8 Best Heating Pads & Buying Guide (2021)

How many times have you thought about a heating pad? While a heating pad is not usually something we typically think about, even when we have soreness and pain, it can make life better, improve health, and allow you to live your life as it should be lived.

Before you go out and buy an electric heating pad, you need to know a little more about what is out there and why you need one. Is it to warm you up or do you have some serious pain? Do you suffer from cold feet or pain in your neck?

We have researched for you, so you can sit in the comfort of your own home, read our reviews, and make the right choice for you. So, without further ado, here are our recommendations for the best heating pads.

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What are Heating Pads and How do They Work?

By definition, a heating pad is a pad which radiates heat. When you suffer from pain or discomfort, heat therapy is an effective treatment. Heat causes blood to dilate, and the blood flow is increased. Increased blood flow to an area of pain brings relief to that area.

Heating Pad



A heating pad is designed to be placed on, or be strapped to, the area needing relief. The electronic pad will then convert the electrical power into heat.

Best Full Body Heating Pad

HealthyLine Amethyst Far Infrared Heating Pad Mat

The InfraMat Pro™ is a heating mat designed by Healthyline™. They have years of experience in the heating pad market and are an FDA-registered company. This heating mat is large. That is what we like most about it.

If you are looking for a king-sized pad which can be used for the entire body, then this is the pad for you. The mat is 6 foot in length. It is also wide enough to fit your entire body. You could lie down on this pad or place it on your chair and sit on it.

The full body heating mat is flexible and sturdy. The material is thick enough to cushion you when you are on it, but also flexible enough to fold for storage. The mat comes with a variety of functions and heat settings, ensuring that you get exactly what you need.

The semi-precious gemstones and natural jade, and ceramic stones deliver a variety of health benefits to your body. The infra-red technology penetrates the bodies tissues to stimulate your circulation. This heating mat produces a soothing heat which gets to the root of the problem.

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What Customers Like

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Natural and non-toxic
  • High-quality and large heating pad
  • Good control over settings

What Customers Don't Like

  • The size can also be a negative.

Best Heating Pad for Back Pain

Comfytemp Electric Heated Waist Wrap

This heating pad is a great piece of kit. It can be strapped to your back, targeting the area of pain or discomfort hands-free.  The pad is perfectly designed for your curves to effectively treat lower back pain, lumbar muscle aches, and cramps.

It features three temperature options (Low, Medium, or High) so you can customize your therapy session. This back heating pad also has a two hour auto-off function to prevent excessive heating and save energy.

This compact pad is great for heat therapy on the go, or out of the house (of course, you can use it in the house too). One of the complaints from heat pad users is that they have to make time for it. With this Comfytemp heating pad, you can be driving or at work and still reap the benefits. 

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What Customers Like

  • The controls are simple and intuitive
  • The pad warms quickly
  • The pad can be machine washed
  • Great fit for everyone

What Customers Don't Like

  • Not as powerful as some other models

Best Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulder Pain

Sunbeam Renue Heat Therapy Neck and Shoulder Wrap - Heating Pad with Moist/Dry Heat

The Renue heating pad is great for people who suffer from upper back, shoulder, and neck pain. This wrap makes it easy to apply heat directly to the areas which need it. The size and shape of the device make it easy to treat larger areas, and the weighted edges mean that once the wrap is placed, it will not slip or move.

RELATED: 5 Best Neck and Shoulder Massagers Reviewed

We love the look and feel of the fabric. The velveteen fabric is great for people who have sensitive skin or suffer from other skin ailments. The controls are extremely easy to use, which is good as there are a whopping sixty-four heat settings. If you are the kind of person who likes control and precision in their heating pads, then this is the one for you.

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What Customers Like

  • Comes with an extensive warranty
  • The long cord makes it easy to move around
  • The pad will switch itself off
  • The fabric is amazingly soft

What Customers Don't Like

  • Not as powerful as other models

Best Heating Pad for Menstrual Cramps

UTK Far Infrared Natural Jade Heating Pad for Pain Relief

The best thing about this pad is the infrared technology, though we also love that it contains natural jade stones. The infrared gets deep into your skin. The heating pad is great for pain, tension, and stress caused by your period, but the infrared also gives a boost to your circulation too.

The jade stones are great for helping to distribute the infrared heat and for natural healing. The combination of the two means that your physical well-being and your emotional well-being are taken care of. A therapeutic heating pad for lessening any menstrual cramp pain.

This heating pad has been crafted with function in mind, but the durability of the pad has not taken a hit. This pad will do the job, and it will do it for a long time. 

