Warmth offers far more benefits than just comfort. Heat can help you relax, which in turn helps release the muscular tension that we carry around in our bodies every day. This reduction in tension helps stiff body parts loosen up. Heat can even help you recover from injuries, since it opens up your blood vessels and improves circulation. In some cases, heat provides as much pain relief medication. A scientific study published by the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology concluded that heat therapy is as effective as ibuprofen for relieving menstrual cramps.
It’s not always easy to get warm and stay warm for a long period of time. If you live in a part of the world that gets very cold in the winter, keeping your house warm with a heater costs a lot of money. Some people use rubber hot water bags when they need to apply heat to specific areas, but these aren’t very convenient.
Electric heating pads don’t use much power and they are easier to use compared to rubber hot water bags. All you have to do is plug your heating pad in and turn it on and then it will start warming up. Most are easy to maintain as well because the majority of them are machine washable.
Here are the best heating pads you can buy:
- Pure Enrichment’s PureRelief XL Heating Pad comes with a handy storage bag, which makes it easy to store and carry with you when you travel.
- There’s a pocket on the side of DONECO’s King Size XpressHeat Heating Pad, which makes it ideal for warming up your feet on cold winter nights.
- Utaxo’s Heating Pad Wrap is big enough to wrap around your shoulders and a button in the front holds it in place when you wear it.
- You’ll get a lifetime satisfaction guarantee if you purchase Might Bliss’s Large Electric Heating Pad.
- Sunbeam’s Heating Pad costs half of what some heating pad makers charge, yet it has all the key features that most heating pad makers offer.
The most portable heating pad
Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL Heating Pad
There are many things to like about Pure Enrichment’s PureRelief heating pad. For example, many heating pads’ heat settings are vague, but the PureRelief’s correspond to specific temperatures. You can turn the heat all the way up to 140 degrees, or you can keep the temperature as low as 105 degrees if you like. In addition, you’ll find a convenient storage bag when you open the box. This makes it a bit easier to fit it into your suitcase when you travel.
- Gets as hot as 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Most heating pads don’t tell you exactly how hot they get, but this one does.
- Made from soft materials. This heating pad feel nice because its cover is made from soft, plush microfiber.
- Meets the industry standard for size. 12 inches across and 24 inches long, this heating pad is about as big as most other heating pads you’ll encounter when you’re shopping.
- Two available colors. You can choose between blue and gray.
- Comes with a storage bag. The heating pad fits snuggly in the bag and this makes it easy to transport and store.
- You can wash it in a washing machine. Just remove the power cord and follow the cleaning instructions printed on the heating pad when you’re ready to clean it.
- Some parts of the pad get hotter than others. Like many heating pads, this one gets hotter in some areas than others.
In a nutshell
The most unique thing about this heating pad is that it comes with a bag. The rest of its features are fairly standard. The fact that you can pick between two different colors is a nice perk, as well. Like other heating pad products, its exterior case is made of soft, comfortable microfiber.
The best heating pad for warming up feet
DONECO King Size XpressHeat Heating Pad
If your feet often feel cold at night, DONECO’s XpressHeat might be the perfect heating pad for you. It’s equipped with a handy pocket, which is perfect for tucking your feet into when they start getting chilly. The reason for the XpressHeat brand name is that it heats up quickly compared to most other heating pads. DONECO’s no-questions-asked 30-day refund shows that the company believes in its products.
- Convenient pockets helps you get your feet warm. You can slide your feet into the pockets, which are large enough to accommodate very big feet.
- Heats up quickly. Some heating pads are slow to warm up, but this one starts heating up right away.
- Plush, comfortable fabric. In addition to this heating pad’s fuzzy plush exterior, there’s also a thin fabric cushion inside that stops you from feeling its wires.
- Machine washable. As long as you follow the instructions carefully, you can safely wash this heating pad in a washing machine.
- Choose from several different temperature settings. There are four heat levels in all.
- Flexible return policy. You can return it for a complete refund for any reason within 30 days and the five-year warranty will cover you if your blanket has a manufacturing defect.
