How to Choose the Perfect Cremation Urn

We’ve created a tutorial on how to choose the perfect cremation urn for you – if you have any additional questions beyond this tutorial, feel free to contact us by phone, email, or live chat. We are happy to help.

Phone:

Email: support@afterlifeessentials.com

1.What size urn do you need?

Without overcomplicating things, the industry standard for the correct sized urn is:

1lb of body weight will equal 1 cubic inch

Examples below:

  • 180lb person will require an urn that holds 180 cubic inches (cu in.)
  • 25lb dog will require an urn that holds 25 cubic inches

A shared urn (also called couple or companion urns) will be the sum of the two individuals:

  • A 180 lb man and a 120 lb woman equals a total of 300lbs (180lbs +120lbs), this means you will need a 300 cu in cremation urn 

Looking to share your loved one’s cremations amongst friends and family members? Take their total weight and ensure the total of the urns equal the sum of their weight

A 200lb man needs a total of 200 cu in. Need this shared with 5 family members?

  • To divide equally
    • Take 200lbs and divide it by 5 family members for a total of 40 cu per urn. You can purchase five 40 cu in urns for five separate family members
  • To divide unequally
    • Be sure to make the total sum is 200 cu in. Example: 180cu in Cremation urn and four 5 cu in keepsake urns. 

What if my urn is too big?

If you follow the standard formula, chances are you'll get the perfect size. However, if your urn is still too big, don't worry. Many people love to add additional mementos inside the urn: such as handwritten letters, their favorite shirt, photographs of good memories - anything!

What if my urn is too small?

Don't worry, Additional cremation can be a good thing, many people decide to purchase additional keepsake urns to give to friends and family - or simply to put in other locations in the house. Perhaps purchasing cremation jewelry is an option to carrying your loved one's ashes with you everywhere you go.

2. How do you want use the cremation urn? 

Displayed at Home 

This is the most common use for cremation urns. See all options here and filter to find your perfect here:

Interment in a Niche

Niche Cremation Urns are for use in a columbarium. A columbarium is a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cremation urns. Any urn can technically be used as a niche urn as long as it fits into the space designated at the columbarium.

Please check with your columbarium for any regulations they may have on what can be used in their facility. It is also important to verify the dimensions of your niche space to ensure that the urn you select will fit

Ground Burial

Any urn can be buried in the ground. Some cemeteries will require the cremation urn to go into a protective urn vault, though most will allow a cultured marble or granite urn to be buried without an additional urn vault. You may also be interested in eco-friendly biodegradable urns for burial, which help the remains go back to the earth in a natural way. 

Scattering the Ashes

In theory, you can use any cremation urn to scatter ashes, but in reality some are made for this purpose. You'll be interested in our scattering urns for pouring ashes or our water urns, which disintegrates into the water.

Temporary Storage or Airport Travel

If you're traveling by air with cremated remains, you'll be required to pass the urn through the security screenings. In respect to the deceased, under no circumstances will a screener open the container at any time, even if the passenger requests it. Not even documents from the funeral home will help if the urn can’t be x-rayed. Urns for ashes made of wood, glass, plastic, fabric, and non-lead lined ceramics are generally allowed. If the airline does not allow the urn as checked baggage and it does not pass the x-ray, the urn will be denied air travel. If necessary, purchase a temporary urn for travel and once at the destination, transfer the ashes over to the final urn.

It’s important to contact your chosen airline in advance of travel for their specifications

Sharing Among Friends and Family

We offer a variety of smaller keepsake urns for use when dividing the remains among friends and family. Many of our most popular standard-sized cremation urn designs are available with matching small keepsake urns, so many families keep the majority of the ashes in the standard urn, then get keepsakes for any friends and family who would like a small portion of the remains. See our matching collections here.

3. Do you prefer a particular material for the urn?

No preference

I'm looking for a particular theme or style. Great, See the next section!

I'm not sure. Are some materials better than others for a cremation urn?

The short answer is simply, no - all other factors being equal, it's a matter of preference. The longer answer depends on what you're doing with the urn and various lifestyle factors. For example, if you have young children or grandchildren around your home, you may not want a ceramic urn to go on a shelf; a wooden or perhaps heavy granite urn would work better because they aren't as easy to bump over. Aside from incidental issues like that, all the urns we offer will last as an enduring memorial while keeping the remains secure.

    1. Wood Browse our wood urns here
    2. Ceramic Browse our ceramic urns here
    3. Metal Browse our metal urns here
    4. Stone Browse our stone urns here
    5. GlassBrowse our glass urns here

Many of our urns offering personalization options such as: adding images, quotes, engraving, handwritten letters, fingerprints, handprints, and much more

4. Are you looking for a cremation urn with a particular theme or style?

Yes!

Wonderful! Check out our "Shop by Theme" listings in the menu, or find the "search" box above to find interesting niche designs.

I'm looking for something custom

We might be able to help you. We can't do anything protected by copyright (sports teams, comic book superheroes, movie characters, etc) but we can do quite a bit. Contact us with your idea.

No, my questions haven't been answered here

Then by all means, get ahold of us and we'll do our best to help! 

 

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