Just how long you should keep your bed pillow for is up for debate, but many industry experts agree that you should replace your pillow at least once every two years.1 If you have an inexpensive synthetic pillow you will likely want to replace it sooner again.
One way or another, you are eventually going to get rid of your beloved sleeping companion. The first step is finding the right replacement pillow for you. After that crucial step, it’s time to figure out what to do with that saggy, stained pillow you used to sleep on.
Simply throwing your old pillow in the trash is beyond wasteful. Especially if you have gone all out and purchased a top-of-the-line pillow with every comfort feature imaginable.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could reuse your pillow for a practical purpose?
I have some good news for you – you can!
Recycling your old pillow is not only practical but fun too. Let’s take a look at all the projects you can undertake with that old pillow of yours…
Note: the ability to recycle your pillow will entirely depend on the type of pillow you sleep on.
1. Transform your pillow into a pet bed
I remember when I walked into the pet store when looking for a sleeping option for my dog, Pancakes. My jaw hit the floor!
Not having any other choice I begrudgingly opened my wallet. After lugging the odd sized pet mattress home I discovered that my dog refused to sleep in it. he would much prefer to curl up in my dirty laundry or lay on the lounge. Most likely because it smells like me!
Recycling your old bed pillows and turning them into a bed for your pooch solves to problems :
- It smells like you, reassuring your dog
- It gives your dog somewhere comfortable to rest
If you have a small dog or cat then you can get away with reusing a single pillow and an old sweatshirt to make this cute little bed.
Can’t sew? I got you covered. This Instructables guide will take you through the steps of repurposing your pillow with little more than scissors and a piece of fabric.
But if you have a larger dog then you may need to sew multiple pillows together. Here is another Instructables guide that shows you how to do just that.
2. Turn your bed pillow into a floor cushion!
Your floor is a grimy place. Even if you vacuum every other day, your feet track in dirt and dust, bits of food find their way into cracks and shed hairs appear as if by magic.
It goes without saying that you don’t want your fancy decorative pillows coming into contact with the floor, they will get marks and scuffs in no time at all.
But sometimes you will want to lay on the floor. Whether it’s watching a movie, getting comfortable while video gaming or those family board game nights, a good floor pillow will keep you comfortable.
Why not repurpose your old bed pillow into a floor pillow? It’s honestly as easy as buying a pre-made cushion cover that matches your decor and sliding it over your bed pillow or better yet, make your own.
This guide from home editwill allow you to craft a Japanese inspired floor pillow that is not only comfortable but looks great!
If you have extra pillows to spare you can sew them together to make a comfy floor mat, like this .Great for kids!
3. Create Decorative or Throw Pillows
You know that pile of odd shaped pillows that sits on your bed that is looked at but never rested on. Or maybe those decorative pillows in the living room that are so uncomfortable that no one will sit on them (but boy, do they look good)?
Well with a bit of creative tinkering you can recycle your saggy old pillow into a new decorative pillow. Simply choose some funky fabric and reuse the filling from your bed pillow to stuff it with.
Now I am a fan of sleek and modern pillows. None of those frilly or laces bits thanks.
Chances are, my home’s decor is not the same as the decor found in your home. That is why it was difficult for me to recommend a single guide on making a decorative pillow.
Fortunately, Addicted2Decorating came through with their post on ,30 Decorative Pillow Tutorials. With so much choice, you will surely find a pillow style to suit your home.
4. Kneel On A Re-purposed Garden pillow
While gardening may be a relaxing hobby, there is no arguing that it can be brutal on your knees. That’s why many avid gardeners carry around a small flat pillow, to rest their knees on as they dig and plant.
As you would expect, garden pillows get dirty rather quickly. But that doesn’t stop them from being any less comfortable. A small flat pillow can be quite difficult to track down in stores. So why not recycle your bed pillow into one?
This DIY garden pillow guide by Spoonflower is my personal favorite. Flat, portable and comfortable. I simply substituted the rice for pillow stuffing.
If that’s not up your ally why not try your hand at crafting this kneeling pad, it has a removable cover for easy washing.
5. Use old pillows as packing material
Moving house? You will no doubt have accumulated a whole bunch of fragile collectibles in your stay at your current residence. If you are unable to separate yourself from them you may find yourself thinking:
How the @#$% do I move these without breaking them?
That’s where old pillows come in handy. You can use the old pillows as packing filler to prevent your most loved possessions from coming to harm. From protecting fragile china plates from shattering to stopping furniture from getting scratched up, the soft padding that a pillow provides is perfect for moving.
Of course this means that you will need to hang onto those old pillows “just in case you move”, which may not be all that practical. If you see yourself moving in the next couple of years then you should start collecting them now. Store the old pillows in vacuum bags until needed. It will really cut down on space.
6. Block The Breeze With A Draft Stopper Made From Pillow Stuffing
If you read our guide on how to keep the bedroom warm in winter you would see that we recommend draft stoppers as a great way to block that cool winter breeze from chilling you in your sleep.
Using little more than old pillow stuffing, socks and a bit of popcorn for weight, you can create your own draft stopper. Here is a great guide from OneGoodThingByJille detailing how to do just that.
Don’t want to butcher your socks for the sake of creating a breeze blocker? This guide will take you through the steps of creating a draft stop out of an old pillow case and polyester fill from your pillow.
7. Use the pillow stuffing to give inured stuffed animals a new life
If your little one has been holding onto his favorite stuffed animal for years than chances are that it is starting to look a little “played out”. Maybe your pet dog has even sped the process up, scattering fluff all over your house.
Fortunately, you can put your child’s tears to rest. Simply reuse the stuffing from your old pillow to give stuffed animals a new lease on life.
Carefully undo the stitching on the toy until you create an opening large enough to poke stuffing into. Continue filling the toy with stuffing until it regains it’s original shape.
Now all that’s left to do is carefully the teddy back up. Congratulations, you are now a certified stuffed animal surgeon.
Not feeling confident? Here is a great guide on repairing stuffed animals.
8. Hamster bedding
Pamper your hamster with some luxuriously soft bedding! Simply tear open the side of your pillow case and remove as much stuffing as needed to line your hamsters cage with.
Once the bedding is overly soiled, replace it with more pillow stuffing until there is none left. While your pillow is still headed to the trash, you are at least getting a second use out of it.
9. Let Someone Else Recycle Your Pillows
Perhaps you just are not feeling crafty. Maybe you have no use for any of the recycled pillow solutions above. Whatever the reason, you will be pleased to know that you can unload your old bedding directly to a textile recycler.
A textile recycler will take your old pillows and turn them into things like industrial rags, carpets and insulation.
There is likely a textile area in your area. Just be sure to phone ahead as not all recyclers accept old pillows. One of our readers recommended GemText Recycling, a pillow and bedding recycler who have hundreds of drop-off locations available.
If you don’t sleep on a pillow then perhaps it is time to consider making the switch. At least then you will be able to partake in some of these fun recycling activities!
What do you do with your old pillows? Let me know in the comments below!