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4 Best Heating Pads in 2023 [Ranked & Reviewed]

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Best Heating Pads

[amazon table=”2122″]

One of the best forms of relief for back pain is some kind of heat therapy.

There’s a reason why athletes regularly enjoy sauna sessions post-workout, since heat can stimulate blood flow and provide instant relief from discomfort and pain.

For those of us who aren’t athletes or don’t have access to a sauna, a heating pad is the next best thing.

Snuggling up with a heating pad before bed, or laying it around your back as you relax can do your back a world of good.

Here are our top picks…

👑 Our Pick for Best Overall

[amazon box=”B00JA9D914” title=”Sunbeam King Size” description=”The Sunbeam king size heating pad is more of a blanket than a pad, and that’s what makes it so great. With a long cord and several heat settings, convenience and comfort are king with this pain-relief providing pad.”]

Our Other Top Picks for Best Heating Pads

Best Heating Pads Reviews

Sunbeam King Size (👑 Top Pick)

The Sunbeam king size heating pad is a widely praised option for back pain relief, and is worthy of top spot on this list.

Sunbeam specialises in making heating pads that provide relief from aches and pains in the neck, back, and shoulders. The king size pad its hottest product, and is enjoyed by many satisfied customers. There are few reasons why people rate this heating pad so highly, and why it stands out from others on the market.

For a start, this heating pad is available in several different cosy colours, so you can pick the one that’s most visually pleasing for extra relaxation. Then there’s the size. This heating pad is 12×24 inches, which makes it suitable for draping over your chair as you unwind with a book for the evening. The best part of having such a big pad is that you can target the whole back rather than just one specific area. 

Suffering from a migraine? Drape it over the top of your chair to feel the heat on the back of your head and neck. 

Experiencing lower back pain? Lay it at the bottom of your chair and feel relief across the whole of your mid to lower back.

Hurting all over your back? Place it upright against the chair so you can feel the warmth from the nape of your neck to your lower back.

This flexibility in how you use the heating pad is also helped by the extra long 9 foot cord. Whether you’re in your living room, bedroom, or even out in the garden, you’ll be able to have this pain-relieving pad with you. It’s comfortable, too. With a soft fabric on the outside, this pad will feel like a warm cosy blanket for those cold nights in. The cover is machine washable too, so maintaining it is a breeze.

As for the kind of pain relief you can expect, this Sunbeam pad offers you as many as 6 different heat settings with an auto-shutoff feature. This means you can play around with the temperature until you get it just right. You won’t have to worry about overheating since the shutoff feature will ensure you aren’t at risk of having it on for too long in a single session.

Features:

  • 6 heat settings
  • 12×24 inches
  • Available in different colours
  • XpressHeat quick heating technology
  • Machine washable cover
  • 9 foot cord
  • 5-year warranty

UTK Far Infrared Heating Pad (🚨 Best Infrared)

The UTK far infrared heating pad has a pleasing retro look to it, and is our top pick out of all the infrared heating pads out there.

What makes an infrared heating pad so effective is the use of gemstones which emit infrared rays and provide a deeper type of heat than standard pads. With this pad from UTK you can expect a much more thorough warmth, and one which radiates throughout your body to provide effective pain relief every time.

This particular pad makes use of jade and carbon fiber, which makes it suitable for sufferers of arthritis and sciatica, as well as anyone who experiences back pain or cramps. Within this heating pad are 126 individual natural jade stones, each emitting negative ions when heated with the control. As well as sounding like a holistic healing experience, this means you should experience improved blood circulation and oxygenation. That’s what makes it great for dealing with stiffness and general aches and pains.

You can adjust the temperature of this heating pad to the level which feels most comfortable for you. You can do this to the specific degree too, since you can adjust the temperature in increments of 1 degree at a time. The lowest temperature you can set this heating pad to is 103°F and it maxes out at an impressive 159°F. This makes it capable of giving off more heat than a lot of other heating pads.

Some of the other features of this infrared heating pad include auto shutting off functionality, a 9 foot long cord, and a memory function so you can save your preferences.

