Only Family Owned and Operated Crematory in South San Diego County - Open 24/7 Call 833-781-6222


How to Choose an Urn for Your Loved One: A Guide for Families Buying an Urn

Posted on: June 5th, 2024 by AAA Cremation & Burial

Buying an UrnBuying an Urn in San Diego

Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging experiences we face in life. Amidst the grief, families are tasked with making important decisions to honor and remember their departed. If you have chosen cremation, selecting the right urn is a significant step in this process. This guide aims to provide you with clear, compassionate advice to help you choose an urn that reflects your loved one’s memory and fits your family’s needs.  Learn more about buying an Urn in San Diego.

Understanding Urn Types and Materials

  1. Traditional Urns
    Traditional urns are designed to hold the full remains of your loved one. They come in various sizes and styles, typically crafted from durable materials such as brass, marble, or wood. Traditional urns are suitable for display in your home, burial, or placement in a columbarium.
  2. Keepsake Urns
    Keepsake urns are smaller and designed to hold a portion of the ashes. These are ideal if you wish to share the remains among several family members. Keepsake urns also come in diverse materials and styles, allowing each family member to choose a piece that resonates with them.
  3. Biodegradable Urns
    For those who are environmentally conscious, biodegradable urns are an excellent choice. Made from eco-friendly materials such as paper, sand, or salt, these urns are designed to break down naturally over time. They are perfect for water or land burials, aligning with a commitment to sustainability.
  4. Companion Urns
    Companion urns are larger and designed to hold the remains of two individuals. These urns are often chosen by couples who wish to remain together even after passing. Companion urns can be divided into two sections or be a single large container.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Urn

  1. Purpose and Placement
    Consider where you plan to keep the urn. If it will be displayed at home, you might prefer an aesthetically pleasing urn that complements your decor. For burial, durability and weather resistance are crucial. Columbarium placement may require specific dimensions or materials.
  2. Personalization
    Many families find comfort in personalizing the urn to reflect their loved one’s personality or interests. Options for personalization include engraving, photo frames, or customized designs. Personalization makes the urn a unique tribute to the departed.
  3. Size
    Urns come in various sizes, and it’s important to choose one that appropriately fits the remains. The general rule is that one cubic inch of space is needed for each pound of the individual’s body weight before cremation. Your funeral director can help you determine the correct size.
  4. Material
    The material of the urn affects its appearance, durability, and price. Common materials include:
  • Wood: Warm and classic, available in different finishes.
  • Metal: Sturdy and elegant, often made of brass, bronze, or stainless steel.
  • Ceramic: Delicate and beautiful, suitable for indoor display.
  • Marble: Timeless and durable, perfect for a dignified tribute.
  1. Budget
    Urns come in a wide range of prices. Establishing a budget beforehand can help narrow down your choices and prevent additional stress during an already difficult time. Discuss your budget with your funeral director, who can guide you to suitable options within your range.

Special Considerations

Religious and Cultural Practices
Different religions and cultures have specific customs and requirements regarding cremation and urns. Ensure that the urn you choose aligns with these practices. Your funeral director can provide guidance based on your specific needs.

If you plan to transport the urn, either for a memorial service or a final resting place, consider an urn that is designed for safe travel. Some urns come with travel cases or are specifically constructed to withstand transportation.

Future Plans
Think about your long-term plans for the urn. If you might move or change your mind about the urn’s placement, choose a versatile option that can be relocated or repurposed as needed.


Choosing an urn for a loved one is a deeply personal decision that requires careful consideration. By understanding the different types of urns, considering key factors like purpose, personalization, and material, and keeping special considerations in mind, you can select an urn that honors your loved one’s memory in a meaningful way. Remember, your funeral director is here to support and guide you through this process, ensuring that you make the best choice for your family’s needs and preferences.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help you create a beautiful, lasting tribute to your loved one.

Contact AAA Cremation & Burial for more information about buying an urn for your loved one.