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10 Best Heating Pads to Soothe Sore Muscles

Whether you’re dealing with workout-related muscle strains or monthly cramps, these heating pads deliver fast relief.

heating pads
Staff, Courtesy of Sunbeam

Whether you’re attempting to relieve cramped muscles, soothe a sore back, or treat a tender neck, a heating pad is an essential piece of your first aid collection. Most heating pads have a straightforward design that makes them easy to use, and after plugging them in or microwaving them for a few minutes, you’ll have a warm, flexible pad that you can wrap around whatever body part needs attention. This heat therapy promotes circulation and delivers fast pain relief to aching muscles and joints. Heating pads are also useful for simply warming up cold hands or feet on frigid evenings, or even making a comfortable bed for your small pets.

While choosing a heating pad may seem easy enough, you will want to consider size, temperature range, and additional features like hot stones or moist heat. With all of these variables, it can be difficult to figure out which heating pad will best suit your needs. That's why we've gathered some of our favorites to help you choose.

10 Best Heating Pads to Soothe Sore Muscles

    What to Consider

    When choosing a heating pad, first think about what you plan on using it for. If it’s for a specific body part that regularly causes you pain or discomfort, it's best to look for a pad that is designed for that specific area. If a stiff neck is your primary concern, for example, consider the Sunbeam Neck & Shoulder model, a pad that fits snugly around your shoulders and connects at the front to hold it in place. If you just want a basic model that can be used on a variety of body parts and areas, you should be fine with a basic square or rectangular option.

    You should also think about how much control you want over the temperature of the pad. While most basic pads have three heat settings—low, medium, and high—others offer more customization, and allow you to choose between up to 10 temperature settings. For microwaveable versions, you can adjust the temperature of your pad by simply putting it in for longer or shorter periods of time.

    How We Selected

    I've been using heating pads for years for physical therapy on sore muscles. I'm still using a Sunbeam model that was purchased years ago that has been performing without issue ever since, and is the main reason why I featured multiple Sunbeam models on this list. Below, you'll find a variety of heating pad types, from electric ones with customizable temperature settings to microwaveable versions with adorable designs, at a wide range of prices.

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    1
    Best Low-Cost Option
    Standard Heating Pad
    Sunbeam
    Now 45% off
    2
    Best Weighted Pad
    Electric Heating Pad
    Comfytemp
    Now 31% off
    3
    Best for Period Cramps
    Warmies Microwavable French Lavender Scented Plush Turtle
    4
    Best for Neck and Shoulders
    Heating Pad for Neck & Shoulder Pain Relief
    5
    For Hot Stone Massage Fans
    Far Infrared Natural Jade and Tourmaline Heating Pad
    UTK
    Now 48% off
    6
    Best Large Pad
    XXXXL King Size Heating Pad
    Ambershine
    Now 17% off
    7
    Best for Lower Back Pain
    Upgraded Heating Pad for Back Pain Relief
    Comfytemp
    Now 16% off
    8
    Best for Full Back Relief
    Large Heating Pad for Back
    RENPHO
    Now 27% off
    9
    Best for Kids
    Avocado Microwavable Heating Pad
    Cole
    Now 17% off
    10
    Best for Pets
    Pet Heating Pad
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