Guide to Buying Cremation Urns

Buying a casket or coffin can be an overwhelming experience. Many people have little idea about what to expect and the options can be seem endless. If you need to purchase a casket, here is what you should know.

What type of urn should I buy?

What you plan to do with your loved one’s ashes may influence what type of urn you want to buy. Here are the primary types of urns:

  • Individual urns: These is designed to hold the ashes of a single person. They can either be used for display or buried in a cemetery.
  • Keepsake urns: These are smaller urns, used for only a portion of a person’s ashes. They may be used when ashes are split between family members, or when some ashes are spread or buried, and others are kept.
  • Companion urns: These are larger urns, designed to fit the ashes of two people, so two people can be memorialized together.

You can find variations of these types in all kind of materials, designs and shapes.

How much do urns cost?

Urns can vary widely in price, but they don’t need to be expensive. You can purchase a basic cast resin or wood urn for as little as $25. For a mid-range urn, often made of ceramic, stainless steel, pewter or marble, you’ll generally end up paying between $100 and $400, depending on the material and how intricate the design is. As with many other things, though, the sky’s the limit when it comes to cost. For a high-end urn, you could end up spending thousands. The size of the urn will also affect pricing.

Where can I buy an urn?

If you’re working with a funeral home, they will likely have a nice selection of urns available for purchase through them. However, if you’d like a wider set of options or are cost sensitive, you may want to look for urns online.

What size urn should I buy?

A standard urn is usually between 175 and 300 cubic inches. As a loose rule, you want to have one cubic inch of urn for every pound your loved one weighed. There are also urns designed to hold the ashes of two people, called companion urns, which generally range from 300 to 600 cubic inches.

If you’re selecting an urn for display, there’s no harm in having a larger urn than needed if that’s what feels right to you. Conversely, if you’re purchasing a keepsake urn (which is intended to hold some, but not all, of a person’s ashes), there are much smaller options available, and again, it just depends on your personal preference.

February 2018