Heating pads have bene around for a long time and have been a valuable tool for people of all types to find pain relief for their sore and aching muscles. A great heating pad is a wonderful, natural approach to finding pain relief. However, not all heating pads are created equal.
Certain advancements have helped these heating pads be more effective than ever, stay hotter longer and better adhere to the curves of your body. With this in mind, we took the time to review dozens of heating pads and found that the Sunbeam Renue Heat Therapy Wrap is the best available heating pad on the market today.
Heating Pad Comparison
|Size (in)||14 x 22||76 x 80||14 x 14||12 x 24||14 x 27||14 x 27||9 x 12||24 x 33||12 x 24||12 x 24|
|Auto-Shutoff (minutes)||120||120||15||120||60||25||NA||60 / 120||25||150|
Heating Pad Buying Guide
As you can see from our featured products, heating pads can come in all different shapes, styles and sizes. The main goal of every heating pad, however, no matter what its design may be is to help cause dilation in the blood vessels, increase blood flow to affected areas and provide relief from pain or discomfort.
While heating pads have, in the past been both microwavable and designed to be filled with hot water, most heating pads today are electrical. With electric heating pads, the user has more customization when it comes to the type and intensity of the heat they are using. With these electric heating pads, you can also expect a consistent heat for longer on the impacted area.
While there is no denying the benefits of a heating pad, not all heating pads are created equal. This is why there are a few different considerations you should take when shopping for one of these products.
What Are the Benefits of a Heating pad?
Before you start shopping for heating pads, it is important to really understand what it is that these products can offer and why many people use them. While no one ever wants to have to suffer from pain and discomfort and therefore need a heating pad, they are great tools to have around and can provide quick pain relief without many side effects.
Many doctors and physical therapists actually use heating pads to help their patients get relief after an injury. While ice is better on some injuries there are certain strains, sprains and injuries that react best to heat. Heating pads are also common tools used for women who have menstrual cramps and are one of the few products that can actually provide menstrual cramp relief.
Heating pads have been shown to work for muscle spasms as well and can help alleviate stiffness in the joints and neck.
Moist vs. Dry Heating Pads
One of the major differences you will see among different heating pads is moist vs. dry heating pads. There are benefits to both types of heating pads, it is just important to find one that meats your needs.
Dry Heating Pads are a little more common than moist heating pads. They are less messy and some feel as though they feel better on the skin and are easier to apply. With non-electronic dry heating pads, the heat also tends to last longer than moist heating pads. However, for people who use heating pads quite often, they will notice that dry heating pads actually draw moisture out of the skin and can dehydrate the treated area and cause dryness and irritation.
As the name suggests, moist heating pads add some moisture to the equation. These are becoming more common in professional settings, but you can also find moist heating pads for home use. They won’t dehydrate the skin, they can increase tissue elasticity, and are great for those with sensitive skin. Many find that with moist heat, the heat therapy actually penetrates deeper in to the skin for faster pain relief. However, some people do not like the feeling of the moist heating pads, and they can take a while to get used to.
Key Considerations When Shopping for Heating Pads
As you start looking at heating pads, you will notice that they come in a number of different styles and sizes. Here are a few key considerations to look into that can help you differentiate the good heating pads with the bad. Remember, the key to a great heating pad is finding one that works for you and that can provide the type of heat relief you are looking for. With this in mind, here are a few key considerations to take while you shop.
Size of Heating Pad
The right heating pad should be large enough to cover large areas of the body, such as the entire low abdomen or the entire shoulder region or back. However, with heating pads, bigger isn’t always better. If the heating pad is too large, it can make it very difficult to provide localized pain relief to an impacted area.
Pay close attention to the design and material used to create this heating pad. You want to find a heating pad that is flexible and that is easy to maneuver. To provide the consistent and even type of heat that you need to get sustainable results, the heating pad needs to be able to form to your body, and all of your curves. This way, if you are applying heat to a knee, a shoulder or even your low abdomen, the heat can easily be dispersed exactly where it is meant to be.
Heating pads are typically used directly on the skin and are likely going to be used dozens, if not hundreds of times. This is why it is so important to look for heating pads that are easy to clean and care for. Many electronic heating pads today are actually machine washable. You typically, just need to remove the electronic cord before tossing it in the wash. Make sure to read up on the care instructions to see how easy it is going to be to keep this heating pad clean and sanitary.
One of the best things about electronic heating pads is that they are so much more customizable than the microwavable or water bottle heating pads that came before them. As you shop for different heating pads, you will notice that many products detail how many different heat settings they have. Some of the products we highlighted on our list have up to 10 different heat settings, or allow you to set an exact numeric heat setting number. However, you should at least be able to switch between low and high heat settings with your new heating pad.
With a heating pad in your home, you can start getting reliable, consistent pain relief from your most challenging joint and muscle issues. Whether you are struggling with neck pain following an accident, muscle spasms, all over soreness, or anything in between, there are heating pads out there that can help you get the relief you are looking for. As you search for the right heating pad to meet your needs, make sure to look at the products we listed in our review and pay close attention to our buying guide to make sure you find a quality product you can rely on in your time of need.