Small Cremation Urns

by Linda Banks

Small cremation urns or vessels alongside larger urns

Cremation Vessels* by Sharon Mollerus

Our mobile society incites changes, as well as new traditions in how we honor the deceased. Families, now scattered across the country, often want to share the cremated remains of a loved one rather than agree to one permanent resting place. And though the majority of cremation urns are manufactured to hold the cremated remains of an adult, there are many situations, such as noted above, in which a smaller sized urn is desirable. Small cremation urns, designed to hold a smaller quantity of ashes than the typical adult sized urn, satisfy a number of situations.

Display cremation urns vs. small urns

Historically when a loved one was cremated, one family member became the permanent caretaker of the cremation urn for ashes. The large cremation urn was often prominently displayed at home on a mantel. Other family members visited to pay respects and take comfort from the memories evoked by the urn. But now several family members often share the cremated remains in small urns they can take home as keepsakes.

Small urns most often range in size from 5 to 120 cubic inches. They fit well in small places, and provide a discreet way to house ashes of a loved one. They can also be used for a variety of purposes including:

  • Infant cremation urns
    Small urns are appropriately sized for holding the remains of an infant or a small child.
  • Pet cremation urns
    Pet owners choose these small urns to hold the ashes of a much-loved pet companion.
  • Placement in columbarium niche
    Columbaria have size restrictions for urns, and small urns fit well in most niches. Be sure to check the size of the niche, along with the size of the urn before purchasing.
  • Urn to hold ashes of a body donated for medical research
    When a body is donated for scientific research, only a small portion of cremated remains are returned to the family. The small urns provide an appropriate final resting place for the ashes.
  • Small urns are suitable for families who wish to scatter the ashes of a loved one, but also want to keep a portion in a memorial urn or keepsake urn. By dividing the ashes between a small urn and a scattering urn, or biodegradable urn, both needs are met.
  • The small cremation urns can be used as a companion urn for a large traditional urn.

Affordable cremation urns 

Small urns are an affordable alternative to purchasing an adult sized display cremation urn.

There are many designs and styles of small cremation urns available in prices ranging from under $50 to $200+. Cost depends on the material (metal, stone, wood or glass) and the design. Many smaller urns can be personalized and engraved with the name of the deceased.

Small urns and keepsake urns provide a way for a loved one's ashes to be shared among several people. Comfort is garnered not only by one, but by many through the presence that the individual urns evoke.

* Image can be found at

Linda Banks provided extended end-of-life care for her beloved Aunt who was like her mother. When her brother suddenly died, she was instrumental in orchestrating all of the details of his final wishes to be cremated. Linda has been an active blogger for ten years, including blogging about Willie Nelson and his family. Willie told her recently that he reads her blog every day.

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