The best heated pad to soothe your aches and keep you snug

Heat therapy made simple.

Best heated pad

by Hannah Carroll |
Published on

If you suffer from aches and pains, poor circulation or inflammation, the best heated pad can be a real game-changer for managing your pain. The NHS suggests heat therapy as a way of alleviating pain. Heat can soothe spasms, which often lead to less stiffness. But like your trusty hand warmer, a heated pad can also help keep you nice and toasty while being a cheaper alternative to turning on the central heating.

Heat therapy works by increasing blood flow to the targeted area, which can help promote healing and reduce stiffness and pain. It can be particularly beneficial for muscle strains, arthritis, and menstrual cramps. However, it's essential to use heat therapy with caution and follow guidelines to avoid burns or exacerbating existing conditions. Heat therapy is not suitable for everyone, and we will go into more detail about this at the end of the article.

The best heated pads at a glance:

Best budget heated pad: Cura-Heat Back and Shoulder Pain heat patch - view on Amazon UK**
•** Best luxury heated pad: Dreamland Intelliheat Heat Pad - view on Argos**
•** Best heated pad for design: OVIFM - Menstrual Heating Pad Rechargeable-Portable Period Cramp Heat Pad - view on Amazon UK

Heated pads aren't just popular for people who suffer from physical pain. Warmth has also been a popular emotional support. Warming devices like electric blankets can provide physical comfort and warmth, creating calming and soothing effects for individuals experiencing emotional distress or discomfort.

Staying warm in cold weather is crucial for maintaining comfort and avoiding health risks. As tempting as it can be to turn on the heating the moment you feel a little cold, it can quickly become very expensive. Heated pads provide targeted warmth to specific areas of the body, offering relief from cold temperatures without the need to be bundled up with ten layers and a hot water bottle on a cold day.

The best heated pads

Best budget heated pad

Cura-Heat Back and Shoulder Pain heat patcheCredit: Amazon

Cura Heat Back and Shoulder Pain are small, discreet rectangular heat packs that provide targeted, temporary 24-hour warming relief from minor muscular and joint aches and pains. This is great for people who regularly suffer from sore backs as they can be kept in your bag and used when needed. We found these patches are easy to use and great for people who don't want to be hooked to a lead or plug.

Customer review: "So easy to apply just peel off the sticker. It sticks well to clothes as it can't be put directly onto the skin. I used it to warm up a sore back, but to be honest, even if you use it to keep you warm whilst outside this time of year, it's well worth the money. This pack remained warm all afternoon until I removed it. It would probably have lasted longer in situ."


  • Ready to use
  • Travel friendly
  • Good for aches
  • Boosts blood circulation


  • Some people found it a little uncomfortable (most did not)

Best luxury heated pad

Dreamland Intelliheat Heat PadCredit: Argos

If you want to treat yourself, it doesn't get better than the Dreamland Intelliheat heat pad. Perfect for easing aches or snuggling into on a cold evening. And if you fall asleep, don't worry. This heat pad automatically turns off after 180 minutes.

Our review: "As someone who has a chronic autoimmune illness, I am often in pain, and I have found that heat is one of the best ways to alleviate my symptoms. I am also always cold, so when the chance came to test a heated pad, I jumped at it. This heated pad is wonderful but very addictive. Any chance I get, I turn it on. I have found it comforting, warming and great for soothing any niggles. Thankfully, it's so cheap to run that it is also friendly on my purse strings. I cannot recommend this enough."


  • Five heat settings (it can get really warm)
  • Easy to use hand-held control
  • Auto shut-off 180 minutes (perfect for nighttime use)
  • Machine washable
  •  It costs only 1p to run for three hours


  • It could be a little larger

Best heated pad for the design

 Menstrual Heating Pad Rechargeable-Portable Period Cramp Credit: Amazon

We cannot get enough of this discreet heated pad, perfect for people who are always on the move. One of the biggest issues that pain sufferers face is still having to go about their daily business, but this wireless heated pad is great for those on the move.

Customer review: "I’ve been having trouble with period pain for a while now, but this product takes the pain away straight away. It’s the most comfortable thing ever and much more practical than using a hot water bottle every time. It’s easy to charge and has a comfortable pad on the back. The temperature control is amazing and has massage settings along with it! I highly recommend this product! Such a good quality product!"


  • Wireless
  • Rechargeable
  • Three massage modes
  • Discreet design


  • Vibration is noisy

Best heated pad for pain relief

 Hangsun Heating Pad Electric for Back and Neck Shoulder Pain ReliefCredit: Amazon

A heating pad is one of the best sources of relief for sore necks and backs. Hangsun Heat Pad TP260 provides instant heat and precise temperature control. The fleece material is super soft and skin-friendly. It‘s also machine washable, making it super convenient.

Customer review: "This is one of my best purchases this year! I bought it over two months ago and decided to use it for a while before giving feedback. It has helped to reduce my back pain significantly. I hardly feel any pain at all while sitting at my desk with it strapped to my back. It also helps the early morning pains I used to feel from lying on the bed overnight because I lie on it now. I removed the outer covering to feel the heat and sometimes even put it against my bare back. It is safe to use, and the auto shut off helps regulate it so I can sleep off, and it will go off at the appropriate time."


  • It can be used on multiple body parts
  • Six temperature settings
  • Overheat protection
  • High-quality material


  • Some found that the neck strap was uncomfortable

Best heated pad with a massager

Arlierss Wireless Heating Pads for Back Pain ReliefCredit: Amazon

This heating pad has three massage modes that are great for pain sufferers. You can set the appropriate massage mode according to your needs. This heating pad is suitable for pain relief and is equipped with a portable 5000mAh power bank that can be used for up to three to four hours.