- Vague heat level controls. The dial doesn’t correspond to specific temperatures, only 1 through 6.
- Slightly smaller than competing heating pads. This 22-inch-long heating pad is a bit smaller than other heating pads, which are typically 24 inches long.
In a nutshell
This heating pad’s handy foot pocket is its most unique feature. You can tuck your feet into it when it’s cold and it keeps them extra warm. It’s slightly smaller than other heating pads, but this might be one reason why it heats up faster than most.
The best wearable heating pad
Utaxo Heating Pad Wrap
Utaxo’s Heating Pad Wrap looks kind of like a vest when you wrap it around your shoulders. A button in the front helps keep it in place. Measuring 35 inches long and 25 inches across, it’s much bigger than many heating pads you’ll find– but it’s also somewhat expensive. Moreover, it doesn’t get quite as hot as smaller heating pads do. This may or may not be a disadvantage, depending on how much heat you prefer.
- You can wear it around your neck and shoulders. A cleverly placed button lets you snap this heating pad wrap in place.
- Accommodates many different body shapes and sizes. It’s 35 inches long and 25 inches across.
- Safe for use with water. It’s safe to spray water on this heating pad if you want to enjoy the benefits of moist heat.
- Soft microfiber fabric. Like most heating pads, this one is made from soft, comfortable microfiber materials.
- Easy to clean. You can clean this heating pad with a washing machine, but don’t try to dry it in a dryer. If you do, it might break.
- Built-in safety features. Since it’ll automatically turn itself off after two hours of use, it’s safe to use at night even when you start getting sleepy.
- Doesn’t get very hot. Other heating pads generate more heat.
- Expensive compared to other heating pads. It’s bigger than most heating pads you’ll find, but also pricier.
In a nutshell
This heating pad’s wrap-around design and extra large size are two of its major perks. Aside from that, its other features are fairly standard. Like many heating pads, it’s machine washable, waterproof and made from microfiber cloth.
The heating pad with the best return policy
MIGHTY BLISS™ Large Electric Heating Pad
If you’ve ever bought a heating pad before, you probably already know that they don’t last very long. The heat-generating components tend to wear out quickly. That’s where Mighty Bliss’s Heating Pad comes in. Might Bliss is one of the only heating pad manufacturers that offers a lifetime satisfaction guarantee. If the pad stops working as well as it did when you first got it, you can send it back and get a new one for free.
- Lifetime satisfaction guarantee. Mighty Bliss is one of the very few heating pads makers that offers unlimited returns.
- Excellent customer service. Many Mighty Bliss customers have complimented the company’s customer-first approach.
- Built-in auto shut-off feature. If you fall asleep while wearing this heating pad, you’ll remain safe because it shuts off by itself automatically.
- Extra long cord. The nine-foot-long cord adds to this heating pad’s usability.
- Meets the industry standard for size. Like many electric heating pads, this one is 12 inches wide and 24 inches long.
- Machine washable. As long as you follow the instructions carefully, you can wash this heating pad in a washing machine.
- The LED control switch is too sensitive. Even the slightest touch will cause the settings to change.
In a nutshell
If you’re tired of buying a new heating pad every year, Mighty Bliss’s Heating Pad could be your best option. It has a strong feature lineup, plus you can return it at any time if you feel that it’s not working properly anymore.
The best value heating pad
Sunbeam Heating Pad
Sunbeam’s Heating Pad is inexpensive, yet has all the main features that you’d expect to find in a device like this. Like many heating pads, it’s waterproof and the exterior cover is made out of microplush fabric, which feels nice against the skin. The controller has colored lights that indicate your current temperature level. This makes it easier to read in the dark.
- Cheaper than competing heating pad brands. Sunbeam asks half of what some of its competitors charge for similar heating pad products.
- Easy to use in the dark. One handy thing about the colored LED lights on the controller is that they make this heating pad easier to use in dark or low-light environments.
- Standard size. Measuring 12 inches across and 24 inches long, this heating pad is just as big as most of its competitors.
- Won’t break when sprayed with water. You can spray it down when it’s hot if you want moist heat.
