Can You Donate Used Pillows to Goodwill?

When decluttering our homes, many of us face a common dilemma: what to do with items we no longer need, such as used pillows. The idea of donating to charitable organizations like Goodwill is appealing, but it’s not always straightforward. In this article, we’ll explore the policies and considerations for donating used pillows, providing guidance for those looking to contribute responsibly. Can You Donate Used Pillows to Goodwill?

Understanding Donation Guidelines

  • Health and Hygiene Concerns: The primary concern with pillow donations is hygiene. Pillows are used nightly and can accumulate sweat, skin cells, and dust mites. It’s vital to understand that for health reasons, many donation centers, including Goodwill, are cautious about accepting used pillows. We’ll examine the hygiene standards required and discuss the reasons behind these policies.
  • Goodwill’s Specific Policies: Goodwill, a renowned name in donations, has specific guidelines that vary regionally. In some locations, they may accept pillows, while in others, they might not. We’ll delve into how Goodwill’s policies differ across regions and what factors influence these variations.

Making Your Pillows Donation-Ready

  • Cleaning and Preparation: If you find that your local Goodwill accepts pillow donations, the next step is ensuring they are in a presentable and hygienic state. We’ll go through effective cleaning methods, including washing and drying techniques, that can help rejuvenate your pillows, making them more appealing for donation.
  • Assessing Condition: It’s essential to be honest about the condition of your pillows. Are they lightly used, or are they showing significant signs of wear? We’ll guide you through a detailed assessment process, focusing on aspects like firmness, odor, stains, and structural integrity, to determine if your pillows are suitable for donation.

Alternatives to Donation

  • Recycling Options: For pillows that don’t meet donation standards, recycling is an environmentally friendly alternative. We’ll explore various recycling options, discussing how to find local facilities that accept pillow materials, and the environmental benefits of choosing to recycle over discarding in landfills.
  • Creative Reuse Ideas: Repurposing your old pillows can be both fun and eco-friendly. From pet beds to outdoor seating cushions, we’ll present several creative and practical ideas for giving your old pillows a new purpose, helping to reduce waste and spark your creativity.

The Goodwill Process

Donation to Goodwill: The First Step

  • The Act of Donating: It all begins with a simple act of donation. Individuals and businesses contribute items ranging from clothing, electronics, furniture, to books. We explore the ease and satisfaction of donating to Goodwill, outlining the types of items accepted and the donation process.
  • Sorting and Processing Donations: Once items reach Goodwill, they undergo sorting and processing. This vital step ensures that only safe, clean, and sellable items make it to the store shelves. This section provides insight into the criteria used for sorting and the training of staff and volunteers in handling various types of donations.

Sales and Revenue Generation

  • Retail Stores and Online Platforms: Goodwill isn’t just brick-and-mortar; it’s also digital. The sales from both physical stores and online platforms like are crucial. This part highlights how Goodwill stores operate, the pricing strategy, and how online sales have expanded Goodwill’s reach and impact.
  • Revenue and Fund Allocation: The revenue generated from sales is the engine that drives Goodwill’s mission. This section breaks down how the funds are allocated, emphasizing community programs, job training, and employment services.

Impact on Communities and Environment

  • Job Training and Employment Services: Goodwill is synonymous with empowerment through employment. We will detail the various job training programs, career services, and employment opportunities Goodwill provides, often targeting individuals with barriers to employment.
  • Environmental Sustainability: By reselling donated items, Goodwill plays a significant role in environmental conservation. This part focuses on how Goodwill reduces waste, promotes recycling, and contributes to a more sustainable consumption model.

Volunteerism and Community Engagement

  • The Role of Volunteers: Volunteers are the backbone of Goodwill’s operations. We’ll explore the various roles volunteers play, from sorting donations to assisting in job training programs, and how these opportunities benefit both volunteers and the communities they serve.
  • Engaging with the Community: Goodwill isn’t just about donations and sales; it’s a community hub. This section will discuss the various community events, workshops, and programs Goodwill hosts or participates in, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose.


Donating used pillows to Goodwill or similar charities is a thoughtful gesture, needing careful consideration and preparation. Knowing the guidelines, readying your pillows properly, and exploring alternatives for non-qualifying ones ensures a helpful and responsible donation. Such a mindful method helps those in need and supports sustainable living, positively affecting our communities and environment.


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