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The Best Heating Pads

Corey Majeau

Heating pads are gold in a number of different situations. While they may seem like something that’s not really necessary, they can aid in a lot of different scenarios: from people who are trying to alleviate back pain to those who have circulation problems and literally have cold feet all the time. But since this is an electronic device, you need to be very wary with the specifications of the product you buy, which is why we’re going to lend a helping hand with information and product examples to put you on the right path for choosing a good heating pad.

RankProductHighlights
#1Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL

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  • Size: 12 x 24 inches
  • Available colors: 2
  • Weight: 1.45 pounds
#2MaxKare

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  • Size: 24 x 33 inches
  • Available colors: 2
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
#3Sunbeam Xpressheat

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  • Size: 12 x 24 inches
  • Available colors: 4
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
#4Carex Health Brands

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  • Size: 4.2 x 23 inches
  • Available colors: 1
  • Weight: 1.04 pounds
#5UTK

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  • Size: 23.5 x 16 inches
  • Available colors: 1
  • Weight: 4.5 pounds

Types of Heating Pads

You need to know a couple of things about heating pads before you pick one for yourself. Some really important information is knowing about the different types of pads that exist so that you can make a more informed choice that suits you better.

— Electric

These are literally pads that you can plug into a power outlet and they will let out dry heat once the elements inside them have reached a certain temperature. They are really good for when you want to draw moisture out of the skin, but for people who have sensitive skin, they might not be the best idea.

It is also not advisable to use electric heating pads for hours on end because you are exposed to the risk of skin burn. An alternative would be to seek out electric heating pads that have thermostats and timers and will automatically shut off after a certain period of time. This way, you will decrease the risks implied by falling asleep while using an electric heating pad.

— Moist

These turn the power of moist air into aid that relaxes sore muscles. You will most commonly find them in the shape of microwaveable bags that have an integrated conducting filler, but they can also be just hot water bottles. The latter category doesn’t actually produce internal heat, so they are safer compared to electric heating pads. The major benefit of moist heating pads is the fact that they provide long-lasting pain relief.

— Infrared

These have a functioning mechanism that’s often compared to the heat produced by the sun. They are also commonly used by people seeking pain relief, as the heat that comes from them does a neat job in expanding the blood vessels and making sure that fresh blood reaches the muscles and joints.

Heating Pads and Back Pain

One of the major reasons why people buy heating pads is because they help with back pain. To show that isn’t BS, let’s look at this situation from a medical point of view and determine if these products can actually serve the said purpose.

Heating therapy isn’t new at all; it’s been around since Ancient Greece when people used the sun for its therapeutic benefits. What heating therapy actually does is to boost circulation and help blood that is rich in oxygen and nutrients reach the muscles and joints in your body. This blood plays a really important part in relieving inflammation and repairing damaged muscles.

Pretty much any type of heating therapy is helpful, but some methods are more efficient than others. Heating pads are quite a common choice because they are easy to get used to and to carry around whenever needed. Powered by your home electric system, these pads can be used in just about every corner of the house, whether you’re making pancakes in the kitchen or sitting on the couch for some quality TV time.

Some people prefer a hot water bath, but the main disadvantage is that you can’t maintain certain temperatures for too long, as the water slowly cools down. Heating pads will provide you with a steady temperature because they are designed in such a way as to provide a constant level of heat as long as they are turned on.

Naturally, there is a right and a wrong way to use a heating pad or a heated mattress pad. If this is your first time using such a product, it’s best if you start with the lowest temperature setting and work your way up from there.

For example, if you are experiencing pain and stiffness, it is always best to choose a lower heat setting and then increase the intensity.  The problem here is that using the heating pad on your back isn’t an exact science.  There isn’t a predetermined period of time or an exact formula on how long you should use the heating pad.  However, it is advised that you remove the heating pad from your back after 15 to 30 minutes of use in order to avoid any potential skin burns.  If you use a heating pad on a low heat setting, it’s safe to leave it on your back for about an hour.

