How to buy an urn for cremation funerals

If you’ve decided on a cremation funeral, a funeral urn is a beautiful receptacle to preserve the deceased’s remains.  Urns come in several styles, colors and sizes. Urns can be buried or displayed in the home or a columbarium (a vault designed with recesses or niches for urns) or used for scattering.  Be sure to check with your state for any legal restrictions. If you’re considering buying an urn online, browser the selection of urns have available for sale online.

Funeral urns are available in a wide variety of shapes, materials and sizes. offers an extensive selection in wood, marble, bronze, granite, aluminum, cloisonné, and all-natural biodegradable materials.  Most urns come in a classic vase-like shape, but you can find many urns in a box or chest shape, including box-shaped wooden urns, memorial chests, metal urns and flag cases.

A non-biodegradable urn is recommended when the urn will be enclosed in a vault, displayed in the open or in the home.  If your goal is to scatter remains, an urn with a wide opening and an easily accessible closure is recommended.  Be sure to check with federal, state or local authorities regarding scattering regulations.  Scattering is restricted and/or against the law in many areas and jurisdictions.

What should I know before buying an urn ? 

The main purpose of an urn is to protect the integrity of the cremated remains until final disposition or while it is in the custody of a person. Factors to keep in mind include:

  • Where will the cremated remains be stored or held?
  • How will the urn be used?
  • When will final disposition take place?
  • Do you want a portion of the cremated remains in multiple locations or retained by more than one person?
  • Security concerns?
  • Transportation concerns?
  • What form of personalization and/or engraving is desired?

What are urns made of?

Urns are typically constructed of bronze, copper, sheet metal, stone, marble, glass, porcelain, crystal and manufactured products such as plastic. Most adult urns have a capacity of approximately 170 to 225 or more cubic inches, large enough for average adult remains.

What should I Do with my urn?

Urns containing cremated remains can be buried in a grave, placed in a crypt in a mausoleum, placed in a niche in a columbarium or kept at home or a special location.

Can I use an urn for scattering ashes or remains?

Yes, you can.  Sometimes people wish to scatter cremated remains in a location that holds fond memories.  In practicality, many of our urns are suitable for scattering purposes.  After dispersal of the remains, the urn is often used to hold personal memorabilia of the deceased, such as a photo, ring, watch, lock of hair and more.  The urn can also be used as a decorative vase to hold flowers.  Scattering of cremated remains is most easily accomplished using an urn that has a top or bottom that unscrews or has a plate that releases using a standard screwdriver.  NOTE:  Be sure to check with local authorities before scattering remains.

What size of urn should I purchase?

Urns usually state whether they are large/adult or another size.  The capacity of the urn will be shown on each product page in cubic inches.  As a general rule of thumb, one (1) pound before cremation equals one (1) cubic inch of remains.  For example, if a person weighs 175 pounds prior to cremation, you’ll need an urn that has a capacity of approximately 175 cubic inches. offers urns in Adult, Keepsake and Keepsake Heart sizes, as well as a variety of pet urns to accommodate most domestic pets.

It is recommended that you put the remains into a sealable plastic bag and then put it into the urn.  This way if children become overly curious, you wish a different urn or anything unusual happens, it will be easy to replace the urn if you need to without losing any of the ashes.


Keepsakes are miniature urns.  They allow family members and friends to share a loved ones remains as a personal heirloom.  If internment, burial or scattering is chosen for the deceased, a keepsake is a personal way to remember the individual.

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