Pillow Talk: Can pillows be recycled or donated?
May 2, 2007 10:17 AM   Subscribe

What do you do with extra pillows? We were on a kick for a while where we just couldn't find bed pillows of the right thickness, so we bought a bunch that didn't work and now we don't want. Can they be recycled? Donated? Is it considered unhygenic to donate them, even to shelters? Do shelters want them? (We're in Seattle.) Most are barely used or never used. The only thing I can find on Google suggests cutting them apart and using the stuffing as packing material.
posted by GaelFC to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There's a huge box of bed, couch and other pillows at our local Salvation Army. Personally, I wouldn't touch used pillows, but that's just me.
posted by sian at 10:23 AM on May 2, 2007

Save them for guests? Split them in half and make throw pillows for the bed and/or couches? Got pets or know someone who does? Pet beds.
posted by jerseygirl at 10:31 AM on May 2, 2007

What about donating them to an animal shelter?
posted by Morrigan at 10:31 AM on May 2, 2007

Pillow fort.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:37 AM on May 2, 2007 [2 favorites]

Yes, call your local animal shelter or vet's office and see if they are currently accepting pillows and or bedding.
posted by rainbaby at 10:40 AM on May 2, 2007

If there's a freecycle group in your area I bet someone will snap them up.
posted by selfmedicating at 10:46 AM on May 2, 2007

I came in to suggest freecycle, as well. You won't have any problem getting rid of them, I bet.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:07 AM on May 2, 2007

Assuming you don't use pillow shams (and none of your friends or relatives do) the pet-bed thing works really well. As far as being unhygenic, check for washing instructions. We was our pillows regularly.
posted by Robert Angelo at 12:32 PM on May 2, 2007

was -> wash
posted by Robert Angelo at 12:32 PM on May 2, 2007

When I sorted/priced donations at Goodwill, pillows were totally out of the question unless they were brand new, in sealed packaging. If you donate them to a thrift store, they will most likely be thrown out, at a cost to the store.
posted by yomimono at 7:14 PM on May 2, 2007

Just in case there's anyone out there who's like, "Used pillows? What's the BFD?" I invite you to read this quote from A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson:

"You might not slumber quite so contentedly if you were aware that your mattress is home to perhaps two million microscopic mites, which come out in the wee hours to sup on your sebaceous oils and feast on all those lovely, crunchy flakes of skin that you shed as you doze and toss. Your pillow alone may be home to forty-thousand of them. (To them your head is just one large oily bon-bon). And don't think a clean pillowcase will make a difference. To something on the scale of bed mites, the weave of the tightest human fabric looks like ship's rigging. Indeed, if your pillow is six years old - which is apparently about the average age for a pillow - it has been estimate that one-tenth of its weight will be made up of 'sloughed skin, living mites, dead mites, and mite dung,' to quote the man who did the measuring, Dr. John Maunder of the British Medican Entomology Center. (But at least they are your mites. Think of what you snuggle up with each time you climb into a motel bed.)"
posted by granted at 9:44 PM on May 2, 2007

Update: The Seattle animal shelter would not take them, saying animals chew human pillows.
posted by GaelFC at 12:35 PM on July 3, 2007

Save them for next Valentine's Day.
posted by quasistoic at 11:08 PM on July 8, 2007

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