Do you suffer from chronic pain? Have you tried every possible solution with no success? If so, it might be time to try an infrared heating pad. These devices solve a multitude of health problems, including pain in the joints and muscles. Also, it’s a perfect solution for those looking for a way to relax and improve sleep.
These kinds of pads have been around for a long time, but they’ve become more popular and enhanced with the advancement of technology.
We’ll discuss what they are, how they work, and the best devices on the market. In addition, we will go over the pros and cons of these devices so you can make an informed decision when buying one.
HigherDOSE Infrared Mat
Winner category: Best for meditation
- Best for reducing stress, increasing energy, and improving circulation
- Two powerful treatment technologies (PEMF and infrared radiation) for complex therapy
- Includes black tourmaline and amethyst crystals that positively affect your mood by increasing serotonin levels
UTK Jade Far Infrared Heating Pad
Winner category: Best deep penetration heating pad
- Fastest response to acute or chronic pain
- Comes with an adjustable controller with 4 temperature settings for added flexibility
- Has a layer of tourmaline and an additional layer of jade for improved tissue penetration
HealthyLine Far Infrared Heating Pad
Winner category: Best for relaxation and full recovery
- Best for boosting body energy levels, metabolism, and circulation
- Has “shape memory alloy” elements, which allow it to automatically return to its original size and shape after using the device
- Has a 12-hour auto-off timer for long-term therapy
UTK Far Infrared Natural Jade and Tourmaline
Winner category: Best for targeted relief
- Most effective for treating small areas (e.g., neck, shoulders)
- Has a velcro strap so you can move around while using the device
- Contains tourmaline and jade for stimulating blood circulation and increasing oxygen levels
Venture Far Infrared Heating Pad
Winner category: Best budget-friendly
- Most effective for relieving joint pain, upper and lower back pain, and muscle stiffness
- 3 temperature settings for perfect heating
- Uses carbon fiber heating elements to efficiently conduct heat and distribute it evenly
- Large size for comfortable use on different parts of the body (neck, shoulders, back, knees, and legs)
What is an infrared heating pad?
An infrared heating pad is a heat source, mainly used to provide heat therapy for the treatment of different illnesses or injuries, but can also be used for general relaxation.
An infrared heating pad produces long wave far infrared rays which are invisible to the human eye. These rays penetrate deep into tissues and muscles providing effective whole-body heating in a short time.
Infrared heating pads are used for the treatment of different illnesses or injuries, in particular reducing pain in the affected area. Infrared rays increase blood circulation to stimulate tissue regeneration and reduce inflammation in the affected area. This increases the range of movement and performance. In addition, infrared heating pads do all of these without any side effects [1, 2].
How does an infrared heating pad work?
An infrared heating pad emits far infrared radiation to warm the body.
Far infrared radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation, which are invisible waves of energy that penetrate the surface of the skin, gently raising the body temperature and improving the functions of the body’s systems .
The invisible light does not heat the air but penetrates directly into the skin tissues where it is absorbed and then converted into heat. Thus, infrared radiation does not warm the room or surrounding air like other heating devices do.
In addition, far infrared light waves do not require oxygen to produce heat. This means that deeper tissues in the body that may have poor circulation or minimal oxygen levels can be directly heated without any negative effects.
Far infrared radiation is also believed to produce other health benefits through the activation of enzymes, resulting in improvements in metabolism, strengthening the immune system, and enhanced circulation .
Best infrared heating pads
HigherDOSE Infrared Mat
HigherDOSE Infrared Mat is a perfect pad that combines two powerful healing technologies (PEMF and infrared therapy) to create the perfect recovery tool.
PEMF technology, also known as pulsed electromagnetic field technology, has different wavelengths with different effects and is delivered in low-frequency bursts. For example, the first two settings are more relaxing and help you fall asleep, while the higher two settings are better for energy and focus.
Infrared therapy increases blood circulation, which speeds up the process of replenishing nutrients in the cells of the body. It results in immediate relief from chronic pain and recovery from workouts.
