Where to Donate Pillows: Mapping Out Charitable Giving Opportunities

Where to Donate Pillows: Mapping Out Charitable Giving Opportunities

Pillows are a staple in our daily lives, providing comfort during sleep and relaxation on the couch. However, when these trusty cushions become worn out, smelly, or irreparably damaged, figuring out what to do with them can be a bit tricky.

Unfortunately, most regular recycling programs won’t accept pillows in their curbside bins. Where to Donate Pillows Despite limited recycling options, there are alternatives to prevent your pillows from ending up in a landfill.

One option is to explore reuse or downcycling possibilities. If your pillows are still clean and in decent condition, consider donating them. This not only extends the life of the pillow but also reduces your overall waste footprint.

Additionally, before you go out and purchase your next pillow, it’s worthwhile to inquire about its recyclability. Making informed choices while shopping opting for recyclable or compostable products goes a long way in minimizing your environmental impact. Taking a moment to be conscious of your choices can contribute to a more sustainable approach to pillow usage and disposal.

Where & How To Donate Pillows

If you find yourself short on time for upcycling your pillows, you might be wondering about the possibility of donating them. However, it’s important to note that many thrift stores, such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army, may not accept pillows due to sanitary reasons.

Instead of heading to traditional thrift stores, consider exploring alternative charities and donation centers that might be more receptive to pillow donations:

Animal shelters: Many animal shelters welcome clean and gently used pillows for use as animal bedding. It’s advisable to stick to materials like cotton and polyester fiber and avoid donating down, which could potentially cause allergic reactions in animals.

Homeless shelters: Unlike thrift stores, most homeless shelters are willing to accept old pillows. However, it’s a good practice to contact them beforehand to confirm their specific donation guidelines.

Online donation sites: Some online platforms, such as Freecycle and Craigslist, have dedicated sections where you can post items you wish to donate for free. This can be a convenient way to connect with individuals or organizations in need.

Community centers: Local organizations, including churches and nonprofits, may accept used foam pillows and pillow covers. These items are often distributed to families in need within the community.

By exploring these options, you can find suitable outlets for your old pillows that align with their condition and materials. Whether benefiting animals in shelters, individuals in need at homeless shelters, or communities through online platforms and local organizations, there are various avenues to responsibly donate pillows that have served their time with you.

How To Repurpose Old Pillows

Unleash your creativity with a single DIY project that breathes new life into old pillows. If you have spare pillow stuffing and pillowcases.

Pet Beds:

Transform your old pillow into a cozy haven for your furry friend. For smaller pets, repurposing an old pillow provides the perfect cushioning for their comfort.

Floor Cushions:

Elevate your game nights and group gatherings by adding pillows to the floor around a coffee table. Instantly create comfy seat cushions for a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

Garden Cushions:

Skip the hassle of buying a new knee cushion for gardening. Instead, repurpose an old pillow by doubling it up and covering it with outdoor-safe fabric. Opt for a soft pillow protector to ensure a gentle experience that won’t irritate your knees.

Outdoor Seating:

Give your worn-out bed pillows a new lease on life by transforming them into outdoor furniture cushions. Reupholster old throw pillows with weather-resistant fabric to shield them from the elements, ensuring lasting comfort and style.

With a bit of imagination and some DIY magic, you can turn old pillows into functional and aesthetically pleasing items. Embrace the opportunity to create pet havens, enhance your living space with floor cushions, make gardening more comfortable, or revamp your outdoor seating with repurposed pillows. Upcycling not only reduces waste but also adds a personal touch to your home and lifestyle.

How To Dispose Of a Pillow

When it’s time to bid farewell to your trusty pillow, consider eco-friendly alternatives rather than simply tossing it in the garbage.

Textile Recycling Facility:

Reach out to a textile recycling facility to give your old pillows a second life. These facilities repurpose the stuffing for various purposes like padding, cleaning rags, and insulation, preventing them from ending up in landfills.

