The 4 Best Heating Pads & Packs for Menstrual Cramps (2019 Reviews)

Menstrual cramps often catch us at the most inconvenient times and make you wish you could just curl up in the fetal position on the couch all day while making sarcastic remarks at everyone (or just crying).

Heating pads for cramps are one of the best natural ways to relieve period pain – fast.

(And most of the time – a simple hot water bottle will not do the trick!)

heating pads for menstrual cramps

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High-quality heating pads for menstrual pain can relieve your period pain almost immediately – without medication.

These heat pads can also be very helpful for Endometriosis pain!

As long as you keep it on your lower abdomen – you’re good.

And:

Your body will thank you for reducing the number of anti-inflammatory drugs you take every month to handle your PMS.

In this post you’ll find the 4 best heating pads for period pain, to help you find the right one for your needs.

But first, which one to choose: a regular electric heating pad or a portable heat wrap?

Electric Heating Pads VS Portable Heat Wraps for Cramps

There are many kinds of heating pads out there:

  • Small ones
  • Large ones
  • Portable heating pads
  • Corded heating pads
  • Dry heating pads
  • Moist heating pads

So, which heating pad is best for menstrual pain?

First, a menstrual cramp heating pad should be small, but large enough to cover your low abdomen.

Second, you’ll have to decide whether you’ll need on the move, or you plan to use it at home while lying down and relaxing.

👉 If you usually suffer from excruciating and debilitating period pain and cramps (when you can’t even move) – you don’t need a portable heating pad/wrap.

The best choice for you would be a regular small electric heating pad (either corded or cordless), with either dry or moist heat.

👉 If your pain is bearable, and you must function with it – I would suggest a portable heating pad that you can easily hide under your clothes and go about your day.

Regular electric heating pads are usually kept at home, and when you feel the painful cramps starting, you plug them in (or turn them on with the remote if they are cordless), choose a heat level and treatment time, and relax.

On the other hand, heat wraps (patches) are so small you can carry them in your bag, and they don’t need a power supply to provide almost immediate heat to relieve your pain, (but you can only use them once).

Pro Tip

In long-term, the electric heating pads are more cost-effective than the heat wraps. In these reviews for period cramps heating pads – you’ll find the best of each kind.

The 4 Best Heating Pads for Menstrual Cramps

Ready? Let’s start with the best electric (corded) heating pad for period cramps:

1.  Sunbeam 756-500 Heating Pad with Ultra Heat Technology

small heating pad for menstrual cramps

Sunbeam 756-500 Heating Pad

The Sunbeam heating pad uses Ultra Heat Technology to maintain the consistent heat and has a slide controller with 3 heat settings:

Low – 90 F

Medium – 95 F

High – 100 F

It’s a basic (and low cost) heating pad, with no moist heat therapy option or a timer. It does not shut off automatically and keeps working on and on until you shut it off.

But, it works great and the price is affordable.

Check this page to see if it’s less than $17 – it’s a great price.

Dimensions: 9 x 5.5 x 11.8 inches

Weight: 1.1 lbs

Power: 50 watts / 110-120 volts AC only

Cover material: Polyester, machine washable

 Sunbeam Electric Heating Pad Pros

  1. Fair price
  2. No auto shut-off (keeps working and working)
  3. Gets hot enough

Cons

  1. No moist heat option
  2. Can’t be used on bare skin

And now, the best portable (cordless) heating pad for menstrual cramps:

2. Sunbeam Body-Shaped Heating Pad

sunbeam small body shaped heating pad for cramps

Sunbeam Body-Shaped Heating Pad

The Sunbeam body shaped heating pad is ideal for cramps and pain because it can be wrapped around your lower abdomen via the flexible Velcro straps (which extend up to 70 inches).

This on the go heating pad comes with a removable hot and cold (you won’t need the cold) gel pack to use on the go, or a 9 feet long cord, if you want to use it while resting, and it has 5 heat settings.

Dimensions: 11″ x 20.5″

Weight: 1 lb

Power: 110V

Cover material: Polyester, machine washable

Warranty: 2 years

Check this page to see today’s price

Sunbeam Body Portable S Heat Pad Pros

  1. Moist heat option
  2. It stays in place thanks to the Velcro straps
  3. The entire pad gets heated
  4. Wraps entire stomach
  5. Feels comfortable
  6. Heats up quickly

Cons

  1. Gel pack requires heating in a microwave
  2. Can’t be used on the bare skin (too hot)

And now, for the ultimate portable heat wraps for menstrual pain:

3. ThermaCare – Best Portable Heating Pad for Cramps

thermacare heatwrap for menstrual pain

ThermaCare Heatwrapscheck today’s price

The Thermacare reusable heat pads for period pain are specifically designed for cramps, because they stick to your underwear discretely, cover the entire painful area, and no one will know they are there.

Through our research, these sticky, small and portable heating pads are far more comfortable than heating pads, but while they will last for 8 hours, they are made for one-time use only.

(This is why I recommend buying a few of them upfront – see the pack of 2 HERE).