Features:

  • Adjustable heat (103°F-159°F)
  • 21 x 31 inches
  • 126 individual jade stones
  • Memory function
  • Auto shut off
  • 9 foot cord
[amazon box=”B00QQ60XO0″ title=”UTK Far Infrared Heating Pad” description=”The UTK far infrared heating pad is an excellent option for conditions such as arthritis and sciatica, but also general pains and aches. The adjustable heat and infrared rays given off by the 126 individual jade stones provide a very effective form of pain relief.”]

Pure Enrichment PureRelief (💥 Best for Back Pain)

The Pure Enrichment PureRelief heating pad is the best for back pain and cramps.

What makes this one of the best heating pads for dealing with aches and pains is the large 12×24 inch size, and the ultra soft micro plush fibers which make it very comfortable to the touch. There’s also the option to use either dry or moist heat. All you need to do is spray it down with water for a more damp kind of heat. This allows you to create the perfect pain relief experience you need in the moment, whether it’s your stomach or back responsible for the discomfort.

This heating pad is best used draped over your stomach or back while in a reclined position. Relax on the sofa or lay down on your bed to unwind as this pad takes care of the rest. The pad heats up very quickly so you won’t need to wait long for the pain to melt away. The 9 foot long cord ensures you won’t need to make an effort to be near a socket. 

Features:

  • 6 heat settings
  • 12×24 inches
  • Soft microplush fibers
  • Available in gray and blue
  • 9 foot long cord
  • Moist heat option
  • 5-year warranty
[amazon box=”B01KVYTV86″ title=”Pure Enrichment PureRelief” description=”This heating pad from Pure Enrichment is the perfect gift for someone who loves cozy blankets and heat therapy. Due to the microplush fibers it’s an incredibly soft and comfortable option.”]

Sunbeam Heating Pad Back Wrap

The Sunbeam heating pad back wrap is ideal for relief from lower and mid back pain.

Due to the clever wrap around design, this heating pad is highly effective at reducing discomfort stemming from lower back pain. If you want to be mobile as you experience relief from pain in your back, then there’s no better option than this one. If you’re always on the go, and you want to be doing things around the house while using a heating pad, then this wrap around back pad is an excellent choice. While you won’t be able to move too far, the 9 foot cord is long enough for you to be plugged in while retaining mobility.

There are 4 different heat settings on this heating pad, and a 2 hour auto shut off function so you won’t be at risk of forgetting you have it on and potentially causing harm. There is an adjustable waist strap which extends up to 85 inches around, ensuring you can secure the pad to fit your back like a glove.

Like other heating pads you can spray this one with water to provide a moist heat rather than a dry one if that’s what you prefer. The micro mink fabric cover of this pad is also machine washable so keeping it clean should be no trouble at all. 

Features:

  • Wrap around design
  • 23×15 inches
  • 4 heat settings
  • Moist heat option
  • 2 hour auto shut off
  • Machine washable pad
[amazon box=”B07TC7CVCB” title=”Sunbeam Heating Pad Back Wrap” description=”The Sunbeam wrap around heating back is the best option for lower back pain due to its unique design. If you want to go about your day as you get much needed back pain relief then there’s few better options than this one.”]

What To Look For When Selecting A Heating Pad

Before you invest in a heating pad, it might be worth your time taking the following factors into account to make the best decision.

Infrared or Electric?

One of the most important things you should determine from the start is whether you want a heating pad powered by electricity or one that emits infrared heat rays.

There are several reasons why you might pick one over the other, but it is generally thought that infrared pads offer more in the way of pain relief. 

Why?

Infrared rays provide several benefits such as improved blood circulation, oxygenation, and a deeper more long-lasting warmth than you’d find in a standard heating pad.

While a standard electric heating pad will only provide relief from pain while in use, an infrared one can alleviate discomfort up to 6 hours after application.

This is largely because the rays penetrate the skin and reach as far as the muscles and nerves of the body.

An infrared pad uses carbon fibers and gemstones such as jade or amethyst, which give off less EMF radiation than a typical heating pad making it more safe to use.

Of course, the trade off here is that you will pay a premium price for a good infrared pad so it isn’t ideal if you’re looking for a budget fix to your back pain.

Temperature Settings

Whichever heating pad you decide on, you should make sure it has the temperature settings you think you’ll need.

A great way to know that you’ll be satisfied is to invest in one that allows you to adjust the temperature.

Check the temperature range too since some will max out at 130°F while others, like the UTK infrared pad, go up as high as 159°F.

