The 6 Best Neck and Shoulder Heating Pads & Wraps
A good neck and shoulder heating pad is one of the best inexpensive and drug-free ways to quickly relieve your neck and shoulder pain at home while speeding up healing and recovery from neck injuries and chronic pain.
When you relieve your neck stiffness and pain, you also prevent those neck-related headaches.
But, how do you choose one that covers your entire neck and shoulders? which type should you choose?
The answers are all here.
In a hurry?
See our top picks in the table below. After it, you’ll find our full neck & shoulder heating pads reviews.
|Neck & Shoulder Heating Pad||Review||Type||Price|
|Pure Relief Neck Heat Wrap||Best Weighted||Electric|
110° F- 140° F
|✅ $40 on Amazon|
|Carex Bed Buddy||Best Budget||Microwave|
|✅ $10 on Amazon|
|Sunbeam Neck & Shoulder Heat Pad||Largest Neck Coverage||Electric|
110 F-160 F
|✅ $32 on Amazon|
|UTK Infrared Neck Wrap||Best Infrared|
(for severe pain)
Infrared Heat via Jade stones
|✅ $152 on Amazon|
|REVIX Microwave Heat Wrap||Best Moist|
With organic fillers
Flaxseeds & herbs
|✅ $24 on Amazon|
This post may contain affiliate links, at no extra cost to you.
- Is a Heating Pad Good for Neck and Shoulder Pain?
- How to Choose a Heated Neck & Shoulder Wrap
- The 6 Best Neck and Shoulder Heating Pads
- DIY Neck Heating Pad
- How Long Should You Keep a Heating Pad on Your Neck?
- What is the Best Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulder Pain?
- Can a Neck Heating Pad Relieve Headaches?
Is a Heating Pad Good for Neck and Shoulder Pain?
A neck heating wrap dilates blood vessels in the area and promotes blood circulation, which allows for more nutrients and pain-relieving blood components to arrive and speed up healing – naturally.
Using thermal therapy via heating pads for neck and shoulder pain is relatively inexpensive, comfortable, easy to use, and effective.
How to Choose a Heated Neck & Shoulder Wrap
When you want to pick the best neck and shoulder heated wrap, you’ll have to check its size to see if it fits your neck, make sure it has various heat settings (to find the one you can tolerate), and make sure it is flexible and comfortable.
The cover needs to be soft and breathable, and the heating elements should be evenly distributed throughout the wrap.
Make sure the closure is high quality because you don’t want a neck wrap that slips constantly and needs readjusting.
Also, we recommend choosing an electric neck wrap if you need a longer treatment time and adjustable temperature, and the infrared heating pads are better for deep penetrating heat.
The 6 Best Neck and Shoulder Heating Pads
Most of the neck wraps you’ll find below are:
- Designed especially for the neck and shoulder area, high-quality materials.
- Long enough to wrap around your shoulders
- Heat up fast
- Easy to use
We’ve included special features for each neck warmer pad, pros and cons, and our fluff-free reviews to help you decide which one is the best for you.
Let’s start with electric cervical heating pads, and below you’ll find the 2 best microwaveable neck wraps in 2023.
1. Pure Relief – Best Weighted Neck & Shoulder Wrap
Though it’s called a neck & shoulder wrap, the Pure Relief neck & shoulder pad covers not only the neck and shoulders but almost the entire back, with weighted edges and magnetic closure, that keeps it in place.
To get the full treatment potential, you can use the built-in loops and an optional elastic belt – that come inside the package.
With the easy-to-use controller, you can choose from 4 temperature settings (warm/low/medium/high) and the treatment time.
It shuts off automatically after 2 hours (which is more than enough).
This heat wrap is the ultimate pain and stress reliever after work, travel, or chronic neck pain.
The cover is soft against the skin, and overall this is one of the best neck heating wraps on the market, with the best warranty (5 years!), and customer service.
- High-quality, durable
- Stays in place – slightly weighted edges and magnetic closure
- Covers almost the entire neck and back
- Soft and comfortable cover
- Machine washable
- Adjustable temperature settings
- 2-hour automatic shut-off
- 5-year warranty!
