We are doing our best to recycle or donate anything that is not coming with us on moving day. There is one thing we’ve been holding onto that not even our animal shelter will take: old pillows.
I am not a pillow expert. All I knew about pillows before today is that you’re supposed to change them regularly because of dust mites. (Yuck I saw that Oprah show.) During my research on how to recycle old pillows (make dog beds) I discovered that there are many eco-friendly pillows to choose from. The cool thing about eco-friendly pillows is that they are made from renewable resources and last much longer than cotton, polyester, and down filled ones (the kind I’m sending to the dump because there seems no alternative-sewing machine is packed). The uncool thing is the price. The investment for a full family will be substantial. Even the kiddy pillows are pricey. This brings me to the question of the day:
Is your child ready for an eco-friendly pillow?
Experts suggest waiting until a child is approximately two years of age and out of a crib before a pillow is introduced. Judith Owens, pediatric sleep expert, says that older kids don’t actually need pillows either. This explains why my four year old is often found in a happy slumber on the floor or at the foot of her bed. Sleep experts also say a child’s pillow should be:
- Smallish (about the size of an airline or decorator pillow)
- Firm (not filled with down)
- Thin (to avoid suffocation)
Though I haven’t tried organic pillows yet, here are some I plan on considering for our new home:
Pure natural latex rubber from BEAN Products
Dust mites cannot breed in latex. While these pillows don’t sound or look comfortable to me, it seems many of the child sized pillows have latex filler. Bean products explains why this is a good choice for green parents:
“Natural latex rubber is a renewable resource, healthy for the environment, organically grown and processed, a material that produces sustainable employment for thousands and pure comfort for millions, is non-toxic even if burned, and finally biodegradable at the end of its lifecycle.”
I’d love to hear from a real person who has used one. Do they smell like a hot water bottle?
Pure Grow Wool pillow:
As well as promising that their wool is chemical free, biodegradable, and resistant to dust mites and mildew, the company insists that the sheep are fed a healthy diet and “handled with the utmost care.”
Buckwheat hull Ecopillows from Many Moons Alternatives
Ecopillow buckwheat hulls are triple cleaned, dried, and organically grown in Canada. I read a lot of reviews, and many swear that once you go buckwheat you never go back. These pillows apparently make tranquil swooshing sounds when you move in your sleep. Sounds nice, but do they wake your sibling across the room? I love that these pillows are meant to last up to ten years. I also like that you can just order the hulls rather than the pillows. Could I make my own buckwheat pillow?
If your child uses an organic pillow and you are happy with your purchase, please leave a comment! (Adult pillow reviews welcome too.)
Related Posts on Safe Sleeping
- Organic Crib Mattresses
- Media Misrepresents Cosleeping
- Painting the Baby’s Nursery
- Rest Well on an Eco-friendly Bed
Image: flickr user tamakisono under a Creative Commons license
[This post was written by Tara Benwell.]
Buckwheat pillows have been around for thousands of years in Asia. Many health care practitioners recommend buckwheat pillows because they are extremely supportive and restore natural alignment in the neck and spine. We manufacture each pillow by hand, we do not mass-produce them. We offer a wide range of sizes and styles to suit every purpose (we made the travel-size pillow with kids in mind too! The perfect size for your little one). We use only certified organic Canadian-grown buckwheat hulls and you can choose your pillow in organic cotton too! Easy to care for, easy to sleep on. Make your LAST pillow an Ecopillows brand buckwheat hull pillow from Many Moons Alternatives!
So where and how can we get rid of our old pillows?
Thanks Kelley. I am totally leaning that way! I love that you are a Canadian company.
I hope someone can answer your question better than I can. All of my research about old pillows led to the landfill. This is the same problem with mattresses, though the recycling hotline said there are a few places that will disect a mattress for the springs inside. (You have to live near a big city, though.)
At least if we buy pillows that last up to ten years from now on we are doing our part.
If you’ve got talent, you can make dog beds. Though some people say dogs chew up human pillows, which is why shelters won’t take them.