Are Cotton Pillows Recyclable? ♻️

Cotton pillows have remained some of the most popular on the market due to their being comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. These pillows are widely used, but you might have some old ones that you need to get rid of. When getting rid of old cotton pillows, is it going to be possible to recycle them? Keep reading to learn all of the important details. 

Cotton Is (Sort of) Recyclable

It’s good to consider recycling things instead of just throwing them out. Pillows are often made out of materials that are mostly recyclable. However, not all pillows can be recycled. Cotton pillows might be recyclable, but it depends on various factors. 

First, you should know that cotton is only sort of recyclable. Cotton can be recycled, but it degrades in quality as it’s reused. Also, not all types of cotton can be conveniently recycled. Often, cotton will be combined with other things to make products. Even cotton pillows won’t always be made out of 100% cotton. 

Even if the pillow is made out of 100% cotton, there will be other factors to consider. For example, you need to determine if your local recycling centers will take cotton. Different recycling centers have different materials that they will and will not take. Cotton pillows are more environmentally friendly than synthetic pillows, but they’re not considered to be all that eco-friendly overall. 

When determining if a cotton pillow is recyclable, you need to look at everything that has been used to make the pillow. There could be other materials besides cotton. So be sure to check the tag to see what materials are contained in the pillow. 

Recycling Cotton Isn’t Always Economically Viable

Recycling cotton isn’t always going to be economically viable. The cost of recycling cotton isn’t always going to be worth the effort. As mentioned above, cotton degrades in quality as it continues to be reused. So it’s often more practical to just use fresh cotton instead of recycling old cotton from pillows and other sources. 

So if you’re looking to buy pillows that are recyclable, cotton pillows might not be an ideal choice. Many of the materials that are used to make the pillow might be recyclable, but that doesn’t mean that all of them will be. You’ll need to check the complete list of materials that are contained in the pillow. Generally, this information can be found on the pillow’s tag. 

Cotton Can Be Composted

Even if recycling cotton pillows isn’t a practical choice, it’s still not necessary to throw them in the trash. You could try to compost the cotton if the cotton in the pillow is indeed 100% natural cotton. Natural cotton can be shredded into small pieces and placed into a compost bin. This is a good way to get rid of cotton naturally and use it in a helpful way. 

Natural cotton will be used to create compost that can help your plants. Many gardeners have compost bins in their yards. It’s easy to make them, and they can be used to get rid of materials in environmentally safe ways. Of course, you need to make sure that whatever you put in the compost bin is truly biodegradable before moving forward. 

If the cotton pillow contains synthetic fibers, you won’t be able to use it in the compost bin. This will only work for 100% cotton pillows. So you’ll have to figure out what you have before proceeding. Knowing that this is an option will give you something to consider other than throwing old pillows out, though. 

You Can Donate Cotton Pillows

One good option to consider is donating unwanted cotton pillows. If you have old cotton pillows that you don’t need, it’s possible to donate them to various businesses. Pillows can be donated to homeless shelters, second-hand stores, charity organizations, and pet shelters. There are many organizations that could make use of pillows if they’re still in decent shape. 

It’s not prudent to donate pillows that are in very poor condition, though. So if you have old pillows that are stained, moldy, or have been exposed to bed bugs, it’s not acceptable to donate them. In some cases, you may simply have to throw old pillows out. When you have pillows that are still nice enough to be used, donating them to a worthy organization is a great way to proceed. 

Reusing Cotton Pillows

Reusing cotton pillows is another thing that you can look into. At least some materials in the pillow will be reusable. It’s common for people to use cotton and pillow stuffing to make new cushions. You could also use some of the materials in different arts & crafts projects. 

When you don’t want to waste materials, it’s interesting to come up with ways to use the materials around the house. It could be great to use old pillows to make new things, such as dog bedsOpens in a new tab.. If the materials aren’t in good shape, it’s not necessarily practical to do this, though. So use your best judgment to determine whether you should reuse the cotton pillows. 

Check out: Disposing of Old Pillows

Final Thoughts

Knowing more about cotton pillows allows you to figure out how to proceed. It might be possible to recycle cotton pillows, but it depends on various factors. Cotton is recyclable, but not all cotton will be recyclable. It depends on what the cotton has been combined with, and even then, not every recycling center will go to the trouble of recycling cotton. 

Natural cotton can be composted since it’s biodegradable. So if your cotton pillows are made out of 100% natural cotton, that will be an option. You can also look into donating the pillows or reusing them in some way around the house. If the pillows are in truly poor condition, you might just have to throw them out if recycling or composting isn’t possible. 

Cotton pillows are comfortable, and that makes them popular choices for bedding. You can buy these pillows and enjoy them for quite some time, but they aren’t the best choice when you’re looking for an eco-friendly pillow. If you’d like something that’s easier to recycle, consider going with a latex pillow. You’ll have many more options when you go with this choice, but that doesn’t mean that cotton pillows are bad. 


Was this article helpful?

Team SafeSleep

Hi! We're a team of scientists, doctors, teachers, and coaches experienced in helping people with special needs. We hope you like our research and share it with others who might find it helpful too :)

Recent Posts