5 Best Heating Pads for Back Pain (2018): Buyer’s Guide and Unbiased Reviews

Are you on a quest to find the best heating pads for back pain?

Then you’re in the right place. Because I have done the hard work for you and have reviewed dozens of models.

In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.

  • Product Details (Including advantages and disadvantages)
  • Heating Pads for Back Pain Buyer’s Guide
  • Tips for Choosing the Best Heating Pad for Back Pain

I will also answer some common questions.

  • How safe are heating pads?
  • How do you use heat therapy properly?
  • When is heat therapy contraindicated?
  • Is it possible for a heating pad to get too hot?

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Shoulder pain, neck pain and back pain are common conditions that can occur at any age. However, frequently those health problems occur among people who work in offices (sedentary individuals), who sit with the wrong posture or in one position for a long period of time, use the computer all day long, and do heavy work (such as construction workers and farmers). Your body doesn’t lie when it comes to back pain. The most common sign is dull aches (or at times severe) at the lower back, back, shoulder and neck, and then the pains might spread down to the legs, thighs and hips that cause aches and numbness. The pain increases while you are working and doing heavy activities and then when you rest they reduce. This common disease isn’t life threatening but cause numerous difficulties, discomfort and problems with communication and daily life.

Most people associate heat with coziness and comfort, but at times when back pain takes it toll on sleep quality and activity, heat also can provide relief. Although it isn’t a miracle cure, it is difficult to against the basic heating pad’s benefits – particularly when you consider that it is non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, done at home, easy to use and inexpensive.

Therapeutic heating – or for therapy geeks “thermotherapy” – it is more useful that a majority of individuals realize, mainly due to muscle being source of worse and more pain than most people are aware of, and muscle pain does appear to respond quite well to heat. The muscle pain that is caused by spasms, muscle cramps, over-exertion, and particularly trigger points (or muscle “knots”) all are common and at times server, however they are frequently mistaken for other types of problems.

You should usually not ice any low back pain, but during pregnancy heating pads are safe (you just want to avoid heating the belly directly). WebMD reports that for pain relief heat is preferable in the event of recurring back pain, but for inflammation that relates to lower back pain, trauma or fresh injuries the better option is a cold ice pack.

Pain is combated by heat therapy in 3 major ways:

  • It increases blood flow to affected muscles, which speeds the healing process up
  • It partially blocks the pain signal transmission to the brain through affecting the sensory receptors within the area.
  • It reduce stiffness within the back’s soft tissue to make it more healthy and supple

Price

A heating pad’s price can can vary greatly depending on its features, size, quality and type.

  • For $10 to $20 you can get a decent basic, small electric heating pat with only dry heat or microwavable heating pad.
  • For $25 to $30 you can get a medium-sized electric heating pad that has dry or moist heat options or 24 single-use chemical heating pads.
  • For $30 to $40 you can get a large dry or moist electric heating pad that has six heating settings or more.
  • $60+ will give you an extra-large, top-of-the-line heating paid with temperature controls that are fully customizable.

