Skip to content
keepsake urn

Keepsake Urn vs. Cremation Urn: What’s the Difference?

Whether you choose to dignify your departed loved one with a keepsake urn or cremation urn, both will honor your loved one with reverence. The simple difference between the two is size. A regular cremation urn is designed to hold the entirety of a person’s ashes, while a keepsake urn can only hold a small portion. The average carrying capacity for ashes in a keepsake urn is about 15-20%. Any secure container large enough to carry ashes can be a cremation urn– it all comes down to what feels suitable for remembering your departed loved one. The true beauty of a keepsake urn and a traditional urn is knowing that a vast array of options are available to you!

What is a Keepsake Urn?

keepsake urn

A keepsake urn is also known as a “sharing urn” because it offers families and friends a unique, meaningful, and profoundly personal opportunity for each person to individually remember and honor their departed loved one in a way that resonates most for them. The style and beauty of a keepsake urn can vibrantly complement the bond you share with your departed loved one. Compact yet powerful in presence, a keepsake urn can be lovingly placed anywhere in your home. With several options available, let’s take a look at four popular keepsake urns:

Heart Keepsake Urn

These beautiful heart shaped glass decorative pieces are infused with your loved one’s ashes and can be complemented with your choice of 3 colors: Lily Green, Ocean Blue, and Peaceful Sunset. This unique urn can be placed in an area of prominence most befitting its beauty. When placed in light, it can be a breathtaking sight!

Orb Keepsake Urn

Another stunning decorative piece, these orb shaped urns invoke the beauty of the swirling cosmos and its glorious, unending majesty. Equally infused with your loved one’s ashes, the orbs will enhance any resting place it calls home; yet, you may find its mesmerizing depths most attuned to the palm of your hand. Offering peace and serenity, the orbs come in four colors: Lily Green, Ocean Blue, Peaceful Sunset, and White Pearl.


Coming in at the size of about a half-dollar, the Living Glass Touchstones come as a set of five keepsake urns. This can make them exceptionally meaningful because they are shared in unison between five family members or friends or kept together to create a beautiful reminder. Not only is the eternal bond between your departed loved one strengthened, but so is the bond you continuously share with those who choose to connect with you in memorial. Infused with your loved one’s ashes, the touchstones come in three colors: Ocean Blue, Lily Green, and Peaceful Sunset.

The Living Urn Planter Keepsake

As a “living” urn keepsake, this special urn will not only hold a small portion of your loved one’s ashes, but also house a living succulent or other small plant within a premium small pot in their memory. Meticulously handcrafted from high-quality premium wood, the planter keepsake expresses the vibrancy of the natural wood grains, making it a most worthy vessel for your departed loved one. Subtle and strikingly beautiful, the living urn planter keepsake keeps your loved one ever-present with you. Each premium urn has two parts: the top holds your small succulent or plant, while the bottom houses your loved one’s ashes. Eschewing the harshness of hardware such as screws or nails, the urn embeds rare earth magnets to join the two pieces together and sustain the elegance of your loved one’s final resting place.

Cremation Jewelry

Another keepsake that's becoming more popular is cremation jewelry.  With this you can wear this beautiful piece close to your heart with a small portion of your loved one's ashes. Choose between a Circle of Life necklace, Tree of Life necklace, and many more!  Alternatively, you can choose to wear your loved one's birthstone or select one of the beautiful fingerprint jewelry options.

What is a Cremation Urn?

cremation urn

A cremation urn is an secure container that can house the entirety of a person’s ashes. In many cases, they are viewed as the “main” memorial for the departed. Depending on the wishes of the departed’s family and friends, this can be the only memorial display or it can be enhanced with additional keepsake urns as well. Just as keepsake urns have their lovely qualities, cremation urns also have a style, elegance, and beauty all their own. Now let’s take a look at three popular cremation urns:

Tree Urns

The Living Urn is America's leading tree urn for burials of ashes with a beautiful, thriving tree! Choose from maples, oaks, crape myrtles, shrubs - over 60 tree options, sorted by zip code to what grows best in your area. This can serve as a beautiful way to honor a loved one with some or all of their ashes and create a living reminder of them.

Ceramic Cremation Urns

Designed for indoor or patio use, ceramic cremation urns are an elegant and popular choice for families. In the center of the urn lies a planting pot that can house your choice of a bonsai tree, houseplant, or succulent. Three colors are offered: white, beige, and blue.

Handcrafted Hardwood Cremation Urns

Made from recycled hardwood, this eco-friendly urn has a center chamber to hold your loved one’s ashes and also a small ceramic pot on top where a plant or succulent can grow. Nobel in premium wood, these urns come in three uniquely angled designs.

Bamboo Cremation Urns

Our Eco Home and Eco Burial Urns are constructed entirely of bamboo. Forgoing metal for its’ hinged top, these urns use natural wood locking pins. Their refined grains' light and natural beauty offer an impressive and honorable look, making for a beautiful memorial.

Which One is Right for You – Cremation Urn or Keepsake Urn?

There is no wrong answer when considering an urn for your departed loved one. Just as each of us is complex, unique, and truly one of a kind, how you choose to memorialize your loved one is a personal choice. Choosing between a keepsake urn vs. regular urn can lead to many possibilities. You can pick them both, for instance! Ultimately, whichever you decide to honor your loved one will be the right one, and therein lies peace. To buy your unique cremation urn and/or keepsake urn, browse The Living Urn products today!

Previous article How are Cremation Stones Made? Materials & Process