A good way to manage muscle discomfort and limb pains is to expose the afflicted areas to a heat source. The healing benefits of localized heat have been known for centuries and they are still employed by various medical tools to this day. As a matter of fact, our ancestors used to heat up bags of salt or sand and then press them against their hurting limbs. We have since replaced those methods with more modern alternatives, primarily heating pads.
For the most part, heating pads are very easy to operate, light in weight, and not that demanding maintenance-wise. As for their actual usage, it couldn’t be any simpler. You just take the heated pad and you place it on the source of your ailment, be it sore muscles or limb pains. The pad then stimulates the dilation of blood vessels in the area, thus increasing blood flow and helping with the healing of the damaged tissue. With that in mind, let us find out what makes a good heating pad and what the best heating pads the market has to offer right now look like.
My Picks for The 10 Best Heating Pads
#10 Milliard Electric Heating Pad
Crafted with the latest in heat-delivery technologies, the Milliard Electric Heating Pad helps to increase blood flow and circulation to the sore areas of your body, promoting quick relief from any tissue pain. Thanks to its 3 adjustable temperature settings, you can opt for the best heat setting that is suitable for you. Designed with a plush luxurious velour cover with a vinyl heating core, it easily takes the shape of your body, leaving you feeling relaxed and comfortable throughout the treatment. Measuring 15″ x 12″, this heating pad is sufficiently large and certified by ETL, thus considered 100% safe to use.
#9 SoftHeat Preferred Plus Heating pad
Featuring 4 variable heat settings that can be adjusted through an easy to use digital controller, the SoftHeat Preferred Plus Heating pad produces both moist and dry heat. Thanks to its latest SmartHeat technology, this heating pad evenly distributes the heat at a comfortable level, providing you with quick and effective relief. Designed with a Comfortfoam pad, it takes the shape of your body, giving you relief from your aches, pains, muscle spasms, tension, and stress. It also features a long 10-inch power cord that allows you to move easily, even during more intense sessions.
#8 My Heating Pad – Neck and Shoulder Wrap
Crafted by a professional chiropractor, My Heating Pad is an all-in-one product that works great with the shoulder, back area, and the neck. Including 7 different channels, this heating pad evenly distributes heat through the pad. Measuring 19.7 inches by 1.2 inches by 11 inches and weighing 3 pounds approximately, this heating pad applies gentle pressure on the sore areas promoting relaxation and comfort. Ideal for daily heat therapy, this pad can be utilized for relieving pains caused by tension and stress, strained muscles and joints and for relaxing the upper back and shoulder area. Made from all natural materials including a soft fleece fabric on one side and cotton on the other, this pad is handmade and environment-friendly.
#7 Dr. Bob’s Neck Wrap
Constructed to take the shape of your body, Dr. Bob’s Neck Wrap is a premium quality heating pad that automatically contours your body to provide optimum relief from aches and pains and muscle strain and tension. Approved and clinically tested by US and Canadian Government UL standards, it certifies all its features and elements safe for you and your family. Measuring 24 inches by 23 inches in size, this sufficiently large heating pad features 4 heat settings, an extra-long cord measuring 9 inches, an automatic 2 hour shut off function and goes up to a maximum temperature of 175 degrees F. Designed with a high-quality micro plush cover, it comes with Velcro pieces on the chest area to help keep the pad in place.
#6 Chattanooga Theratherm Pad
Designed with high-quality materials with a flannel cover, the Chattanooga Theratherm is a premium grade heating pad that delivers intense heat therapy providing relief from various aches and pains, muscle spasm, and swelling caused by tension and heavy strain. Ideal for the shoulders, back, abdomen, legs, arms, wrist, knees, and feet, this heating pad comes with a special lockout setting that guards the controller against changing settings during the treatment. Thanks to the top-notch flannel covering, it absorbs moisture from the air and applies it to the skin. Featuring an easy-to-use digital controller, users can alter and monitor the time and temperature of the treatment.
#5 Sunbeam King Size Moist/Dry Heat Heating Pad
Ideal for curing arthritis pain and daily muscle spasms, the Sunbeam King Size Moist/Dry Heat Heating Pad is a premium quality product that is known for its reliability and effectiveness. Featuring the latest UltraHeat technology, this heating pad evenly distributes the heat over sore areas ensuring you receive quick relief. This top-notch heating pad comes with an LED controller that allows the user to choose from 3 different heat settings. Thanks to its sponge insert that can be easily removed, users can switch to moist heat therapy if needed.
nor is it heavier than most pads for that matter.
#4 BodyMed Moist Heating Pad
The BodyMed Moist Heating Pad features the latest therapeutic warmth technology that provides relief to muscle strains, joint pains, sprains, and inflammation. Well-crafted and designed, it produces its own moisture by utilizing the humidity in the air, so there is no need for any water. Equipped with a digital LCD controller it allows users to set the temperature and time with ease. The controller also comes with a lockout function that guards the settings during treatment, in case you unintendedly touch the settings. Similar to most heating pads, it comes with an automatic 15 minute shut off function and can be set to go off and come back on in one-minute intervals for up to one hour, to level the intensity of heat produced.
#3 Sunbeam 983-511 King Size
Ideal for everyday use, the Sunbeam 983-511 King Size heating pad relaxes your muscles and soothes your aches and pains with special heat therapy. User-friendly by design and loaded with great features, this heating pad includes an LED digital controller that allows you to select from 4 different heat settings. Thanks to its automatic 2-hour shut off function, it helps to save energy and prevents the pad from getting too hot. Made from high-quality fabric with micro plush lined with SoftTouch, this pad is easy to maintain and can be machine washed. Measuring 12″ x 24″ in size, it can cover large areas at once, including both your shoulders, your entire back down the spine, and legs.
