This is the most frequent and the most complicated question that we receive. Most standard urns are made to the industry standard of 200 cubic inches or more. And the industry standard for calculating the needed capacity is to take the healthy weight of the person that has passed on and figure 1 pound is equal to 1 cubic inch after cremation. So typically, a person that weighed 200 pounds or less at their healthy weight would fit into nearly all standard urns.
While this has proven to be a great basic calculation to use, this does not tell the complete story. We have found that many people with much larger healthy weights still fit into a standard 200 cubic inch urn. There are many things that affect the amount of remains after cremation, including the efficiency of the Funeral Homes machines or the density of the individuals frame.
For a much more accurate estimate of the amount of cubic inches to plan for, it is best to contact your funeral home or crematorium. They are typically very pleasant and love to help you in any of the more complicated questions such as this. The industry standard method is also very useful and is typically a very safe method, but if in doubt we suggest contacting your funeral home or crematorium to be absolutely sure.
Urns can come in many different sizes. The most typical sizes you tend to see are Standard, Companion, Keepsake, and Small. We have made brief descriptions below to help you understand the 4 basic sizes that urns typically come in.
Typically funeral home directors are very understanding of your circumstance and are not upset in the least if you purchased your urn elsewhere. In many cases receiving the urn and transferring the remains into the urn you provide them is even build into their fee structure.
The Funeral Rule that is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) assures you that you are protected in providing your own urn as well. What the FTC says on this issue is the following:
“The funeral provider cannot refuse to handle a casket or urn you bought online, at a local casket store, or somewhere else — or charge you a fee to do it. The funeral home cannot require you to be there when the casket or urn is delivered to them.”
This rule basically ensures you protection in the unlikely event that a funeral home is reluctant to accept your own urn that you provided. It also ensures that you can ship the urn directly to them if desired.
Funeral Homes do typically provide what is called a temporary urn at no additional charge. A temporary urn is generally composed of plastic or cardboard and contains the remains sealed in a thick plastic bag inside the temporary urn. Temporary urns are not designed to be the final resting place. Their purpose is to provide a temporary home for your loved one until you are able to find a permanent urn, scatter the ashes, or bury the remains.
Typically funeral homes provide you with a temporary urn constructed of plastic or cardboard. Inside that temporary urn is a durable plastic bag that contains the sealed remains. You want to transfer the entire plastic bag into the permanent urn that you purchased. We find that the following steps are the best order to perform the task.
It is completely understandable if this task is too difficult for you emotionally. Your funeral home typically provides this service for you. Occasionally they charge a nominal fee to do the transfer; however, in many cases they will provide this as a free service. All funeral homes are required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to provide this service, so you are guaranteed to have that service available to you, even if you did not use their services originally.
If you prefer not to use a funeral home, a second option is to have a family member or friend do the transfer for you. This can be a very difficult task emotionally, and having a friend or family member help in this way can take a huge emotional burden off you.
There is also the third option of buying an urn that will fit the temporary urn that is provided by the funeral home. Most urns do not fit these temporary urns because it limits the design possibilities for most urns and all urns that fit a temporary urn are much larger than they would otherwise need to be. But we do offer some specific urns on our site that are designed to fit a temporary urn. For more assistance on this please contact us.
Keepsakes are the most unique of the different types of urns. They are not a true urn but rather designed to have as a keepsake to remember the loved one that passed. Most keepsakes have a very small capacity and are used to keep a memory of your loved one close. Many times people even choose to not put ashes in the keepsake and just have them as a memorial.
Typically people buy a keepsake if they are planning on scattering the ashes and want to keep a small portion to remember their loved one. They are also purchased by family members or friends that want to have something to remember the person they cared for when the majority of the remains are kept by another friend or family member.
A companion urn is designed to house the remains of 2 people and is typically 400 cubic inches. Many companion urns come with a removable divider so the individuals can be separate or combined in one compartment. Companion urns make great resting places for couples that were inseparable in life and want to be close after their passing.
Nearly all of the urns we offer can have a personalized inscription. If there is an option for an inscription it will be on the product listing page and will also have a section in the main portion of the listing with a “Personalization” section. This section will provide more details about what personalization options are available and an example of what the personalization would look like.