Arrange a funeral > Arranging a funeral FAQs

Q. What is the difference between a coffin or a casket?

The basic difference between a coffin and a casket is the shape. A coffin gets wider at the shoulders and then tapers thinner towards the feet. A casket is rectangular shape. Overall a casket is bulkier and heavier than a coffin.

There are other differences too. Materials used for construction vary. Caskets are usually constructed from metal or wood, whereas coffins are more varied. Coffins can be constructed from many materials such as veneer or solid wood, cardboard, wicker, wool, bamboo etc.

Cost is another difference. Caskets in general are more expensive, some caskets can cost thousands of pounds whereas most coffins cost hundreds.

Furnishings and linings also contrast. Coffin handles are usually individual handles, intended as decoration or for attaching cords rather than to actually carry the coffin. A casket is usually furnished with a bar handle running the length of the side of the coffin, this is normally used when carrying or lifting the coffin. Coffin linings are usually silk or satin, subtle or pastel colours are usually provided. Casket linings are often more lavish, using padded or quilted linings.

A casket for the deceased should not be confused with a cremated ashes casket, which is used for burial or storage of cremated remains.

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