Cremation urns hold the remains of loved ones, close friends, life partners, and pets. Like a cemetery plot, it’s best to think of an urn as a person’s final resting place.
Choosing cremation urns is an often-overlooked aspect of end-of-life planning. However, it’s an important decision that should be made carefully. There are practical considerations when choosing an urn and honoring the deceased’s personality and preferences.
We’ve put together this guide to help you choose the correct size urn for your deceased loved one or pet.
What Type of Urn Should I Get?
The first thing to consider is the type of use and where the urn will be placed. Answering these questions can make the process of choosing an urn simpler.
- Will the ashes be scattered?
- Will the urn be put in a mausoleum or a family cemetery plot?
- Should the urn be large enough to hold all of the cremated remains?
- Will all or a portion of the ashes be kept in a memorial urn in your home?
- Do family members want the ash shared for keepsakes?
- Will the urn be kept in a columbarium niche?
- Do you want to save a portion of your loved one’s ashes as cremation jewelry?
- Will two adults be interred together in the end, necessitating the use of companion urns?
- Is the urn going to be kept in an urn vault?
Answering these questions will help you understand the type of urn you need.
What size of urn should I get?
When you have determined where the cremation urn will be placed, you can choose an urn based on its capacity. Prior to cremation, urns are usually sized to correspond to the deceased’s weight.
Urns range in size from small to extra-large. Before cremation, determine the deceased person’s or pet’s approximate weight.
According to industry standards, every pound of human weight requires 1 cubic inch of urn space. For example, a person weighing 170 pounds will require an urn with minimum 170 cubic inches space.
To figure out how much cremation your loved one will need, use this formula:
1 cubic inch = 1 pound of weight.
For example, a cat weighing 10 pounds before cremation requires an urn with at least 10 cubic inches of capacity.
It’s important to keep in mind that urns shouldn’t be too big or too small, but it’s fine to have extra room in your memorial urn, especially if you wish to incorporate some tiny mementos with the remains.
Cremation Urn Styles
Now that you know how cremation urn sizes function, choosing the appropriate vessel for your loved one will be easier. Below are some of the options you have.
Standard Size Cremation Urns
A standard size urn is 200 cubic inches. The majority of urns you’ll come across will say “adult,” “standard,” or just “urn” without specifying the size. The average capacity of most human urns is 200 cubic inches. However, there are also smaller or larger urns of within 175 – 300 cubic inches.
True love is reflected in the creation of companion urns for two people. The link between two lovers might be so strong and lasting that they or their families want to remember and cherish it after they die. A companion urn allow the ashes of two people to be kept side by side for eternity, often in distinct compartments.
These urns usually hold 400 cubic inches or more and can be manufactured with single or separate compartments. If you use a divider, both sides will be about 200 cubic inches. Check the dimensions on each product page, then use the same computations as before to see if the urn is appropriate.
Keepsake urns come in various sizes, with some holding as little as one cubic inch of remains and others holding within 100 cubic inches. Choose your keepsake urn wisely, depending on its intended use.
It is normally advisable to acquire several 50+ cubic inch keepsake urns if you want to split the remains among several families.
A keepsake urn is substantially smaller than a regular urn and is designed to hold only a modest amount of cremains. These are available in various styles, from a copy of a conventional metal urn to a miniature glass tube.
Splitting cremains into souvenir urns may be ideal if numerous family members wish to keep a loved one close to them. Some folks choose a traditional urn as well as multiple keepsake urns.
Pet Size Cremation Urn
Pet cremation urns come in a wide range of styles. For pet urns, there is no specified capacity or size. This is due to the fact that there are small dogs and cats, as well as enormous dog breeds. A ten cubic urn will suffice for some of these. For others, such as an English Mastiff, a 300 or even 400 cubic inch urn may be required.
Pet urns often come in sizes ranging from 10 to 20 cubic inches to 200 cubic inches. Apply the rule of thumb that (1 pound of body weight equals 1 cubic inch of urn) to determine the appropriate urn size for your dog, cat, or other pet.
