Coffin vs. Casket

Coffin vs. Casket: Which one should I choose?

Coffin vs casket is not the kind of decision we have to make everyday, thankfully. However, it’s important to be informed when the time comes. Whether you are planning your own funeral to take the strain off your family or are sending off a loved one, knowing what to choose will make things a little easier.

Coffin vs. Casket: The differences

The Shape

The main difference between the two is the design. Specifically, the shape is the most significant difference between a coffin and a casket. Coffins are tapered at the head and feet, fitting the shape of the human body. Due to the tapered shape, coffins have six sides. Caskets, on the other hand, are box shaped and have 4 sides. As caskets are not as obviously shaped, they are preferred by many. The word ‘casket’ also reflects its box-like shape and is a gentler term than ‘coffin’. 

Size and Weight 

Caskets require more material, whether that is wood or metal, in their construction. Coffins use less as the tapered shape is closely fitted to the body. Caskets are therefore heavier as more wood or metal has been used to form their shape. Size and weight is not only a consideration for the casket or coffin, but also you will need your dearly departed’s measurements. If the deceased is taller or wider than average an oversized casket can be offered to accommodate their frame.

The Material

Typically coffins are made out of different types of wood. There are also eco-friendly options out there too, such as cardboard coffins. Caskets can be constructed out of both wood and metal, giving you a wider choice of materials. Solid hardwoods such as mahogany, cherry and walnut are commonly used in casket construction. These hardwoods are as expected, durable and strong. Medium-range wood types are also available to choose from, such as oak and poplar. 

Veneers are a good option if you want the look of hardwood without the price tag. A veneer is when a thin layer of real hardwood is covered over a less expensive material. Veneer caskets give an impression of quality hardwood without the weight and expense.

As for metals, there are a range of metals suitable for caskets. You can opt for highly durable stainless steel or impressive polished bronze. A variety of metal finishes are also available, from yellow gold to rose gold, depending on your preferences. 

The Price 

The prices of casket and coffin ranges out there will also vary. As more material is required to make a casket, this is reflected in the price. Caskets can also be more lavish making them the perfect choice for showing your affection for the deceased. You can choose from a variety of designs, materials, polished metal handles and quilted linings. 

Type of Funeral

Your choice also depends on the type of funeral you are planning. A casket is hinged at the side and can be fully or half-opened. This feature allows family and friends to view their departed loved one during the funeral service. If you would like to be able to view the deceased during the service, a casket would be preferable over a coffin. These types of services are known as ‘open-casket’ funerals.

If your loved one has requested a cremation, this is a factor to consider when choosing a coffin or casket. Regardless of whether you opt for a coffin or casket, the material used must be combustible if the deceased is to be cremated. If this is your loved one’s wishes then discuss your options with your funeral director.

Coffin vs. Casket: Help and Support

If you choose to opt for a casket during the funeral planning process, our professionals are on hand to guide you the rest of the way. We are a family-run business with many years of experience in casket sales. At The Casket Corporation, we will carefully advise you and help you to choose the best casket for your loved one. If you are still unsure about whether to choose a casket or coffin or have any other questions for us, please get in touch