Best Heating Pads Reviewed & Rated for Quality

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So what is a heating pad and why do you need it?  Heating pads are products that offer therapeutic relief to those who suffer from either acute or chronic pains in their muscles and joints.  People who have pain in their backs, shoulders, knees, elbows, abdomen. Those who may suffer from abdominal cramping, stiffness in joints, injury or those who are working through pain and recovery from a surgery, for instance, would be all terrific cases in need of a heating or a combination heating and cold therapy pack.  Fever, swelling and elevated fevers are all common issues that most people need only in-home therapy solutions. Yes, you can take in some anti-inflammatory pills, but they may not be all you need to fully alleviate your pain. If you don’t like taking medications, maybe you are searching for something different to help you more naturally.  Either case could use the benefits of heating pads as well as those combination pads that can cool and heat all-in-one.

ThermiPAQ
  • ThermiPAQ
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lifespan
  • Price: See Here
Koo-Care
  • Koo-Care
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Universal Pack
  • Price: See Here
AZMED
  • AZMED
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Quick Acting
  • Price: See Here

There are many brands and types of therapeutic heating pads on the market today that claim to meet all of your goals.  Some aren’t the highest of quality or the most effective. That’s a bummer. If you are going to have a heat pack in your back pocket, you want to know that when you need it, it is going to do its job and actually work.  How can you find the best of the bunch that will meet your needs? Keep reading because we have reviewed and researched the 10 best heating pads on the market. Size, construction, type, and features are the criteria we used to develop this list.

 

10 Best Heating Pads

 

1. Thermi Paq

This is the best option you are going to find for a non-electric heating pad on the market. Thermi Paq is easily heated up in the microwave and offers a tremendous amount of time staying warm for use on whichever muscle ails you. The thermal ceramic clay offers a deep, even and slow penetration of your muscles and you can use it either hot or cold.
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Long lifespan

It says it can be used for 100 times, but don’t be surprised if you get quite a bit more uses than that out of it this therapeutic pad. It is as simple as heating up in the microwave and you got yourself about 1 full hour of treatment. That is seriously long lasting. Whether you are treating bruises, strains, sprains, swelling, or even stiffness this pad will help alleviate that tension and pain conveniently over a decent amount of time.

Company

This is manufactured by a company with 20+ years of knowledge and experience in the health and wellbeing industry, providing products that serve the community to live their healthiest, most independent lives. They have trusted industry experts in Respiratory, Pain Management, and Home Medical Equipment.

Cost and Value

For literally one of the most usable, reliable and therapeutic pads on the market, you cannot beat the price. Don’t be surprised if you end up buying more after you’ve tried it just once. Keep a couple in your freezer for a fast ice pack and maybe one or two on hand should you need some heat. Easy to head and cool, they are flexible hot or cold so they are easily wrapped around your joints. There are varying sizes to accommodate whichever part of your body you are looking to soothe.
Pros

Dense material holds heat and cold longer than traditional packs

Soft fleece cover

Adjustable Velcro strap

Hot or cold pain relief that is reusable

Non-electric, heat in microwave and cool in freezer

Cons

After 100+ times of use the clay will dry and clump

Be careful not to microwave too hot

2. Koo-Care

This is an amazing universal pack with an extra large size to alleviate nearly any of your muscle aches and pains. The gel technology this pack uses will keep this pad feeling cooler for longer. Save yourself the hassle of buying multiple blocks of ice or hot pads in varying sizes and go ahead and give Koo-Care a try because it’s multifunctionality allows it to be used anywhere on your body you could possibly need.
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Universal pack

We say universal because of its extra large size. The size allows it to go over and soothe the largest parts of your body while the straps which vary in length, allow you to place it anywhere that is needed. Combined with the extender you have all sorts of power to alleviate the tensest pain and stiffness for all your joints and muscles. The design of the mesh on one side versus the other allows for the cold to only penetrate where you want it to go.

