If you have an aversion to using medication, or simply just want a more natural solution, then you may be looking into using heating pads. Heating pads are amazing little inventions, and can be used to relieve different types of pain: muscle cramps or soreness, joint pain, arthritis, and much more! However, not every heating pad is made the same.
You want one that is going to provide relief without having to worry about burning, auto-off functions to eliminate fire hazards, and one that is going to have the dimensions to suit the part of your body you will be using it on. Luckily, we’ve done all of the research so you don’t have to, and have come up with the best heating pads money can buy!
Best Heating Pad – Comparison Table
Below, we’ve created a handy table for you to easily compare each product against another, and help narrow down your search for the best heating pad for you. Here is our list of the best heating pads of 2018.
|Heating Pad||Heat Settings||At a Glance|
|Sunbeam Xpress Heat||6 settings||Extra-large, feel heat in 30 seconds, LCD controller, auto-off feature, moist heat option|
|BodyMed Electrical Digital Moist Heating Pad||3 settings||No water needed, comes in 3 sizes and 2 colors, temperature is set in degrees, 60-minute timer|
|Sunbeam 732-500 King Size||3 settings||Large switch ideal for arthritis sufferers, absorbent sponge included, long reach,|
|Sunbeam Body-Shaped Heating Pad||3 settings||9-foot cord, velcro straps extend up to 70 inches, removable hot and cold pack|
|Sunny Bay Body Heating Wrap||N/A||6 colors, microwavable and freezable, all-natural rice filling, large enough to cover entire back|
|HealthSmart TheraBeads||N/A||Moist-heat therapy, microwavable, 100% portable with no cords, soft shape and cover|
|Mind and Body Wrap||N/A||Dual-sided provides either warmth or cooling effect, microwavable and freezable, odor and mold-resistant|
|Sunbeam 885-911||4 settings||Auto-off feature, dry or moisture-heat, two color options, ultra-soft fabric, perfect for neck and shoulder pain|
Now that you’ve taken a look at the best heating pads on the market, scroll down further to see each heating pad in-depth, to answer any questions you may have about the products.
Sunbeam Xpress Heat - Most Versatile Product
When you need pain relief, you need it now. You don’t want to have to wait minutes before you actually feel the heat. With the Sunbeam Xpress, you’ll feel relief in as little as 30 seconds! Its extra-large size (12” x 24”) is perfect for athletes or those looking to relieve back pain. The plush, reversible cover is machine-washable and also comes in two attractive colors. A digital LCD controller will operate between your choice of 6 heat settings, allowing you to completely customize your heat therapy sessions. There is also an auto-off feature, for both your health and safety. This heating pad also provides the option of using moist heat, for a deeply therapeutic option.
Some consumers that while they enjoyed how hot the heating pad can reach, the LCD controller also gets very hot sometimes.
- LCD controller is easy to read
- 6 heat settings for customizable heat therapy sessions
- Option for moist heat therapy
- Feel warmth in just 30 seconds
- Sometimes controller can get hot
BodyMed Electrical Digital Moist Heating - Best Product for Fibromyalgia
Some consumers that while they enjoyed how hot the heating pad can reach, the LCD controller also gets very hot sometimes. Coming in 2 colors and 3 sizes, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs! This is consistently one of the top-rated heating pads on the market today, and is great for treating fibromyalgia and muscle pain associated with sports. In fact, it is often used in rehab and physical therapy facilities. By using the moisture from the humidity in the air, it creates its own moisture, which is great for therapeutic muscle and joint relief.
The digital LCD screen is easy to read, and gives you the option of three different heat settings. The LCD controller features a “lock screen” to ensure you don’t mess with the heat settings unintentionally. The temperature is set in degrees, unlike many competitor products, so you have precise control over the heat. There is also an “auto-off” timer, which can range from 1 minute, up to an hour. The only downside, is that some consumers prefer the auto-off timer to have options of longer than an hour. This is definitely the best heating pad for fibromyalgia!
- Auto-off timer ranges from 1 to 60 minutes
- Easy-to-read LCD controller
- 3 heat settings, and a lock screen prevents accidental altering of heat settings while in use
- Comes in various sizes and colors
- Some consumers would like the option of the "auto-off" to be set for longer than an hour
Sunbeam 732-500 King Size - Best for Arthritis Sufferers
For best heating pads, consumer reports have shown that the Sunbeam 732-500 King Size heating pad is a great one for arthritis sufferers. The extra-long, 9-foot power cord provides flexibility to use in various positions to best treat aches and pains with ease. With the inclusion of a sponge insert to work inside the pad, it applies moist heat and helps permeate aches more effectively than just dry heat.
The slide controller has a big switch to make it easier for those with arthritis to operate. Featuring three different heat settings, you can choose your favorite program. The large size makes it a great choice for those with leg and hip pains, or back pain that can be difficult to treat with smaller heating pads. While this is an excellent heating pad, there were some consumers who felt that the pad doesn’t get hot enough, or have enough heat settings.
