What is the Difference Between a Casket and a Coffin? 1

What is the Difference Between a Casket and a Coffin?

The terms coffin and casket are often used interchangeably by the general public, but funeral industry insiders know that there is a difference between the two. This article will help you understand the difference between a funeral casket and a coffin.


The word casket was originally coined to describe an ornamental box that holds ornaments, jewelry, or other precious items. By the mid-19th century in the United States, the person who quietly buried the deceased, known as the local undertaker, was now a funeral director. The embalming techniques, as did the business side of mourning, had progressed. Every feasible measure was taken to consider the grieving family members’ sensitivities and alleviate their pain as much as possible. Therefore, the term casket came into the limelight as it was less sullen. Caskets are four-sided, hinged-lidded, box-shaped burial vessels with a split lid for viewing. The shape of a casket was thought to be less gloomy as it did not depict the shape of a dead body. Funeral caskets are available in a large variety- wooden, metal, or semi-metal caskets. They can also be customized with the help of ornaments and personalized possessions in accbyuyers’ wishes. Caskets are a bit costlier than coffins, as they are larger in dimensions owing to their rectangular shape.



The term coffin is derived from the Old French word coffin, from Latin coins, which means a basket called the Latinisation of the Greek word kophinos, which means “basket.” Since the early 16th century, this term has been used to describe a container that holds dead bodies for burial. Coffins were traditionally made with six sides plus the top lid and bottom, attenuated around the shoulders to form a rectangle with four sides. Another form of the four-sided coffin is trapezoidal and is considered a variant of the six-sided hexagonal kind of coffin. They present a shape similar to human beings, which is not very comforting to the mourners. Coffins are smaller in dimensions than the caskets as they are narrower at the base. This leads to lesser costs for the coffin.

Choice of casket or coffin

There are some visually clear differences between the casket and the coffins. The choice is the family members’ decision unless the deceased has foreordained specific requirements. The selection can be made considering the prices and dimensions of the burial casket and coffin. You must also check the parameters of the chosen resting place, as the selected gravesite may not be large enough to accommodate a largely-sized casket. Selecting any of the two is a difficult decision as the time of this purchase is emotionally tolling. If you are willing to buy a casket, make your decision wisely after thorough research. Buying from the best dealers is an option that ensures superior quality and suitable prices.

Ricardo L. Dominguez

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