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Does a urn hold all the ashes?

When it comes to honoring the memory of a loved one who has been cremated, choosing the right urn is a significant consideration. An urn serves as a vessel to hold the cremated ashes, providing a respectful and dignified final resting place. However, not all urns are the same, and the size of the urn is an important factor to consider. In this blog post, we will explore the various types of urns available and delve into the factors to consider when determining the appropriate size. Additionally, we will discuss the benefits of selecting an appropriately sized urn and explore available options for larger quantities of ashes. Lastly, we will touch on personal and cultural preferences in choosing an urn design.

Types of Urns

There are different types of urns available to accommodate various needs and preferences. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common types of urns:

Individual Cremation Urns

Individual cremation urns are designed to hold the ashes of a single person. These urns typically have a capacity range of around 200 to 250 cubic inches, making them suitable for adult remains. They come in a variety of materials, such as metal, wood, ceramic, or even biodegradable materials for those who wish to have an eco-friendly option.

Companion Urns

Companion urns are larger in size and are intended to hold the ashes of two individuals, such as a married couple or two loved ones who wish to be together even in their final resting place. These urns have a capacity range of approximately 350 to 500 cubic inches, providing ample space for the ashes of two individuals.

Child and Infant Urns

Child and infant urns are specifically designed to hold the ashes of children or infants. These urns are smaller in size and have a capacity range of around 12 to 90 cubic inches. They are often available in delicate and artistic designs, ensuring a fitting tribute for a precious young life.

Keepsake Ash Urns

For those who wish to keep a small portion of the ashes or share them with family members, keepsake ash urns are an ideal choice. These urns have a capacity range of approximately 1 to 6 cubic inches and come in various designs and materials. Keepsake urns allow for a more personal and intimate way of remembering a loved one.

Factors to Consider when Determining the Size of an Urn

When selecting an urn, it is essential to consider a few factors that can help determine the appropriate size. These factors include:

Individual’s Body Weight

One of the key factors to consider when determining the size of an urn is the individual’s body weight. Generally, it is estimated that for every pound of body weight, there will be one cubic inch of ashes after cremation. However, it is important to keep in mind that this can vary depending on factors such as bone density.

Percentage of Ashes Retained after Cremation

Another factor to consider is the percentage of ashes that will be retained after the cremation process. While the cremation process aims to reduce the remains to ashes, there may still be some residual materials, such as metal from medical implants or bone fragments. It is advisable to consult with the crematorium or funeral home to get a better understanding of the expected quantity of ashes.

Intended Use of the Ashes

The intended use of the ashes can also influence the size of the urn you choose. If you plan to scatter or share the ashes, a smaller urn or keepsake urn may be more appropriate. However, if the intention is to keep the ashes at home or place them in a memorial niche, a larger urn may be required.

Benefits of Selecting an Appropriately Sized Urn

Choosing an appropriately sized urn offers several benefits for both practical and emotional reasons. Here are some reasons why selecting the right-sized urn is important:

Ensures All Ashes Are Properly Contained

By selecting an urn with an appropriate size, you can ensure that all the ashes will fit comfortably within the urn. This ensures that the remains are properly contained and secure, providing peace of mind for you and your family.

Allows for Easier Transportation and Display

An urn that is the right size not only fits the ashes properly but also makes it easier to transport and display. Whether you choose to keep the urn at home, display it in a columbarium, or transport it for a memorial service, having an urn that is the perfect size ensures convenience and ease.

Provides Peace of Mind for Loved Ones

Selecting the right-sized urn is also important for the emotional well-being of the loved ones left behind. Having a properly sized urn brings a sense of closure and comfort, knowing that their departed loved one is well taken care of and at rest in a suitable vessel.

Available Options for Larger Quantities of Ashes

In some cases, the quantity of ashes may exceed the capacity of a standard-sized urn. In such situations, there are alternative options available:

Oversized Urns

For larger quantities of ashes, oversized urns can be chosen. These urns have a higher capacity, accommodating a greater volume of ashes while still maintaining the same level of quality and craftsmanship as regular-sized urns.

Dividing the Ashes into Multiple Urns

If desired, the ashes can be divided into multiple urns, allowing for various family members or loved ones to each have a portion of the cremated remains. This option enables everyone to have their own personal memorial or keepsake.

Scattering or Sharing the Ashes in Various Ways

Some individuals may choose to scatter or share the ashes in alternative ways. This could include scattering the ashes in a meaningful location, incorporating them into cremation jewelry or art, or creating memorial keepsakes with a small portion of the ashes.

Personal and Cultural Preferences

When selecting an urn, personal and cultural preferences also play a significant role. Some people may have specific design preferences, such as engraved names, artwork, or symbols that reflect the personality or beliefs of the deceased. Additionally, specific religious or cultural rituals may influence the choice of urn design or material.


Choosing the right-sized urn is an important decision when honoring the memory of a loved one who has been cremated. Understanding the different types of urns available and considering factors such as body weight, retained ashes, and intended use can help determine the appropriate size. By selecting an urn that fits the ashes properly, it ensures all the remains are properly contained, allows for easier transportation and display, and provides peace of mind for loved ones. In cases where the quantity of ashes exceeds the capacity of a standard-sized urn, there are options available such as oversized urns or dividing the ashes into multiple urns. Ultimately, personal and cultural preferences also play a role in selecting the perfect urn design.


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