Customer review: "I got this for my husband because he suffers from a bad back. He uses it daily and finds it very helpful. It is far easier to use than putting a hot water bottle or microwave pad on his back because it wraps around you and holds it in place. It heats up quickly, and the controls are easy to operate."


  • Multiple colour choices
  • Massages features
  • Adjustable size


  • Not machine washable

Best heated pad cushion

Sweet Dreams Heated Cushion Pillow Heat PadCredit: Amazon

The Sweet Dreams heat pads are designed for comfort and are made with premium micro-flannel fleece material. This heated cushion is an excellent way to target pain in different areas of your body whilst increasing comfort.

Customer review: "I bought it for my mother-in-law who has chronic lower back pain - she was so impressed and delighted with the heated cushion, especially the personalised heat settings so you can be as toasty or as gently warm as you feel comfortable - the perfect comforter and received with much appreciation."


  • Machine washable
  • Four adjustable heat settings
  • Luxurious flannel fleece


  • The pillow is a little small

Best microwavable heated pad

Supersoft Faux Fur Long HottieCredit: M&S

This heated pad will keep your whole body warm at night with this long hottie. Inside is a removable pouch that heats up in the microwave, while the supersoft faux fur cover will only add to your immense comfort.

Customer review: " This is lovely and fits right around my lower back when seated to help with pain. My only complaint is that I wish the whole thing went in the microwave. Having to take it out of the cover and put it back again is very fiddly."


  • Machine washable
  • Convenient
  • Heats the whole body


  • Fiddly to take the cover on and off

Best faux fur heated pad

Beurer Nordic Faux Fur Heat PadCredit: Lakeland

Beurer’s Nordic Faux Fur Heat Pad is ideal for staying warm and cosy without burying yourself in blankets or turning the (very expensive) central heating on. The soft faux fur material is soft on your skin and helps to keep you warm, all whilst being suitable for vegans.

Customer review: "The pad is a great size and warms up quickly. The furry cover is wonderfully soft and gives it a luxurious feel. Perfect for tummy and back aches. The label was huge and was getting in the way, so I carefully snipped it off and kept it in a safe place with the instructions/guarantee."


  • Machine washable
  • Super soft, taupe short faux fur
  • Three temperature settings


  • Large label

Best heated pad that heats up quickly

 Beurer HK44UK Heat PadCredit: Boots

One of the downsides of using a hot water bottle is waiting for it to warm your body. It can also be tough to get the temperature just right. The Beurer HK44 Soft Cosy Heat Pad has a rapid heat-up, which means no more waiting for the kettle to boil, and it has three settings, making it much easier to find the perfect temperature.

Customer review: "I’m a hot water bottle addict and love this! It feels flat when you are used to a water bottle, but I am so glad I bought it. It is much safer, and I never have to go down to fill my bottle. Fantastic!"


  • Heats up quickly
  • Lightweight
  • Auto turn-off function


  • Some customers found that it wasn't warm enough

What are heating pads good for?

Heating pads are highly beneficial for relieving various types of pain and discomfort. They can be particularly helpful for individuals suffering from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, where joint stiffness and inflammation are common. By applying heat directly to the affected joints, heating pads help to increase blood flow, relax muscles, and alleviate pain. Not to mention, heating pads can provide relief for menstrual cramps, a prevalent issue among women, by easing muscle tension in the abdomen and lower back. This targeted warmth can significantly reduce discomfort and improve overall well-being during menstruation.

Heating pads are also helpful for individuals experiencing muscle strains or tension headaches. In cases of muscle strain, the application of heat can help to relax tense muscles and promote faster recovery. Likewise, for tension headaches, which often result from tight muscles in the neck and shoulders, heating pads can offer soothing relief by loosening these muscles and reducing pain.

Overall, heating pads are versatile tools that provide effective relief for a range of common ailments, making them indispensable for managing pain and discomfort in everyday life.

When should you not use a heating pad?

While heating pads can be beneficial for relieving various types of pain and discomfort, as previously mentioned earlier in the article, there are certain situations where they should be avoided or used with caution:

• If you have blood/circulation problems
• If you have a heart condition and you are applying the heat to the upper part of your body
• If you have broken/thin skin or an unhealed wound in the area where you are applying the heat
• If you have reduced skin sensation
• If you use a patch which delivers drugs into your system in the area where you are applying heat
• If you have an unstable medical condition, e.g. diabetes, epilepsy

Caution: If you have diabetes, take extra care when applying heat or ice, especially to your legs,
and monitor your skin during treatment on a frequent basis

Generally, you must use heating pads as directed and avoid prolonged or excessive heat exposure to prevent burns or other adverse effects. If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional before using heat therapy.

Is a heat pad better than a cold pad?

The use of a heating pad or cold pad depends on the specific condition being treated and your preferences.

Heat therapy, provided by a heated pad or hot water bottle, is often preferred for chronic conditions like arthritis or muscle stiffness, as it helps to relax muscles, increase blood flow, and alleviate pain.

Cold therapy, typically delivered by a cold compress or ice pack, is more suitable for acute injuries, inflammation, or swelling, as it constricts blood vessels, reduces swelling, and numbs the affected area, providing pain relief.

Both heat and cold therapy have their advantages, and the choice between them should be based on the nature of the injury or condition, as well as personal comfort and response to treatment.

Hannah Carroll is a Senior Home, Parenting and Lifestyle Product writer for Yours, specialising in product testing and reviews. As a mother of three, Hannah loves finding clothes that make her feel fabulous and products that are great for large families.

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