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Another form of four-sided coffin is trapezoidal (also known as the "wedge" form) and is considered a variant of the six-sided hexagonal kind of coffin.

Continental Europe at one time favoured the rectangular coffin or casket, although variations exist in size and shape.

Coffins usually have handles on the side so they will be easier to carry.

They may incorporate features that claim to protect the body or for public health reasons.

Receptacles for cremated and cremulated human ashes (sometimes called cremains) are called urns.

Coffins are traditionally made with six sides plus the top (lid) and bottom, tapered around the shoulders, or rectangular with four sides.For example, some may offer a protective casket that uses a gasket to seal the casket shut after it is closed for the final time.In England, it has long been law that a coffin for interment above ground should be sealed; this was traditionally implemented as a wooden outer coffin around a lead lining, around a third inner shell.A burial vault serves as an outer enclosure for buried remains and the coffin serves as an inner enclosure.The primary purpose of the vault is to prevent collapse of the coffin due to the weight of the soil above.

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