Can You Recycle Duvets? (And Ways to Reuse)

Everyone loves to snuggle themselves under a duvet to keep warm during the cold winter season. Duvets are made from cloth sewn together to form a large bag and then filled with soft materials like down or feather. The duvet is used as the top layer of bedding that keeps you warm when you sleep in it.

Many people confuse duvets with comforters, but they are different. Comforters are flatter than duvets and must be layered with blankets to keep warm in extremely cold weather. Duvets are fluffier than comforters. Regardless of the one you choose, they are both used for the same purpose, to keep warm when you sleep.

As you use duvets, they get old and worn out; the next thing on your mind is how to dispose of them and replace them with new ones. Some people are not particular about how to properly dispose of old duvets.

However, the more environmentally conscious ones are thinking of environmentally friendly ways of disposing of their old duvets. This blog post will cover these friendly ways. So, dive in!

Can Duvets Be Recycled?

It is important to wash your duvet after using it for a while. However, as you use it and wash it, it gets old and loses quality. Once a duvet loses quality, it will not keep you warm when you lay in it, and you need to replace it. When you replace old duvets, you need to dispose of them. So, the question is, how do you dispose of old duvets?

Many people choose recycling as a way of disposing of old and unwanted materials and products. Before you take an item to the recycling center to be recycled, you need to be sure the item is recyclable.

Duvets cannot be recycled; they are produced from synthetic materials that are not recyclable. These synthetic fillings cannot be recycled; they are not environmentally friendly because they are manufactured from synthetic fibers.

Duvets are made from two layers of cloth filled with paddings held in place by lines of stitching. The layers of cloth are filled with natural or synthetic fillings. A replaceable cover protects the fillings. Although natural fillings like down can be used, synthetic fillings like hollow fiber and microfiber are the popular choice.

To understand why synthetic fibers make duvets unrecyclable, we will look at the materials they are made of.

Hollow fibers are produced from polyester, fine, hollow strands of polyester. They are called hollow fibers because they have a hollow center that traps air and provides a soothing feeling. Polyester is not considered recyclable because it sheds toxic microfibers. So, when it is used to produce other synthetic products, it is completely unrecyclable.

On the other hand, microfibers are produced from conjugated fibers of polyamide and polyester. Some microfibers are produced from polyester and nylon instead. Nylon and some types of polyamide can be recycled, but polyester cannot be recycled.

Can You Put Duvets In Recycle Bin?

The fastest way people dispose of old and unwanted items is to dump them in the recycle bin. This is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way of disposing of items, but not every item can be put in the recycle bin. Items dumped in the recycle bin are taken to recycling centers to be recycled.

No, you cannot put duvets in the recycle bins. Since duvets cannot be recycled, putting them in the recycle bin could contaminate other recyclable waste in the bin. Duvets contain synthetic fillings, and as they get old, they shed these fillings.

If these fillings get mixed with recyclable waste, they contaminate them, so they cannot be recycled. And the mixture would end up in landfills. When non-recyclable waste contaminates recyclable waste, they all end up in landfills.

If the thought of disposing of an old duvet by putting it in the recycle bin comes to your mind, ignore it. There are better ways of upcycling old and unwanted duvets, and we will look at some of these ways later on.

Can You Donate Duvets?

Donating old and unwanted items is one of the best upcycling ideas. You are disposing of the items in an environmentally friendly way, and you are doing good to humanity. If you have old duvets, you can donate them; however, you must ensure the duvets are of good quality.

Donating torn duvets is not a show of humanity. Every item you want to donate must be in good, reusable condition; only then will they be accepted and appreciated. However, charity organizations like Salvation Army do not accept duvets. Any item like mattresses, fabrics, curtains and stuffed items like pillows and duvets can be damaged by damp, so they are not accepted.

On the other hand, you can donate old duvets to a local animal shelter or animal rescue charities. The duvets will provide the rescued animals with comfort and warmth to sleep in during their stay. Many animal shelters do not select what they receive as donations, but it will be good to call them and inquire about their specific requirements.

You can also donate old duvets to homeless shelters, but you must remember that people will use them, so you should ensure the duvets you are donating are still in perfect condition. Many homeless shelters do not have enough resources to cater to the needs of the increasing number of displaced and homeless people.

