If you are planning to use cremation services, it’s important to have a general idea of the weight and amount of ashes remaining after human remains are cremated. The expected volume and weight of the ashes can help you choose an appropriate urn for your loved one and make plans with family members, such as spreading the ashes, sharing urns for loved ones, or interment in a columbarium at a cemetery.
Weight of Ashes After Cremation
As a general rule, ashes following cremation will weigh between 4 to 6 pounds, or around 3.5% of the person’s original weight. In the case of children, ashes weigh about 2.5% of the original body weight. Fat and muscle do not affect the mass of cremated ashes, which means height and gender (which predict skeletal weight) can be used to accurately predict the weight of the remains. Cremated remains of adult men tend to weigh more, or about six pounds, while the cremated remains of adult women are about 4 pounds on average.
Choosing an Appropriate Urn Size
If you plan to inter a loved one’s ashes in an urn, you’ll need to know the appropriate size. Urns come in a variety of sizes, from very small keepsake urns that fit in the palm of your hand to large urns.
As a general rule, one pound of body weight yields just under 1 cubic inch of ash. It’s a good idea to round up slightly to make sure you choose an urn that is large enough. Cremation urns are described in cubic inches.
The following are the most common urn sizes and capacities:
- Keepsake cremation jewelry: 0.01 cubic inch. Cremation jewelry is designed to hold a trace amount of ashes or a volume that is about the size of the head of a sewing pin.
- Keepsake urn: up to 100 cubic inches. Keepsake urns are miniature urns that are most often used to store a small portion of someone’s cremated remains. Many families choose keepsake urns so several people can share a loved one’s remains.
- Standard urn: 200 cubic inches. This industry standard was set by the Cremation Association of North America (CANA). Most urns are the standard size with enough room for the remains of a single adult.
- Scattering urn: 20 cubic inches or 200 cubic inches. Scattering urns are not designed to permanently store ashes. Instead, they have a removable lid to provide a dignified means of scattering a loved one’s ashes. Most scattering urns are available in a full 200 cubic inch size to hold an entire person’s cremated remains and a mini size so multiple loved ones can scatter ashes.
- Large urn: 300 cubic inches. Large urns are available with a capacity of up to 300 cubic inches.
- Companion urns: 300 to 600 cubic inches. Companion urns are designed to hold the cremated ashes of two people, although they can also be used for one person’s remains. Some families choose a companion urn with a single interior compartment to memorialize a larger loved one whose ashes may not fit in a standard urn.
The team at Martin Oaks Cemetery and Crematory can assist with estimating the volume of ashes if you elect to divide the ashes of a loved one in multiple urns or pieces of jewelry.
In addition to DFW cremation, we offer a large selection of headstones and urns for sale. If you are unsure about the size urn you need, we will be happy to show you a selection of sharing urns, keepsake urns, standard urns, and large urns.
Call Martin Oaks for an immediate response (469)605-7215. Inexpensive, cost affordable cremation are available through the funeral directors who work with Martin Oaks in and around the DFW area. We are the affordable option with onsite cremation. All services must be arranged through the licensed funeral directors who work with Martin Oaks.
Martin Oaks is located in Lewisville, TX, and provides burial and cremation services throughout Flower Mound, TX and Denton, TX, minutes from Richardson, TX, Hurst, TX, Bedford, TX, Arlington, TX, Irving, TX, Garland, TX, as well as Grapevine, TX, The Colony, TX, Frisco, TX, Carrollton, TX and Plano, TX. We serve the entire DFW TX area.