Since they're portable and cord-free, unlike their electric counterparts, the best microwavable heating pads are a great way to ease cramps, sore muscles, and stress whether you're in bed or at the office. Unfortunately, though, it's not as easy as choosing any heating pad and tossing it in the microwave. To ensure safety, comfort, and effectiveness, there are some qualities you should consider before you make any purchases: namely the size, shape, and materials (both inside and out).
What To Look For In A Microwavable Heating Pad
Let's start with the shape and size, as these qualities will determine how well your heating pad fulfills its intended purpose. Your first step: Deciding which body part needs the most TLC. While a smaller, rectangular heating pad should work for just about anything — neck, shoulders, limbs, abdomen, or forehead — a larger or contoured heating pad might be better suited for those who are experiencing back and shoulder discomfort. That said, larger options are also harder to travel with and store, so keep that in mind, too.
Next, consider the materials. On the outside, your heating pad should have soft, skin-friendly fabric that simultaneously lets the warmth through without getting too hot. The majority of options use synthetic fabrics, which work well enough for most people, but those with sensitive skin might want to consider an all-natural option like cotton.
The interior should be able to retain heat for a long period of time, stand up to high temperatures without melting or exploding, and have a loose consistency that molds to any body part. Popular materials include grains and clay beads — but note that a lot of companies also throw in scented ingredients (like chamomile, rose petals, essential oils, and lavender sprigs) for added aromatherapy. Most buyers enjoy the relaxing scents, but those who are sensitive to fragrances might want to skip those ingredients.
Shop The Best Microwavable Heating Pads
In a hurry? Here are the top picks for microwave-friendly heating pads.
- The Overall Best Microwaveable Heating Pad: My Heating Pad
- The Best Budget Pick: Bed Buddy Comfort Wrap
- An All-Natural Option That's Great Hot Or Cold: Sacksy Thyme All Natural Aromatherapy Heating pads
- The Best Heating Pad For Your Neck & Shoulders: Huggaroo Neck Wrap Microwavable Heating Pad
- The Best Large Heating Pad: REVIX Extra Large Microwave Heating Pad
- The Cutest Option: Intelex Warmies Microwavable French Lavender Scented Plush
No matter your size, material, and scent preferences, scroll on for six microwavable heating pads that fans can’t stop raving about.
1. The Overall Best Microwaveable Heating Pad
- Also available on Walmart, $23
My Heating Pad is the top pick for most people because it's sturdy, versatile, and relatively affordable. The interior uses a highly flexible flaxseed and rice blend, while the exterior is reversible with soft fleece on one side and gentle cotton on the other. Thanks to its medium size and flexibility, it can be used for just about any ache or cramp on the body. Last but not least, the pad comes in blue or purple and you can opt for a lavender aromatherapy or an unscented version.
One reviewer wrote: “This is the best heating pad I've ever had. Just microwave for a couple of minutes and it's ready to go! A good size, too, and you can easily move it around to different parts of your body.”
Interior material: rice and flaxseed | Exterior material: fleece/cotton | Size: 11 by 6 inches | Scent: lavender, unscented | Available colors: blue, purple
2. The Best Budget Pick
- Also available at Rite Aid, $10
If you're looking for an affordable option that still gets the job done, opt for the Bed Buddy comfort wrap. Despite the fact that all colors cost less than $15, it still has over 4,500 reviews and an overall rating of 4.4 stars. Its small, slim size makes it ideal for your shoulders, abdomen, or head, and it's filled with natural grains to retain heat and lavender and rose essential oils for aromatherapy (note that there is no unscented option). While reviewers call it a "good value" that's "worth the price," they also recommend that you watch it in the microwave to ensure safety.
One reviewer wrote: “These are absolutely amazing. I received one as a gift and when I have guests over I used to let them use it after traveling. Well now I have bought three so far because they are such a good value!”