#2 Sunbeam 885-911 Renue
Thanks to its uniquely designed construction, the Sunbeam 885-911 Renue heating pad provides soothing heat therapy and relief to the neck and shoulders. Featuring a heavy-duty magnetic closure and weighted edges, the pad stays in position keeping the heat in place for consistent relief. Made from soft micro plush fibers, it comes with a sponge interior so it can be utilized for both wet and dry heat. Extremely easy to use, it features a uniquely designed digital controller with LED indicator lights that display 4 heat settings. Equipped with an extra-long cord, it allows users to move around freely while you relax. Unlike most of its kind, this heating pad also includes an automatic shut off function that turns off the pad automatically after 2 hours.
#1 Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL King Size Heating Pad
Providing you with a full body relief, the PureRelief XL is a premium grade heating pad that treats sore muscles in your legs, arms, shoulders, back, and abdomen. This extra-large size heating pad features thick fibers that offer great comfort and relaxation, more so than most of the larger pads out there. Thanks to its quick heating mechanism, it heats up within a few seconds to give you fast relief from pain. It also comes equipped with moist heat technology or dry heat therapy, allowing users to select the option that they prefer from a few pre-set configurations.
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What To Look For In A Heating Pad
Believe it or not but a heating pad doesn’t just provide a therapeutic benefit for your hurting back, neck, or limbs, but it can also boost the flexibility of your muscles over time. When worn regularly, a good heating pad will increase blood flow by some margin, so as to help the blood provide more nutrients and oxygen to any sore muscles that might be troubling you. With that in mind, remember that it’s not just about comfort but practicality as well. In principle, you want a pad that is both comfortable to wear and easy to maneuver, which is more or less what sets good pads apart from lesser models.
What are Heating Pads and How do They Work?
A heating pad is a device that radiates heat to give you relief from aches and pains. Heat therapy is one of the most effective treatments for those who are suffering from pain and discomfort. Heat helps the blood dilate, causing it to flow better, allowing a better blood circulation. Blood flow to an area that is experiencing pain automatically brings relief to that sore area. Heating pads are designed to be placed on the sore area or strapped to the area experiencing discomfort. The pad then converts the power into heat, giving your sore muscles and joints quick relief.
Types of Heating Pads
- Electric Heating Pads – Considered as the most common and uniquely designed heating pads, these pads come in an array of different sizes and shapes. Easy to use, they usually feature both moist and dry heat therapy and come with an LED controller. If taken care of well, these heating pads can be utilized multiple times with no issues to speak of.
- Microwavable Heating Pads – A combination of electric heating pads and disposable patches, this type of pad is usually designed with heat retaining elements like gel-like substances or rice. This type of pad requires heating up in a microwave to the temperature mentioned in the instructions. After heating, this pad can be applied to the sore areas of your body. A budget-friendly option, this type of heating pad is safer and can be utilized while you sleep.
- Chemical Heating Pads – Unlike the above, this type of pad cannot be utilized more than once. These disposable heating pads come with both moist and dry heat therapy and can be applied to any part of the body. Moist heat from this type of heating pad can last for up to 2 hours while dry pads can go up to 8 hours. Needless to say, this type of pad is also more expensive than other types of heating pads.
Benefits Of Using A Heating Pad
- Quick and Immediate Results – People have used heat as a primary treatment for aches and pains since forever. A heating pad offers instant relief without taking any medication, while helping you soothe and relax your muscles and stiffness in the joints, giving you the comfort you deserve.
- Versatility – With the diverse range of heating pads available today, most people believe that these pads are only for the back and shoulders. Thanks to the latest developments in heat therapy, manufacturers are now crafting heating pads to cater to specific areas of the body including the spinal area, legs, abdomen, and around the neck. You can choose from heating pads that are specifically designed to provide relief to a certain area that is troubling you.
- Better Sleep – Thanks to their special heat therapy, heating pads offer special soothing and relaxing effects that automatically make you feel sleepy. They have been known to provide users with a better, longer, good night’s rest.
What To Consider When Buying A Heating Pad
- Type of Pad – Based on the benefits and features discussed above, on the types of pads available, it is essential to choose a heating pad that would meet your requirements.
- Portability – The latest heating pads are designed with a compact, lightweight and portable construction. These can be easily carried around and utilized during work, at home or even while you are traveling. However, there are many heating pads that are not compact and easy to carry around. Always check the size and weight of the pad before purchasing it.
- Controllability – One of the primary factors to consider when buying the right heating pad is the level of control you have. Being able to adjust and alter the heat settings with ease and selecting one that suits you is extremely important. This is also solely based on the surroundings and the situation as well as the surrounding temperature. Adjusting the heat in an electric heating pad and a microwavable heating pad is easy, but it is not possible to do the same with a chemical heating pad, so choose wisely.
- Warranty – It is recommended that you choose a heating pad that comes with a good warranty period. This is only to ensure you are protected if something goes wrong with the pad, not to say that you should expect one to simply break down. Most heating pads come with a one year warranty in that regard, but some manufacturers are more flexible towards the high-end part of the spectrum.
What To Remember
- Utilize the automatic shut off function, if available, as you might fall asleep with the pad on.
- Clean and maintain the device regularly as advised.
- Always check for any damaged wires or loose wires.
- Keep the heating pad away from any combustible elements or materials that could damage it.
- Always follow the time and temperature instructions included in the package.