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While most of us have hung onto the same pillows for far longer than we should, the National Sleep Foundation recommends that you replace your pillows every one to two years. While this really doesn’t seem like long at all, pillows go through a ton of wear and tear, as they’re being used for hours at a time, hundreds of times a year. Plus, they accumulate all sorts of dirt and bacteria, much of which comes from our own body (ew). So, what are you supposed to do with all of those old pillows that you’re disposing of every couple of years? We’re going to take a look at how to dispose of old pillows, so you can ensure you’re not hurting the environment while doing so.

Don’t Toss or Recycle Pillows Yourself


First rule of thumb when it comes to disposing of old pillows – do not throw them in the garbage or recycle them yourself. Not only will they end up in a landfill if you toss them yourself, but they can be dangerous to marine life. Our pillows are not 100% composed of completely harmless materials, much of which is actually toxic. tells us more about why we shouldn’t take it upon ourselves to correctly dispose of our old pillows:

“Like mattresses and other common bedroom items, pillows aren’t always as pure as you might think. Unless your pillow is made of 100 percent natural, sustainably-sourced latex, all-natural wool, charcoal or regular bamboo, or silk, they’re often subjected to flame retardants to meet federal fire regulations. Also, from the pillow fillings to the covering itself, many are made of — or treated with — potentially harmful synthetic materials and chemicals including polyester fibers called polyethylene terephthalate (PET), as well as toxic polyurethane. It’s especially important to keep this out of our oceans and away from marine life.”

Use As Packing & Moving Material

Saving old pillows to use as packing and moving material is a great way to recycle your old pillows – if you have room, of course. If you’re living in a small space, a few extra pillows can take up a lot of valuable closet space. In this case, consider asking your family or friends if they may have a use for them, especially if they have a big move coming up. explains why old pillows make the perfect packing and moving material:

“Keep old pillows around to use as packing filler or for moving. Vacuum storage bags can be a good way to compress them until needed. Then, when you have a box of delicate items to ship or want to protect furniture from scrapes, you have them handy. This is a good way to use solid memory or latex foam pillows, since the materials can be cut to size.”

Check With Local Animal Shelters

What better way to recycle your old pillows than to donate them to animals in need? Animal shelters need to keep their expenses down and your old pillows can contribute to making the perfect doggy bed. explains why donating your old pillows to an animal shelter or charity store is one of the best uses for them:

“These places often accept donations of used bedding and pillows for use in animal crates. Once you find a shelter in need, arrange a time to drop off the pillows. Or bring pillows to a thrift store or charity near you if they are still in fair shape, with no holes, stains or lumps.”

We offer a wide variety of waste disposal options, including how to correctly dispose of your old pillows, with services readily available online. Reach out to us to see what we can offer you.

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