Even though most of the time we use the words “coffin” and “casket” interchangeably in order to describe the funerary box, these two words are not referring to the same thing. They do have a difference and their difference lies on the design.
A coffin (from the Greek word kophinos which means “basket”) is a case in which the head and foot are tapered (reduced in thickness) while the shoulder area is wider. See the picture below:
Caskets on the other hand, are rectangular in shape, they are usually constructed of better quality timber and they have a split-lid which is used for viewing purposes:
Coffins have been used since the 16th century while caskets appeared much later, around the mid 19th century. Due to their shape not resembling that of a dead body, caskets have long been considered less dismal than coffins.
Price-wise though caskets are usually much more expensive.
So now you know, but we really need to change the subject here because it’s getting creepy.