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How to choose an urn?

Published: December 16, 2022

An urn is a very sacred thing for families and friends. Cremation is often done by the wishes of the deceased and/or for religious purposes. Below is a quick guide on how to choose an urn and what you can expect as you navigate this process.

1. Where will the final resting place be?

The final resting place is the first thing a family will need to consider. Are the ashes being scattered? Will the urn be buried or placed at home? The style of urn will be very dependent on these factors. Scattering the ashes means that the urn is only temporary as the deceased will become part of the earth. A burial urn, popularly, is made of cultured marble, but the style may change if you choose to place it in a family urn vault. An urn placed in the home will be styled differently than any of the other options listed here. Choosing the urn varies greatly depending on where the ashes will rest.

2. Urn size

Urn size and capacity are essential in choosing an urn. Typically, urns come in four sizes:

· Adult: the most common cremation urn. Typically containing the ashes of an individual around the weight of 200 pounds or less.

· Medium: used when ashes are divided among several people, typically the deceased’s children.

· Keepsake: a size used for small amounts of ashes kept in remembrance, usually within a home.

· Extra-large: used for larger persons, typically 6 feet or taller.

Something to further consider is the dimensions of the urn —diameter, width, and height. Depending on where the final resting place will be, you’ll want to confirm that the urn you’ve chosen will fit, such as in a family cemetery plot and whether the ashes of the deceased will fit the urn itself. A good rule of thumb is that 1 lb before cremation will become 1 cubic inch of ashes after. A body weighing 150 lbs before cremation will be roughly 150 cubic inches of ashes after, so choosing an urn that will allow for this capacity will be important. Your funeral director will help you along as you have questions.

3. Urn style and personalization

Urns come in all shapes and sizes, but only so many choices can fit your family’s and loved ones’ needs. An urn is commonly made from cultured marble, but depending on the above factors they may be made from wood, brass, ceramic, or even glass. Take into consideration before choosing a material where the urn will rest and how it will get there. An urn made from wood may be more fragile if it were to fall from a high place or warp if left outdoors.

Small details and personalization are comforting to the grieving and will reflect who the deceased was in life. Engravings, photographs, and even the color of the urn can be used to celebrate your loved one’s life. Your funeral director will guide you through the process further, helping you choose a container for your loved one’s cremated remains that feels right for your family.

Since 1875, The Billow Funeral Homes & Crematory has been providing world-class care to the families of northeastern Ohio. Family-owned and operated, Billow’s has two full-service facilities in Fairlawn and Cuyahoga Falls as well as a privately owned crematory. The team at Billow’s is passionate about providing unmatched care for both families and their loved ones. For more information, visit
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Billow Fairlawn Chapel & Crematory
85 N Miller Rd
| Akron, OH 44333
Tel: 1-330-867-4141
Billow Falls Chapel
1907 23rd Street
| Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
Tel: 1-330-867-4141
Bissler & Sons Funeral Home and Crematory
628 West Main Street
| Kent, OH 44240
Tel: 1-330-673-5857

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