Are Microwavable Heating Pads Safe?

Many individuals who seek relief from chronic pains, menstrual cramping, arthritis, gas pains and more turn to natural heating pads for relief that are heated in a microwave.

These heating pads are generally made out of a cotton cover filled with foodstuffs such as rice, beans, corn, flax seed, cherry pits, or substances such as lava sand, clay beads, and more.

But are they safe?

Microwavable heating pads are safe to use as long as individuals follow the directions that come with their products. If someone makes their own heating pad, it is important to know what materials to use to make it out of and how long to heat it for.

Let's take a look at some of the groups that can benefit from the heat therapy that microwaveable heat pads can offer.

Woman looking at ultrasound picture

Can I Use a Microwavable Heating Pad While Pregnant?

YES! Microwaveable heating pads are safe to use during pregnancy.

In fact, having a reliable heating pad is a must to survive the nine months until your little one is born and for relief during your post partum phase.

The Must Have Pregnancy Survival Tool

After having eight kids, I realized something...

Sometimes being pregnant can be a pain.

Not just a metaphoric pain but real side cramping, muscle spasming, back aching types of pain.

If that wasn't enough, constipation during pregnancy can case bloating and gas pains as well.

Round that off with leg cramps, and you are tempted to reach for your bottle of ibuprofen or aspirin.

The problem is, that only Tylenol or acetaminophen are recommended to relieve pain during pregnancy, and some times they don't cut it.

Another problem is that it takes a while for an over-the-counter drug to start working. 

That is where microwaveable heating pads come in.

How Heat Pads Help During Pregnancy

Microwaveable heating pads help open up the constricting blood vessels, reducing pain and inflammation.

All natural without any side effects, microwaveable heating pads work faster than a Tylenol and can be used as often as needed.

Place a heating pad on your leg when you feel a Charlie Horse coming on, or put it on your tummy if your stomach muscles are stretching to make more room for baby.

If you are feeling constipated, placing a heating pad on the area of discomfort can help relax those muscles, making it easier for the body to perform a bowl movement.

Can You Bring a Heating Pad to the Hospital?

Almost all hospitals will allow you to bring a heat pad from home, and even offer a microwave where you can heat it up.

Make sure to pack one up in your hospital bag before labor begins so you won't forget it on the rush out the door.

Can a Heating Pad Help During Labor?

Heating Pads are a big help when it comes to labor and delivery.

When using a heating pad during labor, make sure that it doesn't interfere with the monitors or other equipment attached to your body.

Placing a heating pad on the lower back helps with those that experience 'back labor'.

You may also want to bring a cover for your heat pack so that if any fluids or liquids get on it, it will be easy to be cleaned and reused. 

Are All Heating Pads Safe to Use While Pregnant?

When used properly. heating pads are safe to be used while pregnant.

However, it is important to follow the directions to avoid any possible issues.

When using most heating pads, make sure that they are not too hot when they make contact with the skin or else burning may occur.

Overly hot heating pads have shown to be an issue, especially those that are electric or plugged in.

However, there are bags such as Lava Bags that heat but do not burn like other heating pads, although placing them directly on skin is not recommended.

When using any heating pad, place a small dish towel or other fabric to act as a barrier between skin and pad to make sure that an overheated pad does not burn the skin.

Are Heating Pads Safe for Babies?

Heating pads are safe to use on babies as long as they are not too hot, never electric, and only used when supervised by an adult.

There is nothing sadder or more heart wrenching than the cries of a gassy baby.

I remember several nights rocking gassy, constipated babies in an attempt to give them a little bit of comfort.

Sure, there's gas drops and other things out there, but sometimes it isn't enough.

That is when I discovered the blessing of heating pads for babies.

Just like when heating pads offered relief when you were constipated and gassy when pregnant, they can do the same for babies.


It is important NEVER to make the heating pad too hot.

A little warm (not hot) to the touch is the heat you are going for when it comes to babies.

Babies skin is much more sensitive to heat than adults, so always make sure there is a fabric barrier so that it doesn't burn the baby.