Design

Using gel ice the pack is heavy enough that you will be able to sustain effective hot or cold treatments for a decent length of time. It is very flexible which is suitable for some of those oddly shaped places that you may have pulled or bruised. The flexibility also flows with the gel’s ability to be evenly distributed throughout the pack so you don’t have to worry about clumping. For a pack to conform to your body so specifically, comfortable materials are important. The fabric that wraps this pack will provide you with a very soft feel on your skin.

Cost and Value

This is a pretty amazing pack that has a size and design to keep you comfortable anywhere you need, shoulders, arms, backs, belly, hips, knees, they all can benefit. It is FDA approved so it has past it’s testing and research standards. The fact that the gel is so conforming to your body while holding both cold and heat for extended periods of time, make this pack an excellent option. No one can argue with a warranty, and you get one with Koo-Care.
Pros

Very comfy nylon material

Reusable and microwaveable

Flexible and soft while cold

Universal size “11 x “14

1 year warranty

Cons

Gel doesn’t distribute well for the back when you are standing while wearing the pack

You may need some help positioning it various body parts, specifically the shoulder

3. AZMED

This heating pack is a ridiculously convenient and easy to use method to ease and numb headaches, joint pains, swelling and bruising. Headache relief, tough workout, or just basic joint pains, this pack can help you feel better. It is fast to get the AZMED pack to either heat up or cool down for your particular needs.
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Quick acting

When you are not feeling well and you need immediate relief, taking some pain medication can help, but you have to wait for it to work. Not all of us want to take medications and sometimes the pain we are feeling isn’t helped as well by an OTC pain reliever. If you don’t keep your ice packs in the freezer regularly you’ll have to wait for other packs to cool down. If you keep having to use the microwave, you could keep it in too long and it could cause burns. This simple pack is so easy and alleviates all these issues. Simply fill with hot water or ice and use the security lock to seal it.

No leakage

We have all had our moments where we have needed an ice pack, so in a jiffy, we use a ziplock bag and fill it with ice. Too bad that within minutes of hitting our skin the melting of the ice begins and so does the drainage from the bag down our necks, or legs, or heads. This bag will allow you to have the ice and keep it securely inside without any concern for leaks. You also can’t double a ziplock bag as a heat pack, but you can with this pack and again in a quick, no fuss way. Add that hot water when you need and put it on, it will conform well to your body and keep you dry.

Cost and Value

You can’t beat a pack that doesn't require any prep to have it work and be effective for you. It’s size and the roominess of its design allow it to fit any part of your body securely without the need for flexibility. It has fluidity! If you need hot or cold therapy, all you have to do is add ice or hot water, and voila, you have got it!
Pros

Leak proof design

Mild soap and water or cleaning wipes keep the exterior clean

Does Not have a funny smell like some ice bags can

Manufactured in the USA

Dries out easily

Keeps its temperature for about 1 hour

Cons

On the smaller side

Be careful of the metal ring at the top that can get very hot to the touch

4. Core Products

4.  Core Products
If you are a person who wants a really good cold pack this is a great choice, you will have a difficult time finding another on the market that compares. You can get a ton of usage from the Core Products pack, even if you are a person who needs to use them daily. They can be heated if you need that as well, a quick minute in the microwave and you’ll have some heat action.
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Comfortable pack

This pack will stay flexible for you so it will be able to cover and fit to the body part that you are looking for relief. The covering is soft and has a fabric like feel that won’t cause excessive freezing to your skin. You won’t have to worry about the freezer burn you can experience with other packs anymore.

Soft pack

Prepare to be very pleased with the functionality and feel of this pack. The fabric has a delicate, smooth feel that doesn’t get all wet via drippy condensation. Even on bare skin, you will find this one to still keep up its comfort level. At a nice size of 10x13, it is a terrific pack that is suitable for anyone.

