Reusing and Recycling Sleeping Pillows
We’ve said this before and so have people whose entire expertise is on sleep—sleeping pillows should be replaced approximately 18 to 36 months. This is a large window of time (between 1.5 years to 3 years!), but you’ll know the telltale signs. Among the signals, it starts to lose its ability to support your head and neck while you sleep and it becomes visibly stained, or old-looking, over time.
When the time comes, you don’t have to toss your sleeping pillow. Here are a few ways you can reuse your pillow as it is laid to rest, in a manner of speaking.
Donate Your Sleeping Pillow to an Animal Shelter
Shelters typically accept sleeping pillows for their animals. As dogs and cats aren’t as finicky and just want something soft to sleep on, your old pillows will find new life here. Just make sure that the shelter you plan on donating your sleeping pillows to accepts them. While the grateful canine or feline won’t be the discerning type, make sure you get your pillow ready for donation. This means washing your pillow and making sure that you’ve refurbished it as much as you can.
Shelter dogs, or dogs in general, will take your old sleeping pillows with no complaints.
If your pillow is still good enough human use, some homeless shelters accept them as well. As with animal shelters, just make sure that the shelter you plan to donate to accepts them.
Pack Stuff Away with Your Sleeping Pillow
Let’s say your pillow cannot be reused as a sleeping pillow in any circumstance, not even for sheltered animals. In this strange hypothetical, you could start using bits and pieces of it for other purposes.
If your pillow had (past tense, rest in peace), down or polyester filling, it’s a pretty effective packing material if you don’t have anything else on hand. It’ll keep fragile items nicely protected. Christmas ornaments, for example, are perfect for these fills—it’s fragile but very light, so it won’t really test the fill’s ability to act as packing material. Further, you could just use the whole sleeping pillow as one big piece of packing material if you’re moving something larger.
Demote Your Sleeping Pillow from Sleep to “Soft Thing”
When your sleeping pillow isn’t good enough for sleep, it’s probably still good enough to be a soft thing to rest, lay or lean on. A demoted sleeping pillow is particularly good for support when laying on the floor, like when you’re watching something on TV while laying on the carpet.
You’ve got a ton of utility here. Got housework that requires you to be on your knees? Soft thing for your knees. Got a picnic and just want a bit more cushion while laying on the grass? It’s time to bring out soft thing! If something calls for support or cushion, it’s time to make use of soft thing. When your sleeping pillow’s at the end of its shelf life, how you reuse it is only truly limited by your ingenuity.