Comparison Table

Product
Best Budget
Sunbeam King-Size Electric Heating Pad with UltraHeat Technology, 3 Heat Settings, Moist/Dry Heat, Machine...
Editors’ Choice & Best Seller
Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL King Size Heating Pad (Charcoal Gray) - Fast-Heating Machine-Washable Pad - 6...
Editors’ Choice & Professional’s Choice
UTK Far Infrared Heating Pad for Back Neck Shoulder Pain, Sciatica, Arthritis, Cramp Pain, 21"x31" Natural...
Thermophore MaxHeat Deep-Heat Therapy, Large, Standard 14" x 27" (Auto-Switch)
Chattanooga Theratherm Digital Moist Heating Pad, Large/Standard (14" x 27")
Image
Sunbeam King-Size Electric Heating Pad with UltraHeat Technology, 3 Heat Settings, Moist/Dry Heat, Machine...
Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL King Size Heating Pad (Charcoal Gray) - Fast-Heating Machine-Washable Pad - 6...
UTK Far Infrared Heating Pad for Back Neck Shoulder Pain, Sciatica, Arthritis, Cramp Pain, 21"x31" Natural...
Thermophore MaxHeat Deep-Heat Therapy, Large, Standard 14" x 27" (Auto-Switch)
Chattanooga Theratherm Digital Moist Heating Pad, Large/Standard (14" x 27")
Our Rating
Best Budget
Product
Sunbeam King-Size Electric Heating Pad with UltraHeat Technology, 3 Heat Settings, Moist/Dry Heat, Machine...
Image
Sunbeam King-Size Electric Heating Pad with UltraHeat Technology, 3 Heat Settings, Moist/Dry Heat, Machine...
Our Rating
Editors’ Choice & Best Seller
Product
Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL King Size Heating Pad (Charcoal Gray) - Fast-Heating Machine-Washable Pad - 6...
Image
Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL King Size Heating Pad (Charcoal Gray) - Fast-Heating Machine-Washable Pad - 6...
Our Rating
Editors’ Choice & Professional’s Choice
Product
UTK Far Infrared Heating Pad for Back Neck Shoulder Pain, Sciatica, Arthritis, Cramp Pain, 21"x31" Natural...
Image
UTK Far Infrared Heating Pad for Back Neck Shoulder Pain, Sciatica, Arthritis, Cramp Pain, 21"x31" Natural...
Our Rating
Product
Thermophore MaxHeat Deep-Heat Therapy, Large, Standard 14" x 27" (Auto-Switch)
Image
Thermophore MaxHeat Deep-Heat Therapy, Large, Standard 14" x 27" (Auto-Switch)
Our Rating
Product
Chattanooga Theratherm Digital Moist Heating Pad, Large/Standard (14" x 27")
Image
Chattanooga Theratherm Digital Moist Heating Pad, Large/Standard (14" x 27")
Our Rating

Best Heating Pads for Bad Backs

  • Sunbeam 732-500 King Size Heating Pad with UltraHeatTechnology
  • PureRelief XL – King Size Heating Pad
  • UTK Infrared Heat Therapy Healing Jade Mat
  • Thermophore MaxHeat Deep-Heat Therapy
  • Chattanooga Theratherm Digital Moist Heating Pad

1. Sunbeam 732-500 King Size Heating Pad with UltraHeatTechnology – Best Budget Heating Pad

Sunbeam King-Size Electric Heating Pad with UltraHeat Technology, 3 Heat Settings, Moist/Dry Heat, Machine...
  • SOOTHE WITH ULTRAHEAT: UltraHeat technology penetrates deeply to help...
  • SPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR ARTHRITIS SUFFERERS: King-size electric heating...
  • USE MOIST OR DRY HEAT: Large heating pad includes sponge so it can be...
  • CUSTOMIZE WITH 3 HEAT SETTINGS AND AUTO-SHUTOFF: Three heat settings...
  • COMFORTABLE TO USE AND EASY-CARE: Soft, washable cover

This extra large heating pad that has temperature control along with the ability to keep the heat maintained consistently. You can choose from three heating settings and it also has a slide controller that is easy to use. There is also a moist heat therapy option with the heating pad as well.

Pros
  • No auto shut off so that heating is provided continuously for a long time
  • Removable cover
  • Very long power cord
Cons
  • One of the smallest “large” heating pads
  • Lack of auto shut feature means you must take more care when sleeping with one of them
  • Water is required by the moist feature
  • The heating pad is flimsy wrinkles up

2. PureRelief XL King Size Heating Pad – Editors’ Choice & Best Seller

Sale
Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL King Size Heating Pad (Charcoal Gray) - Fast-Heating Machine-Washable Pad - 6...
  • FULL BODY RELIEF: Extra-large 12" x 24" heating pad is perfect for...
  • SUPER-SOFT MICROPLUSH: Thick microplush fibers offer maximum comfort...
  • FAST-HEATING: Heats in seconds to provide fast pain relief to aching...
  • MOIST HEAT OPTION: Safely use for moist or dry heat therapy.
  • 5 YEAR WARRANTY: Your satisfaction is guaranteed thanks to our...

The pad comes with many fancy settings: 6 temperature settings, moist/dry heat and auto shut-off. The product may be used for total body relief without problems. The thick micro plush fibers provides maximum comfort. The product can be used daily.