Cost and Value

The size of this pack is well suited to cover your most of any of the areas you need to have soothed, even your lower back. This pack will freeze well for you, no problems there, with at the very least 30 minutes of moderate cold and most often times more than that. If you need heat, that is an easy solution in the microwave. If you need hot or cold relief, this is a quality pack that is comparable to what a pharmacy or doctor’s office would provide at a fraction of the cost.
Pros

Don't need a cover, minimal frosting

Latex free

Made in the USA

Dimensions: 10” x 13” (25cm x 33cm)

Very soft pack

Cons

Pack casing could use some padding

Can get a bit heavy when frozen

5. UTK

5.  UTK
Tired of the microwave or the electric pads to get you the heat therapy you want. Why not try infrared treatment instead? UTK provides products that are all FDA registered and use GMP quality control for rigorous testing.
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Precise heat and memory

You can actually program your pad to the setting of intensity that works the best for you. A smart digital controller does all the work for you, even memorizes your favorite settings. It doesn’t get any easier than that. You get to have a precise, measured amount of infrared heat and if you use specific levels regularly, your digital controller will take note and ensure that you are all set the next time you turn it on.

Targeted pain relief

There is no place you can not go with this heating pad. Your office, at home, or on vacation, they all are well suited for you to use this technology. At as little as 30 minutes a day, you can use this pad to effectively increase your blood flow which will, in turn, reduce pain and muscle tension. The pad offers incredibly deep penetrating heat at a consistent temperature of your choice for as long as you need it, even if it goes beyond 30 minutes, or as your doctor recommends.

Cost and Value

The UTK uses natural minerals to penetrate it’s infrared heat perfectly around your body and relieve even the worst muscle discomfort. You can sit on it or lie on it, it is very pliant. Using a velcro body strap, you can ensure your heating pad stays where you want it securely with no sliding out of position. With 6 different heat settings, you will not find it difficult to discover the perfect comfort level for your personal therapeutic needs.
Pros

Auto shut-off time is 240 minutes

Power source is AC110~120, 60HZ, 75 Watts

Soft PU leather on both sides

Uses natural jade and tourmaline stones

Pad size is 23.5”x16”

Cons

Customer service could be improved

Higher end pad with a higher price

6. Ultra Sports Gear

6.  Ultra Sports Gear
Ultra Sports Gear is a family business that began by a physical therapy doctor who had pain that ultimately started this company which specializes in pain management therapy solutions. The cold and hot therapy combination is key to helping your aches and pains at home. Keeping in mind the importance of design, the line of products Ultra Sports Gear provides will mold to fit your various body aches exactly where they are and how they should.
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Helps a variety of conditions

The enormity of the amount of aid this pad can provide you is out of this world. Sciatica, arthritis and post-surgery pain relieve to bringing down fevers and soothing painful toothaches, this pad is there to help. It can reduce inflammation and swelling all the while you will have healing occurring while your tissues loosen up and blood is allowed to readily flow to the areas in need. The combination of hot and cold therapy make it one of the most useful, natural tools you have in your medicine cabinet.

Gel technology

This pack will stay colder and warmer for the longest amount of time you need. It’s gel technology not only retains hot and cold extremely well but it is soft and flexible to mold exactly to your body’s contours. The varying sizes of pad allow you to choose which is best for the area you want to treat.

Cost and Value

When you first have an injury and want to treat it fast, the first thing you need to do is apply a cold treatment. Ice treatment is the first step for injuries within the last 48 hours to combat the first signs of an injury which would be swelling. After, is when the heat comes into play. Heat can be an ongoing form of treatment for existing and chronic circumstances. Heat is used to loosen issues and promote blood flow to the area where the pain subsides. This pad allows you to tackle both the ice therapy at the start of injury and the heat therapy for any chronic issues thereon at a price you can’t argue with.
Pros

Gel pack

Family company started by a Doctor of ‘Physical Therapy

For acute and chronic pain

3 convenient sizes, travel (9 by 5 inches); Standard (14.5 by 10 inches), and Full (21.5 by 13 inches)

Made of soft vinyl

Cons

Not as flexible as it could be when first removed from the refrigerator

Needs a cover as it has a lot of condensation when used for cold therapy

7. PureRelief

7.  PureRelief
Talk about a large and in charge heating pad! PureRelief has a double-wide pad for extra coverage, no we aren’t talking mobile homes, we are talking heating pads! Think, back, legs, shoulders, abdomen all those large areas that are big players and can cause you a lot of suffering and pain if you strain them.
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Soft covering

If you are already in pain, the last thing you want to do is inflict more pain on yourself. This heating pad will do you right with its velvety soft, micro plush covering. It will feel satiny and sleek on your skin for sure. Sure it is comfortable, but it is also practical. It is fully machine-washable so don’t worry about upkeep and maintenance, it is no problem.