Other Urn Styles
Niche size urn
You may desire a niche size urn if you plan to bury your loved one in a columbarium. Ask the columbarium to provide the dimensions for the niche urn so that you can choose the proper size and shape of the urn.
This usually entails inserting a little amount of cremains into jewelry. Ashes can be blended with colored glass or encased in a pendant or small cylinder worn as a necklace pendant. In most cases, a standard urn will be required to retain the majority of your loved one’s cremains.
Display urns are available in various sizes and designs, in addition to a variety of sizes. When selecting a display urn, keep in mind the area where the urn will be placed.
Many people, for example, like to keep urns with their loved one’s ashes in the sitting room or in other locations where the family gathers frequently. When the family comes gathered in that area, so it serves as a loving memory of that individual.
Take the measurements of the place where the urn will be kept before you buy it, whether on a mantle, a bookshelf, or anywhere else, to ensure you get the right size.
You may need a scattering urn if you intend to disperse your loved one’s ashes. Since they are only designed to keep cremains for a brief time, a scattering urn may be less expensive than a standard urn.
Common urn sizes.
Here’s a helpful list of the standard urn dimensions to help you determine the type of urn to get.
- Up to 50 cubic inches of space – (small; for pet or keepsake)
- 50 cubic inches of space – (small; ideal for pets)
- 100 cubic inches of space – (medium; ideal for pets)
- 150 cubic inches of space – (medium: ideal for kids)
- 200 cubic inches of space – (standard size; for adults)
- 250 cubic inches of space – (extra-large, large size)
- 300 cubic inches of space – (extra large size)
- 350 cubic inches of space – (extra-large; companion size)
- 400 cubic inches of space – (companion size)
Frequently asked questions
What are cremation pendants?
Cremation pendants contain only a modest amount of ashes, usually less than a teaspoon. They can be opened by a little screw on the side or bottom or by a threaded screw attached to the chain.
What’s the most common urn cremation size?
When an adult is cremated, the average adult produces roughly 200 cubic inches of ash. When looking for an urn, this is the most common size. Depending on the cremation urn, it may hold a little more or a little less, but this is the standard adult size.
When children under age 13 are cremated, they will yield between 100 and 122 cubic inches, depending on their height and stature. After cremation, children under the age of eight and infants produce about 50 cubic inches.
The cremation urn I bought is too small!
You may have purchased a child’s or infant’s urn, a medium-sized urn, or a souvenir. The medium-sized urns are ideal for families who want to divide ashes between keepsakes and an urn, multiple urns, or scatter a portion of the remains while keeping the rest.
Child-sized urns are often smaller, holding only 120 cubic inches or less, and are occasionally mistaken for full-sized adult urns. The easiest way to ensure you’re getting the right size is to look at how many cubic inches it carries.
Are urns available in various sizes?
A standard-sized urn is typically around 200 cubic inches. There are, however, urns varying in size from 175 – 300 cubic inches that are available. Typically, 1 cubic inch is for every 1 pound of body weight that was cremated.
What are the urn sizes for adults?
An adult urn’s capacity is 200 cubic inches, the standard cremation box size. Now, this does vary from time to time. Some urns labeled as “adult” or “normal size” can vary in size. We’ve seen “regular adult” urns ranging from 150 to 250 cubic inches.
What kind of urn is used to bury the deceased?
Cremation urns constructed of marble are known as burial urns. Most cemeteries may not require additional containers because they are built to handle the moisture and pressure that occurs with burial.
How long do cremated ashes last?
Cremated ashes, in theory, can last indefinitely. Some funeral establishments still have urns with ashes from the nineteenth century, while archeologists have discovered ashes that are thousands of years old.
How much does a cremation urn cost on average?
The final cost is determined by the container’s style, size, and material. Green urns cost around $50 and $400, whereas full-sized, permanent urns cost between $50 and $2,500.