Do Animal Shelters Take Old Pillows? Explained!

Generally, pillows have an average life span of three years. And you might be wondering about what to do with your old pillows and beddings.

If you don’t want them to go wasted and want to help animals, then donating your old pillows to animal shelters can be the best choice.

To save time, you can contact the nearest animal shelter and talk to them about dropping off your old bedding. It will make you feel good, but it will be a great help to animal shelters whose aim is to provide animals with comfort.

Double-check with the shelter if they accept your old pillows and bedding because you don’t want to overburden the shelter with unnecessary stuff.

Give a full read to the article to understand how to donate your pillows and what things to remember before donating pillows. Likewise, we also discuss what to do with old pillows if animal shelters don’t accept them.

Do Animal Shelters Take Old Pillows?

Do Animal Shelters Take Old Pillows

Yes, animal shelters take old pillows and other bedding to ensure comfort to animals. It is a great idea to donate your old pillows, blankets, and cushions to animal shelters, as many animals can feel a little safer by this act.

Since animal cages are made of steel, wood, or other rigid materials, they desperately need a layer of cushion.

You can contact or visit your local animal shelter or call an organization to see whether they accept old pillows or not. If they do, they’ll provide you with an appointment for dropping off the pillows.

If you have ever owned a cat or a dog, or even if you see someone owning one, you must’ve noticed how much these animals adore soft beddings. Cats and dogs living in shelters are no different from other cats and dogs.

Therefore, donating to an animal shelter with cats and dogs should be preferred.

If you opt to donate it to an animal shelter with Larger animals or birds, it might not be helpful to them.

Because the majority of the birds don’t prefer sleeping on soft beddings and the single pillows are not enough for a large animal’s body size.

One thing you can do here is to sew the pillows together to make them larger so that big animals also benefit from it.

Things to Remember Before Giving Your Old Pillows

donate old pillows to animal shelter

Probably the pillows you will donate to animal shelters are old and worn out. They might have a heap of dust or stains on them.

So before you pack them for delivery, keep some essential tips in your mind:

    1. Ensure to wash them with suitable quality detergents that are antimicrobial. Like humans, dogs also don’t like to sleep on dirty pillows.
    2. Keep an eye on the condition of the bedding. There should not be any holes as holes are not safe for humans. In the same way, they are not safe for animals either because they can clump.
  1. If the comforters you are opting to donate are too big, cut them into smaller pieces and sew the ends. The reason behind doing so is that most animals don’t like sharing beddings, especially the old ones who are habitual of sleeping alone.
  2. You should not consider donating torn Beddings or having strings hanging out of them. It may cause problems to the animals, which can be hazardous.
  3. Don’t forget to check out whether the animal shelter accepts donated bedding. Don’t show up there all at once with a ton of pillows and comforters. Call or email them first and tell them how many pieces you want to donate and the pieces’ condition. Doing so is very crucial to save you and their time.

What If The Animal Shelter Doesn’t Take My Pillows?

If, by any chance, the animal shelter doesn’t accept your pillow, then do a quick search to locate linen recycling. You can also search for a textile recycling facility near you.

Although it can be difficult to search for companies that recycle pillows or beddings, you still have other options.

Post the pictures of old pillows and comforters online and tag some pet owners or animal shelters; this way, whoever needs them will pick them up.

You never know when and where someone needs the pillows for their pets. Your donation can make a huge difference in an animal’s life; therefore, make it your priority to donate beddings for animals.

Is It Fine to Throw Pillows In a Recycling Bin?

Pillows are not recyclable in any way, and hence you cannot recycle them in any manner. Therefore, you should not be throwing your old pillows in the recycling bin.

If they are filled with stains or worn out, you can donate them to a garment recycling facility. Although such facilities are not well known, you can search on google about the nearest recycling facility and hand over pillows to them.

Other Things To Do with Your Old Pillows

If animal shelters refuse to take your old pillows, you can recycle them in many more ways.

1- Make Packaging Materials

It can be specifically helpful when you are shifting to somewhere else. Wrapping your belongings into pillow covers is a great idea to save them from scratches and dents. Since you can cut your pillows into tiny pieces, they can be ideal as memory foam pillows.

2- Make Pet Beds For Your Animals

While you intend to help the animals in the shelter, you can apply the same thing to your animals. Either put the pillow under them or make bedding for them by dewing 3 to 4 pillows according to their body size.

3- Donate Them To Other Needy People Or Shelter Homes

If you look around you, you can find homeless people who lack facilities like pillows and comforters. So you can donate your pillows to them.

Similarly, donating your bedding to shelter homes where different people live with limited facilities is another good choice.

Not All Shelters Take Old Beddings

Another point to remember is that every shelter doesn’t accept old beddings. You can even come across shelters that charge you for taking old pillows. And the reason they say so is that they think you are dumping your old beddings at their shelter.

Their argument isn’t useless either because many people dump their unnecessary items and increase the burden of shelter homes.

Therefore, even if any shelter, whether an orphanage or animal shelter, refuses to take your old pillows, don’t get disheartened and use them in any other way.


Donating is such a great act, especially for innocent organisms like animals. Therefore, donating bedding and pillows to animal shelters is ideal when you are confused about what to do with your old pillows.

Animals like Cats and dogs love to sleep on soft surfaces; therefore, your pillows can be pretty helpful to them.

But before donating, you need to make sure that your pillows are not too worn out, washed properly, and don’t have holes.

Also, before showing up in front of any animal shelter with a pile of your old pillows, contact them first to know if they accept donated stuff. If they reject you in any case, search for the recycling facility that is nearest to you and donate to them.

Don’t think of dumping your old pillows into the recycle bin as there is no way they can be recycled. Instead, you can recycle them at home by yourself with the help of different ideas. Using them for packaging and making bedding for your pets is one of the ideas.

Not all shelters, including animal shelters, accept old pillows; therefore, don’t get disheartened and use them in other ways.

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