Ease of use

Use this pad moist or dry, whatever your needs may be. Moist therapy will give you deeper penetration, for deep tissue muscle relief. Dry will help those minor aches and pains you may encounter or have regularly. Either way, it heats up fast, so no need to be in pain for long because your pad can warm in seconds. Those tired and sore muscles will have plenty of expedient pain relief.

Cost and Value

You can benefit from this pad for only 20 minutes, or the time allotment your doctor prescribes. This pad comes with a ton of extras. It has a storage bag and a convenient controller. There is a user manual so don’t worry, it's use is easily described for you. If you have any questions, call customer service, they are there to help you 24 hours, 7 days a week. You will never be in the dark with this pad or this company.
Pros

Large pad with double-wide coverage, 20”x24”

5 year warranty

Awesome customer service, support 7 days a week

Worldwide customer support

2-hour automatic shut-off

Extra long 9-foot cord

Cons

Average heat intensity

Distribution of heat is mostly in the center not equally balanced

8. GENIANI

8.  GENIANI
This is a pad you with which you will truly find a great value. It far surpasses heating pads with that plastic covering. The top is quite soft and the bottom is equally soft. You will have no problem wrapping this pad around any body part that is ailing you. GENIANI provides a pad that has nice setting options for you to customize your heat level.
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Choose your level of heat

For anyone who suffers from pain and muscle soreness, this pad will help alleviate those discomforts by relaxing your muscles to make the pain go away. You can adjust your heat levels with 3 easy setting options, low, medium, or high. The pad offers dry and moist heat options.

Good feel

This pad will heat fast for you so you won’t have too much down time while you are waiting for relief. It’s king size so you can use it for the largest of body parts, backs of thighs, backs, across the shoulders, you name it. It is covered with durable and soft micro plush fibers so you can use this pad daily and experience it’s flexible and comfortable support.

Cost and Value

This is a well-made pad that offers nice even heat with a size that is large enough to provide you with ample coverage. The soft cover is comfortable on both the top and bottom of this pad and you can easily adjust the heat settings with the controls. This is a pad worth taking a look at.
Pros

Full body relief with an XL size

Combination dry and moist heat

3 adjustable fast-heating options

Super soft microplush fibers offer tremendous comfort

5 year warranty

2 hour auto shut-off

Cons

May not stay at maximum heat for an extended time

Maximum heat not as hot as other models

9. PROALLER

9.  PROALLER
PROALLER makes this heating pad for those that want a full body heating pad experience. It maintains a consistent amount of heat evenly distributed across your body. It has a moist feature that is less dehydrating to your body while providing better absorption into your muscles.
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Full body pad

This is the king of pads. It is a full body XXL sized pad coming in at 23” x 24”. It is top notch at attacking sore muscles in the back, shoulders, neck abdomen, legs, and arms. It can cover any of your large needs and bolster blood flow to penetrate those muscles and cramps soothe the pain away.

Practical

The softness of the flannel micro plush fibers is key. You will be able to easily maintain this pad with the ability to throw it in your washing machine to keep it clean. You’ll enjoy either the dry or moist heat therapy, whichever you need because you have the option of both. With one easy to use controller, you can switch among the settings to get the perfect treatment for your body.