The Thermacare heat wraps are air-activated. You stick them to your underwear, open the pouch and it starts to warm up immediately. They are ultra-thin, comfortable and discreet.

I would definitely give them my highest rating if it weren’t for the fact that you have to keep buying them over and over and the price can add up.

Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 5 inches

Weight: 3.2 ounces

Check today’s price HERE.

Thermacare Heatwrap Pros

  1. Stays hot for 8 hours consistently
  2. Unnoticeable under clothes allows comfortable mobility – ideal for work and house chores

Cons

  1. May feel a bit bulky
  2. One time use
See the top 6 PORTABLE heating pads for back pain and stomach pain – in 2019!

How Do You Apply ThermaCare?

Ensure the skin in your pain area is clean and dry, without skin moisturizers or lotions. Then you position the wrap by lightly pressing tabs into place on your skin.

Make any needed adjustments and rub over adhesive tabs firmly to “lock” in place.

4. UTK Far Infrared Heating Wrap – Deep Penetrating

ir heating pad for stomach and low back pain

My UTK infrared heat wrap – Save 20% with our coupon code on Amazon 

The UTK heating wrap is the only one on our list using infrared heat therapy through carbon fiber and Jade stones, though we believe that infrared technology is the best form of heat you can use at home – and the most natural one as well.

Infrared light energy (IR rays) penetrate deeper into your aching lower abdomen and lumbar back and boosts blood circulation to the area.

This promotes the speedy arrival of pain-relieving and healing blood components – without any side effects.

👉 See our full review for the UTK infrared heating pads (and use our coupon code!)

The corded belt is EMF free, and you can set the temperature (up to 150 F!) with the controller. See suggestions below:

  • Warm temperature range (103°F~109°F)
  • Low-temperature range (110°F~119°F)
  • Medium temperature range (120°F ~129°F)
  • Medium-High temperature range (130°F ~139°F)
  • High-temperature range (140°F~149°F)
  • Very High-temperature range (150°F ~159°F)

Dimensions: 7 x 48 x 0.5 inches

✅ UTK Infrared Wrap Price

We’ve arranged a discount code for our readers – go to this page on Amazon to get %20 off the price!

Menstrual Heating Pads: More Options

Here are two more high-quality heating pads found during my research, both are microwaveable:

1. My Heating Pad – Hot Therapy Pack – Soothing Heat Therapymy heating pad neck and shoulder wrapIt’s a multi-purpose heat pack (12 X 6 inches) that weighs about 2.5 lbs (to keep some pressure on your abdomen) and feels very nice on the skin.

You simply heat it in your microwave and you’re good to go. It’s handmade in the USA and is eco-friendly and pet safe.

2. Ultra Premium All Natural Microwavable Aromatherapy Heating PadsThis natural aromatherapy sack (22 x 7.5 inches) is best for natural living enthusiasts (plus, it’s cute!).

It’s made with 100% cotton in the USA and the sack contains organic flax seed, cherry pits and herbal filler (lavender, eucalyptus, cherry and lemon verbena).

When you heat it up in the microwave is smells heavenly. A great way to relax, reduce stress and relieve your pain.

Heat for Cramps FAQ

How Does Heat Help with Cramps?
Experts in obstetrics and gynecology believe that the heating pad helps to relax the myometrium, reducing constriction of blood vessels and improving blood flow to the uterus.

They tested this theory with a small group of women, all used a heating pad for 4 hours.

27% of patients had the pain relieved after 1 hour, 43% at the second hour, and 79% at the end of the fourth hour.

Where do I place a heat pack for cramps?
To use the heating pad for cramps you simply need to place it over your lower stomach or your lower back, according to where you feel the pain most strongly. 
How long should I use a heating pad to relieve cramps?
According to clinical trials, using a heating pad for 4 hours straight can reduce 79% of the pain by the end of the 4th hour. However, you don’t have to use it for the full 4 hours to experience significant pain relief.

👉 The study has found that the patients felt a 27% pain reduction after the first hour, 43% less pain after the second hour, and 79% pain reduction after the 4th hour.

Conclusion

Cramps caused by menstruation can affect both your lower abdomen and lower back and range from being fairly bearable to unbearable and debilitating.

Heating pads have been used for ages to relieve period cramps and are quite simple considering that heat is well known to ease muscle contractions anywhere in your body.

In this post, I’ve researched and found the 4 best small heating pads for menstrual pain, including a regular electric one, a portable electric one, and the best heat wrap.

Choosing one depends on your specific needs.

What’s your experience with using heat to relieve cramps? let me know in the comments below.

To your health and happiness,

The Back Pain Relief Products Team

Sources:

Jo, J., & Lee, S. H. (2018). Heat therapy for primary dysmenorrhea: A systematic review and meta-analysis of its effects on pain relief and quality of life. Scientific reports8(1), 16252. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-34303-z

Meital James
 

Meital James, Founder and CEO of 4 healthy living blogs, has a background in Naturopathic medicine, research, journalism, and nutrition. Her blogs are the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and experience and all the posts are verified by scientific findings.

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