Rules for Safety

  • Never place a heating pad on damaged skin because you will risk further injuries.
  • If you don’t use the heating pad with a built-in timer, make sure you don’t fall asleep with the pad turned on.
  • If you notice that the cord of your heating pad is cracked or if the internal wires are exposed, avoid using the pad altogether.
  • While it’s generally safe to use a heating pad on your back if you are pregnant, it’s very important that you avoid prolonged exposure, as this could pose a threat to your baby.

Best Heating Pad Reviews

With a little bit of knowledge on the awesomeness of heating pads, it’s time to face the market and see what it has to offer so that you can make a choice amongst the best-rated products in their specific categories.

1. Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL

Specs:

  • Size: 12 x 24 inches
  • Available colors: 2
  • Weight: 1.45 pounds

Best-seller

There are plenty of good things to be said about the PureRelief heating pad, so where do we even begin? It measures 12 x 24 inches, which is pretty much that standard size for this specific type of product, but there are other chapters where it does a really good job, making perfect sense that this is one of the best-selling heating pads on the market.

It comes with a digital LCD controller that makes it easy to switch between the six available temperature settings and find the one that best suits your needs. The moist therapy option is great for people who need further muscle relief. It integrates and an automatic timer that doesn’t just conserve energy, but also provides peace of mind knowing that if you fall asleep, you are not exposed to any skin burns.

The pad is made with micro mink material on top to make it extra comfortable and a polyester padding on the bottom. The cord measures nine feet in length so you don’t have to worry about the plus not reaching the power outlet while you’re just looking to chill in bed.

ProsCons
  • Auto-shutoff.
  • Integrated timer.
  • Machine washable.
  • Storage bag included.
  • Moist heat therapy option.
  • Has some design flaws.

Who Should Buy This?

The Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL heating pad is a great deal for people who, instead of spending too much time researching heating pads, would prefer buying the product that so many others before them bought and approved of.

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2. MaxKare

Specs:

  • Size: 24 x 33 inches
  • Available colors: 2
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds

Best wearable heating pad

Our next item is a wearable heating pad that can be extremely useful for those of you who suffer from back and shoulder pain.  It is designed to be an extra-large model so that people with many different body configurations can wear it without a problem.  The heating pad measures 24 by 33 inches and has magnetic clasps that offer a secure fit.

The outside material of the heating pad is made from flannel which is extremely soft to the touch and very comfortable to wear. It comes with five different heating levels that allow you to fine-tune the heating pad as you want it, remembering to always start with the lowest possible temperature setting. It also features a timer setting for auto shutdown.

The ergonomic collar is suitable for many different neck contours and prevents heat from dissipating thanks to the way in which it closes. You can enjoy full heating at the back and the neck, but it also covers the shoulder, thus being suitable for pain throughout multiple parts of the body.

ProsCons
  • Multiple body-part coverage.
  • Machine-washable.
  • 5 temperature settings.
  • Timer.
  • Secure magnetic clasps.
  • Complaints about not being hot enough.

Who Should Buy This?

The wearable heating pad is an optimal solution for people who experience back pain, but also for those with neck and shoulder pain.

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3. Sunbeam Xpressheat

Specs:

  • Size: 12 x 24 inches
  • Available colors: 4
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds

Customer’s choice

The Sunbeam heating pad is a real hit with customers that have praised this product for its construction, good price, and results rendered time and time again. It revolves around the marketing claim that it can heat up the entire pad in half a minute, promising heating times that are 3x faster compared to what other similar pads can achieve.

The digital LCD controller delivers a quality heat meter which gets brighter as the pads increase in temperature. The controller allows you to select between the six different heating levels so that you can find the optimal setting for your own comfort.

