This post will review the best infrared heating pads that are worth purchasing to help relieve pain and offer other health benefits.
Before we get into the best infrared heating pads I felt it was important to review the basics of infrared light or radiation, infrared therapy, and the benefits of infrared radiation.
- What is infrared?
- What are infrared heating pads?
- Differences between regular heating pads and infrared heating pads
- Are red light and infrared the same thing?
- The pros and cons of infrared heating pads
- The Best Infrared Heating Pads
- Frequently asked questions:
- Other health information you will be interested in:
What is infrared?
Infrared radiation (IR) is electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths between 760 nm and 100,000 nm. Infrared radiation has wavelengths longer than those of visible light and shorter than radio waves and so it is therefore invisible to the human eye.
What are infrared heating pads?
Infrared heating pads are heating pads that use infrared light or radiation. This is compared to regular or traditional heating pads which instead use conductive heat.
Differences between regular heating pads and infrared heating pads
Infrared heating pads are different than traditional heating pads. Regular heating pads produce conductive heat, which only heats the surface of the skin whereas infrared heat penetrates 2.36 inches deep, targeting pain and inflammation where it originates and the gentle infrared heat doesn’t burn or dehydrate the skin. This offers a therapeutic advantage over traditional heating pads that have shallow penetration.
The low heat from infrared pads acts to increase the flexibility of collagen tissue, reduce inflammation, decrease joint stiffness, relieve muscle spasms and reduce pain. Infrared heating pads have been shown to help relieve back pain.
One thing to note is that infrared heating pads do not get very hot. This is normal. Infrared heat is not very hot heat. Plus, with the low heat there is no risk of burning the skin or dehydration which can happen with traditional heating pads if they are left on a high setting against the skin for too long.
Are red light and infrared the same thing?
Infrared light is a type of energy your eyes can't see, but your body can feel as heat. Red light is similar to infrared, but you can see it. Red light therapy is also called low-level laser therapy (LLLT), low-power laser therapy (LPLT), and photobiomodulation (PBM).
The pros and cons of infrared heating pads
There are many benefits of using infrared heating pads including to help decrease pain, decrease inflammation and help with tissue healing.
Studies have shown that infrared radiation can improve the healing of skin wounds, provide photoprevention, relieve pain, stiffness, fatigue of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, potentiate photodynamic therapy, help treat ophthalmic, neurological, and psychiatric disorders, and stimulate the proliferation of mesenchymal and cardiac stem cells. In other words, infrared radiation can have many positive health effects.
The main con of infrared heating pads is the cost. They are more expensive than traditional heating pads, but they are also more effective. They are also less flexible than traditional heating pads and often take longer to heat up.
Now that we have reviewed what infrared heating pads are and what the benefits of them are, let's review the best infrared heating pads. Just note that this review only includes infrared heating pads, not red light heating pads which are different. There are actually very view brands that make infrared heating pads so I have tried to review them all for you here.
The Best Infrared Heating Pads
Thermotex is a Canadian company that makes infrared heating products including pads and mats for people, pets and horses. They use a patented far infrared heat technology that penetrates 10x deeper than regular heating pads, and won't burn or dehydrate the skin. Their infrared products are the most clinically studied and tested far infrared products on the market which is why they are my top recommendation. They have been studied in both humans and horses.
Thermotex products have medical grade certification and are FDA and Health Canada registered. Their pads and mads reach temperatures between 43 and 48 degrees Celsius (108 – 116 Fahrenheit). This is the ideal temperature range to achieve the depth of penetration (2.36 inches) and optimal therapeutic benefits.
The Thermotex infrared pads can help provide relief from muscle pain and stiffness, muscle spasms, inflammation, joint pain from arthritis, the pain from sprains and strains.
They even offer a professional pad that is designed for pre-treatment purposes to help relieve pain and inflammation with far infrared heat therapy. It is recommended for use by chiropractors, acupuncturists, and physiotherapists and can help with relaxing deep muscles, increasing circulation to the neck, back and hips, and can be used as a pre-treatment warmup.
