5 Best Heating Pads For Easing Cramps & Body Aches
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When we’re in pain, heat therapy can provide some much-needed relief. How does it work? According to Healthline, heat increases blood flow to a specific area, which in turn helps relax and comfort muscles and joints.
“Dry” heat therapy with heating pads, as opposed to moist heat therapy with steamed towels or baths, can be an effective and easy way to find soothing support. Whether you experience sore muscles from exercise or chronic cramps from PCOS, there is a heating pad out there made for you…and we’ve curated five of the best ones below. And if you want to craft one of your own, that’s easy too! Here’s a tutorial from Byrdie for a non-electric heating pad.
(And remember, as per John Hopkins Medicine: Protect your skin while using a heating pad and take precautions to avoid burns!)
Best For | Cramps & soreness Materials | Activated charcoal, iron, rose, lemon, & jasmine oils Price | $17+
Rael is best known for its organic pads, period underwear, and patches; its Heating Patches for Menstrual Cramps are winners for us, too. Using activated charcoal and iron, these patches (available in two sizes from regular to XL), will instantly warm up your body for up to eight hours. (But be safe, only apply the patch on undergarments, not directly on skin!) You can even start a discounted subscription, so you can sync them up with your menstrual cycle. 8-9 patches start at $18, and you can purchase up to 24 at once for $45. Enjoy the notes of rose and jasmine…and the localized pain relief you’ve been looking for.
2. Pure Relief
Best For | Overall pain relief Materials | Microplush, polyester Price | $35
From the New York Times to Good Housekeeping, Pure Relief makes the top of every list—and for good reason. The XL Heating Pad can treat everything from backaches to muscle spasms to chronic arthritis, thanks to the six different heating temperatures and generous size (12” x 24”). The heating pad (or should we basically consider it a blanket?!) also comes with automatic shutoff to preserve energy after use, is machine-washable so it’ll last, and touts an extra long cord. While we don’t love the polyester, Pure Relief offers a five-year warranty (and also a discount for military/first responders!) so you can get the most use out of this effective, soothing heating pad.
Best For | Travel Materials | Polyester Price | $40
Available at FSA Store, Walmart, and Target, Sunbeam manufactures a number of high-performing heating pads but our favorite is the GoHeat USB Powered Heating Pad. For pain relief on the go, you can simply plug it in anywhere with a USB connector (think: your car, your office, anywhere with your own power bank) and then just strap on the heating pad where you need. At 12.5” x 7.5”, it’s sizable enough to use along your back, torso, neck, and more. Plus, Sunbeam has thought of all the details: The pad rolls up and can be carried anywhere (and is machine washable), the adjustable strap runs to 55”, there are three heat settings, and it has an auto shutoff at two hours. Get the help you need exactly when you need it.
4. Glow Botanica
Best For | Menstrual pain Materials | Microfiber pouch, flaxseed, lavender, natural canvas Price | $48
Glow Botanica helps treat hormonal imbalances of all ages, and the team does so naturally! Working with pharmacologists (and tested by those experiencing PMS and menopause), GB’s products are thoughtfully designed to help from the inside out. Its Thermal Pad contains just two ingredients—flaxseed and lavender—bundled together to relieve cramps, bloating, muscle pain, and more. Quickly heat it up in the microwave as a heating pad (no cord needed!), and you can even throw it in the freezer for cold application if you prefer. Whether you live with endometriosis, PMDD, menopause, or PCOS, you’re sure to find at least a little bit of relief here.
Best For | Professional grade heating pad Materials | Cotton cover, tourmaline, grapeseed & peach extractions, amethyst crystals Price | $780+
Biomat makes heating mats not just for individual consumers, but for professionals too—including massage therapists, saunas, and chiropractors—so you know they’re good. While these mini- to mattress-sized mats are an upfront investment, the payoff is worth it, thanks to the mix of far infrared light and negative ion technology. The secret? Amethyst crystals! Approved by the FDA, responsibly made with an ISO certification, and used by therapists worldwide, these heating mats are as magical as they sound. Biomat offers a multi-year warranty, a free trial, returns, and financing.
Featured image includes model Shelly Cochrane wearing bodysuit and shorts by LACAUSA; socks by NAADAM; jewelry by Apse