How to Choose the Correct Urn Size
The best way to determine the cubic inch size (capacity) of the urn would be to ask the crematorium about the amount of cubic inches of cremains you can expect when the cremation process is complete.
The amount of cremains can be hard to determine because of many variables such as skeletal size, how long the cremains are in the cremation chamber, and the amount of processing that is done to the cremains. This is why the crematoriums are the best ones to know what size urn you need because only they know the amount of cremains that are produced using their processes.
There is a standard size for adult urns. We tend to follow the guidelines set by the Cremation Association for North America (CANA). Their standard size for an adult urn is 200 cubic inches. In many cases, this can be off by 10-20% in either direction depending on many factors including skeletal frame, height, weight, and the cremation process used. The industry standard for rough estimates is 1 cubic inch of cremains for every 1 pound of healthy body weight, not the weight when a person passes. This industry standard should only be used as an approximate size required.
There is no industry standard for determining the size pet urn needed. Becasue of the variations in cremation processing for pets we generally advise 1 pound HEALTHY pet weight = 1.5-2 cubic inches, especially for smaller pets.
If you have the ashes you can measure the bag by making it into a square and multiplying the length x width x height. That will give you the cubic inches. For instance a box that is 4"L x 4"W x 5" H = 80 cubic inches.
We cannot be held responsible for anyone that uses this method alone for determining the size of cremation urn needed. Only the crematory can know the amount of cremains being returned to the family. We recommend that if you plan to keep all of the cremains, you purchase an urn larger in size than you are told you need to make sure you have enough room.
If you plan to spread some of the cremains in a special place of your beloved family member or pet, then the size of the cremation urn is less critical and you can follow the industry standard of 1 cubic inch of cremains for every 1 pound of healthy weight. If you then have more cremains than the urn you purchased can hold, you can then spread some in a special place or keep some in a keepsake urn.
Companion, or double urns are designed to hold the ashes of two or more people or animals. Keepsake urns can hold a small amount of ash, funeral flowers, sacred ground, etc.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.