What Do You Do With Old Pillows?

by Tyler Moyer | | | 0 Comments

You’re not avoiding your new pillow because you’re having trouble parting with the old one, are you?

Frankly, when it comes to pillows, out with old and in with the new shouldn’t cause anything other than elation with your new sleep buddy. For some people though, it’s hard to part with the old, lumpy pillow.

It’s either a case of extreme emotional attachment or a case of not wanting to contribute to the landfill problem. So, what do you do with old pillows?

We can’t help with the whole unhealthy attachment issue, but we do have a few ideas for ways you can recycle and upcycle your old pillow.

Take a minute and read our post before you spend another sleepless night worrying about what you should and shouldn’t do about the unwelcome pillow in your life.

Pass Them on to a Friend

When you get tired of a certain pillow because it no longer fits your needs, it might still fit the needs of a friend. As long as the pillow isn’t stained or missing most of the stuffing, why not pass it on?

Before you gift your pillows to a friend or relative, make sure they’re clean. If it’s a washable pillow, by all means, put it through the washing machine. If not, at least wash the case.

Tip: You can wash and dry feather pillows. Follow the care instructions on the label.

If you prefer not to use your washer and dryer, you can always have feather pillows dry-cleaned.

Now you won't feel guilty when you start considering what to look for in a new pillow!

Pets Love Old Pillows

Don’t throw that old pillow in your dumpster into you look deep into your dog’s eyes and ask yourself, who deserves a comfortable bed more than Rover?

All kidding aside, upcycling your pillow into a dog bed is as simple as it gets. No crafting skills required!

As long as you can use scissors, needle, and thread, you can craft your dog's unique, washable bed.

And if you don’t have a pet of your own, check with a local animal shelter. Not all animal shelters accept pillows, but some do—check the website or call your local animal humane society before you drop pillows off in their donation bin.

Stuff a Bean Bag

Bean bag chairs are back in style again. You could say the bean bag chair has come a long way. What hasn’t changed is the filling inside.

Bean bag chair manufacturers often use expanded polystyrene (EPS), which is recyclable but more often than not, end up in landfills. EPS isn’t biodegradable.

The filling from bean bag chairs compacts over time. If you own one, instead of buying refills of the  Styrofoam-like beads, why not use an old pillow or two?

Harvest the Pillow Fluff

Pillow stuffing also gets a new life when you harvest it for a range of DIY craft projects.

You might not want to sleep on a pillow that’s lost its fluff, but you can use the stuffing for a decorative throw pillow. Whether you use old bed pillow stuffing to freshen up a pillow you’ve had for a long time, or you make a new one from a sweatshirt, t-shirt, or sweater, it’s an excellent wat to recycle something you’d otherwise toss in the trash.

Know anyone who makes stuffed toys? They’d love to get your old pillow stuffing. Or, use it to breathe life into one of your kid’s deflated bears.

If you’re not yet convinced anyone else would want old bed pillows for craft projects, do an online search for DIY art projects that call for stuffing.

Save on Your Energy Bill

You probably never imagined your pillows could get a second life and help you lower your energy bills. Use the pillow stuffing to make a draft stopper.

It’s a simple project using two pairs of socks, dry popcorn kernels, and pillow stuffing. Fill the socks first with the popcorn, then add the stuffing. Sew the socks together.

Voilà! You’ve created an easy fix for a drafty front door

Pillows Make Fantastic Packing Material

If you don’t mind storing your old pillows, you can use them next you move or need to ship a fragile item. They make the perfect packing materials. No need to remove the cases or pull out stuffing.

Surround the fragile item with a pillow or two, seal the box, and ship. Since pillows are usually lightweight, you won’t add much extra to the weight of the box.

Can I Put Pillows in the Recycling Bin?

Most home recycling companies don’t accept pillows since they’re not recyclable.

What you can do is an online search for a textile recycling company near you. They’re not as common as you’d think but you may find one that takes old pillows. If they don’t take the stuffing, they may take the case.

The goal of textile recycling is keeping fabric out of landfills. Fabric isn’t biodegradable and will stay in the landfill for years to come.

Have We Answered the Question What Do You Do with Old Pillows?

When you first started reading this post, you likely weren’t sure what do you do with old pillows. Let’s face it, the average person will just toss them in a bag and put them in the garbage can.

As you can see, there are many uses for old pillows.

You can give them to a friend or include them in a bedding set as long as they’re still in decent condition. Sometimes animal shelters need them, and if not, your pet can use a new bed. You can stuff a beanbag, a bear, or a box.

If you live in a cold climate, you can lower your energy bill—or at least keep the drafts from coming under the door.

What do you with old pillows? You recycle, upcycle, and buy a brand new, better-for-you bed pillow!

For a full line of pillows designed for stomach sleepers and those who just want a good night’s sleep, visit our online pillow shop. Sweet dreams!

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