your own funeral or making the final arrangements for a loved one, we’ll explain what cloth caskets are and the options you have to consider when choosing them.
Cloth-covered caskets help those planning a funeral on a budget. Look for tips at the end of this article on other ways to conserve money when saying goodbye to someone you love.
What’s a Cloth Casket?
A cloth casket is made of fiberboard or pressed wood. That outer structure is then covered with a heavy-durable cloth. Even though you may hear of this type of casket referred to as a cloth casket, the more accurate label would be a cloth-covered casket.
While cloth-covered caskets are certainly some of the least expensive options on the market, you can find other budget-friendly choices. Sometimes fiberboard or pressed wood caskets are covered with a veneer, which gives the casket a wood look without purchasing the heavier solid-wood option.
If you are concerned with how much the casket weighs when planning your loved one’s funeral, you may consider this choice.
Here are the different types of cloth-covered caskets to consider.
How Much Does a Cloth Casket Usually Cost?
Cloth-covered caskets cost around $600.
You may have heard someone say that when their time comes, they want to be buried in a “pine box.” While this description has become the standard to describe a simple, inexpensive casket, the most cost-effective option may be a cloth-covered casket.
Cloth-covered caskets start at around $600. While you might be able to purchase an unfinished pine casket for about $500, most companies sell them for considerably higher. Some people are willing to spend more on a simple wooden casket because they like the idea of a casket made of natural wood instead of one made of pressed wood and covered with fabric.
People who want a simple-looking funeral for themselves or their loved one may purchase a casket made of unfinished pine or recycled barnwood. Those who wish to plan a burial for the least amount possible might select a cloth-covered casket, even if this selection doesn’t look “rustic” or “simple.”
12 Different Types of Cloth Caskets
You won’t find many different types of cloth caskets but you can consider a few options.
First, will the service include an open-casket visitation? If so, you should consider the type of lid and the interior colors of the casket.
Second, is the color of the casket important? Perhaps you are looking for a particular color to coordinate with a flower or outfit that your loved one will wear.
Finally, while fabric-covered caskets are generally affordable, you may be able to make choices that lower the cost even more. Check with the funeral home director to see if one shape is less expensive than another.
Let’s discuss the features and details of this inexpensive casket option.
1. Colorful caskets
A cloth-covered casket is usually available in various colors. Of course, metal caskets come in different colors as well, but they are generally more expensive than the cloth-covered varieties.
Cloth-covered caskets come in every color of the rainbow. While almost all of the cloth-covered caskets on the marketplace are made of a solid color, one retailer sells a casket covered in camouflage material. You may also find one that features an animal print.
Cloth-covered caskets typically come in pastels, jewel tones, and muted colors.
2. Full-couch cloth-covered casket
A full-couch casket refers to the style of lid. A full-couch top does not split in the middle, so when opened, the deceased’s entire body is revealed.
A full-couch casket lid can also be placed on a wood or metal casket.
3. Half-couch cloth-covered casket
Most of the time, families who choose to have an open-casket visitation or service will choose a half-couch casket for their loved one. Half-couch lids split in the middle, so only the top half of the individual needs to be exposed.
Again, half-couch lids are also used on wood or metal caskets.
4. Round-top cloth-covered casket
Most people don’t put too much thought into the shape or structure of a casket. In fact, you may think that there are only two basic shapes — the rectangular, modern casket, or the type that narrows at the head and the legs.
The reality is that there are many different nuances in the shape of a casket. A round-top cloth-covered casket gives the appearance of having a roomier interior. Instead of a flat top that rests on the walls of the casket, the lid is rounded.
5. Octagon-shaped cloth-covered casket
The difference between a modern octagon-shaped casket and a rectangular casket is subtle. The top and bottom usually narrow slightly in the currently constructed versions.
6. Cremation cloth-covered casket
Some retailers label their cloth-covered caskets as ideal for cremation. You may want to check with the staff at the crematory before buying the product. While cloth-covered caskets are relatively inexpensive, you can find even less expensive caskets made of heavy-duty cardboard. These are made specifically for cremation.
Even if you choose to have an open-casket viewing before the cremation occurs, many funeral homes allow you to rent a casket for the event.
7. Felt-covered caskets
Most of the time, cloth-covered caskets aren’t labeled by the specific type of material used. However, you may see references to felt-covered caskets.
Felt can be made of natural or synthetic materials. It is generally soft to the touch, but it is relatively durable.
8. Doeskin caskets
Even though the name of this casket implies that it is covered with the skin of an animal, doeskin also refers to a piece of medium-weight wool fabric.
9. Brocade cloth-covered caskets
Brocade is a type of material that is woven with a raised design. It can come in a variety of patterns. This type of material is sometimes used for cloth-covered caskets.
9. Eco-friendly caskets
Cloth-covered caskets are not typically viewed as eco-friendly. Adhesives are generally used in the construction of such caskets.
You may be able to find an eco-friendly version of this type of coffin. There are more eco-friendly caskets available, but they may cost more than a cloth-covered casket.
10. Rental cloth-covered casket
Even if your loved one chose to be cremated, you could still have an open-casket visitation or service. Most funeral homes now allow you to rent a casket for this brief use.