Interior material: grains | Exterior material: polyester | Size: 19 by 5 inches | Scent: lavender, lavender and mint, lavender and rose | Available colors: pink, purple, turquoise
3. An All-Natural Option That's Great Hot Or Cold
- Also available on Walmart, $40
For those who want to know exactly what's in their heating pad, this one from Sacksy Thyme is the way to go. It works for both hot and cold therapy, has 100% skin-friendly cotton on the outside, and retains heat with a combination of U.S.-grown flaxseeds and cherry pits. It also has certified organic herbs for relaxing aromatherapy, but the materials aren't the only selling point; with 11 different eye-catching patterns, it also looks great.
One reviewer wrote: “I love this so much! I get horrible cramps, and it heats up nicely, and retains heat. I’m looking forward to trying it out as a cold pack soon! I like that it doesn’t use electricity and is all natural, and it has a really pleasant aroma that’s almost as soothing as the heat.”
Interior material: flaxseed and cherry pits | Exterior material: cotton | Size: 13 by 7.5 inches | Scent: thyme | Available colors: black plaid, gray, indigo, organic green, sky blue, dusty mauve, houndstooth, maroon and tan, serenity, valentine, valentine-blue
4. The Best Heating Pad For Your Neck & Shoulders
The Huggaroo wrap is specifically designed for those who want neck, upper back, and shoulder relief — without having to constantly readjust their heating pad to get full coverage. Its large size and contoured collar shape hug most of your neck and shoulder all at once while staying put, so you can type, watch TV, or drive in comfort. Thanks to its blend of grains and herbs, it can retain heat for up to half an hour and has a "spa-like scent" that makes reviewers feel "so relaxed."
One reviewer wrote: “I'm in love with this thing! I've been dealing with neck and shoulder pain. This covers the whole area (I'm 5'1") and gets nice and toasty.”
Interior material: flaxseeds and wheat | Exterior material: polyester | Size: 18 by 14 inches with a 3.5-inch collar | Scent: Blend of lavender with chamomile, peppermint, spearmint, lemongrass, cinnamon, white willow, hops, valerian, rosemary | Available colors: gray
5. The Best Large Heating Pad
If you want to cover an area like the lower back, entire abdomen, or both legs at once, consider a large, flat heating pad. This extra-large microwavable heating pad fits the bill. The velvety, insulated exterior feels soft against your skin while protecting against burns, and the clay bead and seed interior retains heat for quite a while. Since it’s unscented, it won’t bother sensitive noses. Most importantly, its approximate 13-by-24-inch size covers a large surface area — and you can put it in the freezer to help with aches and inflammation, too.
One reviewer wrote: “This microwave heating pad is so great! It’s extra large so you can warm your entire back, and it holds the heat really well. Soft, pliable, perfect.”
Interior material: flaxseeds, millets, sorghum, and clay beads | Exterior material: fleece/faux mink| Size: 23.9 by 12.6 inches | Scent: unscented | Available colors: gray
6. The Cutest Option
- Also available on Warmies, $30
Finally, for children and adults who appreciate cute things, there's the Intelex Warmies plush. Even though it looks like a stuffed animal on the outside, it's actually filled with grains and French lavender. As a result, you can put it in the microwave like any other heating pad, and it'll release warmth and soothing aromatherapy. (You can also freeze it for use as an ice compress.) If you're not in love with the sloth, it also comes in countless other designs including a llama, cat, and purple dinosaur. Reviewers love it so much, they've given it a 4.7-star rating.
One reviewer wrote: “I bought 5 of these and had to buy 3 more, because everyone wanted one!! Adults and children! Everyone is enjoying the warmth, fragrance, and soothing qualities. GREAT GIFT.”
Interior material: grains | Exterior material: natural/synthetic fabrics | Size: 14 by 8 by 4 inches | Scent: lavender | Available colors: sloth, sloth wrap, zebra, cow, cat, monkey, golden dog, elephant, pink llama, white llama, lobster, manatee, bear, meerkat, moose, polar bear, purple dinosaur, red panda