Top 5 Best Heating Pads of 2018 Reviewed

Why Heating Pads/Mats

Using heat therapy to ease the strain or pain on muscles and joints is widely beneficial.

Heat application works by dilating blood vessels; blood flow to the affected area is then increased.

This, in turn, can help heal damaged muscle tissue.

Applying heat can also increase flexibility, reducing pain from muscle and joint stiffness.

Although heating pads may spend most of the time tucked away in a cabinet or closet, they are an inexpensive option, especially for someone who may not be interested in taking medication to relieve pain.

Additionally, the majority of heating pads are portable, so they can be used at home or even on-the-go.

Top 5 Best Heating Pads

Sunbeam Xpressheat (Hourglass-Shaped)


Sunbeam Xpressheat Hourglass Shaped is a special heating pad that is designed to alleviate pain caused by inflamed and overused joints. It is an adjustable heated therapy product that allows you to set an appealing amount of heat so as to get the best penetrating relief.

The exquisite design and shape of this heating pad make it perfect for the treatment of:

  • Back and spine: If you have upper and lower back strain or tension, or chronic pain, look no further.
  • Muscle cramps: The heating pad is useful in relieving joint pain, muscle stiffness, and body cramps.
  • Neck and shoulder: The heating pad is specifically designed to wrap the neck and the shoulder, and is perfect to treat pain, stiffness, and pinches in these areas.

This Hourglass Shaped is the best replacement for the normal rectangle shaped heating pad. Its shape allows the pad to fit over many body parts, and makes it great to target specific areas, thereby enhancing treatment. The heating pad has excellent features which include: Moist heat, fast heating, auto shutoff, and a soft cover which is machine washable.

Using this heating pad is a breeze. You connect the cord and the heating pad before plugging the cord into a power outlet.

Press the power button to turn the heating pad on, then select your preferred heating setting using the up and down button.

Place the heating pad over the area/body part you intend to treat. The pad will fit perfectly, even on curved parts of the body including the neck, knees, back, and shoulders.

In case you prefer moist heat, spray water on the pad cover, then place it on the treatment area.

This heating pad stands out because of some of its unique features. The Sunbeam Xpress Hourglass Shaped pad has a digital LED controller that features four heat settings. This makes it easier to set your preferred heat level, thereby easing the treatment.

The micro plush fabric used to make this pliable heating pad makes it able to form easily against the treated body part. The pad is also very soft and comfortable, besides being flexible enough to fit in parts where plastic pads cannot fit.

The Sunbeam Xpress Hourglass Shaped heating pad heats up quickly, and doesn’t keep you waiting for long.


    • Fast heating up (30 seconds)
    • ​Hourglass shape that allows it to send heat where needed most
    • ​Moist heat option
    • ​4 heat settings
    • ​Auto shutoff feature
    • Machine washable
    • Soft micro plush cover


    • The micro plush cover is not convenient for washing
    • Doesn’t feature an automatic air moisture concentration functionality.

Chattanooga Theratherm Digital Moist Heating Pad


The Theratherm Digital Moist Heating Pad is a specially designed pad for rehabilitation. This heating pad is highly regarded by sports medicine experts because of the way it delivers moist heat to manage muscular spasms or soothe tired and sore muscles. The heat pad is designed for use on the shoulder, back, wrist, knee or foot, and stomach.

Theratherm is a large heating pad that covers large groups of muscles like the hamstrings, quadriceps, and the low back. This ensures these muscles get adequate heat coverage whenever pain strikes. The heating pad has been acclaimed because of its effectiveness in:

  • Pain relief: This heating pad is highly effective at relieving pain. It relieves back pain that occurs as a result of muscle spasms. The heating pad delivers intense heat therapy which provides a temporary relief from musculoskeletal and arthritic conditions.
  • Relaxation and flexibility: The intense, moist heat delivered by this heating pad is incredible at helping muscles to relax. Besides, this heating reduces muscle stiffness, making them more flexible.
  • Faster healing: The digital moist heat pad of Theratherm increases blood flow in the target areas, thereby helping with faster and more effective healing.

The Theratherm Digital Moist Heating Pad is highly effective, and allows you to set treatment sessions for up to 60 minutes at temperatures of up to 166 degrees Fahrenheit. Here is the procedure on how to use the heating pad:

First, ensure the heating pad is in its outer flannel cover, before plugging in the cord to a power outlet. Gently place the Theratherm heating pad on the target area.

Turn the heating pad on by pressing the on/off button for approximately two minutes. This will also turn on the LCD display which will display the default settings (126 degrees Fahrenheit for thirty minutes).

To select your ideal time and temperature, use the plus/minus button. You can lock the selected time and temperature by pressing the select button for a long time.