Cost and Value

This is a pad with a nice large shape and a generously long cord that will allow you to move around with ease and sit where you are most comfortable. It has a blanket-like ability to drape over your body. It heats up fast to the level you want. Once you have your desired heat level, if you decide you want to rid yourself of the cord, that's no problem because it can easily be unplugged from the blanket.
Pros

2 hour shut off

90-day return warranty

3 heat settings

Long power cord for more portability, 10 feet long

Microplush fibers

Moist and dry heat options

Cons

Cannot sit on pad or put under your body

It is not advised to fold this pad

10. BodyMed

10.  BodyMed
BodyMed makes a heating pad that is digital and electric. It is 14” x 27” in size to deliver the most therapeutic moist warmth to target your aches and pains. Muscle sprains and strains and joint pain, inflammation, can all benefit from the use of this pad. The easy to read LCD controls make it effortless to use.
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Design

This pad was designed so to give you the option of treating multiple areas of your body. There are 4 different sizes to choose from so you can pick the best one for your needs. It is covered in a soft fleece material which will keep you warm and lay comfortably on your skin. The digital control is so easy anyone can use it.

Safety features

The pad has a lockout feature that is super helpful. It acts to guard against unintended changes that may result in accidental shifts on the controller that could change the treatment setting you chose. Accidents happen, but with this feature, the pad is proactive against accidents. You also can set your shut off time so you can choose the length of time you want your pad on as well.

Cost and Value

This pad is not only functional, it is durable and rugged if ever a pad could be. It will provide you with tremendous therapeutic treatments and you don’t have to worry about it going berserk if you touch it the wrong way. It can truly take a beating so the lifespan you will get from this pad will be long and therefore a true bang for your buck.
Pros

Automatic shut off

Lockout guard

Digital LCD control

Water not required

4 sizes to choose from

Moist heat therapy

Cons

No display backlighting

Buttons beep with every press

You can circulate more blood flow to areas that are in pain, stressed, strained or stiff when you apply heat to those areas.  This is because heats activate not only the feeling it gives the skin but also the underlying tissues. There are many levels of the effects of how heat affects your body and your muscles and joints.  The depth of heat treatment is directly related to what type of heat you use. Basic heating pads will generally help those tissues that are right below the skin. This type of treatment can be shallow while infrared type treatments can be deeply penetrating that go through the skin into the muscle fibers.

When you have blood flowing to a region of the body, you have oxygen supply along with other nutrients to that body part.  Blood is the means by which oxygen is transported (as well as other nutrients), therefore blood is the locomotive that hauls oxygen in other words.  When Oxygen comes on the scene there is a healing effect. Heat can help with not only promoting blood flow but also it provides an analgesic effect on the skin which basically numbs the perception of pain so the level of discomfort becomes much, much less.  Heat, on the skin, is, in fact, one of the best options you have for soothing your skin and intramuscular pains. There is no one who cannot be helped by the addition of heat and/or cold therapy pads. These pads are something everyone should have on hand in their homes, above are the top 10 on the market today.  Take a look, and pick one, because if you don’t have one, you will find yourself looking for one at some point. Might as well be proactive and have one on-hand ahead of time, right?

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Heating Pads

heading-pads-criteria

Size

Size does matter.  If you are just needing relief in a small area, like an ankle, you can easily go for a smaller sized pad.  If you need it for a larger area, like the back or abdomen, across your shoulders even, then the larger the better.  Some pads have the ability to be molded and formed to whatever size you need which makes them ultra versatile and easily used for any aches and pains.  If you are an athlete or a sufferer of chronic pain, it may be a good idea to go for a larger pad that can serve multiple purposes as it can fit multiple points on your body so that you can save money and space with a one-pad-fits all.

Type

There are many options to choose from.  You can get pads that are easily heated up in the microwave or that use the simplest method of hot water to get your heat.  Some use infrared technology and others use simple electric. Some use gel, others use stones as the material that is allotted for the transfer of the heat.  There are combinations of electric with gel which allow you to have a pad that has increased the ability to be multi-functional and more easy to travel with.

Pads offer either dry heat, moist heat or a combination.  If you have stiffness, moist heat is the way to go. Dry heat is better for muscle pain and relaxation and increasing flexibility.   Many pads also offer the ability to dually provide cold therapy. Having a combination pad that provides you with the most options is obviously your most usable choice as you have greater options to choose from for any injury or need you may have.

