Has a pleasant smell. Around-the-neck design delivers instant relief to those suffering from neck and back pain or migraines. Comfortable weight allows users to wear this for an extended time. Made of durable and soft fabric.
Wrap does not have a closure, so it may slip out of place from time to time.
Features fleece on one side to provide dry heat, and cotton on the other for moist heat. Filled with natural flaxseeds that act as a moist heat retainer. Retains heat for up to 30 minutes after 2 minutes in the microwave. Available in grey or blue.
The cover is not removable, making the whole thing a bit difficult to clean.
Fleece material is soft, which is especially important for those with skin sensitivities. Has a pleasant scent. Stays warm for a decent amount of time after only 2 minutes in the microwave. Flexibility allows users to place it in a precise location.
Some users wish this product had more length to it.
Is an impressive length, allowing users to position it comfortably around the neck. Warm, moist heat is very effective in relieving tension and stress and lessening neck, shoulder, and back pain. Is made of quality material and doesn’t have a scent.
Some users may find it to be slightly heavy.
Has a unique design that makes it easy to wear, especially since it’s sure to stay in place via hook-and-loop closure. A comfortable weight to wear for extended periods. Can also be placed in the freezer for cold therapy.
Has a strong smell at first, although it fades after several uses.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Do achy back, shoulders, neck, or joints keep you awake at night? A good microwavable heating pad can provide relief in minutes. Microwavable heating pads come in a variety of shapes and sizes for contouring to your body.
That’s good news since the shoulders and neck need far more contouring and flexibility from a heating pad than the lower back. A microwavable heating pad can be applied to those areas and other targeted pain points as well. If you suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or any other of a myriad of health conditions, a moldable heating pad might be right for you.
There is no standard size when it comes to microwavable heating pads. Some are as small as 11 x 6 inches; others are as large as 24 x 10 inches. Long, narrow designs that are around 25 x 4.5 inches work best for wrapping around the neck and across the shoulders. Microwavable heating pads that are roughly 11 x 6 inches work better on the lower back. For consumers with all-over back pain, there are models large enough to cover the entire back.
If you want a heating pad that can be used almost anywhere on the body, look for a basic square or rectangular shape. If you want something that contours to a specific area of your body, look for a model with several seams. Seams create pockets of filler and allow the heating pad to bend and conform to the curves and angles of the body.
Microwavable heating pads are stuffed with a filler that can be heated in the microwave. The list of possible fillers is long, but the most common include the following.
If you're looking for a heating pad that can double as a cold pack, synthetic fillers typically perform better. If heat retention is your primary goal, there's not a lot of difference between natural and synthetic materials.
The shoulders and neck are the hardest areas on which to place a heating pad. A basic rectangular heating pad may have extra seams to help it bend across the curve of the shoulders without all the filling falling to one side. A microwavable heating pad that fits like a cape is another option that helps cover the entire surface of the shoulders. Some cape-style heating pads have a fastener to help keep the pad in place.
Fitting the neck can be tricky, too. Long, thin heating pads with a seam or two are a good choice for this area. If you want to target both the neck and shoulders, consider a cape design with a collar that heats the neck and shoulders at the same time.
Travel can cause some serious discomfort. If you want to take your heating pad with you, you’ll need one that's lightweight and small enough to fit in a carry-on. This will eliminate many of the cape models.
Notably, gel heating pads are probably the lightest option, but they may not pass airplane security. If you’ll be traveling on a plane, we suggest a microwavable heating pad with a natural filler such as rice or flaxseed. These materials are lightweight and provide impressive heat retention.
Heating times vary by the size and filler of the heating pad. Most heating pads can reach the right temperature in two minutes or less, which doesn't put pain relief far away. The size of the heating pad and the power level of your microwave can also affect heating time. If the manufacturer offers heating guidelines, follow them for safety’s sake, as a microwavable heating pad could get hot enough to burn the skin.
The cover of the heating pad can make a big difference in your comfort, especially if you have sensitive skin. Polar fleece, natural cotton, and breathable fabrics are cozy choices. If your skin is sensitive, avoid heating pads with stiff covers.
Some microwavable heating pads include lavender or herbs in the filler. Every time the heating pad is warmed, you get an aromatherapy session. Other heating pads have a pocket or sleeve sewn into the cover where you can place the herbs or essential oils of your choice.
Removable covers are often machine washable. Even those that aren't machine washable are easier to care for if they can be removed for spot cleaning. Once the cover starts to wear out, you could either get a new one or make a new one.
Considering that you'll most likely be using a heating pad in the comfort of home, color probably isn't that big of an issue. However, there are microwavable heating pads that come in several color choices if you want something that complements your personal style.
Microwavable heating pads start around $20. Models in this price range are usually small squares or rectangles. They may have contouring seams. You’ll find these basic microwavable heating pads with both all-natural and synthetic filler choices.
In the $20 to $40 range are heating pads designed for specific parts of the body, such as the neck and/or shoulders. Larger models that target the entire back also fall in this price range.
Microwavable heating pads that cost over $40 are usually large or designed for a specific area of the body. A strap or fastener to hold the pad in place will likely be included. These pads may have covers made of a plush material (like polar fleece) for increased heat and comfort.
A. A lumpy heating pad may cause more discomfort than it eliminates. In general, the fillers used in microwavable heating pads are designed to mold to your shape so you can be comfortable regardless of your position. However, with some of the larger fillers like popcorn kernels and cherry pits, you’d probably appreciate some cushioning beneath the heating pad, such as that provided by a mattress or couch.
A. The scent depends on the filler and the design of the heating pad. Heating pads designed for aromatherapy most certainly have a scent, which you may be able to change depending on your needs. But watch out, as some fillers have a distinct scent of their own. If you're sensitive to odors, we suggest getting a heating pad with a gel filler, as it's unlikely to carry an unpleasant odor. Also, keep in mind that the cover may start to absorb odors from your microwave. In that case, regular washing of the cover and wiping down the microwave can help.
A.It depends on the filler. Gel fillers are the most versatile and do well for both cold and hot applications. Natural fillers like cherry pits, flaxseed, and corn kernels, on the other hand, can be used for cold application, but they don’t tend to hold cold temperatures as long.