4 Basic Rules for Choosing the Right Urn For Ashes in 2023

Handmade Cremation Urns for Ashes by Pulvis Art Urns. Cremation Memorials. Adult Urns

Finding a suitable cremation urn for your loved one may be overwhelming and distressing. There are various factors to consider when selecting a cremation urn, including shape, colour, size and even your loved one's personality and interests.

So how can a choice of one urn be made given the vast array of cremation urns available? Keep this four basic rules to make the process of choosing an urn easier. Let's start...

Purpose of the Cremation Urn

Before you make any decision regarding your urn and eventually buy one, you need to decide its purpose. Are you going to be dividing the ashes amongst family? Or maybe you intend to bury it? Many people prefer to store the ashes in their home or garden. Those are all valid questions and depending on what you decide will help you proceed with picking the right urn. 

The Passage - Handmade Cremation Urn for AShes

"The Passage" ceramic urns for ashes - by Pulvis Art Urns

For example, if you are planning to keep the urn at your home itself, look for attractive yet thoughtful funeral urns. At our website you will find a variety of memorials, suitable both for home and outdoors. 

Need some ideas ? Here you will find our top suggestionsBest Ideas for Keeping Ashes at Home

If you are going to place the urn in a columbarium niche, the dimensions are very important and you should keep in mind that most of the columbarium niches vary in size.

The size of a columbarium niche can vary depending on the design and specifications of the facility. Generally, a columbarium niche is designed to accommodate one or more cremation urns.

The size of a standard niche is often around 12 inches (30 cm) in width, 12 inches (30 cm) in height, and 12 inches (30 cm) in depth.

However, it's important to note that these dimensions can vary between different columbariums and can be customized based on the specific requirements of the facility or the individual purchasing the niche. It's always advisable to check with the specific columbarium or cemetery to get accurate information about their niche sizes and specifications.

Price of the Chosen Memorial Urn

Cremation urns come in different price range so the second step, after deciding the urn's purpose, is to know what you'd like to budget.

It's important to note that these price ranges are approximate and can vary based on factors such as location, the retailer or artist, and any additional personalization or customization options.

There are many high-quality urns in the 165$ - 190$ price range, but if you have a moderate budget (290- 390$) you can find cremation urns with greater production value, such as handcrafted urns, which require more man-hours to create. Pulvis Art Urns are the right choice for this price. You can buy directly from our website or visit our Etsy store and Amazon Shop  for more information.

 Video of  "The Passage" keepsake urn for ashes by Pulvis Art Urns

Take in mind that most funeral homes have a small selection of urns for ashes and charge more for them. There can be a considerable price difference between an urn, bought online and the exact same urn at a funeral home. Checking the prices in advance will help you feel satisfied with your eventual purchase.

Once you have established how much you want to spend, it's time to focus on the other aspects of the process.

Size of the Cremation Urn

Cremation urns come in variety of sizes, but they are usually grouped into three main categories: adult, keepsake and companion urns.


There's a diverse range of adult urns in terms of size, style, and materials used. Typically, standard urns are designed to accommodate ashes from individuals up to approximately 200 lbs (91 kg) in body weight. Following this guideline, most adult urns hold a minimum of 200 cubic inches. However, their sizes commonly span between 150 and 250 cubic inches. Upon request, smaller or larger sizes might also be obtainable.

The typical size needed is adult cremation urn. This size will generally hold the ashes of a grown adult with weight 200-220 lbs. prior cremation. 

Pet urns are also an option if you want to say goodbye to a furry friend.

The keepsake urn is needed when you want to divide the ashes between family members and keep small amounts for remembrance.

Infant urns are intended for preserving the memory of infants who have passed away. These urns are typically smaller in size and often incorporate themes related to childhood. Their capacity generally spans from 5 to 70 cubic inches. Beyond ashes, these urns might also hold keepsakes like a lock of hair or soil from a gravesite, offering ways to cherish the memories of the departed.

The term "infant" generally encompasses children from birth to 1 year old. Infants' weights vary significantly based on factors such as age, gender, and health conditions, typically ranging from 7 lbs (3.2 kg) to over 20 lbs (9 kg) on average.

See our range of infant urns here: https://www.pulvisurns.com/collections/infant-child-urns

Heart Companion Urn for AShes
Heart Companion Urn for AShes - comes in different color options.

As a rule of thumb, each pound of body weight equals roughly one cubic inch of ashes after cremation. It is suggested to select an urn a bit larger than the space, expected to use. Usually, created remains weigh 3-7 pounds and require about 180-220 cubic inches capacity. In case you have decided to store the urn in a columbarium, check with the authorities about the size of urns allowed. 

