The 10 Best Heating Pads of 2020

Soothe sore joints and muscles

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First Look

Best Overall: Pure Enrichment PureRelief Heating Pad at Pure Enrichment

"It has nearly twice the surface area of basic heating pads, so it’s perfect for wrapping around large areas."

Best for Back Pain: Sunbeam Contoured Back Wrap at Amazon

"The versatile pad offers a wide range of heat therapy options and can be sprayed with water for a moist heat option."

Best for Neck Pain: Pure Enrichment Neck And Shoulder Pad at Amazon

"It’s contoured to perfectly drape around your neck and shoulders with a built-in magnetic closure on the front and weighted edges."

Best for Cramps: Mighty Bliss Electric Heating Pad at Amazon

"With low, medium, and high settings, it heats up quickly and can be used for moist or dry heat therapy."

Best Wearable: ThermaCare HeatWraps at Amazon

"The patented heat cells are designed to stay securely wrapped around your back to provide heat therapy on the move."

Best for Feet: Bluestone Electric Foot Warmer Heating Pad at Amazon

"With a flat design and extra-long cord, you can easily use this electrical foot warmer in bed or on the couch."

Best Microwavable: Sunny Bay Microwavable Heating Pad at Amazon

"Just heat it in the microwave and it stays warm for 30 minutes or put it in the freezer to use for cold therapy."

Best for Targeted Pain Relief: SoftHeat MaxHeat Heating Pad at Walmart

"The pad’s material clings where you place it, making it good for hard-to-reach areas as you don’t have to keep repositioning it."

Best for Joint Pain: Sunbeam Flexfit Heating Pad Wrap at Amazon

"The long, slim design makes it easy to secure around your leg or arm, with elastic ends that can be fastened for a snug fit."

Best Full Body: Beautyrest Heated Mattress Pad at Amazon

"With five heat settings the mattress pad helps you sleep comfortably while simultaneously soothing sore joints and muscles."

Heating pads can do more than just keep you warm in bed on cold nights. Heat therapy helps to relax tissues and stimulates blood flow to affected joints or muscles.

By increasing blood flow to an area, a heating pad can be a relatively quick and effective way to ease muscle pain and soothe aches and soreness. Heat application works as a remedy for muscle tension as well as for musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis and old muscle strains.

When choosing a heating pad, look for one that’s specifically designed to treat the affected area (or type of muscle pain) you're looking to target. Here, we have the best options for fast pain relief from backaches, joint pain, menstrual cramps, and more.

Heating pad
Sisoje​ / Getty Images

Remember to never apply heat where there is swelling of any kind or on broken or damaged skin.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Pure Enrichment PureRelief Heating Pad

Sturdy, comfortable, and easy to use, this electric heating pad earns our top spot for effectively relieving aches and tension all over. Measuring 12x24 inches, the heating pad has nearly twice the surface area of similar models, so it’s perfect for wrapping around large areas such as your back, legs, shoulders, or abdomen.

The pad heats up in seconds for fast pain relief and, with six different temperature settings from 105 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you can customize it to get the exact amount of heat you need while avoiding overheating and burns.

In addition to dry heat therapy, the pad also has a moist heat option that may intensify the penetration of heat into the muscles, potentially providing better pain relief than dry heat alone and at a faster rate.

The soft, plush cover is machine-washable and the cord is extra-long, so there’s no need for an extension cord. The automatic shut-off feature is a convenient safety feature reminding you not to apply heat for too long.

Try to limit the use of a heating pad to 20 minutes at a time. Never apply heat while sleeping.

Best for Back Pain: Sunbeam Heating Contoured Back Wrap Heating Pad

Trying to get back pain relief with a heating pad can be frustrating when it doesn’t stay exactly where you need it. That’s not an issue with the Sunbeam electric heating pad, which has a unique design that contours to your back to provide targeted pain relief and can be used seated or standing.

With a comfortable, adjustable waist strap that extends up to 85 inches around, the wrap stays securely in place, allowing you to get the pain relief you need hands-free. With four different heat settings, the versatile pad offers a wide range of heat therapy options and can also be sprayed with water for moist heat therapy. Other convenient features include the two-hour auto-off function and an extra-long 9-inch cord.

Best for Neck Pain: Pure Enrichment Neck & Shoulder Heating Pad

Designed to help relieve shoulder and neck pain with ease, this heating pad will stay in place while you're using it. Unlike traditional rectangular-shaped heating pads, it’s contoured to perfectly drape around your neck and shoulders so you don’t have to shift it around to hit the right spot.

It also has a built-in magnetic closure on the front and weighted edges that allow it to stay securely and comfortably in place as you’re working at your desk or relaxing on the couch. Made of micromink fiber, it'll feel like a soft pillow cradling your neck. Thanks to the automatic shut-off feature, you don't have to worry about overheating if you forget to turn it off after use.

