Have an Old Pillow? Don’t Throw it Out Just Yet
According to the National Sleep Foundation, we should be aiming to replace our bed pillows every one to two years. However, just because your pillow’s stuffing has become lumpy or it has lost its firmness doesn’t necessarily mean that it is past its prime. Quite the opposite.
Before you decide to commit your pillows to the fate of being discarded, look at the ways that you can repurpose them to give them a new lease on life. An old pillow is still useful - you just need to get creative about how you use it.
Although, if you are really intent on getting rid of them then make sure that you are doing so in the most environmentally-friendly and mindful way possible. We’ll talk about this more below.
If you have been searching the question ‘What to do with old pillows’ on the internet, we’ve got the answer for you. We’ve compiled the eight most creative, sustainable, and useful ways to give a much-loved pillow either a few extra years of TLC or the send-off it deserves.
8 Things You Can Do with Old Pillows
If you have decided to repurpose or recycle your old bedding products, the first thing that you need to do is to clean them. While you should be doing this on a regular basis anyway, if you plan on using a pillow in a different manner than you originally intended or are going to donate them, you need to make sure that they are fresh and clean. Follow our insightful pillow washing guide for further instructions.
Once that is done, you can move on to the exciting part - repurposing or recycling them. Below, we’ve listed the top things to do with your bed pillows once you are finished sleeping on them.
1 - Recycle Them Responsibly
Depending on pillow fill, bed pillows can’t be simply thrown into the recycling bin nor can they simply be donated either. Make sure that if you do plan to recycle old pillows that you check with your local recycling centre on which fabrics they accept before bringing them in.
In terms of feather and Down pillows, the filling of these pillow types is compostable. It is recommended to remove the stuffing from its shell and place the pillow fill in a composting bin. The shell can then be disposed of as you would other household linen products.
However, to be truly sustainable, if your pillows are in good condition consider donating these items to your local homeless or animal shelters. Many not-for-profit organizations across North America are always looking for donations of bedding essentials including duvets, comforters and bed sheets.
Here at Westex, we are the first company in North America to offer recycled Down duvets and pillows as part of our product offerings. Westex purchases Down filling from Down and feather items that were collected, cleaned, and sterilized in Europe. We then give this recycled stuffing a new home in our bedding products.
2 - Repurpose Them as Throw Cushions
Just because your old pillows are no longer able to support your head and shoulders does not mean that they still aren’t comfy. Another great way to reuse pillows is by repurposing them as throw pillows and decorative cushions.
Pillow stuffing can easily be repurposed as filling for a decorative cushion. Either purchase some new colourful fabric and fashion it into a new throw pillow or give existing cushions a new lease on life by making them extra fluffy. Don’t forget to fluff your new decorative cushions to make them look extra cozy - take a look at our pillow fluffing guide for some tips.
3 - Create Extra Floor Seating
Do you never have enough seating space when visitors come over? If so, why not use your old pillows to create extra comfy floor seating for your guests. Simply combine the stuffing of a few pillows and any spare blankets you have lying around to create a DIY floor pouf.
Floor pillows are great for making your space look modern yet functional. They are great for lounging, reading, or for your kids when they are playing on the floor.
4 - Use Them as Pet Bedding
Bedding for pets is just as important as it is for humans. When it is time to replace your pillows, consider giving your pet a new bed for themselves. Old pillows can be covered up using a soft blanket or old clothing and will be the perfect place for your cats or dogs to snuggle up for the night.
5 - Turn Down Feathers Into Compost
As we mentioned above, Down feathers can be used as compost and fertilizer in the garden. When placing the stuffing into a compost bin, add in some vegetable scraps and used coffee granules. After approximately six months to a year, you will be left with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer that you can use in your garden for growing flowers or vegetables.
6 - Seal Up Drafty Doors
Why not repurpose your beloved pillows as a door draft stopper? This can be done easily by sewing together some old pillowcases and using the pillow filling to bulk out the stopper lining. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a sewing expert for this type of project.
7 - Use as Packing Material
Another thing old bedding items, especially pillows, can be used for is packing material. Whether you are moving house or shipping a fragile item, old pillow stuffing can be used to make sure that nothing gets broken, scratched or chipped.
Who needs bubble wrap when you have Down pillows on hand?
8 - Help Your Children Build a Fort
Or, why not keep your old duvets, pillows and blankets and create a magical, creative, and fun blanket fort for your children to enjoy for months to come. We all remember the adventures that we took in forts during our childhood. So use this opportunity to give your kids the chance to finally become a princess or prince in their very own blanket castle.
How to Keep Your Bed Pillows Fresher for Longer
While there will be a time when all bed pillows will need to be replaced, there are ways that you can keep these bedding essentials fresher for longer. Although we’ve talked about the importance of washing pillows regularly, you should also consider investing in pillow protectors.A pillow protector helps to guard your pillow against the build-up of sweat, dirt, dust mites and bacteria. At Westex, we offer a range of Down-Alternative pillow protectors including our carbon-infused cotton pillow protectors which have anti-static technology and our hypoallergenic, waterproof bamboo pillow protectors.