Choosing the right cremation urn can be a deeply personal decision that reflects a loved one’s unique life and offers comfort during a time of loss. 

Whether you’re planning for the future or selecting a cremation urn for an immediate need, the variety of options can feel overwhelming during such a difficult time. Conversely, you may not be sure what options are available to you to choose a fitting urn that honors your loved one. 

That’s why we’re here to guide you through the process. Let’s explore 10 types of cremation urns available, ranging from traditional designs to more unique and personalized options, so you can have peace of mind knowing you’ve chosen an appropriate tribute for yourself or your loved one.

1. Traditional Urns

Traditional cremation urns are a popular choice for many families thanks to their time-honored design and functionality. They typically feature classic shapes like vases or boxes and are crafted from enduring materials like:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Marble
  • Ceramic

The design often includes elegant detailing like engravings or metal inlays for a dignified and respectful aesthetic suitable for any memorial setting.

Traditional cremation urns are versatile enough to be displayed in the home or placed in a formal setting like a columbarium. They blend seamlessly with various decor styles to provide a solemn and tasteful memorial for loved ones.

If you’re seeking a timeless way to commemorate someone special, traditional urns offer beauty and the reassuring sense of permanence needed during times of mourning.

2. Keepsake Urns

Keepsake urns serve a special purpose in the world of memorial products. They’re smaller than traditional urns and designed to hold a small portion of cremated remains so multiple family members can keep a physical memory of their loved one close, even if they live in different locations.

Keepsake cremation urns come in a variety of materials, including:

  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Ceramic
  • Wood

The compact size of keepsake cremation urns makes them ideal for display in the home. You can place them on a mantle, within a glass cabinet, or on a dedicated memorial shelf. 

Their design often reflects exquisite craftsmanship, with options ranging from simple and elegant to intricate and ornate. They help in sharing a loved one’s memory among family members and serve as a personal reminder of the deceased, making them a perfect choice if you’re seeking a private, yet profound connection with your loved one.

3. Biodegradable Urns

Biodegradable cremation urns are an excellent choice for environmentally conscious families who want to leave a minimal ecological footprint. They’re crafted from sustainable materials such as:

  • Paper
  • Sand
  • Gelatin
  • Compacted peat

Biodegradable cremation urns are designed to degrade naturally when placed in the earth or water, so they’re excellent for green burials that emphasize the natural return to the earth. You can use a biodegradable urn in various settings, such as a sea burial, in a natural forest, or in a special garden.

4. Companion Urns

Companion urns, also known as double urns, are designed to hold the cremated remains of two individuals (typically a couple) to symbolize their eternal togetherness even in the afterlife. These urns are larger than standard single urns and come in various materials, including:

  • Bronze
  • Marble
  • Wood
  • Ceramic

Each material offers a different aesthetic and durability, allowing you to choose one that best commemorates the bond between loved ones.

The design of companion urns often reflects themes of shared lives through intertwined or matching patterns symbolizing unity and continuity. They’re suited for placement in a family home, a columbarium niche, or a burial plot for couples. 

These urns provide a practical, more cost-effective solution for families looking to keep their loved ones together while offering a deeply emotional and symbolic gesture of everlasting unity and love.


A boxed pet urn with a dog picture

5. Infant Urns

Losing a child is an unimaginably difficult experience, and choosing a way to memorialize an infant can be a tender process. Infant urns are designed with the utmost sensitivity to serve this delicate need.

These urns are smaller in size and often feature soft, comforting designs with gentle motifs such as lambs, angels, or stars. They’re typically made from materials that evoke warmth and comfort, such as ceramics and polished wood. They can also be adorned with soothing colors and textures.

You can place infant cremation urns in the family home to create a sense of remembrance and peace. They are a profound reminder of the love and brief moments shared.  If you’re looking for a more permanent placement, you can also design infant urns for burial.  

Choosing an infant urn involves considering the emotional impact and the healing process so you can provide a sacred space to honor a young life that deeply touched others despite its briefness.

6. Veteran and Patriotic Urns

Veteran and patriotic urns honor the lives of those who served their country to offer respect and recognition for their services. These urns are often decorated with symbols of national pride, such as flags, eagles, or military branch emblems. Materials like bronze, brass, or stainless steel are common for their durability and dignified appearance appropriate for honoring a veteran.

