What to do with Old Pillows

Do you have old bed pillows that are so worn they stopped bouncing back when you fold them in half? Maybe you have accent pillows that you’re tired of looking at. Or maybe you recently upgraded from queen to king bed pillows and need to find a new purpose for your old ones.

Thinking about throwing your old, worn pillows into the trash? Stop! There are a number of ways you can responsibly donate or repurpose an old pillow before it meets its final end. Reduce waste and read below for ideas about what to do with old pillows. 

RELATED: How to Spot Clean Decorative Pillows

14 Ways to Repurpose or Recycle Old Pillows

Compost the feathers

If your pillow is filled with down feathers, remove the feathers from your pillow case and compost them. Look up your local community compost center for dropoff options or add to your own backyard composter. 

Double up flattened pillows in one pillowcase

If your old pillow(s) have lost their volume over time, try doubling them up in a single pillowcase. This will extend their life just a bit longer and make your pillowcase look fuller in the process.

Repurpose stuffing to liven another pillow

Another option for flat pillows is to completely remove and repurpose their stuffing. Add old pillow stuffing to another pillow that needs to be “fluffed.”

Repurpose as a pet bed

An easy way to repurpose an old pillow is to convert it into a small pet bed. Either repurpose the stuffing to liven your existing pet bed, or set the old pillow as-is on the floor and let your animal sleep directly on top.

Donate to local animal shelter

Don’t have a pet? Don’t need another pet bed? Call your local pet shelter to see if they could use your old pillow for their animals. 

Use as a floor cushion

If you don’t have a pet but have a larger old pillow, consider repurposing it as a floor cushion for yourself or for guests. If you’re into meditation you can also sit on an old pillow to make meditating more comfortable.

Repurpose as shipping material

Take the stuffing out of an old pillow and use it to line boxes when shipping fragile items. You can also use the entire pillow as protection around furniture and larger items like bicycles when packing for a move.

Repurpose as a knee pad for cleaning projects (or bathing babies)

Save your old pillows and use them to protect your knees as you clean things like your shower floor or bathtubs. Have small kids? You can also use old pillows as you kneel next to the tub and bathe your babies!

Repurpose as draft stoppers

If you live in a house that gets drafty in the fall and winter months, repurpose pillow stuffing into a draft stopper. Check out this DIY tutorial for how-to.

Restuff old stuffed animals

Give new life to old, beloved stuffed animals. Repurpose stuffing from your old pillows to fill stuffed animals that have lost their volume. You might also want to give the stuffed animal a thorough clean in the process.

Refresh an old bean bag

Transfer stuffing from old pillows to flat bean bag chairs to improve their comfort and volume.

Repurpose old pillow covers as cleaning rags

If you choose to repurpose old pillow stuffing, don’t throw away the pillow covers! Cut them into squares and use them as cleaning rags before you toss them out.

Donate to a homeless shelter

If your pillow is still in good condition, call your local homeless shelters to see if they will accept it as a donation. 

Recycle the textiles

Not interested in repurposing your old pillow in your home? Is it in too poor of shape to donate? Before tossing it into the trash, consider recycling the pillow textiles. Here is a post that explains how and where to recycle textiles in more detail.

Learn how to recycle or repurpose old pillows! Give pillows new life in your home or donate to local charities.

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