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Smart back-pain solution: Save 25% on this app-controlled, battery-powered heating pad

The genuinely useful ReliefHeat normally sells for $99, but Cheapskate readers can get an exclusive discount.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read

Strap on this battery-powered belt on for anytime, anywhere heat.


Happy Thursday, fellow cheapskates! Here are a few deals that should be on your radar today:

On to business. Do you suffer from back pain? You're not alone; it's a huge problem. Heating pads can offer relief, but they can also be a challenge to use effectively. For starters, most of them require you to stay tethered to an electrical outlet. Huge hassle. And although you can adjust the heat, you're usually limited to just a few options (low, medium, high, etc.).

Enter ReliefHeat, a portable, battery-powered heating pad I just tested and genuinely like. At $99, it's definitely on the pricey side compared with traditional pads, which typically run $25 to $40. But for a limited time, Cheapskate readers can save 25% on a ReliefHeat with promo code CNETRELIEF. Update: The large size is, for the moment, out of stock. I'm checking with the company to see when more inventory will arrive.

The ReliefHeat is a slim Velcro belt that's worn like a fanny-pack. To charge it, you just plug the included AC adapter into its USB-C port. Then you connect via an Android or iOS app, which allows you to set the temperature (anywhere from 100 to 160 degrees) and heating time (5 to 60 minutes, or just "on" until the battery runs out).

The pad heats up almost instantly once you start the app, and it definitely gets good and warm. Once you find a temperature you like, the app will automatically vary it slightly so you don't get desensitized.

The real beauty of this is portability: You can use it pretty much anywhere. It folds flat for easy transport and comes with a drawstring carrying case.

I do have a few quibbles. ReliefHeat says the battery is good for up to three hours on a charge, but it continues to drain slightly when the pad isn't in use. That's because it relies on an always-on Bluetooth connection; the pad itself has no on-off button. So unless you leave it on the charger, it'll eventually die.

The ReliefHeat comes in two sizes: One for 22-40-inch waists, one for 40-60-inch. I'm a 6-foot male with a 33-inch waist; the smaller one fits me, but with little room to spare. Anyone who's even a little thicker about the tum would be wise to choose the larger size.

Those issues aside, this is something I can definitely see myself using. It's portable, wearable, has adjustable heat and is a huge improvement over traditional heating pads. And $74 is, for some, a small price to pay for back-pain relief.

Your thoughts?

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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