Soothe those frequent aches and pains with the best heating pads for some potential relief.
Updated March 2, 2023 7:00 a.m. PT
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James BricknellSenior Editor
James has been writing about technology for years but has loved it since the early 90s. While his main areas of expertise are maker tools -- 3D printers, vinyl cutters, paper printers, and laser cutters -- he also loves to play board games and tabletop RPGs.
Expertise3D printers, maker tools such as Cricut style vinyl cutters and laser cutters, traditional paper printersCredentials
6 years working professionally in the 3D printing space / 4 years testing consumer electronics for large websites.
Whether you're just getting older, working a demanding job, or spending hours sitting at a desk, some part of your body probably hurts when you've finished for the day. Lower back and hip pain are common complaints for those of us who spend all day sitting -- especially if we aren't using the best office chair we can. For some affordable and easy-to-use options to help alleviate that pain, we'd recommend going for one of the best heating pads you can get.
Most heating pads deliver some joint pain, neck pain and back pain relief -- or even help with arthritis and cramps. To be clear, if you're experiencing back pain and you don't know why, you should consult your doctor. Trust me, you do not want to let random pain go untreated for long.
That being said, let's have a look at what we use to relieve some pressure.
This is a large heating pad you can wrap around problem spots. I switched to this brand for its more even heating (avoiding hot and cold spots that trouble electric heaters). The control pad lets you choose auto-shutoff or sustained heat until you're ready for a break. Plus, you can disconnect the cord and toss the soft microfiber pad into the wash to freshen it up.
I suffer from an injury to my sciatic nerve that just loves to flare up when I sit down too much. Working from home, I tend to find myself getting deeply involved in a project and not standing as often as I should, which leads to some pain. When this happens, I know I need to break out my handy Sunbeam heating pad that I've had for a few years now. It's super reliable and has multiple temperature settings to control how much heat it lets off. It's available in a few different sizes, but I picked one of the middle sizes to cover more of my back at once to help relieve my back pain. It has a fabric pad cover, which has stayed clean for the years I've used it.
During lockdown, I bought one of these for myself to more comfortably work from bed. Then, I got two more to give as gifts to people who didn't know they needed them. Now I can't live without this cushy, portable support.
I grabbed a Sunbeam heating pad because the most important feature in a heating pad, for me, is the ability to shut off automatically. I'm good at taking a painkiller, putting a heating pad on and falling asleep. Not the safest way to live. So it's nice to know my heating pad will turn off automatically after two hours of use. This model fits well everywhere, spreads heat out nicely and I don't have to worry about it being unsafe just because I've dozed off.
I really should spend the extra money and get a corded heated pad, but I don't feel like I use it enough to be worthwhile. Whenever I get back pain, I use my microwavable pad to help soothe it. Just pop it into the microwave and let it naturally cool on your body. The rice and flaxseed inside it managed to hold the heat for around 10 minutes, which seems to be long enough for my back to stop hurting. Your results may vary.
I've always struggled with periods of back pain, largely down to poor posture and a lot of sitting at computer desks. But since I've started doing full-body strength and pilates workouts at home using Apple Fitness Plus I've not only got fitter and healthier without the hassle of going to a gym, but my back pain is rarely an issue. A subscription will run you $10 a month or $80 annually for up to five family members.
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.