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What Customers Like

  • Great quality construction
  • Easy instructions
  • Handy travel pouch
  • A step up from regular heating pads

What Customers Don't Like

  • The jade stones add some weight

Best Heating Pad for Knee Pain

Thermotex Far Infrared Heating Pad – Knee

This Thermotex heating pad also takes advantage of infrared technology to get deep into the skin and boost your circulation. If this were any other pad, we would list that as the best feature, but that is not what we love most about this pad.

RELATED: Best Gifts for Knee Replacement Patients

What we love most, is the portability. This pad is as small as they come, while still providing the heat therapy which you need.  You can take it take anywhere.  Great for taking to sports games or hikes. You can treat your pain immediately, or use it to treat someone else.

While we recommend this pad for treating knee pain, you can also use it for your thighs or calf. If you are suffering from a large amount of pain, we would recommend other pads, but for small amounts of concentrated pain, this is one is ideal.

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What Customers Like

  • Great for targeting joint pain
  • Professionally recommended
  • Great quality

What Customers Don't Like

  • Hard to lie on

Best XL (Extra Large) Heating Pad

PureRelief XL – King Size Heating Pad with Fast-Heating Technology

This is one of the top heating pads for when pain has spread to a large area of your body.  The microfibers in this heating pad make it comfortable for long term use, which can be great for treating ailments such as arthritis. 

If you are experiencing a large amount of pain, then we always recommend seeing a doctor, but a medium amount pain can be treated with this heat therapy pad. The twenty-four by twelve-inch size means that you can treat a large area at once, such as your back or thigh. 

The LCD controller makes this pad extremely easy to use. You have six temperature settings at your fingertips, and also the option of moist heat therapy, which gives deeper and more effective muscle relief.

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What Customers Like

  • Quick heat
  • Machine washable
  • Handy storage bag

What Customers Don't Like

  • Stiff cord

Best Portable (Battery Operated) Heating Pad

BriteLeafs Far Infrared Therapeutic Rechargeable Cordless Pain Relief Heating Pad

Another pad with infrared technology. The heat will get deep into the skin and also stimulate your circulation to give all-round pain relief. The infrared in the pad also allows it to use a lower temperature than some other pads. A lower temperature means less irritation to your skin, less power consumption, and less chance of any dangerous situations.

This pad is cordless. We love a heating pad which can be taken anywhere with you. As long as you keep your pad charged, you can use wherever you wish. This portable electric pad comes with two heat settings. It is simple and can be used for extended periods (on low heat).

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What Customers Like

  • Portable
  • Convenient
  • Long operating time
  • Great for the office

What Customers Don't Like

  • Not as powerful as some models.

Best Heating Pad for Hands

TheraPAQ - Hand and Wrist Ice / Heat Wrap


Hand pain can really limit your quality of life. This heating pad can relieve your hand pain or take it away altogether. The wrap fits over your hand and wrist, bringing pain relief to both. It is also usable on either hand.

The custom fit and easy fastening straps make it easy to use, but also great for wearing for long periods of time. Wear it through the day or when you are sleeping.

The gel packs are removable and allow for hot and cold therapy. This is a great heating pad for wrist injuries, arthritis, and inflammations.

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What Customers Like

  • High-quality materials
  • Great custom fit
  • Cold gel stays cold

What Customers Don't Like

  • Can be bulky

Best Infrared Heating Pad

Far Infrared Heating Pad by iReliev

iReliev Far Infrared Heating Pad

With all-natural jade and tourmaline, the iReliev® Far Infrared Heating Pad is designed to help relieve pain with wavelengths that permeate deep into your body to help increase blood flow so your muscles and joints get the nutrients that they need.

It's ideal for recovery or a pre/post activity treatment.  The Far infrared wavelengths are engineered to permeate deeper in the back, hamstrings, shoulders, and arms.

When the jade and tourmaline stones are heated with Far Infrared Technology, they release 1500+ negative ions per square inch.  This can improve overall wellbeing because the negative ions act as the antioxidants of the air, which are essential to your overall body health.

This flexible and durable heating pad has a new and improved controller to make it easier to use.  With a five-hour timer and heat that ranges from 55-160°F, it has all the features you need for relief.  

The travel bag (included with purchase) will help keep your pad safe and make it convenient to take with you anywhere.  It also has a Velcro strap that you can use to secure your heating pad to almost any chair. This makes it easier to use the pad on your upper and lower back.

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What Customers Like

  • High-quality materials
  • Can attach to chairs
  • Great for back pain relief

What Customers Don't Like

  • Could heat up faster

Best Weighted Heating Pad

iReliev Premium Heating Pad

weighted heating pad with travel bag

The iReliev® Premium Heating Pad offers king-size comfort for the whole body plus light pressure that can help with arthritic pain, muscle ache, and stiff joints. This ultra soft pad is made with microfibers so it feels luxorious and heats up in seconds.

