How to Store Pillows, Including Bed and Throw Pillows

Preserve your extra pillows using one (or more) of these simple storage ideas.

bedroom with textured wall and colorful pillows
Photo:

David Land

Most homes have at least a few pillows that need a proper storage place when not in use. Whether it’s extra bed pillows for guests between visits or seasonal throw pillows that only come out for holidays, finding storage for pillows out of sight yet still within reach is easier than you might think. Try one of the following methods for pillow storage along with tips on how to keep them fresh, plus how to dispose of them when they’ve reached their expiration date.

7 Places to Store Bed Pillows and Throw Pillows

Organized Linen Closet
Laurey W. Glenn

1. Linen Closet

One of the obvious spots to store pillows is with their counterparts, sheets and blankets, in the linen closet. If you keep guest bedding in a linen closet, it makes sense to include the pillows you would put out when making up the bed. Dedicate an entire shelf to pillows, so they can stack horizontally on one another without getting weighed down by anything else. For throw pillows, line them up vertically, almost like books on a shelf.

2. Trunk or Chest

Let storing your pillows be the perfect excuse to make use of a family heirloom or favorite antique. Place a trunk or chest at the foot of a bed and add any extra pillows. A trunk can double as a coffee table in a room where the couch pulls out for guests. Tuck the rest of the linens in there as well, so they’re together and ready when guests arrive, even if it’s unexpected. The lid of a trunk or chest helps help keep dust out, but try to remember to occasionally shake out pillows and bed linens if they’re not being used frequently.

entryway with pillow storage

Adam Albright

3. Baskets

Place extra throw pillows from your sofa or bed in a basket that matches the rest of the room’s decor. Select a basket with a wide opening so pillows of all sizes can fit comfortably. While wicker looks nice, make sure the inside of the basket doesn’t snag on the pillow’s fabric, especially if it’s delicate or has embroidery.

4. Dresser Drawers

Rarely do dressers have extra space for clothes, let alone pillows, but if that’s the case for you, they make an ideal storage spot. Drawers are more or less shaped like pillows, allowing them to lie flat within the dresser. Utilize a dresser in a guest room if you generally keep those drawers empty. This will leave space in bedroom and linen closets for other things.

5. Shelving Unit

If you’re a collector of throw pillows, exchanging them each season, holiday, or even mood, an entire shelf dedicated to them might be necessary. It can also serve as a fun (and functional) piece of decor. In a home office or craft room, place an open shelving unit along a blank wall, then file the pillows in your preferred order, such as by color, size, or order in the year you’ll put them out. Keeping the unit slightly off the wall will let longer pillows fit on the shelves without getting crushed.

6. Under the Bed

Tight on storage space? Put the area under a bed to work. The shape of most pillows is perfect to slide under narrow spaces. Find an under-the-bed storage container that fits them, preferably one with a lid and handle to make it easier when it’s time to grab them. Add a visible label so you don't forget what's under the bed, particularly if you don’t swap the pillows out often.

7. Space-Saver Bags

If under the bed is out of the question, or it’s not tall enough for a traditional storage container, consider vacuum-sealed bags. They’ll save you a significant amount of space whether it’s now under the bed, in a dresser, or in a closet. Never stuff them more than they should be to prevent rips in the bag, and take the pillows out to fluff every six months or so if you’re not using them that often.

organized linen closet with drawers

Lisa Hubbard

How to Keep Pillows Fresh

Keep pillows looking and feeling nice, whether they’re in use or in storage. Regular fluffing pillows maintain their shape, so get into the habit of doing it daily with the pillows on your bed. And remember to fluff the pillows being stored from time to time.

Washing pillows every six months will help keep them clean. This is especially important for the ones you sleep on regularly as they collect oil, makeup, sweat, and grime over time. But even stored pillows can collect dust and dirt, so schedule time to wash them as well. Every pillow is different, so be sure to read the instructions before tossing it in the washing machine. Memory foam pillows need to be treated with special care, so take note of any you own.

How to Dispose of Old Pillows

Believe it or not, pillows do eventually need to be replaced. If you’ve washed yours but it's too dingy to be brought back to life or too misshapen to be comfortable for anyone, it’s time to let it go. While not all, many pillows can be recycled to avoid falling into landfill. The American Textile Recycling Service can help you determine if your pillows are recyclable and where to drop them off. If the inside of a pillow is made of feathers or down, it can even be composted.

If pillows are in decent condition but you simply no longer need or want them, some donation centers and shelters may accept them. Animal rescue organizations will almost always accept donated pillows, along with any other bedding. Just be sure to check with your location before dropping off any used pillows.

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