How to Choose the Perfect Urn for your Loved One

Blue urns with red birds on left with a pink urn with enggraved golden birds on right

Knowing how to choose the right urn for your loved one is important as it is something that will truly commemorate the departed person's time on this earth and be a touching reminder on who they were in life. This article will go over what considerations you need to look out for when selecting your urn.

Considerations when choosing an urn

Some of the main points of considerations you must think about when selecting an urn include:

Material of the urn

Urns these days come in various different materials so you will want to pick something that will fit the style for your home. They can range from wood, aluminium, brass, ceramic, glass, stone and other more nuanced materials. 

  • Wood urns are a popular alternative to the more traditional ceramic or aluminium urns. They have become a more common choice recently due to being a sustainable option and having a quite subtle appearance. 
  • Aluminium urns are the most common urns as they are extremely durable and cost effective. They afford you the comfort of not needing to worry about shattering through being dropped or other forms of damage, and the lids screw down so they are resistant to accidental spillage as well. 
  • Brass urns are quite similar to aluminium urns. They are harder, stronger and heavier than aluminium urns while having a more elegant and lustrous polish to them. They are also more resistant to tarnishing as well. 
  • Ceramic urns are some of the most beautiful urns due to the malleability of the material and sport  some incredibly unique designs. Although a less durable material, some of the most creative designs can be found with ceramic urns
  • Glass urns are quite a new addition to the materials commonly used in urns, but they can have quite stunning features and looks. They are prone to shattering from falls, so they are best placed closer to the ground or in rooms without much active disturbances such as pets.
  • Stone urns are a quite heavy yet durable material and they come with a very rustic and natural look to them. They can come in different variations such as marble or granite.  

Size and capacity of the urn

Urns come in a wide variety of sizes and sometimes shapes too, so it's vital to look at the cubic capacity of the urn to ensure your loved ones ashes will fit. If you choose an urn that can't hold all of the ashes, then you may want to consider scattering the excess ashes or getting keepsake urns for others to have. Standard sizes are usually around 200 cubic inches, or around 3 litres. This will generally hold a standard sized adult, however the amount of ashes received through cremation may vary significantly. It is normally recommended purchasing a scattering tube or a set of keepsake urns if there are more ashes than the urn will hold. Most regular sized urns are 30 cm tall, so they may not always fit where you need to place them in your home. Electing to purchase a smaller urn may also be beneficial when it comes to budgetary reasons.

Design and style of the urn

Some designs and craftsmanship can look really nice for an urn and touch on a particular part of the departeds personality. However it is possible that it will also increase the overall cost of the urn, so it largely remains a personal preference and budgeting constraint in your decision making process. Urns come in many different designs and styles, some even include specific hobbies and lifestyles a person may have loved. Look through our range at Eternal Urns and see what different designs or styles you would like to see in your home. If you want something more personalised to the deceased, a nice option may be something they loved to do in life, or their favourite colour. You should also make sure that the urn you select is something you like too as it will be displayed in your home.

Personalisation options

Personalising your urn such as through an engraving or even design can be a nice touch to an urn but as mentioned before, this can be more expensive. There are many different personalisation options you can choose from, some of the most common ones include engraving, particularly an epitaph or statement relating to the deceased. Some urns today, particularly wooden urns, come with slots to place photographs of the dearly departed, which can be a nice touch. 

Budget considerations

One of your main considerations in choosing an urn will have to factor in your finances. Funerals are expensive unfortunately, so it may not be feasible to purchase the most expensive urn on the market. We will take a look below to see where you can save your budget in the selection process. You can refer to our cost guide here for help in determining price ranges for urns. The main reasons that will alter the price of an urn are the materials used and the size of the urn. Considerations such as personalisations and design choices won't affect the total price of your urn too much. Larger urns will attract a higher price point, so families that don't have a high budget can always elect to purchase smaller urns or keepsake urns and scatter the remaining ashes. The main factor to consider for budget is the material used. Expensive materials such as brass can have a price point close to $500 or more. Therefore it may be valuable to consider more affordable options, such as wooden urns or aluminium urns.


We looked at the important factors to consider when selecting your loved ones urn, such as the material, sizing and design of the urn as well as personalisation options and budget considerations. We know it is a hard step in anyone's life, and we hope we've made it slightly easier by giving you all you need to know when selecting the urn. As Australia's largest urn store, Eternal Urns has an extensive range of the best quality urns available, so check out our range today.