Whether it’s your back or your feet that need relief, we designed this pad to be moldable so you can place virtually anywhere on your body.  It comes with a travel bag so you can take it with you on the go

It has three heat settings you can adjust all the way up to 149°F, so you can get a soft warmness or a hotter therapy.  You can also get moist heat by spraying a little water on the pad.

This three pound weighted heating pad is easy to clean as it is safe for the washer and dryer.   It has a two hour auto-shut off for energy conservation and burn prevention.

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What Customers Like

  • So soft and lush
  • Stays in place
  • Good size

What Customers Don't Like

  • Some wished it got hotter

Heating Pad Buying Guide

So, what can one of the top-rated heating pads do for you? First and foremost, a heating pad generates heat. This is perfect for those cold winter nights, either curled up in bed trying to sleep or curled up in your favorite armchair with a good book.

Imagine having a heating pad in the mix. Pure heaven. Electric heating pads help to manage pain, both chronic and sudden and relieve aching muscles, cramps, injuries, and fatigue.

The great thing about electric heating pads is that you can use them on all parts of your body. Your neck, shoulders, and neck can benefit from the heat, but so can your legs, arms, feet, hips, and even your hands. If you need to relieve pain, banish cold, and find comfort, then an electric heating pad is just what you need (if you're a DIY person, you can make microwaveable version, too).

After buying one, you may wonder how you lived without it. It really is one of those purchases. Before you have one, you do not really think about getting one, but after you dive in and make that purchase, you will wonder why you did not do so sooner.

So, what are you waiting for? Why don’t you get out there and buy one? Wait, slow down. You need some more information before you start reaping the benefits of heat therapy, and our team here at Massage Gear Guru is here to help.

How to Use Heating Pads?

When you buy a heating pad, there will be instructions. Always make sure to follow these instructions. By using the pad correctly, you will stay safe and will not encounter any additional injuries. Keep the following points in mind when using heating pads:

  • Heating pads are generally used for at least fifteen minutes, but not for more than an hour (unless recommended by your doctor).
  • If there is a chance you will fall asleep when using one, then set an alarm or buy a pad with an auto shutoff.
  • Make sure your skin is free of creams before using.
  • Always remember that an injured area may lack feeling. Use a lower temperature first and work up to a higher temperature. Use on other areas too to gauge the heat level.
  • Long-term injuries are heat treatable. Short-term injuries are better treated with cold.
  • If you have a new injury or cannot get rid of a long-term injury, you should always consult your doctor and not rely solely on a heating pad.

You can also find handheld massagers and massage balls that have use heat to relax your muscles during the treatment. 

Types of Pain Treated by Heating Pads

Heating pads can relieve pain, but not all pain. If you have any of the following afflictions, you should consider a heating pad (after talking with your doctor):

  • Sore muscles after prolonged workouts or sporting games.
  • Uncomfortable back pain.
  • Stiff or painful joints.
  • Cramps and spasms.
  • Fatigue and tired muscles.

When treating pain, you should avoid heat with some injuries. Do not use heat therapy on burns, wounds, infections, and cuts. If you have sensitive skin or a skin complaint, then you should consult your doctor before using heat therapy.

Are Heating Pads Safe to Use?

Heating pads are safe if you read and follow the instructions, but there can be times where a heating pad can cause injury through negligence on the part of the user or an accident. Follow our tips for staying safe:

  • Use an auto shutoff function if you are going to fall asleep.
  • Maintain the device.
  • Check for loose or frayed wires.
  • Follow the time guidelines. If you need to microwave to heat a part of the pad, always follow the guidelines for that too.
  • Do not place the pad near combustibles or any other material which may be damaged by heat.
  • Always follow the instructions!

Are Heating Pads Safe for Diabetics?

People with diabetes often lose feeling in their legs or arms. Legs and arms are most common, but they can lose feeling in other places too. Without feeling, a heating pad may become too hot and damage skin and nerves as a result. Diabetics can use heating pads, but they need to be extra careful when using them.

Are Heating Pads Safe During Pregnancy?

The main concern with heat during pregnancy is raising the heat of your body and injuring the baby in the process. Heating pads should not be used on your stomach, but other places are fine. Using a heating pad to treat pain will not increase your core temperature.

Find more information here: how to use heating pads during pregnancy.

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Natalie Bell
 

Natalie was introduced to massage therapy and manual therapy after health issues of her own. She wants to share what she has learned to help others life happier lives.

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