Thermotex offers a variety of products depending on your needs and budget. Their products range in price from $119 to $749. Their products come with a 1 year warrantee and a 30 day guarantee. They can be shipped to Canada and the United States. You also have the option of purchasing a 2 or 4 year extended warrantee with many of the Thermotex products.
My personal favourite product from Thermotex is:
The Thermotex Platinum Far Infrared All Purpose Heating Pad
This is the infrared heating pad that I use and love! It is their most popular option and one of the most affordable infrared heating pads on the market.
You can shop for it here and be sure to enter the code DRERIN at checkout to get 10% off your order!
The other human infrared heating pad options that Thermotex offers include:
- The Thermotex Gold Far Infrared Heating Pad - For low back, hips, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, and feet
- The Thermotex Far Infrared Heating Pad for Knees
- The Thermotex Far Infrared Heating Pad for Wrists
- The Thermotex Far Infrared Heating Pad for Feet
- The Thermotex Far Infrared Heating Pad for Neck
- The Thermotex Far Infrared Heating Pad for Professionals
Thermotex has been kind enough to offer a discount code for my readers! You can shop for the Thermotex infrared products here and be sure to enter the code DRERIN at checkout to get 10% off site wide!
iReliev is a Texas based company that makes many different products, and when it comes to infrared therapy they make the iReliev® Far Infrared Heating Pad. This heating pad combines all-natural jade and tourmaline and is designed to help relieve pain. It is great for muscle recovery, as well as pre-workout and post workout use.
The jade and tourmaline stones in this heating pad, when heated, generate negative ions that are meant to improve your overall wellbeing.
Priced at $139 US, the iReliev is one of the more affordable far infrared heating pads on the market. It also comes with a 2 year warrantee.
Pure Enrichment is based in Santa Ana, California, and is a proud leader of premium home, health, and personal care products. They have passion for healthy living and a balanced lifestyle and this is reflected in the variety of products they sell.
Pure Enrichment makes a few infrared heating pads including the PureRelief™ Pro Far Infrared XL Heating Pad, PureRelief Pro Far Infrared Ultra-Wide Heating Pad, and the PureRelief™ Pro Far Infrared Universal Heat Wrap.
The Pure Enrichment infrared heating pads feature a built-in layer of ceramic beads that emit safe and healing far infrared wavelengths to penetrate muscles more deeply than traditional heating pads. These heating pads help temporarily relieve major and minor muscle aches and pains, including inflammation, period cramps, joint stiffness, arthritis pain, spasms, and more.
These heating pads heat up quite quickly and has a smart auto shut-off feature to power down the heating pad after 2 hours of continuous use. The Pure Enrichment heating pads also come with a 5 year warranty and range in price from $49.99 to $59.99.
UTK Technology specializes in far-infrared heating pads and makes a few different infrared heating pads. Their infrared heating pads are FDA registered as Medical Devices Class II and use a combination of negative ions from jade stones, far-infrared rays and natural stones to try and give you optimum healing. They also offer a 3 year warranty on their products.
UTK makes a number of infrared heating pads in a variety of sizes and prices points including:
The UTK Far Infrared Natural Jade and Tourmaline Heating Pad for Back which is a smaller sized pad that is specifically designed to be worn on the low back.
The UTK Upgrade Far Infrared Heating Pad for Back which is a larger pad (21"x31"), also designed for back pain.
The UTK Far Infrared Heating Pad for Back (21"x38") which is an even larger pad that can be used on a larger surface area of the body. You can even lay on it.
UTK offers even more infrared heating pad options including pads that are designed for specific parts of the body and can be worn around the shoulders, wrapped around your neck, around your low back, wrapped around the knee, worn around your wrist and hand and more.
Frequently asked questions:
Not every brand of infrared heating pads have done studies to prove their effectiveness but Thermotex has done studies to show that their heating pad is effective for relieving pain.
In order to be effective, it is important that infrared heating pads be used properly. To see benefits, it is important to use an infrared heating pad for at least 30-45 minutes (longer if desired) on each area being treated.
For the most benefits you should use your infrared heating pad daily. To see even more improvement you can use it twice a day.
You should not use infrared heating pads if you are pregnant, have hemophilia or severe adrenal insufficiency or suppression (for example if you have Addison's disease).
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