A collection of incredible coffins

A fish-shaped coffin by Paa Joe
A fish-shaped coffin created by Paa Joe

Would you like to be buried in a coffin the shape of an aeroplane, or maybe one inspired by the Rolling Stones? There are so many different ways to help personalise a coffin, from amazing sculptural builds to gorgeous (and occasionally playful) images. We’ve put together a collection of incredible coffin ideas to help fire up your imagination.

Nokia coffin by Crazy Coffins
Nokia coffin by Crazy Coffins

Fabulous sculptural coffins

The UK has seen a growing interest in sculptural coffins, from viking longships to geeky and proud Nintendo controllers. The joy of sculptural coffins is that the design and feel are endlessly adaptable. They lend themselves to funerals that are celebratory, solemn, poignant or a combination of all three. A keen musician might choose a keyboard while car enthusiasts might be inspired by a BMW — the options are nearly limitless.

Coffin inspired by the Rolling Stones

Pictorial cardboard coffins

Another way to help make a funeral feel unique is a personalised design for your cardboard coffin. Most coffin suppliers will offer pre-made options if you’re looking for inspiration, but you can also use your own images and ideas. At Poppy’s, we’ve had the huge pleasure of helping with funerals where coffins have been influenced by everything from a TARDIS to the Rolling Stones.

Chilli coffin by Paa Joe
Chilli coffin by Paa Joe

Ghana’s gorgeous coffins

This list wouldn’t be complete without a nod to Ghana’s tradition of building beautiful and intricate coffins. The coffins have symbolic meaning and are often linked to a person’s occupation or status. Someone wealthy might be buried in a coffin shaped like a Mercedes Benz, while a journalist might find themselves buried in a camera coffin. Aeroplanes are a popular choice and can represent the journey to the afterlife. The local name for these coffins is Abeduu Adekai, or ‘proverb boxes’, which reflects their symbolic nature.

An eco-coffin being transported on a wagon

Coffins to help save the planet

Eco-friendly coffins have grown in popularity as more people want to care for the planet. There’s now a huge range of coffins built out of sustainable materials like willow, cardboard, banana leaf, bamboo, and even wool. These environmentally-friendly options can be absolutely stunning, so there’s no need to compromise on quality. If you’re hoping for a wooden coffin, you can check to see if it’s been accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council, which protects against illegal logging.

Seed-shaped pods beneath trees

Nurture a tree with your body after you die

The Italian company Capsula Mundi is pioneering another way to return to the earth when you die. They’re developing a so-called ‘body pod’, where your body is buried like a seed and a tree is planted on top. While the body pod isn’t available for purchase yet, the company does offer urns. For now, you can always choose a well-forested natural burial ground and a biodegradable shroud.

Looking for more brilliant ideas? Here's Katrina Spade on composting humans and we share the best books to help explain death to children.

Discover more articles