First, the Theratherm Digital Moist Heating Pad has a convenient lockout mode which protects against inconsistent settings when administering treatment.

Second, this heating pad features a flannel cover which effectively draws moisture from the surrounding air when the temperature of the heating pad rises.

Finally, this heating pad has a wide range of temperatures which go from 88 to 166 degrees Fahrenheit. And time settings which range from 1 to 60 minutes.


    • LCD display controller.
    • ​Auto shutoff functionality.
    • ​Large digital moist pad.
    • ​Deep penetrating and soothing heat.
    • v


    • Doesn’t last long.

Sunbeam Body Shaped Heating Pad


This a uniquely designed heating pad that delivers a convenient corded heat relief thanks to its magnificent hot cold on the go therapy pad. The design of this heating pad is optimized to conform expertly to the body for maximized therapy.

This heating pad is highly acclaimed by rehabilitation and sports science experts for its ability to deliver amazing soothing relief. The pad is also easy to use, and can be safely used at home for:

  • Effective pain relief: The main reason the Sunbeam Body Shaped Heating Pad is highly effective at relieving pain is it transfers heat directly to aching muscles, helping them to stretch, and thereby reducing strain.
  • Improved blood circulation: Any part of your body with injured muscle requires sufficient blood flow to heal properly and quickly. The Sunbeam Body Shaped Heating Pad supplies maximum heat to the injured part, helping the blood vessels to expand, and facilitates faster healing.
  • Speed up recovery: This pad works perfectly alongside other treatment options, thereby speeding up recovery. It also numbs pain receptors and prevents relay of the pain signal to the brain. When few signals reach the brain, pain is eased and inflammation is reduced.

Using this pad is a breeze. Connect the heating pad and the cord before plugging into a power outlet. Power on the heating pad by pressing the power button. You can select your ideal heat from the 5 different heat settings. The first setting is quite warm, whereas the fifth is extremely hot; this range gives you many options, making it perfect for varying needs. Once you are done setting the heat, place the heating pad on the target area. Let the pad transfer heat to the injured part for the stipulated time. Once the time is over press the power button to switch the pad off.

The Sunbeam Body Shaped Heating Pad features a unique pad that delivers both cold and hot therapy. Its design is comfortable, featuring a flexible Velcro strap that can extend up to 70 inches. This makes it able to fit perfectly on any target body part, regardless of the size.

This heating pad is also designed to be portable thanks to its detachable control. The digital control features 5 heat settings, which make it easier to customize therapy for effective treatment.


    • Soft fabric pad
    • ​Machine washable pad
    • ​Flexible Velcro strap
    • Removable cold and hot gel pack.


    • There is a concern with higher heat settings.

Sunbeam XL Renue Heat Therapy Wrap


The Sunbeam XL Renue is a heat therapy wrap that is designed to deliver convenient heat to the shoulder, neck, and back. The heating wrap features four heat settings, and is made to be extremely comfortable.

The wrap is specifically made for people with chronic back, shoulder, or neck pain, and those with muscle spasms in other parts of the body. Its four heating settings deliver a therapeutic heat, which is also amazing when massaging. The heat wrap has a nine foot cord which makes it easier to use from anywhere in your room.

The digital LED controller has an automatic shutoff feature which ensures the pad is turned off just in case you forget to.

The first step when using this heating wrap is plugging in the cord to a power outlet. The cord is long enough and will give you the freedom to use the wrap from anywhere.

The next thing is to select the heat and time settings, and the range is wide, making it easier to find the most convenient setting.

Then fit the wrap on the target area. The wrap is large enough to cover a large area, and this is the reason it is used as a massage tool. Turn on the wrap and let it work its magic. After using the wrap you can turn it off by pressing the on/off button.

The Sunbeam XL heating wrap is a uniquely designed wrap that is truly flexible, and can be used while sitting in a chair or while reclining. This flexibility is aided by its unique shape which enables it to fit perfectly over the neck and the shoulders. It also drapes down the upper back to cover the muscles from the upper shoulders to the middle back. This makes it one of the best heating wraps to massage the entire trapezius muscle.

The edges of this heating wrap are slightly weighted, which means they fit snugly onto the shoulder and the back. This guarantees maximum contact, hence easier transfer of heat to the treatment areas. There is also a snap closure functionality that ensures the wrap is fully adjustable to fit comfortably. Besides, the outer cover is made of a luxurious soft pad, making it very comfortable on your skin.