Best for Cramps: Mighty Bliss Electric Heating Pad

If you frequently suffer from abdominal cramps and pain, the 12x24-inch Mighty Bliss electric heating pad is ideal for warming up that area and providing relief. With low, medium, and high settings, it heats up quickly and can be used moist or dry. It rests comfortably on your stomach to relieve aches and cramps caused by menstruations, nausea, and more, and also works well to relieve back, neck, and shoulder pain.

Easy to use and care for, the soft, microplush cover is machine-washable.

When using an electric heating pad, always use moderate heat. The heat should never cause sweating or discomfort.

Best Wearable: ThermaCare HeatWraps

If you want muscle pain relief but need to be mobile or just don’t have easy access to an outlet to plug in an electrical heating pad, ThermaCare HeatWraps may be just what you’re looking for. The patented heat cells are activated by air and designed to stay securely in place wrapped around your back.

The wrap is capable of providing heat therapy for up to eight hours, but you should strive to use it for no more than 20 minutes at a time. Comfortable and low-profile, you can discreetly wear it under clothes without having to readjust or feel restricted when moving.

Best for Feet: Bluestone Electric Foot Warmer Heating Pad

As shock absorbers, our feet support 1.2 times our body weight when walking and two to three times that during running activities, so it's no surprise that we often experience pains and aches in this region. Luckily, targeted heat therapy can help to relax the overstressed muscles and connective tissue of your feet.

Whether you have tired, achy feet or you just don’t like your toes to be cold, this 22x21 foot warmer heating pad from Bluestone is the perfect solution. Slip your feet in between the two layers of plush, super-soft material and enjoy three heat settings that'll melt the pain away.

The flat design makes it easy to place on your feet without adjusting and can be used in bed or on the couch. The extra-long, 10-inch cord is detachable, so you can throw the foot warmer in the washing machine when it needs to be cleaned. The heating pad also has a 2-hour automatic shut-off feature to prevent overheating.

Best Microwavable: Sunny Bay Extra Long Microwavable Heating Pad

Sunnybay

 Courtesy of Walmart

If you prefer a non-electric, cordless option for a heating pad, this microwaveable one is a nice choice. Just heat it in the microwave and it stays warm for up to 30 minutes. Extra-long and made with a whole grain wheat filling and washable fleece cover, it's super-soft and ideal for soothing heat on your neck, shoulders, or abdominal area.

You can also cool this versatile pad in the freezer for cold therapy or spray water on it for moist heat. It’s reusable, so you can keep heating or freezing it over and over again.

Best for Targeted Pain Relief: SoftHeat MaxHeat Heating Pad

SoftHeat MaxHeat Heating Pad

Courtesy of Walmart

Affordable and versatile, this 12x15-inch heating pad is fairly large and can easily target specific pain areas with soothing heat therapy. The pad’s material clings where you place it, so it's especially good for hard-to-reach spots as you don’t have to keep repositioning it.

With three heat settings and the option of moist heat, the pad is an inexpensive, yet effective, choice for anyone who wants relief for a sore back, shoulder, or neck. It comes with a convenient machine-washable cover and will automatically shut off after an hour of use to prevent overheating.

Best for Joint Pain: Sunbeam Flexfit Heating Pad Wrap

Heat therapy can effectively be used to relax stiff joints and to prepare them for activity, which can be particularly good for those who experience joint pain due to chronic conditions such as arthritis.

If you’ve ever struggled to keep a rectangular heating pad wrapped around your knee or wrist, you’ll appreciate the Sunbeam Flexfit heating pad wrap. The long, slim design makes it easy to secure around your leg, arm, wrist, ankle, elbow, and more, and the elastic ends can be fastened to the pad for a snug fit. You can target your joint pain with three different heat settings and apply moist heat by simply spraying the pad with water.

Best Full Body: Beautyrest Heated Mattress Pad

Nothing beats a warm, cozy bed when your body is achy and tired. With a plush, quilted top and five heat settings, this heated mattress pad from Beautyrest can help you sleep comfortably while simultaneously soothing sore joints and muscles. The auto-shutoff feature will ensure that the pad stops circulating heat after 10 hours, so you don't have to worry about overheating.

The 78x80x15-inch mattress pad comes with a fitted skirt that fits mattresses up to 18 inches. Dual controls allow you to make adjustments on either side of the bed without getting up. The mattress pad comes with options that fit a range of bed sizes—from twin to California king. Made of a cotton and polyester blend, it is conveniently machine-washable.

Why Trust Verywell Health?

Running coach and marathon runner Christine Luff has successfully used several different heating pads, including ThermaCare Heatwraps and the Sunbeam Flexfit, for relief from running-related aches and general relaxation. 

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Article 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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  4. Arthritis Foundation. Heat therapy helps relax stiff joints.