While the caskets available for rent may be of higher quality than a cloth-covered casket, you could perhaps request one should you want a particular color or fabric.
11. Cloth-covered casket with a complimentary interior
As we mentioned earlier, you can purchase a cloth-covered casket in a wide variety of colors. But you may not have considered that the interior colors can be altered as well.
If you would like to create a particular design for an open-casket service, consider the colors of the exterior and interior of the casket, as well as the colors that your loved one wears inside.
12. Personalized caskets
Did your loved one always cheer for the local baseball team? Or was her faith an essential part of her life? Some companies allow you to personalize caskets with an image.
A team logo or the image of folded hands may be placed on the interior lid of the casket. You may also ask if you can customize the exterior of the coffin as well.
Even if having an image is not available for a cloth-covered casket, you can always personalize the casket by choosing a specific color for the exterior and interior. You can also bury your loved one with an item that was important to him, such as a fishing rod or Bible.
Where Can You Buy a Cloth Casket Online?
Some companies known for selling caskets online do not offer cloth-covered caskets. Most online casket companies and other big-name retailers (such as Walmart, Amazon, and Costco) sell steel and wood caskets, but typically not ones made from pressed wood.
Most funeral homes keep cloth-covered caskets in stock as budget-friendly options for families. We recommend purchasing cloth-covered caskets from the funeral home or local dealer. In fact, finding them online at a price worth the cost of shipping may be difficult.
If you’re interested in researching cloth-covered caskets online, here are some online casket companies to consider. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find many styles or color options from these online retailers, but you might be able to purchase an oversized cloth-covered casket from one of them.
If you’re looking for a casket in a specific, unique color, consider searching for a steel casket online.
Titan Casket is a large casket retailer. The company sells some of its products through Walmart, but you’ll need to refer to their website to find cloth caskets.
Titan Casket has three cloth-covered caskets for sale in the $700 to $800 range. They are all bluish-gray, but the shape and style vary.
Casket Xpress has cloth-covered caskets in several varieties and colors. The caskets are $700, but the shipping charges begin at $125 and may go up to $425 depending on where they are to be delivered.
All products sold by Covington Box and Packaging are made in the USA. Their cloth-covered caskets are also called “corrugated caskets,” They come with hand-sewn, hand-crafted satin interiors.
Best Price Caskets markets the cloth-covered casket on its website page as a “cremation casket.” Even though the item does have a maximum weight of 240 pounds, it might be able to be used as a traditional casket as well.
Cremation caskets are typically less expensive than caskets used for burial. Check with the crematory to see if a cloth-covered casket would be able to be used in their facilities.
Sometimes it’s challenging to find cloth-covered caskets on casket websites because they are referred to in a variety of terms. While some websites label cloth-covered caskets as appropriate for cremation, they are often also suitable for burial. Make sure you purchase a casket appropriate for your use.
Starmark Cremation Products categorizes cloth-covered caskets as “modest gathering containers.”
Alternatives to Cloth Caskets
If you like the idea of a cloth casket but none of the ideas above appeals to you, here are some alternatives that might suit you better:
- Burial shroud. A burial shroud incorporates the concept of cloth, without the casket. It's a highly eco-friendly—and inexpensive—burial method. You just have to find a cemetery that allows for burial without a casket.
- Biodegradable caskets. Another eco-friendly and unique option is a biodegradable casket. This lends you the appearance and function of a casket, while also creating a smaller footprint on the Earth. We like this wicker casket on Amazon.
- Green cremation options. If you're concerned with the eco-footprint of your final disposition, you might want to consider some "green" cremation options. For example, you can plant your ashes in a bio-urn, which ends up growing a plant or tree.
- Unique cremation options. If you're mainly interested in a unique form of final disposition, you might want to consider some of the unique options for ashes. For example, you can transform ashes into a real diamond with Eterneva or into cremation stones with Parting Stone. Or you can store the ashes in a one-of-a-kind urn from Foreverence.
Other Ways to Save Money When Planning a Funeral
We know that discussing finances when planning a funeral makes some people uncomfortable, but you must consider it. If you have a limited budget, you need to decide how the money is spent on your loved one’s final goodbye.
One of the least expensive options is having your loved one directly cremated after death. After you say your final goodbyes at your loved one's deathbed, the body is directly cremated and the cremains returned to you. At this point, you can choose to scatter the cremains during a private moment with a small group of family or friends. Generally, this is one of the least expensive ways to say goodbye.
If your loved one chose to be buried, purchasing a cloth-covered casket is one of your least expensive options. If you schedule the funeral quickly and decide to have a closed-casket service, you may be able to save on the cost of embalming. You may also be able to find cemetery space outside of a metropolitan area less expensive than buying a plot in the heart of a city.
Remember, the amount of love that you had for the deceased has nothing to do with how much you spend on the funeral. You can still honor and show love for your family member even if you don't spend a lot of money on the service.
Commemorate the life of your loved one by sharing stories and looking at pictures. Have a potluck and ask that everyone who attends brings a dish that was a favorite of the deceased. Gather at a local park and celebrate the life of the person who brought you joy.
If you're looking for more casket buying resources, read our guides on casket materials and natural burials.