Cremation Urn Buying Guide


  1. What is a Cremation Urn? – A brief about the cremation urn. Include all the different terms used to call a cremation urn. For ex - funeral urn, memorial urn, ashes urn etc.

A cremation urn is a specialized container meant to hold the cremated remains of a person or animal. Cremation urns are made from a variety of materials and come in various designs and shapes. Urns for ashes also come in assorted sizes: standard Adult cremation urns, Medium cremation urns, Keepsake cremation urns, and Candle Holder/Tealight cremation urns to suit your specific needs.


  1. Why Would Someone Need A Cremation Urn?

A cremation urn is needed to hold the ashes of a loved one- typically, the ashes will be returned to you in a temporary container such as a cardboard box. Families choose to purchase custom urns so they can have a specialized urn that truly caters to their loved one’s personality and life. Urns for human ashes are specially made to cater to everyone’s style and personality.

  1. What is the Best Material for a Cremation Urn?

Here at GetUrns, our selection of funeral urns for ashes can be split up into four different materials: Brass/Metal, Wooden, Biodegradable, and marble.

Metal urns for ashes are the strongest urns available, able to resist general bumps and scrapes and will remain intact even when dropped. They can be buried for interment in a cemetery (within a burial vault), inurnment in a columbarium, or even simply placed on a shelf within the home to keep your loved one nearby.  

Biodegradable urns are made from sustainably sourced materials and are constructed to gently deteriorate into the earth or water. Made of paper, sand & gelatin, or even natural rock salt - these materials offer a variety of urn shapes from traditional scattering urn tubes to molded paper turtles, heart urns, and shells. 

Wood is an incredibly popular choice after metal urns. They are a naturally strong option for your loved one’s resting place. Wooden urns for ashes are most commonly found in a box or clock shape so they will forever remain a classic beauty within your home, for burial, or for inurnment in a columbarium.

Wooden urns can also be buried in the earth as a longer lasting biodegradable option which can take anywhere from 6-15 years to deteriorate, (certain stains/wood types can delay this). 

For those looking for a classic urn in both design and material, stone and marble urns are the way to go. These beautifully sculpted pieces are carved out of strong and robust stone with a durability meant to outlast generations. 

Marble is the perfect combination of elegance and strength to give your loved one a permanent resting place. These cremation urns are naturally unique; the marble having its own variation of color, veining, and pattern to suit your loved one’s personality and taste.

  1. What Type of Cremation Urn Do I Purchase?

The type of cremation urn you purchase is dependent on the personality of your loved one and who it was who passed. For example, if your beloved animal companion is the one you’re shopping for, you’ll want to peruse our selection of pet cremation urns, dog cremation urns, and cat urns for ashes.


  1. What Are Some of The More Popular Styles?

GetUrns Adult Embrace Purple Butterfly Cremation Urn

With influences in both traditional urns and modern design; the Embrace line is new and innovative. Superior laser engraving technology is used to engrave the ascending swarm of butterflies and custom text, making each of these urns a one-of-a-kind piece. The Embrace Collection is offered in various colors and four sizes: Keepsakes, Mediums, Tealights and Adults. 


Make sure to speak with a GetUrns customer service representative if you are in need of different sizing or if you’d like a custom design on any Embrace urn.


CuddleBear Cremation Urn

Meant for the purpose of laying a beloved child to rest, the CuddleBear cremation urn is an innovative piece of art. The CuddleBear cremation urn for ashes is a symbol of the youth and innocence of childhood, and the eternal purity of that youth and innocence when a child is taken too soon. The CuddleBear comes in two colors: baby Pink and baby Blue.


Adult Wings of Hope Lavender Cremation Urn

The Wings of Hope Butterfly Cremation Urn is very special, resembling a modern piece of art rather than an urn for ashes. Butterflies have much significance in commemorating the deceased with many cultures around the world viewing them as a symbol of renewal, rebirth, or changing life. This butterfly urn The Wings of Hope Cremation Urn is available in three sizes: Keepsake, Medium, and Adult as well as three different finishes: Lavender, Pearl, and Blue.

Adult Mother of Pearl Cremation Urn

This luxurious urn is composed entirely of brass with hand shaped/placed segments of natural mother of pearl shells. The rows of shells and the beautiful shine of the golden brass remain true and bright with layers of LoveUrns GlossCoat technology. The elegant sheen of this urn will not fade or tarnish with time. The Mother of Pearl Cremation Urn is also available in four sizes: Adult, Medium, Keepsake, and Tealight.


