We look at capacity rather than size because urns come in various shapes. On average, every pound of body weight produces one cubic inch of ash, which requires an urn capacity of at least one cubic inch. For example, an adult weighing 150 pounds will need an urn with no less than 150 cubic inches capacity.
We always recommend opting for a larger size when selecting an urn to err on the side of caution.
These are divided into adult, child and infant, and pet urns.
- Adult urns: Sizes are typically 150–300 cubic inches.
- Small children and infants: These are usually 20–80 cubic inches.
- Pet urns most commonly range from 20–50 cubic inches.
Companion urns hold the cremains of up to two adults. The total capacity typically ranges from 380–500 cubic inches.
Keepsake urns are much smaller, as the cremains are shared among loved ones. They can even be worn as jewelry. Their size typically ranges from 0.25–50 cubic inches.
You can only travel with urns that are airline approved. This means urns cannot be made of metal or dense materials like marble, as the contents of the urn cannot be viewed by the X-ray machines.
Instead, fly with urns made from plastic, wood, or biodegradable materials. They should be lightweight yet durable enough to travel with. Ceramic and porcelain urns should be avoided as they are easily broken.
Remember to make sure the urn will remain fully sealed during your travels.
There is no one material that is the best choice for everyone.
You need to consider what function it needs to fulfill and where it will be kept. Almost all materials are suitable for indoors. But outdoor urns need to be durable and weatherproof, like stone or certain metals. If you want it to biodegrade in nature, you should opt for plant-based substances.
A significant determining factor will be your budget. There are usually more affordable alternatives to pricier materials. Stone is cheaper than marble. Stainless steel is more budget-friendly than pewter. Even the types of wood vary in price.