- People with pacemakers can’t use it
- It must be plugged in to work
If you want to focus mainly on your back, for a lower price you can get the regular-size model:
2. Sunbeam Renue – Tallest Collar
The Sunbeam neck heating pad is designed as a full-coverage neck heating pad and covers most of the shoulders for most people.
It has slightly weighted edges and a magnetic clasp for a secure fit, so it will stay put even if you walk around.
This contoured neck wrap warms up fast and is very comfortable to use, it has 4 heat settings (the lowest setting is gentle and not too hot), and you can choose from dry or moist heat.
However, if you get a lot of tension between your shoulder blades, this isn’t going to touch most of it, only the very upper parts.
Most of the heat is concentrated on the neck and a little below.
The XL model (25″ x 25″) can be more helpful for covering this area.
- It is machine washable
- The cover is made from soft micro-plush which feels nice around your neck
- 2-hour shut-off – plenty of time to relieve your neck pain
- You can choose either dry or moist heat
- Long electric cord
- It contains magnets, so people with a pacemaker, ICD, or an internal insulin pump can’t use it. However, you can remove the magnets from the side flaps and resolve this problem.
- Doesn’t cover more than the top shoulders
Sunbeam heating pads are also featured in our list of the best extra large heating pads of 2023
Alternatives from the same brand:
The XL Massaging model has 4 massage options to supercharge your neck pain relief.
The Sunbeam 885-911 neck heating pad is a non-expensive yet highly effective neck pain relieving tool. It warms up fast, it’s comfortable and stays put, and it has 4 heat settings.
3. Carex Bed Buddy – Best Budget
The Carex Bed Buddy is the most popular microwaveable neck wrap and costs less than $10.
It is filled with 100% organic grains, herbs, and flowers and can be heated in the microwave or cooled in the freezer.
It’s small, lightweight, and flexible – easy to take with you anywhere.
To keep it in place, it has 2 handles you can use to keep it in place when you are walking around.
It is also safe to wet and use as a moist heating pad.
Overall, a good value-for-the-money small heating pad, that may actually become your best buddy when your neck hurts.
- Highly portable and easy to use
- It can be used as a moist heat pad
- Natural filling
- Too small to use for the shoulders
- Your hands are not free to do other things
It can also be used for lower back pain, stomach pain and period cramps, joint pain, and arthritis.
4. REVIX Microwave Neck Heating Wrap – Best Moist
The REVIX Microwave Heating Wrap generates moist heat through the use of flaxseeds, millets, and natural herbs.
When you microwave it, the heat generated by the pad activates the natural herbs and organic fillers (flaxseeds, millet, lavender, peppermint, chamomile, and lemongrass) which release moisture and provide a gentle, moist heat for pain relief.
The larger-than-average neck collar makes sure you cover your entire neck with soothing heat, and it contours perfectly to your neck and shoulders.
It is weighted which helps it stay in place and treat your shoulders.
The scent is pleasant and mild, but it may not fit people with allergies or sensitivities. And you’ll have to make sure you don’t over heat it to prevent skin burns.
- Stays hot for about 30 minutes, with temperatures being different due to different microwave power and heat-up time.
- Can also be used as an icepack after freezing
- Extra soft cover, very comfortable on the skin
- Limited use – you have to allow it to return to room temperature before you can heat it up again
- Not machine washable (like most microwave heat pads)
✅ Available on Amazon ($24)
Consider combining heat therapy with massage therapy in one device. See the best neck massage pillows.
5. UTK Neck Wrap Best Infrared Neck Wrap
Until a few years ago, the word “infrared” just made me think of heat-seeking missiles and spy movies.
Far Infrared rays (also known as radiant heat) penetrate much deeper into your skin than conventional heating pads, and won’t burn your skin.
The FIR heat is generated through natural jade stones (healing stones), which emit infrared waves when heated.
A shielding layer around the heating wires reduces EMF to zero, and the stones produce negative ions.
