How To Pack Pillows For Moving (Our 10 Best Tips)

How To Pack Pillows For Moving

When it comes to packing pillows you could just pack pillows in large boxes, slap some packing tape on the box and call it a day. But, if you’re a savvy packer you know that there is more to packing pillows than just throwing them all in a box.

First, no one wants their bed pillows to get dirty and disgusting. After all, we’re talking about the bed pillows that you lay your head on at night. Making sure your pillows arrive at your new home in pristine condition may require more than just throwing them in moving boxes.

Other pillows we’re not so concerned about. However, they’re the ones that we can use at packing material for some of our more fragile items. There are few things that are more effective at taking up the extra space (and provide cushioning) inside cardboard boxes better than pillows.

So whether you’re looking to protect your favorite sleeping pillows or are looking for ways to best utilize your pillows as extra packing materials – you’re in the right place!

Let’s dive into all the best strategies for how to pack pillows for moving.

Table of Contents

Procure the Right Packing Materials Ahead of Time

Pillows on a Bed

If you want to do this right, instead of just throwing your pillows in the trunk of your car, see this list below for items that will help.

Large Cardboard Boxes: This will depend on how many “nice” pillows you are trying to preserve. Since pillows can be big, buy larger boxes, so there is some extra space.

Packing Paper/Bubble Wrap: Use clean packing paper to spread on the bottom layer of the box for extra cushioning (and also protecting against dust and dirt). Bubble wrap works as well. If you are tempted to use another form of packing material to pad the box, avoid newspapers or any paper with ink.

Packing Tape: To seal the box, so all of your hard work is kept safe.

Plastic Bags: You will use these to wrap the pillows, so they have more protection. The plastic bags can be trash bags, moving plastic wrap, or vacuum-sealed bags.

Vacuum Seal Bags: Vacuum bags are optional, but will help you save a ton of space if you choose to use them.

Permanent Marker: So you can label the boxes with their contents and eventual location.

Organizing your Pillow Collection

The last thing you want to do is pack pillows piecemeal or one at a time. Batch the work for this part of the move and pack all of the items together.

First, go through all of the rooms and collect your pillows. Bring them to one area for sorting. Laying them down in one place will help gauge exactly how many you have and the number of boxes it might take.

Separate Pillows into Two Piles: Favorites and Padding

The age-old question: How many pillows are too many on a bed?

How many pillows are too many on a bed?

Optimize your pillow collection by putting some of them to work. However, to do that, you will want to separate the nice ones worth preserving from those that do not deserve such preferential treatment.

Time for the hard part. Which of your pillows are nice enough to warrant a box, and which ones can be used as padding for fragile items?

Which ones do you cry on? Which pillows do you prop up when you have visitors?

Make two stacks, one pile for those destined to place in a box. The other pile is for pillows to use for packing.

Wrap the Pillows in Plastic

You have divided your pillows between the nice ones and those that you can put to work.

Regardless of whether the pillows will be in boxes or used as padding, you will want to wrap the cushions in plastic wrap.

Why? Think of the shedding from the cardboard boxes, dust, and the air of a moving truck on a long-haul journey.

Finally, bugs. Who knows what hidden creatures await your belongings in the moving truck or van when you close the door? Packing pillows inside a plastic bag will help protect them during the moving process.

You have a few options on the types of plastic bags.

Large Trash Bags

Trash bags are easily the more budget-conscious options. Pillows can be enormous, so purchase large-sized trash bags. Contractor bags are huge and have the added benefit of being a little thicker to help guard against punctures and scrapes. Put one or two pillows into the trash bag and seal it with tape.

Moving Plastic Wrap

Another option is the plastic wrap used for moving by professionals. You can wrap the plastic around each pillow, keeping it in place with tape.

Vacuum Sealed Bags

Vaccum Seal Bags
Some only think of Vacuum Seal Bags for storing food, but they also work great for saving space with things like pillows, blankets and clothes.

This option costs a prettier penny, but it will preserve space if you have a ton of pillows. These bags have a sealable hole for a vacuum hose. Once you put the pillows in the bag, you can use a vacuum hose to remove the air, which compresses them down to a smaller size.

Add the Pillows to Drawers or Use Them for Extra Padding

For the pillows that will not be placed in boxes, you can now put them to use.

The great thing about pillows is their malleable form. Use this to your advantage by placing them in any empty drawers, as long as they are smaller. A large pillow can put undue pressure on the drawer and damage it.

Use the old pillows as padding for your move. They can be excellent soft barriers between items, like between a dresserOpens in a new tab. and a shelf in a moving truck. I’ve also used pillows to help cushion a tv when I didn’t have a box to put it in.

Pack the Remaining Pillows into Large Cardboard Boxes

Prepare a large cardboard box by laying down some packing paper, bubble wrap, or old linens at the bottom for extra padding.

Grab one of your pillows and put it in the box. Repeat this step until the package is almost full. Do not max it out; leave some space at the top.

Then, spread a layer of the same packing paper or bubble wrap on top. Continue the process until all of your pillows are packed.

Seal the Boxes with Tape and Label Them

Congratulations. Most of the work is complete. You just have a couple more steps until your pillows are safely packed away.

Seal each box with moving tape at the top and the bottom of the box.

Use a permanent marker and label each box with the contents and their eventual location. For example, “bedroom 1” or “living room couch.”

Pro Tip: If you want to stay extra organized, arrange your pillows by their room, such as bedroom 1, guest room, or living room, and pack them into separate boxes. The cushions might not all match or fit perfectly into the boxes, but you will have eliminated one more decision from your to-do list while unpacking.

You will avoid opening one box containing pillows for different rooms, having to decide where they need to go, and then making multiple trips.

Cross it Off the To-Do List

Packing pillows has the potential to be one of the least stressful or the lightest (literally) parts of the move, especially if you do your research ahead of time and make a plan.

Hopefully, this guide on how to pack pillows for moving streamlined the process even more, and you are now 100% ready to pack up your pillows so they are extra fluffy and clean when you finally lay your head down in your new place.


I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

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