The 9 Best Heating Pads of 2021

Ease aches and sore muscles in minutes

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Our Top Picks
Ideal for those with neck and back pain, the heating pad features loops and a belt for a snug fit as you go about your activities.
Its lightweight design remains discreet under your clothes as you go about your day, while it works to encourage blood flow.
The versatile pad offers a wide range of heat therapy options and can be sprayed with water for a moist heat option.
You don't have to choose between heat and cold therapy with this plush pad, which can be microwaved OR placed in the freezer.
With low, medium, and high settings, it heats up quickly and can be used for moist or dry heat therapy.
With this two-in-one pack, you can experience the benefits of both heat and cold therapy and relieve inflammation and stiffness.
Best for Targeted Pain Relief:
SUNBEAM GoHeat Portable Heated Patches at Amazon
Though they may not be able to cover large areas, these heated patches make up for their size by providing deep, targeted comfort.
Personalize heat therapy by choosing from three temperature settings, dry or moist heat, and various positions due to its straps.
With five heat settings, this mattress pad helps you sleep comfortably while simultaneously soothing sore joints and muscles.

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. 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 reviews, 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.

Best Overall: Pure Enrichment PureRelief Heating Pad

Pure Enrichment Heating Pad
Pros
  • Targets large areas

  • Machine washable

  • Four heat settings

Cons
  • Neck portion doesn’t get as warm

  • Taller people say it’s too small

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

Rael Herbal Heating Patch
Pros
  • FDA registered

  • Free of toxic ingredients

  • Subtle design

Cons
  • 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, anti-inflammatory juniper berry, 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

Sunbeam Contoured Back Wrap
Pros
  • Offers heating and cooling

  • Machine washable

  • Hands-free

Cons
  • Short cord

  • Users say it could get hotter

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

Best for Neck Pain: Huggaroo Neck Wrap Microwavable Heating Pad

Huggaroo Neck Wrap Microwaveable
Pros
  • No cord

  • Lavender scent

  • Hands-free design

Cons
  • Short-term heat

  • Can fall off

Say goodbye to neck pain with the Huggaroo Neck Wrap Microwavable Heating Pad. As the name suggests, the product can be placed in the microwave to deliver 10 to 15 minutes of deep heat to the neck. An additional 10 to 15 minutes of use will bring warmth to still soothe the aching muscles. 

This product, which wraps snuggly around the neck, makes it easy to wear around the home as no cords are needed. Not only is the heating pad easy to wear, but the plush material makes it comfortable against the skin. Looking to cool the neck or other parts of the body? You can place the pad in the freezer and use it as a cold compress. 

Charge Type: Microwave for 10 to 15 minutes | Areas Targeted: Neck, shoulders

Best for Period Cramps: Mighty Bliss Electric Heating Pad

Mighty Bliss Heating Pad
Pros
  • Use moist or dry

  • Washable

Cons
  • Reviewers complain of too low heat settings

  • No automatic shut-off setting

Period cramps can come on quick without much notice, making it hard to go about your day. Luckily, heating pads provide a quick and soothing solution once the cramping starts. Mighty Bliss electric heating pad is made with soft microplush fibers that will feel gentle against your skin. 

When using, you can select between three different settings to ease aches and pains. The heating pad also lets you use it moist or dry to best fit your pain needs. Customers say they feel relief within minutes of use. 

Charge Type: Plug-in heating pad | Areas Targeted: Neck, shoulders, legs, stomach

Best Microwavable: ComfortCloud Microwavable Heating Pad

ComfortCloud Microwavable Heating Pad

What the Experts Say

“When purchasing a heating pad, it is important to look at the types of heat being produced as well as safety settings.” — Dr. Alyssa Raineri

Pros
  • Use hot or cold

  • Two-pack of pads

Cons
  • Loses heat quickly

  • Too small for large areas

Cloud is in the name of this product for a reason. Customers rave about the heating pad’s ultra soft outer shell, which feels soothing against the skin while easing aches and pains. Inside the heating pad are natural clay beads divided in sections to provide flexible muscle relief for areas of the neck, shoulders, joints, legs, and other parts of the body. 

All it takes is popping the heating pad in the microwave for a couple minutes and then wrapping it around the injured area to feel direct pain relief that’s long lasting. If you’re looking for cold relief instead, stick the heating pad in the freezer for an hour before use. 

Charge Type: Microwave | Areas Targeted: Back pain, neck, shoulders, abdomen

Best for Targeted Pain Relief: SUNBEAM GoHeat Portable Heated Patches

Sunbeam GoHeat Portable Patches
Pros
  • Portable

  • Rechargeable

  • Reusable pads

Cons
  • Pads can lose stickiness

  • Pricey replacement pads

Sometimes large heating pads are not enough to properly ease aches and pains in one specific area of the body. That’s where Sunbeam’s heated patches come in. The portable patches provide deep relief to one targeted area causing you problems. All it takes is placing the adhesive heated patches directly to the skin. 

Once applied, you can select between three different heat levels for a 20-minute heat cycle. The patches provide a total of eight hours of heat before they need to be recharged through the rechargeable battery, which is also provided upon purchase. Customers say these patches are simple, comfortable, and most importantly, effective. 

