What Is The Difference Between A Coffin and a Casket?

A coffin and a casket is not one in the same. Although both are burial vessels, the terms are use distinctly for each and offer some differences to note. The difference between a coffin and a casket is basically one of design. The easiest way to tell a coffin from a casket is by the appearance. Coffins have a narrower or tapered head and footer area and are wider in the center. Caskets are predominately rectangular in shape and have no tapered sides or areas.

Both coffins and caskets serve as burial containers that hold the body for the departed. Funeral homes today still may use both types of containers to display the body for a viewing, service and burial of the deceased. Caskets is the more modern term today, and most families prefer caskets to coffins. Whereas coffins are more of a dated term that was used in earlier times prior to the availability of caskets. Each states has its own laws as to whether a casket or coffin can be used to bury the departed. It’s best to ask your funeral director or state laws if you are considering a traditional burial.

If the family has not chosen a cremation burial, the casket containing the body is lowered into the ground during the burial ceremony. It is largely a personal preference on whether a family chooses a coffin or casket.  Fewer families select coffins today because often the designs are less eye-catching with minimal suppliers of such. Because coffins don't require nearly as much material, they are often less expensive than caskets but the tapering of a coffin can also affect its price point. There are some manufacturers today that make better quality coffins with the exterior wood very similar to that of a casket.

Both Caskets and coffins are special boxes that hold the remains of the departed. Caskets are rectangular in shape with rails placed along the sides of the casket for carrying.  

Most caskets are made of either wood or metal and contain 4 sides. They can be found in a half couch or full couch. The half couch means that the lid is split on hinges and can have the upper half opened while the bottom remains closed. The full couch has one full lid that can be opened or closed. Once they are constructed, caskets are then lined with cloth and can contain a plain or personalized casket panel insert.

Unlike caskets, coffins have six sides to them instead of four. Plus, the top of the coffin is wider than its bottom. Coffins are tapered because it is believed to conform to the shape of a human form. It will most likely have a removable lid while caskets have lids with hinges.   

Coffins are made out of wood and lined with cloth interiors. They can be found with or without side railings depending on the quality and make of the coffin.

Thanks for watching! We hope that this video has given you more clarity on the main differences between a coffin and a casket. 

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