All You Need to Know About Keepsake Urns

13 June 2020 • Funeral Planning

What You Need to Know About Keepsake Urns

If your dearly departed chose to be cremated, or if it was the most sensible thing to do (for instance, in the event that they died of an infectious disease, like what happened during the COVID-19 epidemic), choosing an urn is inevitable. One of the most common material for cremation urns is ceramic. However, many modern urns are usually made of stainless steel that is tougher and more secure than ceramics. 

Nowadays, there are many options to choose from in the market, both in terms of materials and design. In this guide, we'll help you navigate through those options, as well as other tips on how to maintain your urn. 


What are keepsake urns

So, what are keepsake urns and how are they different from traditional urns? Actually, the only difference between a standard urn and a "keepsake" urn is their sizes. A traditional or standard urn is considered full-sized. The keepsake urn, meanwhile, typically holds only a few cubic inches of cremains.

A small keepsake urn is mostly used in addition to a full-sized urn. For instance, a traditional full-sized urn might be chosen to be buried, interred in a family mausoleum, or settled into a special place in your home where it can be stored safely. The keepsake urn, which contains only a small portion of the cremains (yes, that's the term for cremated remains and is not a typo), can then be displayed in a more public area of your residence, like the living room or on a shelving unit.

Why use one

So, why should you keep two urns? Well, you may want to keep a reminder of your loved one's presence and memory in your home, but at the same time don't want to risk spillage of the cremains or damage to the urn. You can keep the full-sized urn in a safe and secure place, like a locked cabinet.

Typically, the traditional urn is interred in a mausoleum or buried in a small grave plot. Usually, if cremation takes place, the funeral home or cremation service will provide a free urn for your loved one's cremains, or you can purchase one from them. These are typically stainless steel, aluminum, bronze or copper urns that have a standard shape and size. It is common for the surviving loved ones to spread the ashes in a special place, especially if this was the wish of the departed. Therefore, the urns are not used anymore afterwards and are not as decorative. 

However, if you plan to spread their ashes but want to keep some cremains to memorialize their memory and spirit, that's where a keepsake cremation urn comes in handy. 

Types of keepsake urns

As noted earlier, there are many different materials and designs for small keepsake urns. Here are some of the types to choose from and their description, so that you can get a good idea of which one is right for you and your living situation.  


Ceramics are the most common type of keepsake urns. However, they are more fragile compared to metallic keepsake urns. The great thing about ceramics is that they can be painted on easily, thus allowing for more customization options. 

Keepsake Urns


Porceiain is another great option that can easily be personalized. Unluck ceramic keepsake urns, they have a smooth glossy surface. However, just like ceramic urns, they can be quite fragile, so it's best to keep them where they cannot be knocked over. 

Keepsake urns

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel keepsake urns have become very popular over the years. Many funeral homes or cremation services use stainless steel urns as a part of their package deal. They are unbreakable and easy to clean. You can also have them laser-engrave the name of your loved one, or etch a loving message, quote or poem. 

Keepsake urn


Wood keepsake urns are another popular option for your loved one's cremains. It's all-natural and can be easily personalized. They are also solid and sturdy. 

Keepsake urns


Like stainless steel keepsake urns, a bronze version is very sturdy and is easily customizable. You have the option of laser-engraving the name of your dearly departed, or a beautiful quote. 

Keepsake urn


The marble keepsake urn is probably one of the most classy options your can choose. Marble represents immortality because of its sleek look and longevity. Like cermaic keepsake urns, you can customize a marble urn through laser-engraving. 

Keepsake urns

Glass or Crystal

Glass or crystal keepsake urns are some of the most stunning-looking urns you could honor your loved one with. Glass urns are creative and eye-catching. However, if you choose a glass or crystal keepsake urn, be sure to keep it in a place that cannot be touched by children or pets, because they are fragile even if the glass is thick. 

Keepsake urns


Biodegradable keepsake urns is the perfect choice if your loved one was environment-conscious. A biodegradable urn is also an eco-friendly choice if, later on, you decide to bury the urn outdoors. We came from the earth and to the earth shall we return. 

Keepsake urns

Personalizing your keepsake urn

Personalizing your keepsake urn is a great way to honor your loved one. Many of the materials used to create urns are customizable, whether ceramic urns or wood types. You can engrave the name of your dearly departed, or perhaps lyrics to a song that they loved. You can also engrave a sweet and inspiring message, or a beautiful poem. 

One of the advantages of personalizing your keepsake urns is that you can create one for different family members. For instance, you can create a keepsake urn for dad and one for your mother, or other family member like a grandparent. 

Keepsake urn

Many of the keepsake urn sellers online allow you to personalize your loved one's urn, so that you don't have to pay another service to do it for you. Likewise, if you receive an urn from a funeral home, you can ask them to customize it for you. Personalizing keepsake urns are a way to help you memorialize and honor your loved one, so that their spirit and your memories with them will live on forever. 

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