A heating pad for cramps warms the muscles in the pain-prone area and increases blood flow, easing your symptoms. The best pads are microwavable or portable, and they have multiple heat settings to manage your discomfort.
Here are the top 10 heating pads for period cramps, rated based on customer reviews.
1. Microwaveable Heating Pad
Adding heat to an area of your body where you have menstrual cramps can help because it causes vasodilation, which means that blood vessels widen and more blood goes to the area, easing the pain. A microwavable heating pad is a simple, easy-to-use option that you can keep at home and use whenever your menstrual cramps are acting up. Some have added benefits like aromatherapy.
Some heating pads are filled with food items like rice or wheat and others contain gel or liquid that creates moist heat. These types of heating pads don’t have the same effect on your uterus as the food stuff-filled ones, so they aren’t the best choice for your period cramps. When our team of experts tested out these products, they looked at the ease of use, additional features and how quickly it heated up. They also examined the amount of heat and how evenly it was distributed on the pads.
We also looked for an auto shut-off timer and a machine washable cover to avoid thermal burns. Some heating pads are designed with a plush fabric that feels soft against the skin and feel luxuriously comfortable, while others are made with an outer layer of polyester.
This extra large heating pad from Sunbeam is a great choice for getting rid of menstrual cramps because it has an LCD remote control and six temperature settings. Its heat settings range from 105 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and can be adjusted for different areas of the body. The remote also allows you to set the pad to be on a specific timer, which can come in handy if you’re using it for sleep or other activities.
The REVIX heating pad is another great choice for relieving menstrual cramps because it has a large size and comes with two power cords for convenience. It’s also machine washable, so you can easily clean it after using it for a long time. This heating pad has a soft, comfortable cover and an auto shut-off timer that can be set for up to 12 hours.
2. Electric Heating Pad
Heat helps relax the muscles contributing to cramping, so adding a heating pad for period pain can be an easy addition to your self-care routine. Aside from a heating pad, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help with period cramps. You can also try light exercise or other forms of heat therapy, like a warm bath or jacuzzi. Ice packs can also help ease pain, but be careful not to fall asleep while using a cold pack, which may lead to hypothermia.
When looking for a heating pad for cramps, make sure it has a good weight to size ratio. You want the pad to be heavy enough so it will provide adequate pressure, but not so heavy that it becomes uncomfortable to sleep with. The pad should also have a large surface area, which will allow you to cover your back and lower abdomen for maximum relief.
This electric heating pad from Sunbeam is our top pick for its affordable price point, fast heating time, and excellent comfort. The pad is 12 by 24 inches, which gives you ample coverage and can be used in multiple positions. Using a sliding controller, you can select from three heat settings as well as a soothing vibration option to help relax your muscles. Its long cord also makes it easy to use from anywhere in the room.
During our testing, we set this electric heating pad to its highest setting and found it reached its temperature within a minute or two, which was fast compared to other pads on our list. It has an auto-off feature that turns the pad off after two hours, but you can manually turn it off whenever you like.
Our experts tested 17 heating pads at our Health Testing Lab to see which ones were the best for easing cramps, and they looked at how comfortable they were, how quickly the pad reached its highest heat setting, the quality of the heating and any additional features such as a timer or a moist-heat option. We’ve rounded up the best heating pads for cramps, below.
3. Portable Heating Pad
With a rechargeable lithium battery, this pad provides hours of sustained heat treatment. It also has three heat settings and an automatic shut-off feature to prevent overheating. It’s a great option for anyone who wants to move around while they get relief from cramps, especially if they don’t want to be tied down to a cord or can’t spare an outlet.
Many people who use heating pads find them particularly helpful for menstrual cramps. The reason is that heat increases blood flow to the muscles and soothes tight or knotted ones. It also causes vasodilation, or the expansion of blood vessels, which can help ease the tension that accompanies menstrual pain. In addition, heat relaxes uterine muscles and reduces inflammation.
Using a heating pad during your period can also help you get better sleep. This is because it can relieve the aches and pains that are often associated with PMS, including headaches, backaches, abdominal cramps, and other symptoms. The warmth of a heating pad can also help you feel less fatigued and allow you to relax, which can also alleviate PMS symptoms.
This electric heating pad has a soft, machine-washable micro plush fabric cover that is soothing against the skin. It also has a 9-foot power cord, which makes it easy to access an outlet no matter where you are in the room. It has a range of heat settings and can be used for dry or wet therapy. It also has a remote and shuts off after 30 minutes to protect you from burns.
This portable heating pad has an innovative shape and design that allows you to target specific areas of the body, such as the lower back or abdomen. Its uterus-shaped shape makes it ideal for women with menstrual cramps, and the velcro fastening ensures that it’s comfortable in any position. It’s also a great option for women who want to take heat therapy on the go, as it can be easily stored in your purse or gym bag. The pad also has a rechargeable battery, three heat settings, and vibration.
4. Infrared Heating Pad
A heating pad soothes menstrual cramps by increasing blood flow to the affected area. Many women use heat therapy in conjunction with other pain relief methods, including painkillers and hormonal birth control. Heat causes vasodilation, which means that blood vessels in the affected area expand and increase blood flow to the muscle. The increased blood flow relieves pain and helps stretch out tight muscles.
Most standard heating pads warm the air, but this one uses far infrared heat to penetrate deep into the tissues. This deep heat stimulates the cells and energizes them, triggering beneficial biochemical reactions in the body.
This portable heating pad comes with an LCD controller that lets you choose between six different heat levels. It also has a built-in timer and InstaHeat technology for rapid heating. Its micromink fabric feels soft against the skin and has a unique designer wave pattern that looks as luxurious as it feels.
It’s best to place the pad on the aching area of your back or abdomen, or wherever you experience cramping. It’s also a good idea to keep the pad away from any materials that may react negatively to the high temperatures of the heating pad. Some fabric or furniture materials can melt, scorch, or even burn when exposed to heat for extended periods of time.
The pad’s cord wraps around the base to protect it when not in use, and the included storage bag keeps it safe from spills and accidents. It’s also easier to clean than most other heating pads. Some reviewers say it gets too hot, but others find it to be very effective for relieving their pain and discomfort.
This deluxe heating pad features an array of natural jade and tourmaline stones. It also has a comfortable micromink fabric with an elegant design and a 5-year warranty. Some reviewers found it to be less durable than other heating pads, and some people who were concerned about electromagnetic frequency said that the pad wasn’t EMF-free as advertised. Nevertheless, this is still an excellent option for anyone who wants to try infrared heat therapy.