Coffin vs Casket

So what is the difference between a coffin and a casket?

Technically, both a coffin and a casket has the same purpose—it is used as a container of the remains of a dead person. This sounds brutal the first time you read it, but that is the fact. The difference is mainly in the design and the level of detail that goes into each. A coffin is generally plain in design whilst a casket is more complex, leaning more on detailed and masterful craftsmanship.

With a tapered design, coffins have a narrow head and legs, with wide shoulders. Whereas a casket is generally rectangular in shape and is the same width from head to toe.

This is a picture of a typical coffin

The coffin has a lid that comes completely off. As such it is not generally used when there is a viewing during the wake and burial ceremonies. To resemble the shape of the human body, a coffin often has six to eight sides. This kind of design and build has been around since the 16th century. Coffin builders say that this six to eight sides actually makes for a cheaper price since the shape allows for less usage of wood. Coffins are generally made from MDF (Medium-density fibreboard) wood, matched with a veneer or of solid wood application. The price of the coffin would depend on the type of wood that is being used.

Getting its roots from the Greek word kophinos, which means “basket”, coffins can be adorned with bells and whistles to the choosing of the bereaved family. Much like the exterior, the interior of a coffin appears simpler than that of a casket. Although the fabric may differ depending on the choice of the family, no significant and extraordinary details can be seen. There are times that coffins have inscriptions in them—messages from families and friends.

Coffin Furniture or “fittings” include handles (that are either made of wood or metal), symbols and personal designs from the family. To View Our Range of Coffins, Please Click Here


This is a picture of a casket

A casket typically has a design with a half lid feature that opens towards the head. This is typically useful during an open viewing funeral ceremony. The interior of a casket is more luxurious and is more detailed in craftsmanship on the exterior. The simple and rectangular box shape of the casket is meant to be less depressing since it does not follow the shape of a dead loved one that lies inside. A greater range of wood types are available within the casket range as most customers prefer solid woods such as mahogany or oak.

The top side of the lid of a casket has an arched shape, with a variety of surface sculpting to avoid a flat silhouette. All four sides of a casket are sculpted with masterful detailing, resembling either a column or pillar. Most caskets have layered bottom parts to simulate regal effects. Thus, the construction of a casket uses more wood than with a coffin. The handles are wood with gold or silver braces. Additional sculpting and symbols is also an option provided for the bereaved family. The trimmings in the interior can either be simple or elaborate with embroidery designs.

To View Our Range of MDF Caskets, Please Click Here and To View Our Range of Solid Wood Caskets, Please Click Here


Caskets also come in Metal Designs. The picture below is an example of a metal casket.

Metal caskets are generally made with 18ga – 20ga steal and are typically used for burial, as they designed to be sealed. Metal Caskets made from solid copper is also an option offered to the family, which are designed to stand the test of time as copper has anti rust properties. Outside of that fact, metal caskets look more modern and less dismal. To View Our Range of Metal Caskets, Please Click Here


Again, a coffin and a casket basically has the same purpose. It merely comes down to your preference whether you want to have it simple and practical, or go all out and have an extravagant send off for your loved one. Regardless of your choice, Coffinworld is here to offer you the best service.


Give us a call on 1300 750 317 or Email us on, and we will do the best we can to assist you on selecting the right coffin or casket for your purpose.