Construction

The way the pad is made and the materials it is comprised of makes a difference  When a pad can be used for cold therapy you may want it to have a lessened ability to have condensation, therefore, keeping the cold without the wetness.  Heating pads are more comfortable if they have soft material coverings for a smoothness on your skin. Pads with that are flexible are extremely useful for molding to and contouring your body will provide you the most usability. When you are using your pad frequently you are going to want to clean it. Pads that are easily cleaned, machine washable, are your best bet for easy maintenance.

Features

There are different options that you can look for in a heating pad based on your preference and need.  First, it behooves anyone to buy when there is a warranty associated with your product. The peace of mind you will have trying something and knowing that if it doesn’t work or you don’t like it you can return it and regain your money is a benefit anyone can appreciate.  Many pads will offer warranties, so look for them.

If you are using an electric heating pad, you want the ability to make use of it almost anywhere you want to sit or lay.  Because it is plugged into and thus based up against a wall, the longer the power cord the more distance and portability you will have.  Auto-shutoff is an essential safety feature for any electric pad. This is a feature that will have a set amount of time that, when reached, the pad will automatically turn itself off, so if you are using your pad while you fall asleep you will know that your pad won’t be on all night.  There are also Auto-Switch options which are pads that only remain on when you are pressing the switch. This allows for a lessened risk of you sleeping with the heating pad on it also helps you control the temperature of your pad to your appropriate level.

Other Important Factors to Consider

If you have long-lasting pain and discomfort and you just can’t find a cure or relief from your ailment it would be time to call your doctor.  Heat and cold treatments are meant to help, and while they can help for a fair amount of time, they are meant to be temporary not a forever or very long-term use.  It is really harmless to continue use of heating pads but the reality is that if you are having pain that is in need of a pad for a significant amount of time, you should really consider seeing a doctor and then go from there.  Noone should deem heating pads a suitable solution for a long-term ailment that just won’t heal if it isn’t getting better and ridding itself, see a doctor.

When using a heating pad, especially one that is electric that may not have an automatic shut off please do not wear it to bed. You risk falling asleep with it one and that could not only dehydrate your skin but it could cause serious burns.  It could also be a fire hazard. That being said, please don’t use a heating pad, especially an electric one that has no automatic shut off when you are medications that cause drowsiness. It is just not safe for you or your family.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How can you prevent burns from a very hot heating pad?

The best thing you can do for a heating pad or cold therapy is to take precautions.  Use a towel and wrap up your pad or simply put it between your pad and your skin so you have a bit of a barrier for protection.

Q:  Is it safe for diabetics to use a heating pad?

Anyone can use a heating pad, although there are some diabetics that do not have feeling in their extremities.  If you are one of these people who have lost feeling you may have a hard time differentiating what temperature your pad is and if it is too hot for your skin.  Dry heating pads also have a tendency to dehydrate which is bad news for diabetics. When you remove water from the body you can heavily burden the kidneys. So in conclusion, yes diabetics can use heating pads, but they need to be cautious when doing so.  There are pads on the market that are designed specifically for them, and that may be the best place to start.

Q: When should you not use a heating pad?

There are some instances when you shouldn’t use a heating pad.  Here they are:

  • The first three days after an injury
  • Do not use in conjunction with pain relieving topicals such as Ben Gay, for instance
  • On an open wound or a raised bruise
  • After exercise, it is best to use cold therapy
  • Thos with circulatory issues should steer clear of heating pads

Sources

  1. The Jerusalem Post, How to Choose the Most Suitable Heating Pad for Your Healt, Newspaper,
  2. WebMD, Researcher’s Test Heating Pads as Home Remedy for Menstrual Pain, Medical Information Website,
  3. Verywellhealth, Using Heat for Pain Treatment, Medical Review Research Website,
  4. Spine-Health, Benefits of Heat Therapy for Lower Back Pain, Back and Neck Pain Informational Source,
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