Compost Your Stuffing:

For feather pillows, consider removing the filling and placing it in your compost bin. Organic materials like wool, 100% cotton, and bamboo can also be composted. However, steer clear of composting synthetic fabrics like latex or fiberfill, as they may pose safety concerns.

It’s more than two years old.

It feels lumpy and sags frequently.

It no longer provides adequate support for your body, head, neck, or lumbar region.

It emits an unpleasant odor, indicating potential toxins and harmful chemicals.

It’s excessively stained.

It’s torn, and stuffing or feathers are escaping.

Different types of pillows have varying lifespans; for instance, latex pillows generally last longer than those made from fiberfill or synthetic materials. Stay informed about when to replace your pillows by referring to our guide for more details on pillow longevity. Make conscious choices not only for your comfort but also for the environment by opting for sustainable disposal methods.

How to Recycle Pillows?

When pillows are no longer suitable for donation or repurposing, recycling emerges as the optimal choice for responsible disposal.

Send Them to a Textile Recycling Facility:

Opting for a textile recycling facility stands out as one of the most effective ways to recycle old pillows. These specialized centers repurpose pillow stuffing to create a range of items, such as carpets and mats. By choosing this route, you contribute to the reduction of landfill waste, ensuring that your pillows find a second life in new and useful forms.

Compost the Pillow Stuffing:

For pillows made of biodegradable materials, composting the stuffing is a green and eco-friendly solution. By allowing the pillow stuffing to decompose in a compost bin, you ensure that it breaks down naturally without causing harm to the environment. This approach aligns with sustainable practices, providing a responsible way to recycle pillows while minimizing the ecological impact.

In essence, recycling pillows through textile recycling facilities or composting their biodegradable stuffing offers a conscientious and environmentally friendly approach. Choosing these options not only diverts waste from landfills but also contributes to a circular economy by repurposing materials for new and valuable purposes.

When Do You Need to Get Rid of Old Pillows?

Recognizing when it’s time to part ways with your old pillows is crucial for maintaining comfort and support. Keep an eye out for these signs that indicate it might be time to bid them farewell:

Lost Shape:

When your pillows no longer hold their original shape and appear flattened or misshapen, it’s a clear sign that they’ve lost their supportive structure.

Lumpy Filling:

The feeling of lumps or uneven distribution of filling within the pillow suggests wear and tear, diminishing its comfort and effectiveness.

Neck Pain:

If you wake up with neck pain or discomfort after using your pillows, it may be a signal that they no longer provide adequate support for your neck and head.


Pillows accumulating stubborn stains that resist cleaning efforts can be both unsightly and unhygienic, indicating the need for replacement.

Torn or Damaged:

Visible tears or damage to the fabric of the pillows compromise their functionality and hygiene, making replacement necessary.

Persistent Odor:

Even after washing, if your pillows emit a lingering unpleasant odor, it may suggest the presence of bacteria or allergens, signaling the end of their useful life.

By staying vigilant for these warning signs, you can ensure that your pillows continue to provide the comfort and support your sleep deserves. When these indicators become apparent, it’s time to consider saying goodbye to your old pillows and welcoming in a fresh, supportive replacement for a better night’s sleep.

How Often Should You Replace Pillows?

Following the recommendations of the National Sleep Foundation, it is advisable to replace your pillows every 1-2 years. During their lifespan, pillows accumulate millions of dust particles and dust mites, impacting the overall hygiene of your bed. Regular replacement helps maintain a clean sleeping environment. Additionally, pillows tend to lose their shape and support over time, leading to sagging and decreased comfort. Therefore, replacing pillows is necessary to ensure optimal support and a comfortable sleep experience.

While proper cleaning and maintenance can extend the life of your pillows, it’s essential to recognize when they no longer provide the same level of comfort and support. Regularly assessing the condition of your pillows and being attentive to signs of wear and tear ensures that you replace them at the right time, promoting better sleep hygiene and overall well-being.