The global mortuary cabinets market size was valued at USD 277.91 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 421.02 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.72% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
The growing need for the preservation of deceased individuals in mortuary cabinets is expected to positively impact market expansion. Mortuary cabinets are refrigerated cabinets with a low temperature that store dead bodies for brief or long periods. It is primarily used in hospitals to store bodies before removal for burial, autopsy, cremation, or other purposes. These refrigerated storage cabinets for deceased bodies are also widely utilized in railways, airports, disaster and army camps, army hospitals, etc. These cold cabinets are also known as morgue freezers, corpse storage refrigerators, mortuary refrigerators, and mortuary chambers, among others. Mortuary storage cabinet temperatures typically range from 1°C to 5°C, but 0°C, -10°C, and even -20°C are also options that can be designed. Mortuary cabinets are in high demand and must be durable enough to operate around the clock, even when subjected to harsh use.
|Market Size||USD 421.02 million by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Cancer is among the prominent causes of death worldwide, killing nearly 10 million and an estimated 19.3 million new cases in 2020. However, the cancer death rate has constantly declined in the last decade. Researchers worldwide and in the US have made several advances in learning complex details about prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and survival from cancer.
Terminally ill patients help scientists by donating bodies for autopsies, precious resources for understanding the disease. Several research centers allow scientists to gather biological samples after the patient's death to conduct research. This growing research on cancer is highly contributed by large funding for performing autopsies and carrying out research studies. Hence, the increasing need to preserve dead bodies in mortuary cabinets will likely contribute to market growth.
Infectious diseases are a leading reason of death worldwide, particularly in low-income countries. These diseases are lethal for young children. At a global level, more than 28% of the burden of diseases is due to infections. According to the WHO, pneumonia and other lower respiratory infections were the most lethal infectious diseases in 2019 and the fourth leading reason of mortality.
Road accidents are also becoming one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Road traffic crashes claim the lives of about 1.3 million people each year, primarily children and young adults (5–29 years old). More than 90% of traffic-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Hence, the growing number of deaths due to infectious diseases, road accidents, and self-harm has increased the need to store and preserve dead bodies in mortuary cabinets before cremation or burial. Research and forensic studies also require preserving dead bodies in suitable conditions maintained inside mortuary cabinets.
Catastrophic epidemics and natural disasters impact thousands of lives and have extremely lasting consequences, accompanied by human suffering. For instance, the devastating Haitian earthquakes of 2010 and 2021, the Ebola epidemic of 2014–2016, and the COVID-19 pandemic revealed some practical and ethical complexities in managing dead bodies. Epidemics and natural disasters have exacerbated practical difficulties in properly storing dead bodies. This led to reduced adoption of mortuary cabinets by healthcare facilities, morgues, and funeral homes, thereby restricting market growth.
Obesity is among the prominent causes of preventable deaths in many countries. The incidence of obesity has nearly tripled in the last six decades. Obesity is a leading cause of death, responsible for at least 2.8 million deaths annually. Many hospitals and morgues have reported problems accommodating deceased obese patients as the number of deaths attributable to obesity and overweight has increased.
In addition, there was a high need for oversized mortuary cabinets to manage such conditions. For instance, oversized mortuary fridges were installed in Scottish hospitals to cope with the country's obesity crisis. Health boards had to purchase extra-large fridges for obese dead bodies in Scotland's mortuaries. In the past five years, 41 oversized fridges were installed across the country to manage the growing levels of obesity. The situation has forced health boards to invest in large mortuary fridges to cater to obese patients who have passed away, creating high demand.
Based on region, the global mortuary cabinets market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Europe is the most significant global mortuary cabinet market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.31% over the forecast period. Europe has emerged as the most dominating region in the global mortuary cabinets market owing to the growing aging population affected by chronic diseases, high prevalence of non-communicable diseases, and frequent outbreaks of epidemics and pandemics, increasing the number of deaths across the region. In 2017, over 4.6 million people died in EU countries, largely due to cardiovascular diseases, cancers, respiratory diseases, and other external causes. These diseases have been contributing to death rates and increasing the demand for mortuary cabinets across the region.
In addition, WHO Global Health Estimates revealed that around half a million deaths occurred due to violence and injuries in the European region in 2016. The three major causes of injury deaths are self-directed violence (141,089), road traffic injuries (78,198), and falls (83,325). Injuries have been responsible for 9.6 years of life lost, constituting approximately 5.3% of the overall mortality rate. Similarly, injuries have been a prominent cause of death in people aged 15–29 and the second prominent cause of death among those aged 5–14. This has also increased the need for mortuary cabinets for storage and transportation of the deceased.
North America is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.53% over the forecast period. Major aspects contributing to the market's growth are the high prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer, accidents, unintentional injuries, and other causes, the increasing death rate, and the simultaneous demand for mortuary cabinets. Similarly, infectious diseases, epidemics/pandemics, medication errors, road accidents, and crime rates have further increased the death rate in the region. The growing death rate across the region has increased the adoption of mortuary cabinets for safe storage and transportation of the deceased body. In addition, the US was drastically hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the highest number of deaths of any country in the world. The country had a high demand for body cabinets during the pandemic, which led to shortages. As the need for body cabinets increased, there was a high production of these cabinets, contributing to the region's market growth.
