There's no shortage of options when it comes to the best heating pads for cramps — so when you're looking for the best option for your body, the first thing you'll need to decide is what kind of heat source you'd prefer. In addition, when you're looking for menstrual cramp relief specifically, definitely consider the size and where you'll be using it when making your decision.
The two most common types of heating pads are electric and microwavable. The former uses insulated heating elements that are powered via a cord plugged into an electrical socket, while the latter is filled with some type of heat-retaining interior that absorbs warmth when microwaved. A third, less common category is a cordless heating pad, which uses a rechargeable battery to deliver warmth without the restriction of wires. They all have their pros and cons, but in short, electric heating pads are quick and effective, microwavable heating pads are affordable and easy to move around, and cordless heating pads are highly portable and tend to last longer than microwavable options.
All three of those categories come in various shapes and sizes, so it's important to choose something that will cover the majority of your abdomen and potentially even secure itself there. These are some of the most popular heating pads on the market (in all three forms), and they're an ideal size and shape to help you ease period pain.
1. The Best Electric Heating Pad
With nearly 40,000 reviews and a 4.6-star overall rating, the MIGHTY BLISS electric heating pad is the number-one best-selling option on Amazon for good reason. In addition to its quick heating, super soft microfiber exterior material, and lifetime replacement warranty, it's also significantly more affordable than most of its competition. Last but not least, due to its large size, it's capable of covering one's entire abdomen or back — and it has three different heat settings to choose from, all of which turn off after a period of time for your safety.
- Heat source: electric
- Size: 12 by 24 inches
One reviewer wrote: "It lays on every curve of me without having to force it into shape, the heat is penetrating yet gentle, and it offers wonderful pain relief for tense muscles and period cramps. I also love the safety feature of auto-shut off."
2. The Best Microwavable Heating Pad
This heating pad from Sacksy Thyme warms up in the microwave (safely and without unwanted odors) and hold on to it due to its flaxseed interior. Because of that same interior, it also automatically adjusts its shape to hug curves and effectively soothe any area — but since it's larger than most other microwavable heating pads, it's well-suited for period cramps. It also gives off a moist heat for about 30 minutes and feels comfortable against the skin due to its dual-sided cotton and fleece exterior.
- Heat source: microwave
- Size: 6.5 by 12 inches
One reviewer wrote: "Gotta say this is great for when your on your period and with muscle cramps. Any cramps really. Feels wonderful and the heat is long lasting truly an amazing product!"
3. The Best Cordless Heating Pad
This cordless option features a large warming area, but unlike a standard electric heating pad, it's powered by a portable battery that charges up via a USB port. As a result, it's entirely wireless — and thanks to its adjustable belt-like design, it's easy to secure to your body while lying down or going about your routine. It also generates heat quickly, so much so that it's best used over your clothes instead of underneath it. There are three temperature settings to choose from, and there's an auto shut-off feature for safety. According to the seller, it'll last about four hours on the lowest setting of 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat source: USB-rechargeable portable battery
- Size: 10.28 by 4.96 by 1.77 inches
One reviewer wrote: "Makes my period more tolerable. So far, I love it! It fits me well [...and] it came with an extra length of velcro to attach. It warms up quickly and [is] soft to the touch."
4. An Option With A Soothing Scent — That's Also Really Cute
Even though it looks like an adorable stuffed animal (which stores easily on your bed or side table), this mini Warmies plush is actually microwavable and designed for use as a heating pad. It's filled with both all-natural grains and French lavender, the latter of which releases a relaxing scent. If you don't love the elephant, it comes in more than a dozen other designs, including a penguin, pig, cat, dog, and hedgehog. However, keep in mind that it's not as wide as the other options. According to reviewers, it stays warm for more than 30 minutes.
- Heat source: microwave
- Size: 6 by 7 by 8 inches
One reviewer wrote: "This is one of my all time favorite purchases. I use my elephant almost every single night. It’s super easy to microwave for a minute and then it’s warm and ready to use. [...] I mainly use it for when I get period cramps and it soothes my muscles as well as smells good."