Let's take a look at the cost of cremation urns, what factors are involved in increasing or decreasing the price, and how you can save a bit of cash when buying an urn for your loved one.
How Much Do Urns Cost?
Most adult urns cost from about $75 on the low end to around $350 for most popular premium options. Keepsake urns, which hold a small portion of the remains, go for anywhere between $25 and $60 each. Urns that hold the ashes of two people are called companion urns and typically cost $350-600.
For good quality urns, expect to pay about $500 for a companion urn, $300-400 for standard adult urns, and $25-60 for small keepsake urns.
Other types of urns, including temporary, child, infant, scattering, burial, and pet urns, can cost from $40-200 depending on size, material, decorative accents, personalization, and more.
Mid-range quality adult urns (for instance, imported items) average around $150 each.
These numbers are based on Urns Northwest's original research. See below for more information.
Factors that Effect the Cost of Urns
As with most types of products, there are many factors which will increase or decrease the price. Here are some things to consider.
Some materials are simply more expensive than others. An urn made from cheap wood will have a different price point than a hand-turned urn made from a single block of premium wood. And a flimsy metal urn won't cost as much as glass urn individually blown by an artist. The material makes a difference.
Some materials, such as biodegradable urns and metal urns, can regularly be found in the $40-100 range (for standard adult urns). Other materials, such as solid wood, marble, and ceramic, will average around $200. The more craftsmanship is involved in working the material, the higher the price will go.
A large urn uses more material and takes more work to produce. Larger urns also have higher shipping and transportation costs.
Original, unique, and creative designs cost more to develop. Imitation knock offs and urns with minimal design won't cost as much because they are easier and simpler to make.
Country of Origin
Urns made in the USA are, generally speaking, superior to the foreign-made imports. Many of the inexpensive urns you'll find on Amazon and Walmart are made in India, China, or elsewhere, and simply don't have the same craftsmanship you'll find from an American manufacturer.
Often, this is more about how an urn supplier can hit a certain (low) price point. The only way to produce decent urns that look nice and retail for under a hundred bucks is to have them made overseas and stocked in distribution centers.
Type of Manufacturer
Some urn producers focus on bulk quantities and low price points. Others are small mom-and-pop shops that craft a selection of unique and well-designed products. Still others are individual artists who personally hand craft each piece.
Each type of manufacturer will spend more or less time and money sourcing the materials, designing their selection, and making the final product. Certain types of manufacturers will have higher costs (and thus higher prices), but the end result is worth it to honor your loved one.
A custom inscription takes time, artistry, and specialized equipment to do. Most urn companies have this equipment, and can personalize the urn for a price. The more personalization you do, the higher the price will get.
The same thing goes for custom sizing and designs - more time and effort is involved, and those who do the work should be compensated for it accordingly.
How Can I Save on Urns?
Perhaps you've seen the price tags at the funeral home, and you want to find a way to make sure you're not overpaying and perhaps even save a bit in your funeral budget.
In one sense, you can save as much as you want. If you're angling for a free urn, consider these options:
- Everyday items you can use as cremation urns - a list of things you probably already have
- Stay with the temporary urn that came from the funeral home/crematorium
- Start a crowdfund or ask for donations in lieu of flowers
- Ask a friend or family member to make an urn for you
- Make your own DIY cremation urn
If you just want a low cost urn, you have more options. Check out the big-box retailers that pop up when you search for "cremation urns" or "urns for ashes." These will have cheap, imported products that may meet your needs.
However, if you're looking for a memorial with high quality but you still don't want to overpay, read on.
Saving Tip #1 - Buy Online
The funeral home has location and staffing costs to cover that online retailers like Urns Northwest simply don't have. If you want to save when buying an urn, the first step is to shop online.
Saving Tip #2 - Buy Ahead
It's probably too late now (sorry! We would have warned you if we could!), but another great way to avoid getting ripped off on an urn is to buy it ahead of time.
That's because, if you're down to the last minute and need an urn right now, your options are extremely limited. You'll have to go with what the funeral home has on hand (and thus won't get the savings from Tip #1). Or perhaps you find an urn on the web that is available, but you need to pay big bucks to overnight it so that it arrives in time.
Avoid these hassles and additional costs by planning ahead. Again, for your loved one who recently passed away, you may not have this option. But you can plan for yourself! Once the flurry of activity around this funeral settles down, be sure to shop for your own final resting place.
Sources: Cremation Urn Costs
For this article, we tapped four sources. We put together all the information to come up with the average urn costs listed at the top of this page. Please link to this article when citing our statistics.
1. Urns Northwest Statistics
First, our own internal sales statistics and product prices.
For 2019, the average cost of cremation urns chosen by our customers was $337.93.
Our most visible display prices averaged $284.49 for standard adult urns, $476.74 with companion urns, and $101.96 for keepsake urns.
We consider ourselves a premium supplier of cremation urns, offering a broad selection of price ranges that still maintain consistently high quality.
2. Competitor Pricing
Second, our analysis and comparisons with our retail competitors. We try to set our own prices at or below that of our fellow high-end competitors. We keep an eye on what other vendors and manufacturers are offering, what seems to sell, and where they keep their pricing. This helps us maintain confidence in our own prices and product selection.
Our competitor analysis consistently reveals close but sometimes higher prices for high-end products, as well as many more low-end products than we choose to offer.
3. Informal Survey of Funeral Homes
Third, we called up funeral homes and asked for pricing information about their urn selection, as well as the average prices of what people actually buy. While prices for, say, adult urns will range from about $200 to up over $1,000, the actual amount that people spend on a cremation urn is closer to $300-400.
4. Average Cremation Urn Prices Displayed Online
And third, we conducted our own research on the prices displayed by the top web search results. These included items from display advertisements on search engine results ("Display Ads," below), the first item offered from each of the top non-ad web search results ("Search Results"), and four best-sellers apiece from cremation urn sales sites with the most visitors.
|ADULT URNS||AVERAGE PRICE|
|Retail Website 1||239.95|
|Retail Website 2||138.70|
|Retail Website 3||255.25|
|Retail Website 4||197.45|
|COMPANION URNS||AVERAGE PRICE|
|Retail Website 1||334.95|
|Retail Website 2||203.00|
|Retail Website 3||909.45|
|Retail Website 4||369.70|
|KEEPSAKE URNS||AVERAGE PRICE|
|Retail Website 1||24.95|
|Retail Website 2||23.99|
|Retail Website 3||35.95|
|Retail Website 4||84.75|
Please link to this article when citing our statistics.