    • Wide coverage area
    • ​Weighted for effective treatment
    • Machine washable


    • Concerns with its maximum heat delivery
    • Unpleasant smell

BodyMed Digital Electric Moist Heat Pad


The BodyMed Digital electric heating pad is a special pad that is designed specifically for physiotherapy. This heating pad is so effective that it should be used in 15 to 20 minutes cycles. It’s incredibly helpful in:

  • Pain relief: BodyMed is designed to increase blood flow in the target areas so as to calm nerves, reduce inflammation, and relax muscles to ease pain. This pad has a soft heating pad that is highly effective at stimulating the sensory receptors in the skin to reduce the number of pain signals reaching your brain. This puts your body in a fantastic position to regain its health and feel incredible relief from pain.
  • Relaxation: This heating pad delivers therapeutic heat to relax muscles and joints. It is also excellent in relieving stress, strain, and overexertion.

Using a heating pad has never been this easy. Plug the BodyMed Digital heating pad into a power outlet. Fit the pad over the intended treatment area before turning it on by pressing the power button. You can then set your desired temperature, and the time for your treatment, using the up/down button.

The heating pad will not heat up immediately, but will take a few minutes. Once the set time is over, the heating pad will turn off automatically. Once the pad is off it will make a beeping sound to notify you.

One fascinating feature of this heating pad is its ability to remember time and temperatures set from the previous session. This saves time, especially when you do not want to start from scratch and return to the initial settings.

The user-friendly LCD control is another strong selling point for this heating pad. This makes it easier for you to adjust to precise settings for time and temperature. The display doesn’t only show low to medium temperatures, but the actual degrees and minutes set.

The heating pad has a lockout feature that ensures you won’t accidentally change the time and temperature settings, especially when the pad is in use.

With the BodyMed Digital heating pad you do not need to sprinkle water on its surface. It draws its own moisture from the humid air surrounding it. This functionality says volumes about the simplicity of this heating pad.


    • Heavy duty
    • Delivers both moist and dry heat
    • Good for intense short treatments


    • Doesn’t heat up quickly
    • Short continuous heat setting
    • The beeping sound is at times annoying

What are Heating Pads

Heating pads use warmth therapy to soothe common aches and pains.

There are different types of pads, but common ones use electric heating elements covered in fabric in order to provide the heat.

General Types of Heating Pads

In general, heating pads come in three main types: chemical, microwaveable, and electrical.

Chemical Heating Pads

Chemical heating pads, in most cases, are disposable and have dry and moist heating options.

Disposable chemical heating pads typically have to be activated before they can be used.

This activation starts a chemical reaction that creates the necessary heat.

These pads are often used as hand warmers, or as abdomen wraps to treat menstrual cramps, for example.

The type of activation depends on the specific product being used.

Some have to be squeezed; others act like an adhesive patch that works once it’s applied to the body.

This heat is only available for a certain amount of time, usually for a few hours, before it begins to expire.

A benefit to using disposable chemical heating pads is that they are convenient.

Those looking for a quick solution to alleviate aches and pains can find great use in these types of pads.

The adhesive types can also be worn on several different parts of the body, and many can last anywhere from 8-12 hours.

They are discreet and can be worn under clothing.

Unfortunately, disposable chemical heating pads are not reusable.

This may not affect someone who only needs the pad short-term, but for those looking for long-term treatment, it won’t be ideal.

In addition, you cannot adjust the temperature, so you are stuck with however hot it is able to get.

Microwavable Heating Pads

These heating pads act like a hybrid between electrical heating pads and disposable heating patches.

They are warmed by heating them in a microwave oven.

Usually, they are made with heat-retaining material like a packet filled with gel, or an insulated fabric filled with a type of grain such as wheat.

Many opt for microwaveable heating pads due to the fact that they are relatively simple to make at home.

You can customize them to fit a specific area of the body such as the shoulder or the back.

Another advantage of microwaveable heating pads is that you can warm them to whatever temperature you desire.

If made correctly, these should last several months.

However, microwaveable heating pads tend to not have any sort of straps or adhesives.

Therefore, they will not stay in place, so it may be difficult to use them comfortably.

Since they warm up in the microwave, they can also cool down rather quickly, usually in under half an hour.

Electrical Heating Pads

This type of pads is among the most common and widely used heating pads available.

Some come with a removable, washable fabric covering.

You can plug these pads into a wall outlet and control the settings with a dial or switch.

These pads are made in various sizes (small, medium, large, and extra-large), and, like chemical heating pads, they have both moist and dry heating options.

Even though you can use moist heating pads at home, they are typically used by physical therapists.

This is because moist electric heating pads are used for deep tissue treatment and can reach temperatures of up to 180ºF (82ºC).

An advantage to using electric heating pads is that they are typically reusable.

You can adjust the temperature as well to make them cooler or warmer, and the controls are generally easy to use.

Most of these pads come with an auto shut-off feature that kicks in after being on for too long.

A downside, though, is that electric heating pads should never be left unattended, especially moist ones, which is why it is warned not to fall asleep while using them.