- Easy to maintain. You can detach the cord and wash the pad in a washing machine.
- 30-day satisfaction guarantee with a five-year warranty. If your heating pad breaks before your five-year warranty is up, Sunbeam will send you a new one for free.
- Inconsistent performance. Sometimes this heating pad gets very hot, but other times it doesn’t get hot enough.
In a nutshell
If you don’t like the idea of spending a lot of money on a heating pad, this heating pad from Sunbeam could be your best bet. Even though it’s inexpensive, it’s not cheaply made. All the core features that other heating pad manufacturer brands offer are there.
Buying guide for heating pads
Ease of use
Heating pads tend to have simple interfaces, which makes them very easy to use. All you have to do is plug your heating pad into the wall and power it on. You can then control the amount of heat that the heating pad produces with its controller, which can typically be found somewhere on the power cord. Normally, it takes a few minutes for the internal components within the pad to begin generating heat. Sometimes, the controller is positioned in an awkward spot on the cord, or the controller is too sensitive. Heating pads with overly responsive controllers are easy to shut off accidentally.
Care and maintenance
The majority of the heating pads that you’ll run into while shopping are machine washable. However, it may be a good idea to read the cleaning instructions before you make your purchase so that you will know exactly what you’ll need to do to wash your heating pad. If you don’t follow the directions exactly, you’ll probably nullify your warranty.
Cord length and type
Heating pads have two types of power cords: detachable and fixed. Some people like don’t like heating pads that have detachable cords because they can be detached accidently. Heating pads with fixed cords usually have removable covers, which can be thrown into the laundry with your clothes.
Waterproof heating pads are safer to use because they won’t short out when exposed to water. They’re also easier to clean, since you can usually machine wash them. If you do get a waterproof heating pad, you can spray a bit of water on it before you use it. This will help stop your skin from getting dehydrated and dry.
Size and shape
Various types of heating pads come in different shapes and sizes. Some can be fastened around your shoulders, but most are meant to be used as a blanket. Larger heating pads take up more room in your closet, but they also cover a larger surface area.
Most manufacturers conceal most of a heating pad’s electronic parts within a soft microfiber sleeve. Microfiber feels similar to velvet but it’s less expensive to produce. Some heating pads are made out of flannel, which is smoother but not quite as soft.
Since the electronic elements inside of heating pads tend to wear out over time, it’s important to examine your prospective heating pad’s return policy before you buy. Heating pad brands that stand by their products back them up with flexible money-back guarantees and warranties.
Expect to pay around $25 for a basic 12 by 24 inch heating pad. There are heating pads that cost less, but these are usually of low quality and tend to break very easily.
For a few dollars more, you can find heating pads that have better return policies and ones that take a bit less time to heat up. These typically cost around $35.
If you’re looking for an extra large heating pad, expect to pay around $50. Some of the larger heating pads come with buttons that allow you to wear the pad like a vest.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What steps can I take to make sure that I don’t accidentally break my heating pad?
A: Don’t fold your heating pad, because this can cause it to get too hot. High temperatures can damage a heating pad’s internal components. Laying on top of the heating pad is another way to overheat it. If your heating pad is machine washable, be sure to follow the directions exactly when you clean it.
Q: Can I use my heating pad to warm my newborn child or pet?
A: This is probably not a good idea because pets and newborns can’t communicate well. If they get too hot and become uncomfortable, they won’t be able to let you know.
Q: How long does a heating pad take to warm up?
A: Most heating pads reach their maximum temperature after about ten minutes. Some types of heating pads take longer, but others are engineered to warm up in a much shorter amount of time.
- If your skin often feels dry after you use your heating pad, you may want to consider spraying it with water on occasion. This will help your skin stay moist. Before you do this, check to make sure that your heating pad is waterproof.
- To avoid falling asleep with your heating pad on, set an alarm. People who sleep with their heating pads often end up damaging their pad or getting burned.
- It’s generally safe to use a heating pad if you’re pregnant, but use caution if you do so. Prolonged exposure to heat can damage a fetus. If your body temperature rises above 102°F for more than 10 minutes, your fetus may be at risk.