Pros
  • Fast heating
  • Large size
  • May be used very safely
  • Great pain relief aid
  • Soft cover pad and long cord
  • May be used for heat or moist therapy
  • 5-year manufacturer warranty
Cons
  • Slight chemical odor
  • Some uses do not feel it is hot enough

3. UTK Infrared Heat Therapy Healing Jade Mat – Editors’ Choice & Professional’s Choice

UTK Far Infrared Heating Pad for Back Neck Shoulder Pain, Sciatica, Arthritis, Cramp Pain, 21"x31" Natural...
  • FULL BODY VERSATILITY: perfect for treating sore muscles in your back,...
  • MORE PROFESSIONAL HEATING PENETRATING: we adopt natural jade stone as...
  • NATURAL JADE HEATING THERAPY FOR PAIN RELIEF: negative ions and far...
  • FDA CERTIFICATION. UTK Far Infrared Natural Jade Heating Pad is FDA...
  • MORE SOLID CONSTRUCTION, SECURE AND STURDY. UTK sell products in brand...

A completely different option from the other heating pads that are available in this list, this heating pad using a different type of heating system. Although normal heating pads use either a tourmaline, infrared pad using stones such as jade or a metal heating element of microwaveable rice or beads to deliver heat to your body. Infrared heat penetration, compared with electric heat, penetrates a lot deeper inside your tissues, down to your spine and nerves.

The UTK Infrared Heat Therapy Healing Jade Mat is very popular with consumers due to its fantastic quality, durability and great efficiency. Whether you would like the best heating pad for shoulder, neck or back pain, make sure to check this pad out.

Pros
  • Easy to use smart digital controller
  • Perdurable
  • You can feel sweatier with the infrared, compared to electrical pads
  • It can be used easily while traveling
  • Built in time, with continuous heat
  • Flexible and may be used for wrapping any part of your body
  • Digital controller comes with auto-shut off
  • Heat is effective and deep penetrating without feeling very hot
  • Natural jade stones are used that delivers deep-penetrating infrared heat
  • Uses various technology that claims it provides better relief compared to traditional pads
Cons
  • The stone make this heating pad less comfortable compared with traditional heating pads.
  • Compare to regular electric ones infrared heating paid is a lot more expensive. However, I believe the safety and high effective make it worth the higher price tags.

4. Thermophore MaxHeat Deep-Heat Therapy – Excellent Product

This electric heating pad provides moist heat very efficiently. The paid is heated very fast and delivers moist heat. The unit can be easily cleaned. The product provides you with great relief from strain and stress without any problems.

Pros
  • A cover comes with the heating pad
  • The handheld on’off switch can be pressed to get enough heat
  • Gets quite hot, up to 176 degrees F
  • Moist heating pad (moisture is drawn from the air)
Cons
  • No timer
  • No thermostat
  • The stays on for just 20 minutes, so if you would like to have continuous heat then you will need to search for a different option
  • You may want a pad that is more heavy-duty

5. Chattanooga Theratherm Digital Moist Heating Pad – Excellent Product

Sale
Chattanooga Theratherm Digital Moist Heating Pad, Large/Standard (14" x 27")
  • Delivers intense, moist heat therapy which provides temporary relief...
  • Intended for use on the back, shoulder, wrist, stomach, knee or foot;...
  • Includes a flannel covering which draws moisture from the air and as...
  • Features an easy-to-use digital hand control that allows you to...
  • Control the temperature between 88 and 166 degrees Fahrenheit (31 and...

This hardcore heating pad is able to deliver intense moist heat therapy to provide pain relief. You can use it on the back in addition to the joints and limbs. Ideal for strain related pain, inflammation and arthritis. The heating pad has a digital controller for programming time and temperature.It features a lock out mode,to ensure that the temperature remains constant during treatment. It automatically shuts off after the set period of time is over. There is on option for continuous heat.

