30 Awesome Hacks To Recycle Your Old Bedding

recycle old bed sheets

What can I do with my old bed sheets? Like many of us during recent months, there’s been a nationwide purge of old bedding and this question has possibly popped up in the midst of the clean up.

Old sheets, pillow cases, pillows, duvets, covers and general bedding that you don’t want any more, doesn’t have to go into landfill. In fact the Salvation Army and other thrift shops around New Zealand have seen a surge in Kiwis coming in with the fruits of their lockdown declutter. 

Plus this month, it’s out with the old and in with the new. You could win a brand new Hush Alpaca Duvet in our winter promotion. Enter here.

Buying a nice new duvet, set of sheets or pillow gives you the opportunity to empty the linen cupboard but then what do you do?

We put the call out to our Sleepyhead Facebook page to find out what everyone does to repurpose old sheets & other bedding.

What do I do with my old bed sheets
Donate old bedding to a thrift shop

Donate Bedding

1. Donate your old bedding to a thrift shop is by far the most popular choice. They won’t take old stained sheets but as the saying goes: ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Hospice shops will resell most donated items. Just make sure sheets & pillow cases are washed and clean. 

2. The SPCA, your local vet or animal shelter will gladly take old sheets, pillows and duvets as they use the bedding for the animals in their care.

3. Old sheets make perfect paint drop sheets during your house renovation.

4. Also old sheets are perfect for dust covers on your furniture

5. Give them to your millennial children when they move out of home

donate bed sheets to an animal shelter
Animals will gladly sleep on your old bedding

Reduce Reuse Recycle

6. Old pillow cases are great for cleaning ceiling fans for car windscreen wipers

7. Use your old sheets and pillows cases to help teach kids how to use a sewing machine

8. Take them to pre-schools to be used to make tents, forts and huts.

9. Reuse your pillows to make floor cushions

10. Use cotton sheets in the garden as a weed layer

3 children in a tent with fairy lights
Old sheets make great kids forts & huts

11. A fitted sheet is perfect to loop from one side mirror to the other across your windshield to protect against winter frost.

12. Here’s a handy hack from Alice Matthews in Auckland. Reuse your old pillow cases, stitch them together, fill with old pillows, sheets, bedding and make into temporary mattresses for a kids sleepover.

13. Old sheets are perfect for cutting up and making into braided dog toys.

14. Reuse pillows and duvets and make into a dog bed for home.

15. Reuse sheets for drop cloths to guard against frost for tropical plants.

repurpose old bed sheets
Old sheets can be used to help protect plants against a winter frost

16. Use old cotton linens to make beeswax wraps

17. Creative use for old sheets is to shred them up and create a bathroom mat and toilet surrounds. Martha Stewart would love this one! 

18. Heather Stains suggested that old sheets knotted together were perfecting for escaping a burning building or during a hostage crisis or if you happen to held captive in prison. Martha Stewart would possibly like this one too! 

19. Reuse old bedding to help in packing breakables when you are on the move

20. Sheets are great for costume parties. Togas, obviously but one creative dad – Grant Adams from Wellington reckons you shred up white sheets and dress you kid up as a mummy! 

robber scaling wall outside building with rope made up of pillow cases

21. Repurpose old pillow cases into supermarket shopping bags.

22. Turn fitted sheets into an ironing board cover.

23. Feather & down from old duvets can be put into your compost.

24. Elizabeth McGuire in Christchurch used old pillow cases sewn onto her duvet as tabs to keep it neatly in place while on the bed.

25. Reuse your memory foam pillows(or chop them up to make smaller), roll it up tightly and take it onboard your next long haul flight to help you sleep. 

Upcycle bed sheets
Use old linen as drop sheet when painting

26. Shred your old sheets and turn them into soft hair wraps overnight for curls or ringlets.

27. Anita Marija Erceg from Auckland takes the stuffing out of old pillows and reuses it to make stuffing in new soft toys.

28. Christmas time. Use old duvet covers for santa sacks and old pillowcases for Christmas stockings.

29. Backpacking & camping hack. Turn old sheets into a sleeping bag liner to keep the sleeping bag clean. 

30. Use old pillow stuffing to make door stops around your house to prevent drafts.

pillow cases on pillows stacking on top of each other
Upcycle your old bedding

Get a Better Nights Sleep with Sleepyhead:

The sleep experts at Sleepyhead are here to ensure you get the rest you deserve.

Get more sleep tips and helpful information on our Sleep Guide.


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