Casket vs. Coffin: Six Key Differences You Should Know

By: VGFS
Sunday, March 13, 2022

Both coffins and caskets serve as burial containers that hold the body of the departed. While the terms casket and coffin are often used interchangeably, these vessels have some important differences.

In this article, we will take a detailed look at these containers and examine the unique aspects of each.  

Shape

Coffins and caskets are configured differently. Coffins have six sides. They are tapered at the head and feet, and they are wider at the shoulders. Caskets are rectangular in shape and have four sides. In addition, they have long rails along the sides to make transportation by pallbearers easier.

Lids

Caskets have hinged, dome-shaped lids that can swing up to reveal a portion of the departed or their entire body. Coffins have flat lids that are completely removable and are not attached with hinges. 

Connotation

The word coffin tends to conjure up images of vampires, mummies, and horror movies. It is a term that has become synonymous with Halloween. The term casket, on the other hand, is dignified and comforting. Caskets are synonymous with peaceful final resting places for loved ones.

Price

Because coffins don’t require nearly as much material and ornamentation, they are often less expensive than caskets. However, because of their unusual shape, selecting a coffin may require additional costs for transportation.

Availability

Since most funeral homes in the U.S. only carry caskets, they are far more common. Coffins, however, can be found for sale online or they can be handcrafted. If you and your family strongly prefer that your departed loved one be buried in a coffin, be sure to discuss this choice with your funeral director. They will need to check with the cemetery to ensure that coffins are accepted.

Options

Rarely used anymore, coffins are generally plain wooden or metal containers. Caskets, however, come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, materials, and colors. Most are crafted from wood or metal. They may be standard-sized or oversized and can range from simple to very ornate in their embellishments. Caskets are lined with plush interiors to create beautiful, soft resting places.

Selecting the departed’s memorial products and final resting place are acts of great love. If you need assistance choosing the right casket or coffin for your beloved family member, please contact us with any questions. It is always our pleasure to serve you.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, and repast services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

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