  1. Choosing the urn based on the final resting place

Families need to consider what is the method of final disposition for their loved one. This means figuring out what will be done with the ashes once they’re received. Will your loved one be preserved in a single urn, shared amongst family members in multiple urns, scattered at a special location, buried, or placed in a columbarium? What will be their literal final resting place? This needs to be the first decision made as it directly influences the urn you select.

  1. What Urn Sizes are Available?

Cremation urns vary in size and dimensions. It is very important to understand exactly what you need before you make a purchase. The size of the urn correlates to its capacity - the volume of ashes the urn can hold. To determine the correct size needed for your lost loved one you will need to know their body weight before cremation.

All urns will have their capacity listed in cubic inches. 1 lb of body weight = 1 cubic inch. [For a detailed size guide, please click here.]

Also keep in mind the inner dimensions of the burial vault or columbarium niche so you can be sure you get an urn that not only fits your loved one, but also is suitable for the method of disposition.

  • Adult urns - Standard or full-sized urns, typically hold a capacity of 200-220 cubic inches = 200 - 220 pounds.

[The title “Adult” is not enough to determine if that urn is appropriate for your loved one. To know the actual capacity of the urn, always read the full product description. Every urn will vary in capacity.]

  • Medium Urns - Medium/child urns are great for sharing a portion of a loved one’s ashes if they’re an adult or for holding the full amount of children’s ashes. Medium urns range from 30 - 50 cubic inches = 30-50 pounds.

[The title “Medium” is not enough to determine if that urn is appropriate for your loved one. To know the actual capacity of the urn, always read the full product description. Every urn will vary in capacity.]

  • Keepsake Cremation Urns - Miniature versions of full-sized urns that are used to divide remains among several people. Mini urns range from 3 - 5 cubic inches = 3-5 pounds.


  • Tealight/Candle Urns - Tealight urns are a beautiful alternative to the traditional urn shape as they are specially constructed for the purpose of holding a tealight or votive candle. These urns can be used for your own candle lighting memorial service or as another form of sharing ashes.

Tealight urns usually range from 10 - 18 cubic inches = 10-18 pounds

  • Extra Large Urns - are necessary for anyone weighing over 220 pounds before cremation and can hold a capacity of 230 - 350 cubic inches = 230 - 350 pounds.


  1. Personalization Options for Cremation Urns

At GetUrns, we understand the importance of personalization when it comes to your loved ones final resting place. Custom engraving helps honor and identify loved ones in a unique and meaningful way. For detailed instructions on Personalizing an engraved urn, please click here. Make sure to speak with a GetUrns customer service representative if you need different sizing or if you’d like a custom design on any Embrace urn.


  1. Cremation Urn Buying FAQ's

Do I seal my cremation urn?

Most human urns for ashes come with a method of secure closure such as a threaded screw-on lid. If you’d like a permanently sealed cremation urn; simply place a few drops of industrial grade epoxy glue on the threads of the lid before twisting it fully shut. Allow the epoxy to cure according to its instructions and your urn is now fully sealed.


Do you put the ashes in the cremation urn for me?

GetUrns does not handle cremated remains of any kind. If you find it too uncomfortable or distressing to transfer the cremated remains of your loved one into their cremation urn, you can always contact the funeral home or crematory who performed the cremation. Often this is included in the general process and they will take care of the transfer if the urn is provided before the cremation is complete. Otherwise, they may charge a nominal fee for the service.


I really wanted to add an engraving, but the urn I want doesn’t offer it. What do I do?

Make sure to speak with a GetUrns customer service representative if you need assistance customizing an urn.


Can I travel on an airplane with the cremation urn?

If you are set to fly with a cremation urn, we recommend a wooden or biodegradable urn. For security reasons, all urns will have to be scanned to ensure they do not contain anything harmful, making wood/biodegradable cremation urns the best option as they are easily x-rayed. If you’d like to fly with a metal urn, this is possible, but you can expect that the TSA agent will have to open the urn to determine the contents. This may be distressing so it would be a good idea to call your airline ahead of time to learn their specific rules and regulations regarding flying with an urn.

To learn more please read, “Transporting Cremated Remains”


Can the cremation urn be opened after I put the ashes in it?

So long as you have not sealed the urn with epoxy, the urn should still open easily.