The plush fabric of the cover is extremely soft to the touch, and you’ll basically feel like there’s a soft fleece blanket resting on your back and keeping you warm the entire time. The pad is also machine washable, which gives you peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to struggle with cleaning the product.

ProsCons
  • Fast heat-up times.
  • 6 heat settings.
  • Auto-shutdown feature.
  • Comfortable cover.
  • Questionable durability.

 Who Should Buy This?

Are you searching for the heating pad that’s really popular with customers? Then the Sunbeam pad is the one you’re looking for.

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4. Carex Health Brands

Specs:

  • Size: 4.2 x 23 inches
  • Available colors: 1
  • Weight: 1.04 pounds

Best microwaveable pad

We’ve talked about microwaveable pads in the beginning of the article, which is why we felt the need to include one here because not everyone feels safe using an electric heating pad. This particular model over here is both a heat and a cold wrap, depending on what you feel your body needs most at that moment.

The pad is filled with organic material (as it contains natural herbs and flowers) and it can basically serve as a heating pad after removing it from the microwave or a cold compress that can be very efficient if you’re suffered recent injuries. How does it work, specifically? You can either place it in the freezer for a few hours and then apply it to the painful areas, or you can heat it up if you’re more interested in heat therapy. If you’re not sure how long to heat it for, just do it for 37 seconds in a 1200W microwave, 50 seconds in a 900W one, and 1 minute and 15 seconds in a 600W one.

Thanks to its design and flexibility, you will find it super easy to stretch this pad and provide a more snug fit around areas that might be injured, like on your wrists or around the ankles.

ProsCons
  • Heating and cooling therapy.
  • Highly flexible.
  • Filled with natural ingredients.
  • Reusable.
  • Really good price.
  • Portable.
  • Can easily burn if you overheat it.

Who Should Buy This?

The Carex Health Brands pad is designed for people who have a heated pad that doesn’t rely on electricity to do its thing, for people who would love to get a heating and a cooling pad in a single product, but also for those who exercise and are prone to injuries.

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5. UTK

Specs:

  • Size: 23.5 x 16 inches
  • Available colors: 1
  • Weight: 4.5 pounds

Best infrared pad

We simply could not end our series of reviews without talking about an infrared heating pad. This UTK product is the best in its category because it has proven its efficiency time and time again, with features that most of us would expect to see in a product which (full disclosure) is not cheap at all.

Without getting into way too many details that would bore most of you, this heating pad uses the power of natural jade and tourmaline to store the heat that’s emitted by the actual heating system in order to keep your body warm for extended periods of time. It is basically a product that’s designed to target pain and trap heat on its surface to make sure that you can enjoy the full benefits of heat therapy.

The digital controller allows you to adjust the temperature setting with great precision, while the timer can be set to a maxim of four hours with 15-minute increments, which is nothing short of amazing. There is also a memory function that stores the last settings so you don’t have to shuffle between them the next time you decide to use the heating pad.

ProsCons
  • High heat settings adjustability.
  • 4-hour timer.
  • Extra-long cord.
  • Travel bag included.
  • Memory function.
  • Natural jade and tourmaline construction.
  • Very heavy.
  • Not suitable for travel.

Who Should Buy This?

The UTK heating pad is designed for people who are looking for a more upgraded type of technology and fancy the idea of having natural tourmaline and jade stones trap the heat for longer periods of time. It’s also a product for people who can afford to spend more to get a higher quality heating pad.

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Bottom Line

You may want to check out: Best Small Heating Pads

As you can see, heating pads that come from different brands may share a lot of similarities. That occurs because the technology in itself follows the same concept, so not everyone can reinvent the wheel when it comes to heating pads. The improvements that can be made consist mostly in speeding up the time it takes for the pad to heat up or the quality of the materials used which can be translated into a more durable product.

What’s even more important is to focus on heating pads that provide as many safety measures as possible: like those who have strong and resistant cords and those with automatic timers that can actually turn off the pad if you fall asleep while using it.