How to Responsibly Reuse and Recycle Your Old Pillows

reuse recycle old pillows

Whether you are a side sleeper, stomach sleeper, or back sleeper, a pillow plays a vital role in perfect and peaceful sleep. It all depends on your preferences when choosing a pillow. In today’s high-tech era, you have several options for selecting a pillow.

With a proper pillow, you won’t get back pains or sprains, and will help you stay in the perfect posture to sleep. That’s why once you and your body get habituated to a pillow, it’s hard to part ways from it. But it is incorrect to use the same pillow for years and years.

Sweaty nights, climate changes, and pressure on the pillow will leave your pillow to change its shape, and it may become harder to sleep. Sleeping on a harder pillow will disturb your sleep, irrespective of your position. This is a sign which indicates that your pillow is getting old. If your pillow gets old, you need to change it.

When to get rid of old pillows?

Many people think their pillows will last longer, and we can see many people using the same pillow from childhood to adulthood. However, this may not apply to all old pillows. You need to say goodbye to your pillow if you observe the following observations.

  • If the pillow has lost its shape
  • If a nasty smell is coming through it even after washing.
  • If you have an uncomfortable sleep and especially if you sprain your neck
  • If the outer layer or stuffing of the pillow comes out
  • Suppose the pillow had lots of stains on it. Stains are not at all suitable for health. You need to maintain hygiene for pillows too.

If your pillows have any of these qualities, it is better to eliminate them immediately. However, you need not throw them into the dustbin. Because garbage material may go into landfills-unsuitable for the environment, if your pillows have sustainable clothing material, they can be decomposed compared to synthetic fabric. Synthetic materials cause harmful effects on the environment, just like plastic.

What to do with old pillows?

When you use a pillow for more than two years, it’s considered to be old. Throwing them into the garbage is not always suggestible, especially considering protecting the environment. So what to do with old pillows? Let us look at three significant ways to do with old pillows.

  1. Reuse
  2. Re-cycle 
  3. Donating

Let us look at these methods briefly.

Five Ways to Reuse Old Pillows

You can use old pillows for new purposes, which is the most effective approach to “get rid of” them. Old pillows don’t necessarily have to leave your house just because they aren’t appropriate for your bed. The following are some of the methods to reuse old pillows. 

1. Gardening pillows: 

Although gardening is a fun and fulfilling hobby, all the weeding, and sowing can be hard on the knees. Consider using two old pillows inside a durable pillowcase instead of purchasing a new knee cushion. Alternately, if you’re crafty, design a cover out of cloth that you can use outside to make it more sturdy.

2. Packing and moving purposes: 

When moving from one place to another, you need to pack and move your things. Moving non-delicate items is easy, but you should pack delicate items carefully. You can use these old pillows to protect these fragile items from falling or moving out of their place during transport. So, you can store these old pillows and use them while packing. But make sure to wash them before use. This purpose has another benefit too. You can decrease the wastage that occurs due to packaging in that way can reduce wastage

3. Floor cushions: 

You can prepare floor cushions using old pillows. If you have many old pillows, you can combine them all and can design a soft floor cushion. It is apt for family functions, gatherings, movie nights, or video gaming plans. You can buy a cushion cover online or design it according to your taste. However, purchasing eco-friendly clothes and fabrics such as model fabric is always suggested.

4. Beds for pets: 

making pet beds out of old pillows saves money and makes them look so cute. It keeps your pet warm and makes it feel your warmth in the cushions, making them feel safe and sound when you are not around.

5. Throw pillows: 

You can also prepare throw pillows using old pillows. Even if a pillow can no longer support your head or shoulders as you sleep, that doesn’t mean it isn’t comfortable. Get colorful fabric and make brand-new throw pillows for your living space. You can even take the filling out of several worn-out cushions to create a fluffy throw or a pillow with a different form.

Recycling Old Pillows

You can use too much damaged or worn-out old pillows for recycling. Recycled pillows can be helpful for other purposes. 

1. Recycling facility: 

Find a textile recycling facility near you and give old pillows to them. Instead of dumping them into the dustbin at home, this is one of the most acceptable ways to recycle pillows. These factories are experts at preventing cushions from piling up in landfills by recycling the old pillow stuffing and fiber to create items like carpet padding, insulation, and rags. This is one of the ways to save the environment. 

2. Create compost: 

This is another way to recycle pillows and can be considered a way to create an environmentally friendly management system. But, this can be possible if your pillows have natural biodegradable elements such as feather or cotton stuffing. Take the filling out of your pillows. You can create a nitrogen-rich fertilizer for the garden by combining the filling with collected leaves, old coffee grounds, and vegetable scraps in a compost bin. This will take around six months to a year.

Donating Old Pillows

You may want to think about donating old pillows if they are still in good condition. Many organizations require pillows, blankets, and even beds. You’re likely to find the pillows a happy new home if you can make a few calls around to discover who is collecting pillow contributions.

A few fantastic locations to check out are listed below:

  • For homeless people
  • Animal centers
  • Day care Centers
  • Charities

Try second-hand stores as well. Although many second-hand stores don’t accept pillows, some do. Make sure to call in advance and find out if they take donations of pillows.


Whether they are pillows or mattresses, it is always better for our environment if we reuse, recycle or donate things. Along with saving our environment, it also helps us decrease the waste on this planet. By reducing waste, we can probably decrease the pollution on the earth, which can be very helpful to future generations. That’s why choose wisely and keep the environment in mind whenever you do anything. 

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