How to Select the Right Size Cremation Urn

Volume & Size of Cremation Urns

Two of the most important things about choosing an urn is the volume and size. The cremation urns capacity is measured in cubic inches. Calculating the volume needed is a simple process. For example, if an individual had a healthy weight of 180 pounds at the time of cremation, they will require an urn 180 cubic inches or larger. The exceptions to this rule would be urns for small children, infants and pets.

Knowing where an urn will be for final placement it is important to consider when purchasing a cremation urn. For example, when placing an urn in a niche or columbarium it is important to know the exact space available (length, width and height). Additionally, when purchasing an urn for burial it is important to consider available burial urn vaults or burial containers. This process can be made simple by contacting a customer care representative and having them guide you through the process.

Several options are available when choosing a cremation urn. The most common confusion comes when trying to select the appropriate size urn. Below we outline some common urn sizes and definitions.


Keepsake Urns & Cremation Jewelry

Keepsake urns are crafted to hold a small portion of remains. Families will commonly choose to use keepsakes as memorials that several individuals from the family can keep with them. These are also commonly referred to as portion urns or sharing urns.

Cremation jewelry allows for storage of a small pinch of cremains to be held inside. These memorials come in discreet designs and styles for every day wear. Cremation jewelry allows grieving individuals to hold their departed loved one close as they continue their life here on earth.

Typical Capacity: .25 cubic inches – 50 cubic inches

View selection of keepsake urns and cremation jewelry.


Individual Urns

Individual size cremation urns are the most common size urn available today. The term individual typically refers to a capacity of 150 cubic inches or greater. When choosing an urn for an individual adult this is the most common size. It is important to remember that for every one pound of healthy weight, there will be 1 cubic inch of cremains. This means if a person is 150 pounds at time of cremation they will require an urn at least 150 cubic inches. Choosing an urn larger then the minimum required size is perfectly acceptable. Many families choose to use larger urns so keepsakes or other mementos can be placed in the urn.

Typical Capacity: 150 cubic inches – 300 cubic inches

View selection of cremation urns.


Companion Urns (also known as Double Urns or Double Internment)

Companion urns are designed to hold the remains of up to two adult individuals. The volume for these urns is typically 380 cubic inches to 500 cubic inches. Companion urns are commonly used for couples that make the decision to be together after passing. Many families will choose to purchase a companion urn before both couples have passed. This personal decision is made so when the couples pass they can remain close.

Typical Capacity: 380 cubic inches – 500 cubic inches

View selection of companion urns.


Small Children & Infant Urns

Special accommodations apply when purchasing an urn for an infant or small children. For infants under 10 pounds or less, an urn with a minimum of 20 cubic inches is recommended. For children 10-20 lbs or, an urn with a minimum of 30 cubic inches or more is recommended. As with individual urns, purchasing an urn larger than the minimum is perfectly acceptable. The additional space is commonly used to store a letter, photos, stuffed animals or a favorite outfit.

Typical Capacity: 20 cubic inches – 80 cubic inches

View selection of children and infant urns.

Pet Urns

When purchasing an urn for a pet it is important to consider the cremation process is completed differently and they oftentimes need a slightly larger urn than a human may at the same healthy weight. It is suggested to add an additional 10-15 cubic inches to the urn to accommodate the extra space used. So, if your pet had a healthy weight of 50 lbs. it recommended to purchase an urn that is 60-65 cubic inches in size. It is also important to note that choosing an urn larger then the minimum required size is perfectly acceptable. Many families choose to use the additional space within the urn for their pets favorite toy or their collar.

Typical Capacity: 20 cubic inches – 150 cubic inches

View selection of pet urns.


Now that you know the size urn that will accommodate your loved one, use our Easy Urn Finder below. This helpful tool will allow you to sort by urn details such as size, style, material and color.



If you should have any additional questions or wish for additional assistance please contact us by email, live chat or by phone at 1-800-979-8767.

Discuss: How to Select the Right Size Cremation Urn

13 People Discussing
  • It would help to have an example of how to convert inches to cubic inches for those not so mathematically inclined in case they wanted have their own special urn made.

