​​A Guide to Cremation Urns

Planning for the passing of a loved one is probably one of the most emotionally difficult and exhausting experiences one can go through. Determining the best method of memorialization to pay tribute to a loved one can also be a highly challenging decision to make during an already stressful time. As cremation has grown in popularity to become a more highly chosen method of memorializing loved ones, there has also been an increase in the number of options available to those who choose the cremation route. With so many options to choose from, deciding which type of cremation urn will work best for you and your loved one can be very overwhelming. 

We have put together this guide to help walk you through the process that comes with choosing a cremation urn and to help you find the best one to honor our loved one.  Even if you may think you enough when it comes to cremation urns, we encourage you to keep reading as there is probably so much more you could be missing.

What Is a Cremation Urn? 

Before we go into further detail, let’s address what a cremation urn is exactly. 

At its core, a cremation urn works as a vessel to hold human, or even a pet’s, cremated remains. The containers can be referenced by various names, like crematory urns or urns for ashes, and can be either buried themselves or displayed. 

Cremation urns are available in many different sizes, shapes, materials, and styles. This offers those in the market for a cremation urn many different options to potentially find the best one for them and their family as well as one that aligns best with what their deceased loved one would have wanted.  

Int terms of materials of cremation urns there are also many options, but here are some of the most popular types:


Wood urns are typically preferred by those who love nature or appreciate a more traditional or customary look. They can be a little less heavy than marble or metal urns, making them more portable if you wish to be able to carry the urn to different locations. 


Stone urns have actually been around since the dawn of civilizations and are usually heavier in weight and larger in size. They offer an antique look with high durability, preserving your loved one’s’ remains for years to come. 


Marble urns are a popular choice due to their classic and elegant look and the organic beauty  they exude due to their being composed of natural stone. Marble urns can serve as a meaningful symbol for eternity, given the material’s incredible durability.


Metal urns are very common and readily available. These tend to be the typical choice and preferred by many  who decide to go with the route of cremation, and have been used for centuries. 


Ceramic urns offer a refined and sophisticated look with high durability. They are also usually easier to customize and can come in a variety of colors and styles.  

Biodegradable materials

Biodegradable urns are considered to be a more environmentally friendly choice of urn as they are typically made of sustainable or decomposable materials which have less impact on the environment. These tend to be used in situations in which cremated remains are to be buried, as they are again a kinder choice to the environment over traditional methods of burial. They can usually last from up to 20 years.

How Are Cremations Urns Categorized and Who Can They Be Used For?

Besides an urn’s material, cremation urns can also be further categorized by size and who they are intended for. If you were looking for a more specific or unique option, here are other types of cremations urns for you to consider: 

Adult Urn

This is your standard-sized vessel or container and is meant to hold the cremated remains of an adult.

Child Urn

Child urns are typically smaller than your standard-sized urn. These are meant to hold the cremated remains of an infant or child.

Companion Urn 

As per its name, this is an urn that is meant to be shared. Companion urns tend to hold the cremated remains of two adults. They are typically chosen by couples whose last wish was to remain together.

Keepsake Urn

A keepsake urn is meant to hold just a portion of someone’s remains. They are typically a lot smaller than a standard-sized urn and are usually used in situations in which remains will be divided amongst different family members.

Scattering Urn

These are usually biodegradable and are designed to offer quick access to the ashes inside so they can be easily scattered. They usually have an opening at the top and bottom.

Temporary Urn

Temporary urns are used by funeral homes to return the cremated remains to the family members until their customized one arrives. They are usually made of plastic or cardboard, and are not meant to hold cremated remains for too long.

What is The Standard Urn Size and Price? Does it Matter?

When shopping for an urn, you’ll notice most of them range between 180 – 200 cubic inches; a few inches more or less is not always a problem. However, the recommendation is usually to get an urn with one cubic inch per pound of the cremated person to avoid any lack of space.  

When it comes to price and opting for cremation as your method of burial, the urn is usually the least expensive part. A cremation urn’s price can range from $100 to $2,000. It will all depend on your preferences and personal style. 

Choosing The Right Cremation Urn

Finding the right cremation urn can be an emotionally charged experience, as it will permanently house the remains of your loved one and you want to choose the right one to pay them proper tribute. Take your time to consider what type of material will work best, which type of cremation urns aligns well with you and your family’s needs and price range, and reflects the style that your loved one would have preferred. Our advice is to personalize your choice of cremation urn, and to find the one most compatible with your personality or your loved one’s personality.  While this doesn’t change the outcome, we hope this offers you some sense of comfort to know you’ve found an urn that properly honors the memory of your loved one and celebrates their life and legacy.

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