Also see if you have the option to use moist or dry heat. Some heating pads are made from materials which, when sprayed with water, can give off a moist heat.

Size

The size, and also shape, of the heating bad you buy is also something you should consider.

In general, a decent size for a heating pad is 12×24 inches as this will be big enough to drape over a chair and cover a broad area of your back and neck.

However, you might prefer a smaller heating pad that you can rest on your stomach to relieve pain from cramping. Or you might prefer one that’s small enough to use primarily on your neck, or even your feet.

That brings another question into the equation, what shape is best for you?

For the majority of people the standard rectangular shape will do, but if you have pain in a specific area like the neck or lower back, then you would probably prefer a wrap around.

The wrap around style will snugly fit around your lower back or neck to provide the most comfortable pain relief experience.

Some, like the Sunbeam back wrap can be fastened around your waist so that you can still do things while your back benefits from heat therapy.

Features

Some features worth looking out for include automatic shut off, and memory function.

Automatic shut off is essential since it will protect you from overheating by turning the heat off after a set period of time.

Memory function, as seen in the sophisticated UTK infrared pad, serves to ensure you never need to remember the perfect settings for pain relief.

Other features that you might find include rapid heating technology to ensure your pad is warm and ready to go in less than a minute, and machine washable covers for straightforward maintenance.

Related: Best Foot Massagers

Frequently Asked Questions About Heating Pads 

What is the best heating pad for arthritis?

The best heating pad for arthritis has to be the UTK infrared heating pad.

What makes this pad so effective for dealing with the symptoms of arthritis is the infrared rays it emits.

Unlike the standard heating pad, this infrared pad relies on the negative ions of jade stone to encourage better blood flow and oxygenation in your body.

As a result, you will be able to tackle stiffness and joint pain as well as reduce the pain caused by inflammation.

This pad also allows you to adjust the temperature to the perfect level, so you can get just the kind of pain relief you need every time.

Can you lay on a heating pad?

Yes and no.

You can lay on a heating pad, but only for short bursts of time. Due to the heat that your body generates, you will likely find yourself burning up before long.

If you really want to lay on one for a long time though, you should try to invest in an infrared heating pad that has a built-in timer.

Set it to a low heat setting, and program it to turn off after a maximum of 3 or 4 hours. That way you can get some rest feeling warm and toasty, but be careful, any longer than 4 hours and you could cause some serious damage to the skin.

If you fall asleep while laying on it, you should be ok, but if there isn’t a timer to turn off the heat you should never do this.

It’s always worth weighing up the benefits versus the risks of an activity, and laying on a heating pad is one of those you need to exercise caution with.

The reason they are typically designed to be used as mats and blankets is because then you can put the heat just where you need it at all times.

As always, make sure to read the manufacturer guidelines on how to use your specific heating pad before you try anything with it.

Are infrared heating pads better than regular heating pads?

Generally, yes.

Infrared heating pads have several benefits which make them better than the regular heating pads.

The far infrared pads as they’re known are made from the carbon fibers of a normal heating pad, but also from a number of gemstones including amethyst, tourmaline, and/or jade.

As a result of this unique composition, these premium pads give off less potentially harmful EMF radiation than the standard options.

More importantly though, the infrared heating pads will give you lasting pain relief. 

Whereas a standard heating pad will only help for the duration you have it on your body, an infrared pad can have a pain-relieving effect that lasts up to as many as 6 hours after you remove it.

The basic reasoning behind this is that standard heating pads rely on electricity to generate heat, and only really warm your skin, hence the temporary pain relief.

Infrared heating pads however rely upon natural gemstones and carbon fiber to send out infrared rays which can reach as far as your muscles, and nerves. This can even have the additional benefit of improving the circulation of blood in the body.

Related: Best Red Light Therapy Devices

A Final Word from Wellness Nova

Heating pads can be a highly effective method of relieving pain in everything from the back, neck, and shoulders to stomach cramps and arthritic joints.

If you want to better cope with symptoms of arthritis or more serious pain then an infrared pad is your best bet, otherwise you can save some money and go with a standard heating pad for general pain relief.

Article by:

Wellness Nova Team

Our detailed review has been contributed to by multiple members of the Wellness Nova Review Team to ensure the best research and highest standard of quality. Have a good or a bad experience with one of the products? Please let us know, we love the feedback!

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