Rice Vs Lava Sand: Which Is A Better Heating Pad?


Lava sand and rice are both viable options for your heating pad.

But when you compare the two together, one stands out more than the other.

When we compare rice to lava sand, the lava sand wins because it comes in a very durable pad and cover, it retains the heat longer, and it will never give off a bad smell no matter how many times you heat it up, and you won't be able to beat the cost for your choices.

Read on to find out our reasoning for lava sand.



If you go on Amazon and search for "rice heating pad", you will get back quite a few options.

It seems that rice is one of the more popular options for heating pads.

And they come in all shapes and sizes.

That means you have a lot of options to choose from.

For instance, you could get a heating pad for over your shoulders for just around $30 here.

You could also get a more standard size heating pad that is good for all areas of your body for around $16 here.

You can also purchase a rice heating pad that gives off particular smells like lavender, to help soothe you while using the heating pad.

You can purchase a heating pad like this for around $15 here.

As you can see, you have many different options for the types of rice heating pads you can purchase.

The lava sand heating pad has a few different options you can purchase as well.

One lava sand heating pad is the standard size that you can find other heating pads in.

You can find that heating pad here.

You can also purchase a heating pad that is specifically made for going over your shoulders and neck.

That heating pad can be found here.

Overall, because there are so many different options for rice heating pads, the rice heating pads wins in this category.

Advantage: rice



One of the most important things you want out of your heating pad is how long it is going to last as a heating pad.

This means that the heating pad is going to last no matter how many times you heat it up, cool it down, or get it wet.

If you don't get a heating pad that has long durability, you could find yourself replacing the heating pad every few months, and no one wants to do that if they can help it.

You are going to find that the lava sand heating pad is pretty durable.

Because the main component of the heating pad is sand, there is very little you have to worry about.

You could dunk the heating pad in water and keep in there for awhile, and then you can pull it back out, dry it off, and then use it again as a heating pad.

You'll just want to make sure that you don't keep it under the water for too long, or the cover could end up getting or smelling moldy.

In that case, the lava sand can still act as a heating pad, it just won't smell the best.

But if you do end up getting the heating pad wet, all you would have to do it turn your oven on to 200 degrees, place the heating pad on a drying rack and then place the drying rack in the oven for a few hours.

This will allow the lava sand to dry out appropriately and prepare it to be used again.

The same cannot be said about the rice heating pads.

Rice is food and no matter how the rice is prepared, it is still going to act like food.

This means that after a certain amount of time from getting wet or being put in the microwave, it is eventually going to run its course and no longer get useful.

Eventually the rice is going to get overcooked.

This doesn't need to happen all at once, but it could happen all at once.

If, for instance, someone in your family put the rice heating pad in the microwave for ten minutes, the rice is going to burn.

Then the heating pad won't be helpful to you anymore and it is going to smell horrible.

If someone puts the lava sand heating pad in the microwave for ten minutes, all you'll have to worry about is that the heating pad will be too hot.

Once you give it some time to cool down a little bit, you are perfectly fine to use the lava sand heating pad again.

That's not the same for rice heating pads.

Also, to clean the rice heating pads, you will need to do a spot clean on the pad.

Grab a washcloth, get it a little bit wet and then spot clean the dirty spots on the heating pad.

Otherwise, if you get the heating pad too wet, you'll have to replace it.

So for durability, lava sand wins.

Advantage: lava sand


The heating for a rice filled heating pad is pretty standard across most heating pads.

Start by warming the heating pad in your microwave for 60 to 90 seconds, then increase the time by how much you need it to heat.

For example, 60 to 90 seconds should give you around 30 minutes of heating time.

For every minute after that, it added another 30 minutes or so to the heating time.

The rice heating pad will start off with a deep heat for about 10 minutes and then will taper down to a regular heat for the rest of the time.

Again, make sure not to heat the rice heating pad for too long.

Anything over 5 or 6 minutes might end up ruining the rice inside the heating pad.

If you need deeper heat for longer, then the lava sand is the way to go.

If you start off by heating the heating pad for 3 minutes in the microwave, then that should give you a good hour and a half or two hours worth of heat for your heating pad.

And it is a deep heat for a while as well.

I've had times I've had to use a kitchen towel to wrap around the lava sand heating pad because it was so hot for so long.

So overall, the lava sand heating pad gives you a lot more heat for longer than a rice heating pad.

Advantage: lava sand

Decay factor


We've already talked about the decay factor a little bit already in this article.

The rice in the heating pad is eventually going to wear down and go bad.

This means it will either get overcooked and therefore burn the rice.

Or eventually the rice is going to go rotten.

Either way, you could find yourself having to purchase a new heating pad every so often to replace ones that have gone through their usefulness.

The lava sand is not going to run out on your or go bad.

So for the decay factor, lava sand will not decay and can last a long time for you.

Advantage: lava sand


Comfort is another aspect of a heating pad that is really important.

If there is a part of your part that needs the heating pad applied, you are going to want to be able to apply it in a way that is comfortable.

Because if you aren't comfortable, you are only going to make the pain worse.

So the placement of the heating pad is important and how it conforms to your body.

Rice and lava sand are going to have close to the same comfort level when applying the heating pad to your body.

The grain of the lava sand and the grain of the rice is pretty small, so it is going to adjust to your body as needed.

Advantage: Tie


The smell of the lava sand heating pad isn't going to change much.

Sand doesn't have much of a smell to it.

This means that as you heat it up or cool it down, the smell isn't going to change.

You can apply some essential oils to the lava sand and it should do a pretty good job of keeping that smell (though you might have to reapply the oils every once in a while).

The rice heating pad is a little bit of a different story.

First, if you overheat the heating pad, then the heating pad could give off a burning smell.

And the smell could make it hard for you to enjoy the heat it is giving off.

You could also apply essential oils to the rice, but this might also affect the integrity of the rice.

So be careful applying any additional smells.

Lava sand wins this category because it won't ever give off a burned smell

Advantage: lava sand


Lava sand beats out rice in almost every category as a heating pad.

The lava sand heating pad is going to stay warm for a while and it's not going to decay on you like a rice heating pad would.

You also don't have to worry about how you clean it, whether it is soaked in water or spot cleaned.

So if you are looking for the best option in heating pads, lava sand is probably the best for you