    Comment by Jomar — February 4, 2016 @ 11:01 pm

  • Thank you for your comment. The best way to figure out the size of the urn you will need is by knowing the total healthy weight of the person the urn will be used for. For example, if the weight of the human is 190 pounds, the urn will need to be 190 cubic inches or more in size.

    If the cremains has been received back you can also figure out the cubic inch measurements by taking a physical dimension of the cremains. If the cremains (within a bag or container) are 6 inches wide by 6 inches wide by 6 inches wide you will multiply those three measurements together to get the total cubic inch measurement (6*6*6=216 cubic inches).

    If you need further assistance in figuring out the size urn you will need please contact our friendly support staff at 1-800-979-8767 or at your convenience. Thank you.

    Comment by Ryan Graf — May 23, 2016 @ 1:33 pm

  • I wish to give my children each an urn about 5” x 4”. The cremation company will scatter remaining ashes. Each child can decide if they wish to keep, bury or scatter. What size should I buy. Thank you.

    Comment by Corinne golden — October 3, 2017 @ 9:01 pm

  • helpful post

    Comment by rmziat — March 20, 2018 @ 4:20 am

  • Hello. I have bought two of your urns. Both of them were of black cats sleeping in a basket. I really really love them. I am hoping that somewhere down the line in the near future you can include Siamese cats. I see you have white ones and even for long haired cats, but it would be really really nice to see you have a Siamese cat sleeping in a basket so I could buy it and put my Sebastian’s ashes in it! Do you think that will be having any time soon?

    Sincerely yours,

    Linda schodowski.

    Comment by Linda Schodowsky — March 30, 2018 @ 8:58 pm

  • Remember that an urn for ashes cannot be too large in terms of its cubic inch capacity; it can only be too small. It is okay to have extra space in the memorial urn you select. But be sure the dimensions (height, width) fit the intended space for the urn.

    Comment by Sebastian — April 12, 2018 @ 3:59 am

  • Thank you for your comment. We do have a list of cats we plan to make in the future, however, we do not have a timeframe for their creation. We are very sorry for the inconvenience. If you should have any other questions please let us know, thank you.

    Comment by admin — April 24, 2018 @ 1:36 pm

  • I know the dimensions and size of the niche for my fathers remains< I have found some nice military selections on your site but you do not list the dimensions of the Urn, only the cubic space of the urn.
    I do not want to purchase an urn and have it not fit the specific niche. Am I missing where the dimensions HxWxL of the urns are listed?
    Thank you

    Comment by Pamela Woodard — May 15, 2018 @ 7:35 pm

  • Thank you for your comment. On each product page, in the information information section, the outside dimensions are listed. These dimensions should be used to reference against the niche size to ensure it will fit. If you should have any other questions or wish for further assistance please contact our support team at 1-800-979-8767 or Thank you.

    Comment by admin — June 12, 2018 @ 11:15 am

  • I was wondering if an urn measuring 10” H x 5” W x 5” D would be large enough to hold the ashes of a 290-pound man? Your thoughts would certainly be appreciated.

    Comment by Terry Crissman — January 30, 2019 @ 2:19 pm

  • my mother just passed am trying to pick the right urn me and my sister are sharing her. here is the problem when i see something I like without fail it is not the size i need is it possible to change the size shown

    Comment by lori — March 4, 2020 @ 1:14 pm

  • Some of our urns comes in varying size, however, many come in only one or two options. Keep in mind, it totally fine to have extra room inside the urn. This will not cause any harm to the cremains. In fact, many use the extra space to hold additional keepsakes like jewelry, letters or a heirloom.

    Comment by Marketing Admin — April 15, 2020 @ 12:15 pm

  • Hello,
    I ordered a beautiful white weeping angel urn for my sisters ashes. I ordered a small one because we (son and two sisters) each got a portion of her ashes, she was only 5’3 and weighed 120-130 lbs if that! I’m having trouble getting her ashes into the urn!! The bag is so thick, and I’m afraid if I push too hard the urn will break as it’s very fragile! Please, I need help, any suggestions at all??!! I’m desperate!
    Thank you so very much!

    Comment by Cathy Gilliom — July 3, 2020 @ 12:43 pm

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