Pros
  • Gets hot up to 166 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Removable cover
  • Set time control for up to 60 minutes
  • Incremental instead of medium and high low settings
  • Capacity for raising temperatures and easy to use controls
  • Delivers intense moist heat to provide instant relief
Cons
  • Not long-lasting
  • 60 minutes is the maximum setup time and there is no continuous heat option
  • For some people the heat setting might be too hot for them to handle

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Heating Pad for Back Pain

In order to help you make the best decision when choosing a product to help you with your pain, it is very important to sort out all of the various heating pad terms. Basically there are two kind of heat sources – electric or portable. There are two kinds of heat – moist or dry. Each of them has distinct disadvantages and advantages.

Portable Heating Sources Heating in a microwave, worn as a belt or stock on using adhesive, and then put on the painful area of your body. Although there is no automatic turnoff feature, they provide maximum mobility and a reduced chance of the skin overheating.

Electric heat source. A majority of plug-in electric sources are programmable now, which makes it easy to maintain temperature consistent and adjust temperature. They are long lasting and reusable but may not be worn while being active or traveling.

Dry Heat Versus Moist Heat. Dry heat comes from a basic warming mechanism and doesn’t involve any moisture. Mobile heat gets produced whenever a heating unit draws out moisture from the air and then heats it. There are many people who prefer to have moist heat, and state that it provides them with better pain relief. There are other people who prefer dry heat since it is less messy and easier to apply.

Although you might have to do some experimentation to the find the right product for you, all of the options are included here in our Guide of Best Heating Pads For Back Pain. They include dry, moist, electric or portable.

Tips for Choosing the Best Heating Pad for Back Pain

Now that you’ve decided that you’re going to buy yourself a heating pad for your back pain, you’re going to have to narrow down your choices to pick out the right heating pad for you. Here are some tips to help you to choose the heating pad that will best meet your needs.

Compare Warranties

Look for a heating pad that provides a sufficient warranty to ensure that you’ll be covered if anything happens to your pad, or if there are any recall notices issued for it. Either your repair should be provided free of charge, or the manufacturer should replace it for free. You can find inexpensive heating pads that come with good warranty coverage if you look hard enough.

Durability

Compare how durable the construction and materials are between different models. The last thing that you want is to have to purchase a replacement pad after only a few months because the model that you chose fell apart. A high-quality heating pad will provide therapeutic benefits for many years.

Compare Features

Electric heating pads tend to receive higher ratings from their users if they provide features that are designed to meet specific needs of their users. Auto-shutoff is one such feature that consumers place a high value on. Decide which features are most important to you.

What’s The Target Zone

Always keep in mind what your specific needs are, and buy accordingly. For example, if you suffer from back pain, you should choose a heating pad that has been specifically designed to be used on the back. One that is designed for another part of the body won’t provide the necessary coverage.

Moist Heating Or Combination Heating

Users of heating pads for the relief of relieve chronic pain, rate heating pads that either provide moist heating alone, or a combination of moist heating and dry heating, the highest. Consider your needs and choose the one that will provide the best benefits to you.

Cost

There are an innumerable amount of heating pads available today targeting specific body parts, and these can range significantly in price from quite expensive to much more reasonable prices. The quality of the product and its available features make the most significant impact on its cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How safe are heating pads?

A. Heating pads are safe to use provided that you follow the manufactures usage instructions. However, particularly with electric models, there are some safety concerns that you can mitigate by following these tips. Don’t use while drowsy unless it features an auto-shutoff function. Examine your heating pad for frayed wires or charred spots, discard if any are found. Only heat a microwavable heating pad as long as has been prescribed, particularly at the highest setting. Use only in an area away from highly-combustible materials.

Q. How do you use heat therapy properly?

A. Always read the instructions that came with the heating pad that you selected, paying particular attention to any warnings or cautions. Most back pain begins with a pulled muscle or sprain, occurring in the upper, lower, and lumbar regions. The pain usually begins to diminish after a few days to weeks. Using the heating pad with a lumbar cushion may be beneficial. A great relaxing massage will also provide you with some relief.

Use a heating pad that produces consistent heat at an appropriate temperature. The Warm setting is usually ideal for muscle pain. The heat should pass through the skin without burning it, and enter the muscles. Overheating the skin will produce no therapeutic benefit, and will in fact be the cause of additional pain for you.

