How much cremation ashes is left after cremation?

The amount of ashes released after the cremation

If you are planning to use cremation services, it’s important to have a general idea of the amount of ashes remaining after human remains are cremated. The expected volume of the ashes can help you choose an appropriate urn for your loved one and make plans with family members, such as spreading the ashes, sharing urns for loved one’s, or interment in a columbarium at a cemetery.

The average amount of ash left over after the cremation of an adult is about 3 to 3.5 liters or 183 to 213 cubic inches. For a child this will be 0.8 to 2 liters or 54 to 122 cubic inches and for a (premature) baby 0.3 to 0.7 liters or 18 to 43 cubic inches. Your crematorium will always know the exact volume. It is possible to disperse part of the ashes and keep the rest in an urn, cremation ash keepsake urn or piece of memorial jewelry like an ashes pendant.

The industry guide is that for every pound of body weight, allow one cubic inch of cremated remains. Standard size adult urns have approximately 213 cubic inches or 3,5 Liters of internal volume and are suitable for an average adult. 1 cubic inch is 0,0164 litres and 1 litre is 61 cubic inches.

The amount of ash depends on the wood type of the coffin, the size of the coffin, the size (length / width) of the deceased, the bone structure of a deceased person and whether one or more objects such as a soft toy or book has been placed in the coffin.

The table below is based on averages. If you are not sure of the exact volume of ash please contact your crematorium or funeral director. We apologize in advance for this table because it may be inconvenient, but we find it very important to inform you as good as possible.

Adult urns Volume liter Volume cu in          
  3.0 - 3.5 liter 183 - 213 cu in          
Baby- and infant urns Age Boy Kg Boy Lbs Girl Kg Girl Lbs Volume liter Volume cu in
  22 weeks up to 1 kg up to 2 lbs up to 1 kg up to 2 lbs 0.15 liter 10 cu in
  40 weeks up to 8.5 kg up to 19 lbs up to 8.5 kg up to 19 lbs 0.65 liter 40 cu in
  1 year 10 kg 22 lbs 10 kg 22 lbs 0.80 liter 49 cu in
  2 year 12 kg 26 lbs 12 kg 26 lbs 1.00 liter 61 cu in
  3 year 15 kg 33 lbs 15 kg 33 lbs 1.25 liter 76 cu in
  4 year 17 kg 37 lbs 17 kg 37 lbs 1.35 liter 82 cu in
  5 year 19 kg 42 lbs 18 kg 40 lbs 1.45 liter 89 cu in
  6 year 22 kg 49 lbs 21 kg 46 lbs 1.55 liter 95 cu in
  7 year 24 kg 52 lbs 24 kg 52 lbs 1.60 liter 98 cu in
  8 year 26 kg 57 lbs 26 kg 57 lbs 1.65 liter 101 cu in
  9 year 28 kg 62 lbs 28 kg 62 lbs 1.75 liter 107 cu in
  10 year 31 kg 68 lbs 35 kg 77 lbs 1.85 liter 113 cu in
  11 year 35 kg 77 lbs 39 kg 86 lbs 2.00 liter 122 cu in
  12 year 39 kg 86 lbs 43 kg 95 lbs 2.25 liter 137 cu in
  13 year 45 kg 99 lbs 48 kg 106 lbs 2.40 liter 146 cu in
  14 year 52 kg 115 lbs 52 kg 115 lbs 2.60 liter 159 cu in
  15 year 57 kg 126 lbs 55 kg 121 lbs 2.80 liter 171 cu in
  16 year 61 kg 135 lbs 57 kg 126 lbs 3.00 liter 183 cu in
Pet urns Weight Kg Weight Lbs Volume liter Volume cu in      
  up to 1 kg up to 2 lbs 0.15 liter 9 cu in      
  up to 8 kg up to 17 lbs 0.5 liter 31 cu in      
  up to 12 kg up to 26 lbs 1.0 liter 61 cu in      
  up to 20 kg up to 44 lbs 1.5 liter 92 cu in      
  up to 40 kg up to 88 lbs 2.0 liter 123 cu in      
  up to 60 kg up to 132 lbs 3.0 liter 183 cu in      
  > 60 kg > 132 lbs 4.0 liter+ 244 cu in      

How much do ashes weigh after cremation?
As a general rule, ashes following cremation will weigh between 4 to 6 pounds, or around 3.5% of the person’s original weight. In the case of children, ashes weigh about 2.5% of the original body weight. Fat and muscle do not affect the mass of cremated ashes, which means height and gender (which predict skeletal weight) can be used to accurately predict the weight of the remains. Cremated remains of adult men tend to weigh more, or about six pounds, while the cremated remains of adult women are about 4 pounds on average. For choosing a cremation ash urn you need to concentrate on volume not on weight.

How to fill a cremation ash urn?
The filling of a funeral urn is considered to be a ritual by many people. It is the last step of the funeral where the relatives bring their deceased loved one’s to the final resting place. The filling of an urn requires a certain degree of accuracy. You are free to choose whether you want to fill the urn yourself or have it done by, for example:

Your funeral director or funeral attendant
Cremated remains usually come from the funeral home contained in a thick polyethylene bag that is inside a sturdy cardboard tube or plastic temporary urn (ash container). The temporary urn will be labeled for proper identification, holds a refractory cremation stone and – depending on the country - accompanied by a certificate of cremation that is required to remain with the ashes. You can consult with your funeral director at any time whether it is possible that they do this. This is often associated with costs.

The crematorium
You can contact your crematorium to discuss whether they want to fill the urn. Again, there are usually costs involved.

Fill the cremation urn yourself
It is fairly easy to fill the urn yourself or have it filled by a family member. In the following link you will find instructions on how to fill your cremation urn and jewelry.