What Are Burial Urns?

| Your Tribute Founder

Share this:

Burial UrnsBurial urns are used for the containment of ashes of a deceased person. The term burial urn is often used to describe any type of cremation urn; however, a proper burial urn has a few differences when compared to a traditional urn. There are numerous sizes, shapes and materials of burial urns available. If you are planning to bury an urn there are a few important things that you should consider so that you choose the perfect urn for your loved one’s ashes.

How are burial urns different than cremation urns?

A burial urn is intended to be buried, as the name suggests, and a cremation urn can be used for any purpose. However, sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, which can cause confusion. Proper burial urns are made of weather-resistant material and are well sealed to protect the ashes from the elements. They are stronger than a traditional urn so that they can be buried directly in the ground without an urn vault. Lastly, they are less decorative and simpler in design than a cremation urn.

Can I bury a cremation urn?

Yes, it is possible to bury any type of urn; however, cemeteries will have regulations on what type of urn you can bury directly in the ground. An urn vault will be required if you are burying a traditional urn. The urn vault prevents the ground from sinking in above the urn as it biodegrades. The vault also protects the urn from the elements and keeps the ashes safe and secure. The cemetery may have a special section for natural burials where a vault is not required, but this will need to be discussed with the cemetery before you purchase the urn.

What are biodegradable burial urns?

Biodegradable “green” urns are becoming increasingly popular. They make a good choice for a burial urn for a few reasons. First, they are environmentally friendly. As the urn decomposes there is no risk to the surrounding environment. Also, the urn is often made from recycled material and the manufacturing process is friendlier to the environment. Second, by using a biodegradable urn the ashes become part of the environment. Whether the urns are buried at sea, or in a park, the ashes will return to earth naturally. Finally, biodegradable urns are often far less expensive than traditional urns, which make them a popular choice regardless of how you intend to use the urn.

Why choose a Burial Urn?

Burials urns are popular because they combine cremation with traditional burial methods. The burial of an urn is similar to a casket and it allows the family to have a graveside service and have a permanent spot in a cemetery where they can visit their loved one’s remains. Burial urns are also popular because of their lower cost. When compared to the cost of burying a body, there are significant cost savings with cremation. An urn is less expensive than a casket and the burial plot for an urn is far smaller, and less expensive, than for a casket.

What types of burial urns are available?

Burial urns are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. The most popular urns for direct burial are stone, metal or composite materials that are durable enough to withstand the elements. In addition, these materials can be buried in the ground without impacting the environment. Any type of urn, such as metal, glass, ceramic, wooden urns or other materials, can be buried within an urn vault. An urn vault increases the cost of urn burial, but allows the family to use any urn they like.


If you are looking at burial urns, make sure to consider the items above before making your decision. We recommend that you begin by speaking to the cemetery where you plan to bury the urn to see what their regulations are. They will also be able to provide you with a few burial urns that they recommend. Remember that you can use any urn to bury your loved one’s ashes; however, you will also be required to purchase a burial vault.


| Your Tribute Founder

Jason Ropchan is the Founder and CEO of Your Tribute, an online resource for Funeral and Grief information and products. He has more than 15 years experience in the funeral industry developing and marketing funeral technology. He has worked with thousands of funeral homes worldwide to help them provide online memo...