The 1 to 1 Rule of Thumb
The most important consideration in buying an urn is to select the right size to hold the ashes. The capacity of urns is measured in cubic inches. The general rule is 1 cubic inch of urn capacity for each pound of body weight prior to death.
For example, the ashes of a 175 lb. man would need an urn of 175 cubic inches or more. Likewise, the ashes of a 25 lb. pet would require an urn of 25 cubic inches or more. If the ashes are being shared among family members, smaller keepsake urns are a good option and you can use the 1 cubic inch to 1 lb. rule of thumb when purchasing these smaller urns.
Some people choose to place keepsakes of their loved one in the urn along with the ashes. You’ll need to account for the space that any keepsakes will require.
Final Placement Considerations
Another thing to think about is where you intend to keep the urn. If the urn will be placed in a niche space in a mausoleum or columbarium, then be sure to find out the dimensions of that space. Even if you are keeping the urn at home, be sure you know how much space you have on the mantle, shelf or other spot that you have in mind.
If the urn will be buried in a cemetery, you may need an urn vault to contain the urn. Be sure to consult with the cemetery regarding their regulations for urn burials.
Urns are available to hold the ashes of 2 adults. Typically, this is a choice that couples may make. Obviously, you need to consider the body weight of both individuals when calculating the size you’ll need.
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