Perhaps you never ever thought about the actual difference between a casket and coffin or quite possibly thought they are the same thing.

However, suddenly if you find yourself in a situation where you need to select between casket or coffin for funeral, then you will like to know their difference.

What is basic difference between ‘Casket’ and ‘Coffin’?

One of the most obvious difference will be their appearance as caskets and coffins are shaped quite differently. Keep reading to learn more on this.


Usually, most of us when we picture about any funeral service, what we see is a casket. That is because the word casket is generally used in most of the funerals in the USA.

Hence, the difference between these two things is especially very important for all families who are living in US.

Casket is a specially-designed box which is made for containing the body of a deceased person. It is typically needed during funeral service for just viewing the dead body.

Thereafter, if the family did not prefer a cremation burial then the casket containing the dead body will be lowered into the ground during the burial ceremony.

In case, the family has preferred cremation for their deceased loved one then the casket will not always be buried. Often it will only be used for just viewing, wake or visitation, as well as for the funeral service.

However, often a cremation urn too is placed within the casket and then the casket will indeed be buried.

With this description, you must have a clear picture of what the casket really looks like. It is rectangular and will typically feature hinged bars on all sides for carrying.


Any coffin too is specially designed box which holds deceased person’s body meant for the funeral service. Similar to a casket, it will also be utilized for viewing and burial.

One of the main differences is that coffins have 6 sides. Normally, it may be little difficult to picture. You can imagine any old movie that you may have seen, especially a western movie.

In movies that show the period of 1800’s, you will mostly see a coffin, which is not a casket, in case there is any funeral scene is shown. In these coffins, its top part will be little wider as compared to its bottom.

However, that is not just the only difference between casket and coffins. So, how can you select between casket or coffin for funeral?

One of the criteria to choose between the two will be the cost. Though the shape of the casket and coffin will be the core difference between the two, which will lead to another major difference.

The basic reason why coffins are generally built to be little narrower at bottom is for saving money on wood. They are designed for accommodating the wider width of shoulder of the body and narrower width of feet. Usually, they will be cheaper as compared to caskets.

Ultimately, people will decide between casket or coffin based on factors like price and its preferred shape. However, both are suitable for a funeral.