Charge Type: Rechargeable pack. Single charge works for 8 hours | Areas Targeted: Back, legs, neck, arms, abdomen

Best for Joint Pain: AlierGo Comfytemp Wrapping Heating Pad

AlierGo Comfytemp Heating Pad
Pros
  • Auto shut-off

  • Washable fabric

  • Dry or moist heat option

Cons
  • Too small for large areas

  • Reviewers want more heat settings

Joint pain is not always easy to address, as joints in the shoulders, knees, and other parts of the body can make it hard to access deep relief. But the Comfytemp Wrapping Heating Pad makes it simple with a flexible design that includes a strap, allowing you to be hands-free. 

The heating pad molds to your joints–whether it be your shoulder or other parts of the body–and offers three different heat settings to best suit your personal needs. Once molded around the joint, the pad provides deep and penetrating heat to ease the aches. If that’s not enough, the heating pad can also be used damp. 

Charge Type: Plug-in cord | Areas Targeted: Shoulders, waist, neck, knee, and joints

Best Full Body: Beautyrest Cotton Blend Heated Mattress Pad

Beautyrest Cotton Blend Heated Mattress Pad
Pros
  • Auto shut-off

  • Full-body relief

  • Machine washable

Cons
  • Requires two outlet plugs

  • Poor placement for cord

Targeted heating pads are phenomenal, but what if you're experiencing aches and pain throughout the entirety of your body? That’s where Beautyrest Cotton Blend Heated Mattress Pad comes in. The pad fits around your mattress to provide swift pain relief when resting or lounging on your bed. 

Choose between five different heat temperatures to suit the weather and your aching limbs. Worried about the pad staying on all night? It was created with a 10-hour auto off function so you can feel warmth while you sleep without worrying about it never turning off.

Charge Type: Plug-in cord | Areas Targeted: Full body

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a flexible heating pad to use on multiple areas of your body, we recommend the Pure Enrichment PureRelief Heating Pad (view at Amazon). If you’re looking to address targeted pain, then we recommend the Sunbeam GoHeat Portable Heated Patches (view at Amazon)

What to Look for in a Heating Pad

Size

When it comes to heating pads, size is important because it better determines how it will target the area of your body in need. You'll want to make sure the full muscle is covered if you're looking for thorough relief, says Dr. Raineri.

Flexibility

If you have aches and pain across multiple areas of the body then a heating pad with a flexible design will save you from buying multiple products. Look for heating pads that can mold to multiple areas of your body. But it is important to not use the product on specific injuries, as it could further exacerbate the problem instead of helping. “Heat therapy should be avoided with any injury that is considered acute or has just recently occurred,” Dr. Raineri says, “Acute injuries will likely present with swelling, bruising, and possibly even open wounds where heat should not be used.”

Heat Settings

When deciding between heating pads, it is essential for the user to understand what type of heat they will receive from the product. “Commonly used is an electric heating pad, which produces a dry heat,” Dr. Raineri says. An electric heating pad can be convenient because it offers a range of temperatures, as well as an auto-off setting in case you fall asleep when using. 

“Another option is a moist heat pack,” Dr. Raineri adds. “As there generally are no specific heat settings with these types of heating packs, it is important that you use the correct number of layers between the heating pack and your skin to decrease risk for burns.” These different types of heating pads are not created equal, specifically when you’re looking to address muscle aches. “Although dry heat is more convenient, moist heat is generally more effective with treating muscle aches and stiffness as it can penetrate deeper into the tissues than dry heat,” Dr. Raineri says.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long should you lay on a heating pad?

    Depending on the injury, it is important to not lay consistently on a heating pad for “more than 15 to 20 minutes,” Dr. Raineri says. “It is also important if you are lying on the heat pack that there are enough layers between the heat pack and your skin to decrease your risk of burns.” If you’re using a heating pad in the nighttime, set the heat setting to low and make sure to have one that will auto shut-off if you plan on falling asleep while using it to ensure you’re not overusing the pad on the sore muscle or joint.

  • Are there any risks associated with heating pad use?

    Dr. Raineri says the most common injury people suffer when using heating pads is burns. “To decrease your risk for burns, remove all jewelry, inspect your skin and assure intact sensation, use layers between your skin and the heat pack, and set a timer,” she recommends. If you’re experiencing any side effects while using a heating pad, speak to a licensed doctor or physical therapist. “While assessing your skin during the use of a hot pack, if any severe redness or rash, blistering, pain or swelling occurs, discontinue use and seek care from a doctor,” Dr. Raineri says. 

  • Can you use a heating pad while pregnant?

    Women who are pregnant or experiencing menstrual cramps can use a heating pad to help relieve the symptoms. “The uterus is a muscle. Uterine cramps are muscular contractions which serve to expel the uterine lining, which are painful,” says Kecia Gaither, M.D., a double board-certified in OB/GYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine, Director of Perinatal Services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. “Heat works to relax the muscle, improve blood flow to the area. Use of a pain reliever (an NSAID like Advil or Motrin) in addition to heat, a bath or a heating pad, to decrease the pain.”

What the Experts Say

“Conditions where heat packs can be beneficial include chronic muscle or joint pain, muscle spasms, arthritis, and muscle or joint stiffness.”—Alyssa Raineri, DPT, a Florida-based physical therapist

Why Trust Verywell Health?

As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.

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2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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