You can display these cremation urns in your family home or a veterans’ cemetery to celebrate the deceased’s services and commitment. They often become a focal point during Memorial Day and Veterans Day commemorations to symbolize sacrifice and patriotism. 

7. Outdoor and Garden Urns

Outdoor and garden urns are crafted to withstand the elements while offering a beautiful and meaningful way to remember loved ones in the tranquility of nature. These urns are typically made from durable materials like:

  • Stone
  • Heavy-duty metals
  • Weather-resistant ceramics

Their designs might incorporate natural motifs like floral patterns, forest textures, or earthy tones that blend seamlessly with garden landscapes. 

Placing an urn in a garden or outdoor space allows for a living memorial where flowers can bloom around it and life continues to flourish, symbolizing ongoing life. These urns serve as a focal point in a garden and provide a serene spot for reflection and remembrance, offering solace to family members as they feel close to nature and their lost loved one.

8. Decorative Urns

Decorative urns also called art urns—are cremation urns that combine artistry and memorialization to create a tangible piece of art that compliments home decor while honoring a loved one. These cremation urns are available in a wide range of styles, from modern and minimalist to ornate and elaborate designs.

Decorative urns also are available in various materials. You may find:

  • Blown glass urns
  • Metal urns
  • Marble urns
  • Granite urns
  • Hand-painted ceramic urns
  • Sculpted bronze urns

Decorative urns are great for display within the home. They often become a conversation piece that invites memories and stories about the loved one. They are a wonderful way to keep the deceased close in a way that’s beautiful and respectful.

9. Specialty Urns

Specialty cremation urns like sports and hobby urns, religious urns, and themed urns are designed for those looking for something truly unique and personalized. They cater to specific hobbies, lifestyles, or passions, such as urns shaped like musical instruments for music lovers or those resembling sports equipment for athletes.

The materials and construction can vary widely depending on the design, but they all celebrate the deceased’s individuality. They’re often the centerpiece of a memorial service to reflect and commemorate the unique aspects of the deceased’s life. They’re also suitable for home display to continually remind family and friends of their loved one’s passion and spirit.

Specialty urns give remembrance a truly personal touch, capturing the departed’s legacy in a way that truly resonates with their life story.

10. Pet Urns

For many, pets are more than just animals—they’re cherished family members. Pet urns allow them to honor their pets in a manner that acknowledges their importance and the joy they brought to their lives. 

Pet urns come in a variety of sizes and materials, including:

  • Wood urns
  • Metal urns
  • Ceramic urns

They often feature designs that reflect the pet’s essence, such as paw prints, animal shapes, and even custom engravings of the pet’s name. 

You can keep pet cremation urns in your family home in a place where the pet loved to spend time to provide a comforting presence and a focal point for memories. You may also choose to place them in a garden or other outdoor spaces where your pet may have enjoyed playing for a natural and loving tribute.

Give a Proper Tribute with the Right Cremation Urn from Philadelphia Cremation Society

It’s clear to see that choosing the right cremation urn is a heartfelt journey that honors a loved one’s unique life. Whether traditional or more unique, each urn type offers a special way to cherish and remember those who have passed. In making this choice, you create a lasting tribute that resonates with personal meaning and deep respect, helping to bring comfort during a time of grief.

At Philadelphia Cremation Society, we understand the importance of finding just the right memorial. Whether you’re preplanning or managing an immediate need, our compassionate team of experienced professionals is here to guide you through every step of the process so your experience is as comfortable and meaningful as possible. 

We take pride in offering affordable, straightforward cremation services tailored to meet the needs of each family we serve. Contact us today to see how we can help you honor your loved one with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Key Takeaways for Types of Cremation Urns

  • There are 10 types of urns available: Traditional urns, keepsake urns, biodegradable urns, companion urns, infant urns, veteran and patriotic urns, outdoor and garden urns, decorative urns, specialty urns, and pet urns.
  • Each type of urn serves a specific purpose, but all are designed to maintain a personal connection with a loved one and honor their memory.