Here are some practical examples: 

  • 220 lb. person needs an urn that is around 220 cubic inches or larger
  • 150 lb. person needs an urn that is around 150 cubic inches or larger
  • 140 lb. person needs an urn that is around 140 cubic inches or larger
  • 50 lb. person or pet needs an urn that is around 50 cubic inches or larger
  • 25 lb. person or pet needs an urn that is around 25 cubic inches or larger

Notes: 

  • There are many  other factors that play into how much ashes you will actually receive from the crematorium. Becuase of that we can't always guarantee that an urn will be large enough, but if you follow our rules above, or write to us about consultation then 99% of the time we'll be right on.
  • The 1 to 1 ratio, that we mention above should always be kept! 
  • Urn capacity can only be too small. An urn is only too big if you think it is too big.
  • Cremaains (ashes) can vary in amount due to different processes durring cremation, temperature variations and the bone structure of the decedent.
  • Choose an urn slightly larger than the needed to avoid having the urn be to small for the ashes. If you decide you can split some of the ashes in a keepsake.
  • The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) determined that the standard capacity of a single adult urn should be around 200 cubic inches. Keepsake urns are exclusion to that rule. 

Extra large urns are for very tall or larger framed individuals (over 6 feet tall).

There are also the so called "Companion" urns or double urns. They can fit the ashes of two adult persons, usually a family. 

These urns are designed to accommodate the ashes of two individuals, often featuring separate compartments side by side, symbolizing an eternal union. Typically, companion urns have a capacity of approximately 400 cubic inches, traditionally tailored to hold the cherished memories of both individuals.

Companion urns are crafted with a heartfelt devotion to the profound love shared between two individuals. The enduring connection between two partners can be immensely profound, prompting them or their loved ones to preserve and honor that bond beyond life. 

Material of the Cremation Urn

Usually this aspect of the process depends on your price preferences, however, that is not always true. Cremation urns are made of different materials such as ceramic, wood, bronze, granite, brass, glass, porcelain, marble, etc. The urns themes and styles are almost limitless and our advice here is to take into consideration the personality, passions and interests of your loved one. Engraving is also an option if you want to further personalize the cremation urn.

Wooden urns, for example, are not likely to be durable when displayed in an outdoor setting. Similarly, brass urns are not usually recommended for burial.

Glass cremation urns are simply blown or spun glass vessels that have lids fashioned so that the vessel may be closed. They can be transparent, translucent, or opaque and come in varying shapes and finishes. 

Ceramic Urns for Ashes -  Ceramic is one of the oldest and most widely used materials throughout the history of humankind. Sculptures made of clay, traditional murals and various kinds of pots and urns for ashes have been discovered around the globe, as our ancestors used them for different purposes.

Finding a suitable cremation urn for your loved one may be overwhelming and distressing. There are various factors to consider when selecting a cremation urn, including shape, color, size and even your loved one's personality and interests. If you are looking for a unique, artistic luxury urn check out our ceramic urns for ashes.

We offer the option for Inner coating, which protects the ashes in case of a mishap. 

Eterenity Cremation Urn for Ashes

Ceramic art urns for ashes - Eternity

Choosing the right urn will undoubtedly pay homage to your loved one. By following those four simple steps and narrowing your choice among the vast array of urns will change the challenging task into a satisfying outcome. If you are having a hard time deciding on the perfect urn, don't hesitate having other family members or a close friend join in on the decision.

It can be helpful to browse through catalogs or visit retailers specializing in urns to explore the available options. Additionally, consulting with funeral homes, crematoriums, or online retailers that offer a wide selection of urns can provide guidance and assist you in finding the right urn that honors the memory of your loved one.

As a compliment for reading our blog article, you can use the coupon READER10 at checkout for 10% discount for your order.

Of course we are always at your disposal. Visit other articles from our blog to find more information. 

You can always find us at art@pulvisurns.com for advice.

Pulvis Art Urns - Best Selling Memorials:

 


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4 comments
  • With a great number of Americans weighing more and more, it doesn’t seem like the 200 lb and under weight is a “normal standard” any longer. Is there a guide for selecting an urn for those weighing more than 200lbs?

    CK Brown on
  • Hello
    Please tell me what is the material of the rainbow colored items

    Anna on
  • Thank you for talking about the keepsake urns and how this will allow family members to divide the ashes and keep some with them. My sister and I both want to have our grandma’s ashes after her cremation. It was nice to know that we both can have a piece of her at the same time. http://www.wvi.com/~dnielson/staytonbusiness/NSFuneralS.htm

    Elaina D'Agostino on
  • Thank you!

    Jessie K. on

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