A common question when choosing an urn for a loved one that has passed is “what size do I need?” There are many different sizes available and the right choice depends largely on where you would like to store the ashes or if you plan to scatter them. We’ve put together this brief guide to help you.
Standard Size Cremation Urns
The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) has determined that the size of a standard urn is 200 cubic inches, but slightly smaller or larger urns are available and range from 175 to 300 cubic inches. Generally, cremations are one cubic inch for each pound of body weight.
A companion urn is an urn designed to hold the remains of two different people and are often used by families or married couples. Companion urns can be either two separate urns placed on the same platform, an urn with two separate chambers, or a large urn designed to hold over 400 cubic inches.
Niche Size Urns
If you plan to lay your loved one to rest in a columbarium, you may want a niche size urn. The columbarium should provide you with the dimensions of the niche to ensure you select the right size and shape of urn.
In addition to coming in a range of sizes, display urns also come in a range of designs. When choosing a display urn, it’s important to consider the area you plan to place the urn.
For instance, many people prefer to place urns with their loved one’s ashes on the mantle in the living room or in another place where the family frequently gathers. This serves as a loving reminder of that person anytime the family is together in that space. Whether you display the urn on a mantle, a bookshelf, or some other place, take some measurements of where the urn will go before you make your purchase to ensure you’ve selected the best size.
If you plan to scatter your loved one’s ashes, you may want a scattering urn. A scattering urn may be less expensive than a traditional urn since they are designed to only hold cremains for a short while. They may also have features such as spouts to make scattering easier.
A keepsake urn is much smaller than a traditional urn and is meant to only house a portion of a loved one’s cremains. These come in various designs ranging from a replica of the traditional metal urn to small glass tubes. If multiple family members want to keep a loved one close to them, splitting the cremains into keepsake urns may be the best option. Some people opt for both a standard urn and several keepsake urns.
Another option is cremation jewelry. That typically involves taking a very small amount of cremains and putting it into jewelry. Ashes may be mixed with colorful glass or held in a small cylinder or pendant that can be worn on a necklace. Typically, you will still need to select a traditional urn to hold the majority of your loved one’s cremains.
At Boston Cremation, our commitment is to provide guidance and help you make important decisions after the loss of a loved one. We offer both simple cremation and cremation with a memorial service, and we can assist you as you choose the right size urn for your loved one. Contact us for more information at (781) 322-0909.