Capturing anthropogenic CO2 in a cost-effective and highly efficient manner is one of the most challenging issues faced by scientists today. Herein, we report a novel structure-reforming approach to convert steel slag, a cheap, abundant, and nontoxic calcium-rich industrial waste, as the only feedstock into superior CaO-based, self-stabilizing CO2 sorbents. The CO2 capture capacity of all the steel slag-derived sorbents was improved more than 10-fold compared to the raw slag, with the maximum uptake of CO2 achieving at 0.50 gCO2 gsorbent–1. Additionally, the initial steel slag-derived sorbent could retain 0.25 gCO2 gsorbent–1, that is, a decay rate of only 12% over 30 carbonation–calcination cycles, the excellent self-stabilizing property allowed it to significantly outperform conventional CaO, and match with most of the existing synthetic CaO-based sorbents. A synergistic effect that facilitated CO2 capture by CaO-based sorbents was clearly recognized when Mg and Al, the most common elements in steel slag, coexisted with CaO in the forms of MgO and Al2O3, respectively. During the calcium looping process, MgO served as a well spacer to increase the porosity of sorbents together with Al2O3 serving as a durable stabilizer to coresist the sintering of CaCO3 grains at high temperatures.