Aches and pains in your muscles and joints can make it debilitating to go about your daily routine. Investing in a heating pad is a medication-free way to address this pain without leaving the comfort of your own home.1 These pads offer swift and effective heat to the areas of concern within minutes, immediately alleviating soreness you’re experiencing. Not to mention, they’re great for colder seasons.
“Applying heat to a sore muscle will improve blood flow which increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients the muscle has enhancing tissue healing,” says Alyssa Raineri, DPT, a Florida-based physical therapist. “Heat can also treat stiff muscles and joints by decreasing muscle spasms and increasing tissue elasticity allowing for improvement with joint mobility.”
When selecting a heating pad, it is important to think about what your specific needs are for the product. There are a variety of styles of heating pads–whether it be hands-free, microwavable, or targeted pain–and they work differently depending on your own aches and pains. We researched dozens of heating pads and evaluated them based on their heat settings, auto shut-off capabilities, prices, and designs. Each of the products chosen in this article were determined to be the best of these factors.
Here are the best heating pads on the market today.
Our Top Picks
Best for Back Pain:
Best for Neck Pain:
Best for Period Cramps:
Best for Targeted Pain Relief:
Best Full Body:
Best Overall: Pure Enrichment PureRelief Heating Pad
- Targets large areas
- Machine washable
- Four heat settings
- Neck portion doesn’t get as warm
Struggling with aches and pain all over your body? Well, we have a solution for you. The Pure Enrichment PureRelief Heating Pad is not only wearable, but it can cover large areas of the body–such as the back, neck, abdomen, and legs. All it takes is wrapping the heating pad on whatever area is causing you pain to experience swift relief.
Not only does the heating pad provide flexibility for how you wear it, but it also can be set at four different temperatures to best suit your needs. The four settings, ranging from 110 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, quickly soothe aches with the press of a button. The heating pad’s cover is also machine-washable and comes with an extra-long cord.
Charge Type: Plug-in heating pad | Areas Targeted: Neck, back, and shoulders
Best Budget: Rael Natural Herbal Heating Patch
- FDA registered
- Free of toxic ingredients
- Subtle design
- One-time use only
Looking for a holistic, electricity-free option? The Natural Herbal Heating Patch is a hot patch that just needs to be peeled and placed over the undergarments for six hours of relief. Its lightweight design remains discreet under your clothes as you go about your day, and it works to encourage blood flow and muscle relaxation. The patch also offers more than just heat, featuring natural herbs like the antimicrobial lemon balm, circulation-boosting rose hip, calming jasmine,2 anti-inflammatory juniper berry,3 and digestion-promoting dandelion root.
Developed by women for women, the BIPOC-owned brand Rael offers menstruation education and works to help end period poverty and spread menstrual dignity. A brand you can feel good about purchasing from, Rael also offers organic cotton pads and tampons, period underwear, skincare, and even reusable period products.
Charge Type: N/A | Areas Targeted: Abdominal area
What Our Editors Say
“This heating patch comes in handy during the first few days of my cycle, when my cramps are at their worst. So far, it hasn’t felt uncomfortably hot and the adhesive holds up well for the 6 hours. I like that cords don’t need to be involved, so I can use them when out and about. The infused herbs and low price point are a nice bonus.” — Tori Zhou, Associate Health Commerce Editor
Best for Back Pain: SUNBEAM Contoured Back Wrap
- Offers heating and cooling
- Machine washable
- Short cord
Sunbeam’s heating pad provides targeted muscle and pain relief all in the form of a back wrap. The pad, which latches around the abdomen, uniquely sculpts to the contours of your back to best soothe aches. Looking for pain relief that penetrates deeper? You can spritz the pad with water for a moist heat option.
What makes this heating pad optimal is its hands-free option, allowing you to continue with your daily tasks whether you are sitting or standing. With four different heat settings, the pad can cater to your specific needs. It also has a two-hour shut off setting so you can have some peace of mind when using at night.
Charge Type: Plug-in heating pad | Areas Targeted: Back
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