Often people use the words “casket” and “coffin” interchangeably. The general population thinks that these two words mean the same thing. However, they are not. Those in the funeral industry know that even though these two are both burial boxes, they are not one and the same.
The number one difference between the two is their appearance. Caskets and coffins have different shapes. While a casket is rectangular in shape and usually has hinged bars on either side for carrying it, a coffin has six sides. A coffin is shaped in such a way that the top part is wider than the bottom.
Usually in the U.S, most families use caskets for funerals. Burial boxes specifically designed to contain a person’s deceased body, caskets are used for viewing the body during a funeral. After the funeral service, the casket is lowered into the ground for burial.
However, if the family of the deceased chooses cremation over burial, caskets are only used solely for the purpose of viewing the body or visitation during the funeral service.
Coffins are also used for viewing, visitations and burial. But, as mentioned before, their shapes are distinctively different from caskets. Coffins were most commonly used during the 19th and 20th centuries in funeral services.
Another important difference between the two is that they have different pricing. In most cases, coffins tend to be cheaper than caskets. This is because they require less wood (or any other material) when they are made. Coffins are shaped wider at the top and narrower at the bottom so they can match the human body shape without having to waste any material. Understandably, they are often more cost-effective than caskets, which use up more material.
Both caskets and coffins are appropriate for funeral services and there are no restrictions on the use of either one.
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