Sustained heat provides the most therapeutic benefits. Slight pain and injuries can be relieved in only 15 to 20 minutes, while more serious pain may take up to 3 hours to begin to experience relief.

Make yourself comfortable, kick back to watch a good movie or to read a book, turn on the controls, and relax.

Q. When is heat therapy contraindicated?

A. Avoid the use of heating pads if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Peripheral Artery Disease
  • Dermatitis
  • Bruising or Swelling of the Lower Back
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Cognitive Challenges

Always discuss using heat therapy with your doctor if you have any cause for concern. Also speak with your healthcare provider if you have heart disease or high blood pressure. To treat a bruise or swelling, use a cold pack to reduce the swelling and to minimize the pain, not heat.

Q. Is it possible for a heating pad to get too hot?

This is a very common question for first-time users. Due to the number of heat setting choices that are available on some pads, they want to know if it’s possible for them to get too hot. Generally, the answer is no. Usually overheating only occurs when damaged heating pads are used, so care must be taken to ensure that your heating pad is in good condition prior to using it.

Heating pads that come with a limited number of settings are manufactured to reduce the potential for causing any level of discomfort or adverse reaction. Individual tolerances can vary, so it is up to you to decide which heat setting you are most comfortable using. Heat settings can vary in intensity from manufacturer to manufacturer, so if switching to another brand you should use caution if you tend to be sensitive to higher heat settings.

As a rule of thumb whenever using a heat pad for the first time, start at the lowest setting and see how it feels. If it feels comfortable, and your sore back muscles begin to experience relief, you’re using the right setting. If there’s no perceivable benefit provided by the current heat setting, try the next higher in sequence. It should only take a short time at each heat setting to find the one that works for you.

Conclusion

Look for heating pads that are designed for, and are most suitable for use with your particular type of injury. You can also choose one that has a design characteristic or shape that is suitable for any kind of injury that may arise. Whatever your preference maybe, always check out the safety features that are built into the heating pad design. Stick to brands that you are familiar with when available, as these are typically the most reputable companies with the most experience in manufacturing heating pads.

Take Action

Editors’ Choice & Best Seller

Sale
Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL King Size Heating Pad (Charcoal Gray) - Fast-Heating Machine-Washable Pad - 6...
  • FULL BODY RELIEF: Extra-large 12" x 24" heating pad is perfect for...
  • SUPER-SOFT MICROPLUSH: Thick microplush fibers offer maximum comfort...
  • FAST-HEATING: Heats in seconds to provide fast pain relief to aching...
  • MOIST HEAT OPTION: Safely use for moist or dry heat therapy.
  • 5 YEAR WARRANTY: Your satisfaction is guaranteed thanks to our...

Best Budget

Sunbeam King-Size Electric Heating Pad with UltraHeat Technology, 3 Heat Settings, Moist/Dry Heat, Machine...
  • SOOTHE WITH ULTRAHEAT: UltraHeat technology penetrates deeply to help...
  • SPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR ARTHRITIS SUFFERERS: King-size electric heating...
  • USE MOIST OR DRY HEAT: Large heating pad includes sponge so it can be...
  • CUSTOMIZE WITH 3 HEAT SETTINGS AND AUTO-SHUTOFF: Three heat settings...
  • COMFORTABLE TO USE AND EASY-CARE: Soft, washable cover

Editors’ Choice & Professional’s Choice

UTK Far Infrared Heating Pad for Back Neck Shoulder Pain, Sciatica, Arthritis, Cramp Pain, 21"x31" Natural...
  • FULL BODY VERSATILITY: perfect for treating sore muscles in your back,...
  • MORE PROFESSIONAL HEATING PENETRATING: we adopt natural jade stone as...
  • NATURAL JADE HEATING THERAPY FOR PAIN RELIEF: negative ions and far...
  • FDA CERTIFICATION. UTK Far Infrared Natural Jade Heating Pad is FDA...
  • MORE SOLID CONSTRUCTION, SECURE AND STURDY. UTK sell products in brand...
References

I am Lucas. I was once a back pain sufferer, but that is all in the past. I created BestforBackPain.com to help others find relief without going to physical therapy or expensive medical treatments that are often hit or miss.

Last update on 2018-11-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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