How Big Should an Urn Be?
According to the Cremation Association of North America (CANA), an adult cremation urn for ashes should be 200 cubic inches.
This, of course, can vary somewhat depending on the person's height, bone density, and other factors.
Cremation urn capacity is measured in cubic inches. A cubic inch is 1" long, 1" wide, and 1" deep. Most standard adult urns have an interior capacity of about 200 cubic inches, while "companion urns" (for two people) have a capacity of 400 cubic inches.
A 200 cubic inch cremation urn, which is the industry standard size for an adult urn. Will fit the remains for almost all adults.
Of course there can be exceptions (atypical bone density, a large framed body, inconsistent results from the cremation machine, pins or other implants from surgeries, normal differences in the human body and/or cremation process). But in most circumstances the general rule of thumb works just fine.
The typical rule of thumb is that one pound of body weight equals one cubic inch of cremated remains. This is the method used in our urn size calculator above.
As a formula, this looks like:
1 lbs body weight = 1 cubic inch of remains
175 lbs individual = 175 cubic inch urn needed
Again, this varies and is no guarantee. But generally speaking, the calculation works because the amount of remains is most often a little less than the individual's body weight.
To measure the remains, it's easiest to place the plastic bag in which the remains come into a box with flat sides.
A cardboard box works great, and most of the time the remains will already be in a plastic "temporary" urn box.
Measure the height, width, and depth (in inches) of the ashes as they rest in the box. Multiply those numbers together and the result will be the total volume in cubic inches.
For example, if the inside of the box measures 8" by 6", and the remains fill the box up to a height of 3.75", then you would have 180 cubic inches. (8 x 6 x 3.75 = 180)
I look forward to seeing you at the Scottsdale Arabian Show and Shopping Expo February 15th-25th! Booth NH E 57 Corner Booth. Stop by! Bring your hair and place a custom order. Orders placed at the show will receive a free custom fired pendant.