It is also warned not to lie directly on the heating pad, so for those wanting to apply heat to their back, for instance, they may have to lie on their stomach.

Types of Electric Heating Pads

There are roughly seven different kinds of electric heating pads on the market today:

  • Regular
  • ​Infrared
  • ​Neck and Shoulder
  • ​Heating Mattress
  • ​Portable
  • Heat Seat with Massage
  • Massage Table Warmer

The types of heating pads are broken down as follows.

Regular Heating Pads

These are just your common heating pad that has easy-to-operate controls.

The controller itself is attached right to the heating pad.

Regular heating pads are available in various sizes such as small (12″ x 15″), medium (14″ x 18″), and large (14″ x 27″).

There are other options available.

Regular heating pads are versatile as they can be used practically anywhere on the body.

They are best used to relieve general aches and cramps.

For instance, you can lie on your stomach and drape a regular heating pad across your back to soothe muscle spasms.

For arthritis pain in the knee, you can prop your foot up and wrap the pad around your knee.

To reiterate, it is not advised to lie directly on regular heating pads.

So, be sure that the pad is given room to breathe while in use.

Infrared Heating Pads

Infrared heating pads differ from other electric heating pads due to how they are made.

Infrared heating pads utilize natural stones such as jade and tourmaline.

The major benefit of using these types of heating pads is that they give out FIR infrared heat that can penetrate more deeply into your muscles.

This deeper penetration can enhance healing, which is why many claim that infrared heating pads work better than regular heating pads.

Some of the benefits of using infrared heating pads include longer lasting relief of aches and pains after the heat is turned off.

For some, the pain may return once they remove other types of pads.

With infrared heating pads, the pain can stay away longer.

This type of pad also helps increase blood circulation, something that not only helps with recovery but also can aid in cleansing the body by removing toxins.

An added bonus is that you can lie on most infrared heating pads for greater comfort.

However, they tend to be a little heavier due to being filled with stones.

They come in various sizes.

Neck and Shoulder Heating Pad

As the name implies, this heating pad can benefit greatly those who are suffering from neck and shoulder pain.

A fitted wrap may work best in these situations since they are specifically designed for it.

You will not typically have to struggle with getting the wrap to stay on properly, a fight that may only aggravate your pain.

Instead, with a neck and shoulder heating pad, all you have to do is apply it, sit back, and let it do its job.

Or, if you still have something to do, many neck and shoulder heating pads feature a clasp to make them stay in place.

This way, you can go about your business while getting relief.

A neck and shoulder heating wrap helps to loosen up the muscles in those areas quickly.

It can work especially well if you have a stiff neck.

Heating Mattress for Your Bed

Many of you want to use a heating pad at night, but as with most electric heating pads, it is not safe to fall asleep with them on.

That is where a heating mattresses can be useful.

A heated mattress is a perfect solution to getting continuous heat throughout the night without worrying about a pad that may slip off.

It’s a safe option as well that’s designed specifically for your bed.

Those who may want to invest in a heated mattress may live in an area that frequently freezes and requires heat at night.

Health conditions may also require the use of heating mattresses.

For instance, hip and back issues can find relief from heat therapy.

Regular heating pads can slip off easily, and, as stated before, sleeping with them isn’t safe.

A heated mattress is a correct choice in those cases.

Portable Charging Heating Pads

Portable heating pads are the go-to option for those that need some warmth therapy yet don’t have the time to sit still while it works.

For those that are always on-the-go, portable heating pads can be a lifesaver.

They come in various sizes and shapes with some conforming to work for specific areas of the body, such as being able to wrap around the lower back.

These portable heating pads can be charged in a plug outlet, unhooked, and will then work for a few hours or so while you’re out on a run, camping, etc.

There are other portable heating pads that can be charged with a USB cable, or via a charger, you can plug into your car.

Battery packets are available as well.

Heat Seat with Massage

Sometimes what you need for that home office or a long commute to and from work is a heated seat.

Rather than have to situate a sort of pad, a heated seat can get your heat therapy right where you need it.

It can also save on time, especially during car rides.

An added bonus with heated seats is that most of them come with massage features.

Your body is thus able to keep warm while relieving stress and tension in your back, thighs, and shoulders.

It is an all-in-one therapy treatment.

Massage Table Warmer

Whether you have the table space at home or run a public massage venue, a massage table warmer is an excellent product to keep clients comfortable and warm.

These warmers act just like a regular heating pad.

They feature a power cord (albeit longer than that of a regular heating pad) with adjustable heat settings, a timer, and an auto shut-off feature to prevent overheating.

As it is only a table warmer, there is typically a maximum heat that does not usually go over 90ºF (32ºC).

There is also a warning that this product should only be used as specified – as a massage table warmer.

It should not be mistaken for a blanket or any other type of heating pad.

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