Numerous studies show negative ions produce biochemical reactions that relieve stress, relieve depression, boost energy, and boost the immune system.
This heating pad has the most solid construction, a digital timer with temperature control, and a Velcro strap to keep it in place.
And that’s not all:
The timer can be set to 4 hours (!) of continuous use!
- Gemstones deliver deep-penetrating infrared rays
- Stress-relieving negative ions
- 1-increment temperature settings
- Works up to 4 hours
- May feel bulky and may be difficult to position for some people
✅ Available on Amazon ($152)
Related: The 5 Best Infrared Heating Pads for Back Pain (guess which one is our top pick?)
6. Brookstone Hot & Cold Neck Wrap – Best with Aromatherapy
This soft and comfortable microwaveable heat pad covers your upper back, neck, and shoulders perfectly, and has a taller-than-average collar for all neck sizes.
It stays hot for at least 30 minutes.
This one can also be used for cold therapy (by putting it in the freezer), which we usually recommend for acute injury.
Filling – Lavender, White Willow, Valerian Root, Chamomile, Rosemary, Peppermint, Spearmint, Hops, Yellow Dock, Lemongrass, Cinnamon, and Yarrow.
It’s like wearing a giant herb garden.
You can’t machine wash it, only spot clean it with a rag with some soap and water.
It Can also be used for abdominal pain, PMS cramps, joint pain, and lower and upper back pain because it opens up flat.
- 100% Portable
- Soothing, comfortable, and relaxing
- Reasonable price
- Can slip off because it doesn’t have magnetic closure or velcro straps.
- No temperature control
DIY Neck Heating Pad
If you want to make your own microwave neck wrap, all you’ll need is cotton fabric, cotton thread, pins, scissors, and a sewing machine. Below is a video with simple instructions:
How Long Should You Keep a Heating Pad on Your Neck?
In most double-blind clinical studies (with positive results from thermal therapy) the subjects received 15-20 minutes of treatment, at least twice a week.
Infrared heating pads require less treatment time due to the deeper penetration into muscle tissues, but treatment is not limited.
It is safe to use a neck heating pad for more than 20 minutes (up to 30 minutes) – every day – until the pain is significantly reduced.
(See the list of studies at the bottom of the post)
What is the Best Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulder Pain?
Choose the one that fits your needs and preferences most, and check for price, return policy, and warranty.
We recommend using your neck heating pad as soon as possible after developing painful flares or stiffness to speed up the healing process.
Can a Neck Heating Pad Relieve Headaches?
Tense neck and shoulder muscles can trigger tension headaches.
When you apply heat to relieve the tense muscles (on a medium setting) it loosens up these muscles and can quickly relieve tension headaches.
Thermal therapy is also a very effective stress reliever, which also contributes to headache and migraine relief.
You can prevent a tension headache altogether if you use a heated neck wrap right when you start to feel the tension in your neck or shoulder muscles.
If you catch it on time, you can prevent a headache.
Thermotherapy is scientifically proven effective for mechanical neck pain, and using an electric neck wrap is one of the best ways to use this simple and proven pain relief method – at home.
We truly hope you found these neck heating pad reviews useful and time-saving. If you have any questions or comments, please share them with us in the comments below.
To your health and happiness,
The Back Pain Relief Products Team
Cramer, Holger & Baumgarten, Christian & Choi, Eun & Lauche, Romy & Saha, Felix & Musial, Frauke & Dobos, Gustav. (2012). Thermotherapy self-treatment for neck pain relief – A randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Integrative Medicine.
Dehghan M, Farahbod F. The efficacy of thermotherapy and cryotherapy on pain relief in patients with acute low back pain, a clinical trial study. J Clin Diagn Res. 2014;8(9):LC01-LC4.
Cramer, Holger & Baumgarten, Christian & Choi, Eun & Lauche, Romy & Saha, Felix & Musial, Frauke & Dobos, Gustav. (2012). Thermotherapy self-treatment for neck pain relief – A randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 4. e371-e378. 10.1016/j.eujim.2012.04.001.