If a baby cries when the heat pad is on them, then it is too hot and needs to cool.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER place a baby with an electric heat pad, since they can get tangled up and strangled by cords.

How to Use A Heating Pad With a Baby

Begin by heating the heat pad up for only half the time you normally would.

If it is slightly warm to the touch, then it is hot enough.

Observe your baby's reaction to it to make sure it isn't too hot.

Then, hold the baby in your arms and place a blanket over the baby's belly.

Place the heat pad on top of the blanket.

Make sure the heat pad is not too heavy.

Remove the heat pad when done.

Do not leave a baby alone with a heat pad on top of them.

For tummy time, you can place a heating pad on the floor and cover it with a blanket and place the baby tummy down on the blanket.

Remember, do not use heating pads with cords.

Man holding his knee

Are Heating Pads Safe For Treating Stiffness or Arthritis?

Heating pads are a great way to naturally relieve pains associated with arthritis, joints, stiffness, and more.

Time has a way of wearing down our bodies, and things that were easily done in the past are now harder and more painful.

Heating Pads Help With Arthritis

Arthritis, old injuries, stiffness are the unspoken plague of millions of Americans.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 23% of adults are afflicted by arthritis alone and is the leading cause of individuals going on employment disability.

Although many find ways to manage their pain on a daily basis, a wrong movement, staying still too long, or a change in the weather can cause even more severe pain.

(Although the jury is still out on why weather seems to affect arthritis).

Many individuals turn to over-the-counter or prescribed pain killers to maintain a quality of life, but sometimes that is still not enough.

Heat therapy is a fast acting source of relief, and when added with the deep pressure stimulation offered by heating pads, such as Lava Bags, they can help alleviate the pain.

I have watched family members who experience chronic pain find instant relief when they used a heating pad, especially the Lava Bag.

My mother has osteoarthritis in her knees, as well as torn a ligament in her left knee.

Although she tries not to complain, it is easy to see that she is constantly in pain, which is keeping her from her favorite hobby...gardening.

I've recently acquired a Lava Bag, and decided to see if it could help alleviate the pain. 

The look of relief on her face as soon as I placed it on her was amazing.

She said that for the first time in a long time, her leg felt better.

Heating Pads Help With Stiffness

After a long day working in the yard, doing any heavy duty lifting, or exercising you may feel a bit stiff.

Heating pads are the great, all natural relief your aching muscles are looking for.

Place your favorite heating pad in the microwave, heat for a minute or two and place it on whatever part of the body needs a little TLC.

The heat from the pack will begin relaxing and loosening muscles and all you have to do is sit back and relax.

Is Using a Heating Pad Every Night Bad For You?

There are no negative side effects to the body for using a heating pad every night.

Unlike other forms of pain control, heating pads are non addictive and completely natural.

Since there is no danger associated with heating pads when properly used, they are safe to use as frequently as needed. 

However, if a heating pad with foodstuff is used repeatedly, it is important to check its contents to make sure that burning is not occurring.

Investing in a heating pad without a perishable filling, such as a Lava Bag can ease your worry of the heating pad going bad or potentially combusting in the microwave. 

Is It OK to Sit on a Heating Pad?

It is safe to sit on a heating pad as long as it isn't overheated and is sturdily constructed.

Most heating pads are made to withstand many circumstances related to daily living.

There is no danger associated with sitting on a heating pad, unless the stitching or knot comes undone that keeps the filling within the pack or if the pack is heated too long.

To avoid any issues, check the seems of the pack before use and only heat the pack for the recommended time.

When Is A Heating Pad Not Safe

Heating pads are one of the safest natural forms of pain control on the market.

However, there are instances when they can burn skin, caught on fire, or smell bad.

Here are some helpful hints to make sure you have a safe experience with your heating pad:

  • Check the filling of the heating pad to make sure it isn't in danger of burning. (Not a factor for Lava Bags)
  • Only heat for the recommended time
  • Place cloth barrier between pad and skin.
  • Make sure heating pad is clean and free from tares.
  • If using an electric heating pad, do not leave a child alone with the cord.

Does that mean that heating pads can be used by ANYONE?

The answer is YES!