Asia-Pacific is the quickest-growing region in the mortuary cabinet market. Major factors contributing to the mortuary cabinet market's growth across the region include the rising elderly population suffering from acute and chronic conditions. Most deaths in Asia-Pacific occur due to non-communicable diseases, especially in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia. The prevalence of non-communicable diseases will likely increase drastically over the next few decades. These include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases. The high prevalence of these diseases is leading to deaths across the region, thereby increasing the demand for mortuary cabinets.
In Latin America, the major aspects contributing to the market development are the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases like heart disease, cancer, accidents, unintentional injuries, the increasing death rate, and the demand for mortuary cabinets. Infectious diseases, epidemics/pandemics, medication errors, road accidents, and crime rates have further increased the death rates in the region. The growing death rate across the region has increased the adoption of mortuary cabinets for safe storage and transportation of the deceased body.
In the Middle East and Africa, major factors accounting for the market expansion are the growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, accidents, unintentional injuries, and other causes, increasing the death rate and the demand for mortuary cabinets. Most Middle Eastern countries have a heavy burden of mortality and morbidity due to child and adolescent injuries. The leading causes of injury-related deaths were self-harm and interpersonal violence, followed by transport injuries. In 2017, an estimated 133,117 children died in the Eastern Mediterranean region compared to 707,755 deaths worldwide. This accounted for around 19% of the global child injury in the Eastern Mediterranean region. There was a high demand for these mortuary cabinets in the region.
The global mortuary cabinets market is bifurcated into type, temperature, and end-user.
Based on type, the global mortuary cabinet market is segmented into multiple bodies and single bodies.
The multiple bodies segment is the highest contributor to the market and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.80% over the forecast period. Mortuary cabinets, which store multiple bodies, have individual chambers with separate doors, with a handle and lock for each chamber. The mortuary chest includes individual temperature controls for each compartment. In the case of a six-body mortuary cabinet, there are six temperature controllers, depicting one temperature controller for each chamber. Direct cooling is one of the best methods for storing corpses and is utilized in constructing multiple-body mortuary cabinets. Direct cooling technology has been more reliable than air cooling. As it does not require air circulation, the compressor's life increases.
A single-body mortuary cabinet was designed for storing cadaverous under cold conditions to prevent decomposition. A major advantage of this mortuary cabinet is low maintenance for preserving the dead body longer. It is more lightweight and compact than the multiple-body cabinet. It is extremely long-lasting, lightweight, and portable. It is used in homes when final rites must be postponed\, but it is also utilized in hospitals and other comparable institutions. This comes with strong castors for easy mobility and two glass lids on the top.
Based on temperature, the global mortuary cabinets market is segmented into negative and positive temperature mortuary cabinets.
The negative temperature mortuary cabinets segment owns the highest market share and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 4.88% over the forecast period. In negative-temperature mortuary cabinets, dead bodies are kept between -10°C and -50 °C. These types of refrigerators are usually utilized in forensic institutes. The low temperature guarantees that the body reaches the frozen state and has a low decomposition rate. This temperature range in the mortuary cabinets can be adjusted through a digital PID controller; it displays both SV (set value) and PV (process value). In addition, forensic institutes usually utilize negative-temperature mortuary cabinets for criminal findings and unidentified remains. Low temperatures of negative temperature mortuary cabinets freeze the body, dramatically reducing decomposition's effects.
In positive-temperature mortuary chambers, deceased bodies are stored at temperatures ranging between 2°C to 4°C. Bodies are sometimes stored for many weeks, as these chambers do not prevent the decomposition of dead bodies. However, the decomposition rate is slow compared to the normal rate at room temperature. As such, most morticians do not recommend storing a body in these cabinets for more than two weeks. These positive-temperature mortuary cabinets are commonly seen in funeral homes and mortuaries. Discoloration of the epidermis and physiological changes to the body after 24 hours in a positive temperature mortuary cabinet indicate the start of decomposition. Embalming is recommended if a funeral is to be witnessed or the coffin is opened more than 24 hours after death.
Based on end-users, the global mortuary cabinets market is bifurcated into hospitals, mortuary rooms, and others.
The hospital segment dominates the global market and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 5.11% during the forecast period. Hospitals have a mortuary, an important part of body preservation. They help forensic clinicians and pathologists investigate the reason for death and make scientific investigations. As per infection control protocols, COVID-19-positive bodies were supposed to be wrapped or stored in mortuary cabinets. With the high surge in deaths during epidemics/pandemics, there was a high shortage of mortuary cabinets. These bodies were preserved under appropriate cold-room conditions, such as mortuary cabinets, and can be stored for up to 48 hours in hospitals.
Mortuaries are used for storing human corpses awaiting identification, removal for autopsy, respectful burial, cremation, or other disposal methods. Medicolegal autopsies performed by forensic pathologists or coroners are mandated by local statutes, typically in a suspected homicide, suicide, or accident. Most jurisdictions collect reliable data on their medicolegal autopsies, and statistical data suggest that the rates of medicolegal autopsies have increased over time. Autopsy rate reporting could vary between institutions depending on whether forensic cases, stillbirth cases, and cases referred from outside the hospital are included.