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Choosing a Medium-sized Cremation Urn

by Wendy Jacobson 

Medium-sized biodegradable cremation urn

What determines a medium-sized urn? Logic presumes a medium urn fits somewhere between a small and large urn in terms of height and/or width. Actually, a medium-sized urn holds up to 130 cubic inches. But what does this mean?

As cremation increases in popularity, the need for various sizes along with the demand for a variety of cremation urns also increase. According to the Cremation Association of North America, the cremation rate in the U.S. in 2015 was 48.6 percent. By 2020 that number is expected to rise to 54.3 percent. The idea of “one size fits all” doesn’t make the grade. In response to interest and needs, cremation urns are now available in extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large, as well as in a variety of materials, themes, and designs.

In this blog, we focus on selecting a medium-sized urn. 

Medium-sized cremation urns differ from medium-sized pet cremation urns

Cremation urns are sized by their volume to hold ashes. Each cubic inch roughly translates to a pound of the body weight of a healthy person or animal. Cremation urns for humans vary from pet cremation urns when it comes to capacity. Here are approximate capacities of various sized urns with medium highlighted. Note that “cu in” refers to cubic inches.

When to choose a medium-sized cremation urn

When considering what size urn is appropriate, it's helpful to keep a few things in mind.

  • What was the weight of the deceased? Remember for example, a 130 cu in medium-sized urns holds the ashes of someone who weighed up to 130 pounds.
  • Will the ashes be divided between several urns? For example, if a loved one weighed 180 pounds, the cremation ashes can easily be divided and stored into several medium-sized urns: two 90 cu in urns, or three 60 cu in urns would house the divided ashes.
  • Remember to check on the urn capacity when choosing a medium-sized urn for a pet or for a person. The above table provides a comparison.

There are many beautiful and unique medium-sized urns that can be displayed in a home or in a columbarium niche. They range from a mother-of-pearl urn to a bronze cremation urn and everything in between.

If, on the other hand, you are thinking of dividing and sharing the ashes, any of the small urns or even a piece of keepsake jewelry might be a fitting choice. Many customers, however, choose medium-sized memorial urns to house a smaller amount of ashes.

If choosing to bury the ashes, there are many eco-friendly urns, such as this handcrafted Himalayan Salt medium-sized biodegradable urn made from a solid block of rock salt.

Other considerations

When choosing an urn, style is often a priority. Many people take into account the deceased’s style choices. For others, room décor is important. To that end, medium-sized urns are available in a variety of shapes, materials, and styles. For example, if you are looking for a simple look, you might consider a wood urn, such as the Apricot Wood Photo Urn. Metal cremation urns can be ornate, such as the Going Home urn. And, if you are looking for something more classic, consider ceramic, such as the Golden Bird cremation urn.

Medium-sized cremation urns are also theme-related. And there are different colored pet cremation urns adorned with paw prints.

Regardless of the shape and material, medium-sized cremation urns are a great option that give you plenty of flexibility and versatility.  

Wendy Jacobson is a freelance writer living in Minneapolis with her husband, two kids and dog. She helped market her mother’s book, “Hands Off My Hope: Life Lessons on my Journey with Breast Cancer” at the request of her mom, who died two weeks after publishing it in 2008. She also is the editor of Minneapolis Happening, a digital lifestyle magazine about what’s happening in Minneapolis and the surrounding area.

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