Eco-Warrior’s Rest: Pillows Made from Upcycled Materials

As we become more conscious of our environmental footprint, the way we think about everyday items is shifting. Take, for example, pillows. We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, which means our choice of bedding is not just a comfort but an environmental decision as well. For those looking to align their sustainable values with their slumber, pillows made from upcycled materials are emerging as the conscious choice for eco-warriors seeking restful nights without compromising the planet’s resources.

The Rise of Upcycled Pillows

Upcycling, unlike recycling, involves taking materials that would otherwise be discarded and transforming them into something of greater quality or value. Pillows that are made from upcycled materials not only help to reduce waste in landfills but also require less energy and resources to produce than their brand-new counterparts.

What Materials Are Used in Upcycled Pillows?

Upcycled pillows can be filled with a variety of materials, each with its own environmental benefits and unique comfort characteristics. Here are some common upcycled materials found inside these pillows:

  • Recycled Plastic Bottles: Many pillows now contain fillers made from the fibers of recycled PET plastic bottles. These fibers are transformed into a fluffy filling that closely mimics the feel of down.
  • Repurposed Textiles: Old clothing, bedding, and other fabric waste can be repurposed into pillow stuffing, reducing the need for new materials and the energy required to produce them.
  • Reclaimed Foam: Offcuts from industrial foam production can be shredded and used as a supportive, memory foam-like pillow filling.
  • Recycled Natural Fibers: Natural fibers like wool or cotton can be reclaimed from various sources, cleaned, and processed to create a comfortable, breathable pillow interior.

The Benefits of Upcycled Pillows

Choosing upcycled pillows comes with a host of benefits for both the sleeper and the environment:

  • Reduced Waste: Upcycling diverts materials from landfills and gives them a second life as part of your bedding.
  • Lower Carbon Footprint: Producing new materials, especially synthetic fillers, is energy-intensive and generates greenhouse gases. Upcycled materials often have a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Conservation of Resources: By upcycling, we reduce the demand for new resources, conserving water, energy, and raw materials.
  • Unique Comfort: Upcycled pillows come in a variety of firmness levels and fills, offering comfort that can be personalized to individual preferences.
  • Economic Benefits: Supporting companies that create upcycled products can stimulate innovation and job creation in the green economy.

How to Choose the Right Upcycled Pillow

With numerous upcycled pillows on the market, how do you choose the one that’s right for you? Here are some factors to consider:

Material Preferences

Do you prefer a firmer pillow or a softer one? Would you rather a pillow with a natural fill or is a synthetic fill acceptable? Consider your most comfortable sleep experiences and look for upcycled materials that match your preferences.

Support and Firmness

The amount of support you need from a pillow may depend on your sleep position. Side sleepers generally require a firmer pillow to support the neck, while stomach sleepers may opt for something softer.

Allergies and Sensitivities

For those with allergies or sensitivities, look for upcycled pillows that are hypoallergenic or encased in allergen-impermeable covers.

Environmental Impact

Consider the environmental impact of different upcycled materials. While all will have a lower footprint than new materials, some may be more sustainable than others.

Quality and Durability

An upcycled pillow should also be well-made to ensure it holds up over time, maintaining both its comfort and environmental benefits.

Maintaining and Caring for Your Upcycled Pillow

To make the most of your upcycled pillow’s lifespan, proper care is essential. Here are some tips to keep your pillow in top shape:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions closely for washing and drying.
  • Use a pillow protector to shield against dust, oils, and other contaminants.
  • Fluff your pillow regularly to maintain its shape and comfort.
  • Replace your pillow when it no longer provides the support you need.

End of Life Options

Even upcycled pillows have a lifespan. Once your pillow is no longer comfortable or supportive, consider these environmentally-friendly end-of-life options:

  • Donate usable pillows to shelters or animal rescues.
  • Repurpose the pillow stuffing for crafts or as pet bedding.
  • Recycle the materials if possible, based on your local recycling program’s guidelines.

Pioneers in Eco-Friendly Pillows

Several companies are at the forefront of the sustainable bedding movement. Renowned environmental author and advocate, Bill McKibben, has emphasized the importance of aligning consumer choices with environmental values. Following in this sentiment, these companies are making great strides in sustainable pillow production:

  • Company A: Offers a range of pillows filled with 100% recycled PET fiber, emphasizing minimal packaging and transparent supply chains.
  • Company B: Specializes in organic, reclaimed natural fiber pillows, pledging a portion of profits to environmental causes.

Both these companies not only provide sustainable products but also embody the ethos of conscious consumerism that McKibben champions.

Finishing Thoughts

In a time when environmental awareness is more important than ever, upcycled pillows represent a significant step in everyday eco-conscious living. They embody the idea that sustainability doesn’t have to come at the cost of comfort and can quite literally provide the foundation for a good night’s sleep. Through responsible choices, even as simple as choosing an upcycled pillow, each person has the power to make a small yet significant impact on our planet’s health.

Top 5 Pillows Recommended By

Now, as you lay your head to rest on an upcycled pillow, take pride in knowing that your choice supports a cycle of sustainability, helping to maintain the delicate balance of our ecosystem. Sleeping soundly never felt so good.


  • Ashton Roberts

    I love learning and sharing everything about sleep. I am one of the energetic editors here at GoodSleepHub, where I talk about how to get a better night's sleep. When I'm not writing, I'm probably walking my dog Luna or trying out new sleeping gadgets. My goal is to help you sleep easier and better. Join me, and let's find simple ways to enjoy great sleep every night!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Good Sleep Hub
Available for Amazon Prime