4 Polyfill Alternatives for Sustainable Stuffing

4 Polyfill Alternatives for Sustainable Stuffing

Conventional polyfill is petroleum based, so what’s a green crafter to do? Here are some eco-friendlier options for stuffing that pillow or plushie!

We talked yesterday about how to make a pillow without buying petroleum-based polyfill. Bits of thread and tiny fabric scraps are great for some projects, but like I mentioned in that tutorial, they can leave things on the lumpy side. A few lumps are fine if you’re making something just for you or a friend, but there are times that you want your finished project to come out a bit more evenly.

1. Stuff with Scraps

One solution is to combine your scraps with another stuffing material, maybe one part scraps to two parts other stuffing. The problem is: what other stuffing? Sure, you could pick up a bag of the conventional stuff at the fabric store, but it’s essentially fluffy plastic, and what green crafter wants to buy plastic, right? Here are a couple of polyfill alternatives, along with their pros and cons.

4 Polyfill Alternatives for Sustainable Stuffing

2 & 3 Corn or Soy Fiber Fill

You can find corn- or soy-based polyfill alternatives online, and these are slightly better than their petroleum-based cousin. There are still a lot of chemicals involved in turning plants into stuffing, but at least you’re starting out with a natural material.

The other issue with corn and soy is that unless they’re organic, they are most likely genetically modified. If you feel strongly about not supporting big biotech firms like Monsanto, corn and soy products are not the greenest choice.

4 Polyfill Alternatives for Sustainable Stuffing

4. Organic Cotton Stuffing

Organic cotton stuffing is a bit pricier than corn and soy fiber fills, but it’s by far the greenest option out there. I’ve ordered organic cotton stuffing from Near Sea Naturals before and was very happy with it! It’s a bit denser than more processed fiber fills, so your project will have a bit more weight to it when it’s finished. They sell their stuffing by the pound, and a one pound box stuffed two smallish throw pillows. For one standard-sized pillow, they recommend two pounds of stuffing.

Have you found petroleum-free fiber fills that you like? I’d love to hear about other options in the comments!

Image Credits: Creative Commons photo by Guitarfool5931Hancock Fabric, Near Sea Naturals

Written by Becky Striepe

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .


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  1. Half the time “green” alternatives are even worse than the evil thing they’re replacing which is causing growing suspician of the whole green fad. Besides that, a lot of people just don’t give a s%&t.

  2. I have always wondered what people thought of dog toys with or without polyfill. I adopted a little Maltese dog a couple of years ago and he doesn’t really play with dog toys. I started making dog clothes for him and then everyone loved the dog clothes and pet apparel so I have also purchased and made dog toys, with and without the filling.
    My thought is that it could make them choke if they are aggressive chewers and ingest the material, which I can’t imagine is good.

  3. abut cotton filling–i’ve heard by some that cotton filling isn’t a good choice because it compacts, doesn’t spring back, and clumps when washed. has anyone had experience with this?

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