How to Size an Urn


The size of the urn is one of the most common questions regarding a purchase of an urn, and luckily quite easy to understand. The determining factor for the urn size is the deceased’s weight. Generally speaking, the ratio is a one to one. Generally speaking, a conservative estimate.
1 pound of weight* = 1 cubic inch required of urn.
Example: 175 pound individual = 175 cubic inch urn.
* Note: Technically, one pound of body weight will result in just less than one cubic inch of cremains.
General Size Ranges of Urn Type Categories:
Cremation Jewelry: .001 - .999 cu. inches.
Token Urns: 1 - 10 cu. inches.
Keepsake and Child Urns: 11 - 175 cu. inches.
Adult Full-Size Urns: 176 - 250 cu. inches.
Adult and Companion and Oversized Urns: 251+ cu. inches.
Not Knowing the Weight of the Decedent Individual.
A time may occur that one would receive cremains from a crematory without the receiving person knowing the weight of the decedent. When people are presented with cremains from either a crematorium directly or through a funeral director, usually the cremains are in a plastic bag inside a plastic container/box- a temporary urn. The standard volume for most temporary urns is 200 cubic inches.

Taking the volume size of the temporary urn and measuring the amount of inches distance there is between the temporary urn’s lid and the top of the cremains. Every inch difference translates to approximately 25 cubic inches subtracted from the size of the temporary urn. To therefore derive the required size minimum o f the permanent urn.
Temporary urn’s displacement size is: 200 cu. In. Distance measured between the lid and top of cremains is: 1.5”…therefore equals 37.5 cu. in.
 200 – 37.5 = 162.50 cu. in for permanent urn size considerations as a minimum.

Again, 200 cubic inches temporary urn size is the standard from most crematoriums and crematories, either given directly to you from them, or through your funeral director. Please be aware that some crematoriums and crematories utilize different sizes. Please inquire with crematory staff or with your funeral director. If you feel uncomfortable in performing the measurements themselves, please ask the staff at the crematory or funeral home.
A note on Infant and Child displacements.
A guiding rule is to calculate 30 cubic inches for every inch of space.
The same approach as from human calculations on weight and size ratio is taken when calculating for pets. The differences are normally the temporary containers from pet crematoriums or veterinarians are not as large as for humans.

* We are generally referring in this section to dogs and cats, and similar size animals.