They will gladly accept your donations, and the people who use them will forever be grateful to you, so ensure what you are donating can be used.

Do Duvets Shrink?

The material a duvet is made from determines if it will shrink or not. If the duvet is produced from linen or cotton, it will shrink about five to eight percent when you wash it wrongly. Other duvets shrink about three to five percent the first few times you wash them.

If your duvet shrinks after you wash it, this is what you should do;

The first thing to do is to steep the duvet in warm water for a while, then hang it and let it dry. Before hanging it, you need to iron it out while it is still wet; ironing from the center to the edges stretches the duvet.

7+ Amazing Ways to Reuse Old Duvets

Since duvets cannot be recycled, you would be wondering how then can you dispose of them. We mentioned earlier that there are different upcycling ideas you can use old and unwanted duvets for. Upcycling is reusing items in a way that creates a new item of higher quality than the original.

1. Picnic Or Beach Mat

You can use old duvets to make a beach or picnic mat. You have the choice to make it waterproof or not. To make it waterproof, you need to sew a shower curtain liner to one side of the duvet. The duvets create a smooth, clean surface you can sit on when outdoors on a picnic or at a beach.

2. Pet Bed

Another upcycling idea for an old duvet is to make a DIY pet bed. You need an old duvet, scissors, a fishing line, and a needle/sewing machine. To make a pet bed, first lay the duvet on the floor, fold one edge up about two-thirds of the way, and leave space on the other side. Then, roll up the two sides of the duvet, making pillows on either side.

You can use a sewing machine to sew up the sides of the bed, then roll up the front, where the duvet starts. Ensure you leave a space between where the pillow starts and the duvet ends, so your pet can wiggle under the duvet.

3. Cool Box

If you need a way to keep your drink and food cool in warm weather, you can make a cool box using old duvets. You need a cardboard box, an old feather or down duvet, and six plastic bags.

First, fill each plastic bag with down or feather, make it about three centimeters thick when laid flat. Using tape, seal the end of each bag and tape each bag to the sides of the box. Add your cold food or drink into the box, and it will remain chilled.

4. Sleeping Bag

You can also use an old duvet to make a sleeping bag. To do that, you would first lay out the duvet on the floor, find the bottom center point on the centerfold. Then separate the zipper and lay the duvet out some distance from the center point in any direction. After that, pin both sides of the zipper some inches from the bottom center point.

You need to check if the space between both edges of the zipper at the center will be enough. If it is, pin each side of the zipper to the duvet and stitch the zipper to the duvet. For more details on how to make a sleeping bag with a duvet, click here.

5. Moving Blanket

You can use old duvets to protect your furniture when moving them. If you have always wondered how moving companies transfer and move furniture without it chipping or scratching. All you have to do is wrap the furniture in the old duvets and secure the duvets with stretch films.

6. Plant Shield

During cold weather, some plants need to stay warm, or they will wither. You can use old duvets to cover the plants and protect them from the harsh winter weather. All you need to do is spread out the duvet over the plants you want to protect. Then place objects like bricks on the edges of the duvet to keep it in place.

7. Tote Bags

An impressive way to upcycle old duvets is to use them to create tote bags. This idea is for a fashionista; rather than spending a lot of money purchasing tote bags, you can use your old duvets to design yours. The beauty is that you have the free will to design it to meet your taste.

The best thing about making your tote bag is that all the hard work of making the bag shape is already done. All you have to do is attach two handles to the top using a strong ribbon or fabric strands. Sew a hem around the top and sides. You have made a tote bag; if you want to design it, use fabric paint.

8. Projector Screen

If you need to project and do not have a pain hall to use, you can use a white duvet as a huge movie screen. All you need to do is find a string to hang the white duvet on, point a projector at it, and have a cinema in your home.

You can also use the white duvet to create an outdoor cinema screen at night. Hang a white duvet between two trees, or you can attach it to your garden fence.


Recycling is the best way to dispose of old and unwanted items, but when you have non-recyclable items you want to dispose of, you can upcycle them instead. This blog post shows you the best upcycling ideas you can use to dispose of old and unwanted duvets. So, please, read up, and do everything you can to protect your environment.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.