Different Types of Cremation Urns

When it comes to the decision of choosing an urn, there are an endless number of options that you can consider choosing.

To help you understand the options and to help guide your decision we have listed below the different types of cremation urns available, along with some key questions you should answer before choosing the urn.

How to pick an urn

There are some important questions to answer to help you choose the best urn for your needs.

  • Where will the urn be stored?
    The can include on display at home, in which case you may want a more decorative/discreet design or it could be at a plot in a church, in whci hcase the church may have some specific requirements.
  • Are you planning to bury or scatter the ashes?
    If burial, then yo umay need to order a natural urn which only has biodgegrdable materials. If scattering at sea, then yo uwill need an approved water urn for ashes.
  • Do you have any strict requirements?
    Is there a specific shape, colour, material that you want. Do you need it to be engraved or personalised? All of this will effect which type of urn is suitable.
  • Are you planning to interr the full amount of ashes?
    Some families like to keep a portion of the ashes in the urn and keep the rest for keepsakes and or jewellery. If you odo not need to hosue the full amoutn of ashes, then the size can be smaller than a full sized urn.
  • Do you need to access the ashes in the future?
    If you plan to re open the urn at a later date (to combine anotehr set of ashes or take some out to createa memorial) then yo uwill need an urn that has a resealable closure.

Urns to be Displayed

We pride ourselves on our range of decorative and modern urns. Most families that want to display an urn want something that isn’t a traditional shape. Something that isn’t obviously an urn.

I remember as a child being scared of the huge metal urn that was displayed at my grandmother’s house and these styles are becoming less popular as more modern materials become more widely used.

Ceramic offers some lovely modern shapes, designs, and colours and is a popular choice.

Glass urns also offer some lovely shapes and colours to suit more artistic households.

Urns to be Buried

If you are burying the urn within a natural burial ground, the urn cannot contain anything that isn’t biodegradable.

In this case, we offer a range of land burial biodegradable urns. These are made from a range of materials, from wood and paper-based product to gelatine and organic materials.

Urns to be Scattered in Water

If you are conducting a scattering of ashes at sea ceremony then you will need an eco-friendly/green urn that has been certified to be used in water.

The urn must not contain any materials that will not decompose in the water.

Our range of water urns contains urns that are made from sand, salt, paper-based mulch and other eco biodegradable materials.

We also offer water-soluble petals and notes to help other family members feel a part of any ceremony.

Urns to be Stored Outside

If you are looking for a garden urn or an urn to be stored at a cemetery then the material is an important factor.

Natural stones like marble and granite offer great resistance to weather and are quite affordable if ordered in standard shapes.

You can have one of our birdbath or garden mushrooms made from local stone to give a natural feel to your memorial, within a natural setting.

Stainless steel is again a great choice for an urn that will brave all weathers.

For a truly hardy urn, then bronze is one of the toughest materials to choose. These urns will also age within their surroundings and are a popular choice for gardens to help blend in with their settings.

Urns as Jewellery

Ashes can be stored in jewellery. This comes in 2 forms.

  • Self-fill jewellery – the piece has a small compartment and a funnel in which you (or your funeral director) can fill the jewellery.
  • Ashes into jewellery – you are required to send a small portion of your loved ones’ ashes in the post to a jeweller where they will add the ashes into your chosen piece.

There are loads of options, from urn necklaces to rings and bracelets for both men and women.

Urns to Hold a Keepsake Amount of Ashes

Some families like to share the ashes of a loved one via multiple smaller urns, either to be kept close at all times (in the form of a cuddle pebble type design) or to store in the home as a keepsake reminder.

These types of urns typically come in matching larger sizes too, and are available in a range of materials.

If you want to scatter the ashes but keep just a portion as a reminder, this is a great option and you can usually find discreet ornamental style urns that will hold just a small amount of ashes that won’t look out of place inside your home.

Urns for Scattering Ashes

If you plan to scatter ashes, then the only items to look at really are scatter tubes.

They offer great affordability, a range of designs and are approved to take on flights too if you need to travel abroad to the location (make sure to check your airline guidance)

Double Capacity Urns

It is common for families to want to have the ashes of 2 people combined into an urn.
These larger style urns are typically called companion urns and are made larger to house 2 sets of ashes.

They are again available in a range of materials for different needs so make sure to answer the above questions to make sure you select the right item for your personal needs.

Urns for Pets

Not just for humans, we offer an increasing range of pet urns. They are typically smaller than adult urns and can feature designs such as paw prints or can be engraved with names and dates as requested.

Like adult urns, they are available in a range of materials depending on if you are planning to display the urn or if you want to bury or scatter the ashes of your beloved pet.

Custom Made Urns

If you have a very clear idea of the type of urn you want, then you can look to have a custom urn created for you.

Again, these can come in a range of materials depending on what you have in mind.

Processes like 3d printing can create very detailed, picture-perfect designs at a higher cost.

Handmade garden sculptures can be made from a range of materials including precious metals or natural stone. They can be useful to house ashes within a vessel that can be taken with you if you move home in the future

Ceramists can create bespoke pieces to house a loved one’s ashes. These are cheaper than 3d printing but not as ‘picture-perfect‘ as they tend to be hand finished and painted.

If you want a specific wooden piece carved, again this is an option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are urns made of?

Urns can be made of anything you want them to be made from as long as they are suitable/strong enough for your needs

What is the best material for an urn?

This depends on your need. If you want to store the ashes in the garden, natural stone, stainless steel or precious metals are the most robust.
If you want to store the ashes inside a home, then ceramic offers some lovely designs but is more precious than a metal urn.

Do urns have to be sealed?

No, urns do not need to be permanently sealed.
Obviously, in order to keep the ashes inside, there needs to be some sort of ‘stopper’ or lid.
Ceramic pieces tend to be glued shut and metal pieces tend to have screw closures. Wooden pieces can be glued or screwed. It really depends on the material.
If you can place the ashes inside a bag before placing them inside the urn, then you wouldn’t need to permanently seal the urn, because the bag will act as security. This is always a good option if you aren’t sure if you want to access the ashes at a later date.

We pride ourselves on helping each family find the perfect urn or memorial, so if you have any questions or requests, please do not hesitate to contact us.