- Big switch on control makes it ideal for those with arthritis
- Large size ideal for hard-to-reach places
- Extra-long power cord gives users more flexibility
- Some felt the pad wasn't hot enough or didn't have enough heat settings
Sunbeam Body-Shaped Heating Pad - Most Accomodating Product
The 732-500 isn’t the only pad with a 9-foot power cord! Sunbeam is keeping consistent with making things as convenient as possible with their body-shaped heating pad! It includes a flexible, soft Velcro strap which extends up to 70 inches, allowing you to wrap the pad around your back, waist, leg, etc. securely. The soft fabric pad is gentle against the skin, and is completely machine-washable.
A removable hot and cold gel pack is perfect for mobile therapy, allowing you to take it to work, in the car, or wherever else you may need some relief. The control is minimal, but comes with 6 different heat settings, shutting off automatically after two hours. Some users reported the pad being very hot when used at levels higher than medium, however this depended greatly on the user.
- Removable hot and cold gel pack is excellent for mobile therapy
- 9-foot cord allows flexibility
- Soft velcro strap ensures pad fits anywhere, mobile
- 6 heat settings with auto-shut-off
- Some users reported heat being very hot after medium heat setting
Sunny Bay Body Heating Wrap - Best Natural Product
The Sunny Bay Body Heating Wrap is perfect for those who don’t like the idea of being plugged into a wall all day. Available in 6 different colors, the pad is made of polyester, while the filling is natural rice. If you need heat therapy, all you have to do is pop it into the microwave. If you want something cool, just set it in the freezer. The pad retains both heat and cold very well.
At 10” x 24”, it’s large enough to cover most backs, hips, legs, etcetera. Some may worry about the rice moving around, but due to the interior chamber structure, it stays in-place and even. The cover is washable and gentle against skin. It should be noted that there is a mild cooked-rice smell when the pad is heated up in the microwave.
- Comes in a variety of colors, with the cover being easily washable
- Extra-large size is ideal for backs and legs
- The filling is made of natural rice
- Slight cooked-rice smell when heated
HealthSmart TheraBeads - Best Moist Heat Product
Moist heat is often deemed more effective than dry heat alone, for its ability to penetrate the muscles and joints more easily, thus delivering more relief of aches and pains. If you’re looking for the best moist heating pads large size, do yourself a favor and check out the HealthSmart TheraBeads heating pad. The microwavable pad is easy to use, with the filling made of hydroscopic beads, taking the moisture from the air to release it in the form of a soothing mist.
The pad is completely portable, with no worries of cords, restrictions, or electrical problems. The convenient size is perfect for on-the-go relief, and perfect for the neck and shoulders. Some users reported disliking the fact that the pad does not stay hot for hours like your traditional heating pads with an electrical source.
- Completely portable with no cable
- Can be frozen or microwaved, making it perfect year-round
- Doesn't stay warm as long
Best Heating Pad - Buyer's Guide
A heating pad is one of those things that you may find useless until, well, it’s not. Many of us suffer from back or neck pain because of desk jobs, and many more suffer from aches and pains relating to sports injuries, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and just aging, in general. However, heating pads are extremely useful when used correctly. They’re mainly known for the relief and therapeutic properties they provide for pain in lower backs, but can be used for just about any sore spot. Let’s take a look at the things to look for when purchasing the best heating pad for you!
They come in either the traditional electric heating pad variety, or the newer “heat wraps”, which lack a cord and can be microwaved to provide heat, instead. Electric pads come with a removable cover which can be washed, and consist of coils inside the pad, which provide the heat. These can be adjusted to different heat settings, and usually include an auto-off feature to prevent fire hazards. The heat wraps are usually made of a natural filling, such as rice, oatmeal, corn, and are sometimes enhanced with aromatherapy herbs like lavender. These do not keep warmth as long, and do not have heat settings, but can be great for low-level heat therapy.
Moist vs. Dry
Many have differing preferences on which they like the most: moist heat or dry heat? Dry heat is definitely more convenient, as it can take time to set up a moist heat therapy session, however, moist heat has the ability to penetrate deeper than dry heat, and can relieve more intense pains than dry heat alone, can.
A more convenient size is ideal, if you’ll be using the pad on smaller areas of your body, or if you plan on traveling with the pad. If you find that you need a pad for the length of your back, for your stomach, or maybe legs, then an extra-large pad is a better idea.
These are all excellent heating pads, and come in a variety of options, so really, the best heating pad all comes down to your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a pad to use at low-level heat, or on-the-go, then a pad that comes without a cord, like the HealthSmart TheraBeads pad, is an excellent choice. Not only that, but the filling is odor and mildew-resistant, which is always a nice bonus.
If you’re looking for some deep heat therapy that really penetrates, you can’t go wrong with the BodyMed Electrical Digital Moist Heat pad. Moist heat, as previously mentioned, penetrates deeper and more effectively than dry heat alone, and with the variety of heat settings, you can really customize your therapy sessions to your liking. Whichever you choose, you can rest assured it’s one of the best heating pads on the market today!