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Funeral Guide

What is the Difference Between a Coffin and a Casket for a Funeral?

Organising a funeral can be an upsetting and stressful time and without any funeral advice, it can seem overwhelming. This is especially true if the person who has passed away did not leave guidance on what they would like after their death, or had already arranged their funeral.

Is There a Difference Between a Coffin and Casket?

Many people who haven’t had any funeral advice will use the words coffin and casket interchangeably. This is because there tends to be little understanding of what the two words describe. There are some similarities because the basic function of a coffin and casket is the same. They are both designed to house a person after death regardless of whether a cremation or burial has been arranged. There is some overlap in what materials are used and both a coffin and a casket can be used if viewing the deceased is required.

However, there are also some significant differences. The main differences are:

  • Shape
  • Decoration

What is Different About the Shape?

If you have received any funeral advice then you may already be aware that the shape is the biggest difference between a coffin and a casket. A coffin has a traditional six-sided shape that is wider near the top, to accommodate the person’s shoulders. The shape tapers to become narrower where the person’s legs and feet are.

In contrast, a casket is a rectangular shape that will often have hinges to allow for viewing the deceased. It is common to have a split lid which will allow for viewing the upper half of the deceased before or during the funeral.

Decoration of a Coffin or Casket

If you are making funeral arrangements then you may want to know more about how decorative coffins and caskets are. Traditionally a coffin is less ornate than a casket. A coffin will tend to be made from wood, or more recently eco-friendly materials such as willow, bamboo or cardboard, and will be lined with fabric.

A casket will usually be constructed of more expensive wood or even metal and will be lined with padded materials to provide a comfortable resting place for the deceased.

As caskets will traditionally be made from more expensive materials and are more ornate and decorative, the cost of a casket will usually be more.

Which Should You Choose?

Whether you need funeral advice because you are choosing what you would like for your own funeral, or you have been tasked with arranging the funeral of a loved one, it is important to remember that each person is individual. There are no right or wrong choices and this is especially true when it comes to choosing between a coffin and a casket.

For funeral arrangements in Kent, T. Allen Funeral Services can provide you with expert advice based on nearly 30 years of experience. If you want to talk about funeral options or start making arrangements, contact us today and let our family help your family.