Key Considerations When Choosing a Cremation Urn

Written by: Max Lemper-Tabatsky



Time to read 3 min

Choosing an Urn for a Loved One is An Important Decision That Should Not be Rushed

Before delving into the details, it's important to note that a cremation urn is not the only option for ashes. Families can also have their loved one's ashes scattered, buried in a cemetery plot, or placed inside jewelry.

However, many families choose to have an urn as a physical representation of their loved one's memory. An urn can be placed in a special spot within the home, also serving as a way for family and friends to remember and pay tribute. In some cases, the urn may even be placed in a mausoleum.

Key Considerations

If you decide on an urn for ashes, you'll want to make the choice that's right for you and your family. Here are some key aspects to consider:

Who is it for?

Although they might not be around to physically select the urn, keeping the deceased's wishes and personality in mind is important. Start with the basics. Who were they to you? A father, mother, grandmother, friend? Or perhaps they were your beloved pet, in which case a pet urn may be most appropriate.

Consider their hobbies and interests, as well as their style. Did they have a favorite color or love nature and the outdoors? These preferences can guide your choices in terms of design and material.

Urn Materials

Once you have a general idea of whom the urn is for, it's time to think about materials. Urns can be made from various materials, including wood, ceramic, glass, marble, and biodegradable materials.

Each material has its unique look and feel. Ceramic urns often have bright designs, while marble tends to have a classic elegance. Wood is one of the more natural options, with beautiful grain patterns. In addition to aesthetic preference, remember that some materials will last longer than others. However, since they will most likely be indoors, this may not be as much of a concern.

Urn Size

Next, consider the size of the urn. A full-size urn typically holds 200 cubic inches, which is enough for a person weighing up to 200 pounds. If the deceased weighed more, you might need to opt for a larger size or multiple urns.

On the other hand, a keepsake urn is smaller and can hold a portion of the ashes or a special memento, such as jewelry or a photo. These are often chosen for scattering ceremonies or splitting the ashes among family members living in different locations.

It's important to note that the urn size will also determine where you can place it. Will it fit comfortably on a shelf or mantle, or will it need a distinct display area in the home? When in doubt, err on the larger side to avoid a cramped or overcrowded display.


Urns don't have to be grim or somber. In fact, some have unique features. They may double as flower vases or candles, adding a personal touch to the memorialization process. Additionally, consider how the urn will be opened and closed. You might opt for a secure screw top or an urn that can be sealed with adhesive.

At the same time, think about what the memorial urn will go through. A traveling family may want a more durable option, while those planning to keep it indoors may be able to choose a delicate material.


Finally, think about the overall design and appearance of the urn. The shape, color, and any added embellishments or engravings should reflect your loved one's personality and your own taste. As you consider design elements, remember to consider where the urn will be displayed. Ideally, it should blend into the surrounding decor while standing out as a special tribute.

Urns come in various styles and choices, so take your time selecting the perfect one. Some are square, others rectangular or even cylindrical. It's a decision that will last for years to come, serving as a beautiful reminder of your loved one.

Final Thoughts

Choosing an urn can be a difficult, emotional process, but one that is well worth the time and effort. At Oaktree, we offer a variety of modern urn options for humans and pets in elegant materials and designs. Visit our website to browse our selection and find the perfect urn for your loved one. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to support you through this difficult time.

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