The mat also includes a crystal therapy with a thick layer of purple amethyst and tourmaline crystals that work together to provide a deeper dose of infrared radiation.
In general, the mat combines seven heat settings and four PEMF settings, making it the most versatile device on our list.
However, it should be said that this is not a small health device — and it is heavy. Since it has amethyst crystals in it, it weighs about 20 kg. So if space is limited, the UTK Far Infrared Natural Jade and Tourmaline Heating Pad might be the best option.
UTK Jade Far Infrared Heating Pad
UTK Jade Far Infrared Heating Pad is designed to achieve maximum penetration of infrared radiation. This device can help anyone suffering from acute or chronic pain, as well as any condition caused by poor circulation, including:
- Muscle spasms and stiffness
- Minor sprains
- Back pain
- Pain and numbness related in neuropathy
The UTK Jade Far Infrared Heating Pad comes with an adjustable controller with 4 temperature settings from 103°F to 159°F for added flexibility, unlike the Venture Far Infrared Heating Pad (with only 3 general settings). The warmer is made of plush fabric, which gives the body a feeling of comfort and soothingness.
Similar to the HigherDOSE Infrared Mat, this heating pad has a layer of tourmaline and an additional layer of jade. When heated, the stones emit healing and pain-relieving infrared rays (plus negative ions) deep into your muscles, joints, and nerves (up to 2.5 inches).
It is easy to use and maintain. The heating pad includes two built-in cords that can be plugged into any power supply.
HealthyLine Far Infrared Heating Pad
HealthyLine Far Infrared Heating Pad is an -registered medical device that uses far infrared rays to increase your energy levels, metabolism, and blood circulation. It is also used for muscle stimulation, arthritis relief, foot pain relief, and other chronic pain conditions.
As with the UTK Far Infrared Natural Jade and Tourmaline Heating Pad and UTK Jade Far Infrared Heating Pad, the device is made up of round pieces of jade and tourmaline. They help the body function more efficiently by bringing energy and mood levels closer to normal while producing the highest amount of .
The heating pad has an impressive size (72” x 24”) and is great for whole-body therapy. But if you travel often and want to take the device with you, you may want to look for a more compact option such as the UTK Far Infrared Natural Jade and Tourmaline Heating Pad.
It also has “shape memory alloy” elements, which allow it to automatically return to its original size and shape after using the device. Furthermore, the heating pad’s integrated microprocessor ensures that your body remains at a comfortable temperature while using the device by generating consistent and uniform heating.
In addition, HealthyLine Far Infrared Heating Pad has a 12-hour auto-off timer, which is two hours longer than the Venture Far Infrared Heating Pad if you prefer longer therapy sessions.
UTK Far Infrared Natural Jade and Tourmaline Heating Pad
UTK Far Infrared Natural Jade and Tourmaline Heating Pad is widely used by professionals and healthcare providers for many years to promote blood flow, healing, pain relief, and relaxation.
When comparing two UTK brand devices, the UTK Far Infrared Natural Jade and Tourmaline heating pad contains 52 natural jade stones and 20 tourmaline stones, while the UTK Jade Far Infrared Heating Pad contains almost 1.5 times more crystal stones.
As in the UTK Jade Far-Infrared Heating Pad, jade stones are natural thermal regulators that emit infrared rays when heated. These rays penetrate the skin around 2-5 mm deep, stimulating blood circulation and increasing oxygen levels at a cellular level, allowing the mind and body to energize. Tourmaline also emits far infrared rays when heated, providing the same benefits as jade stones.
However, keep in mind that this device is small and is great for relieving specific muscle tensions. Therefore, if you are looking for whole-body therapy, HealthyLine Far Infrared Heating Pad or Venture Far Infrared Heating Pad will be your best options.
The device also comes with a velcro strap that you can use to keep it strapped in for a longer time, allowing you to move while using the device. This is a major advantage of UTK brand devices as you can enjoy the benefits of infrared therapy while performing other tasks.
Venture Far Infrared Heating Pad
Venture Far Infrared Heating Pad is a large heating pad that uses carbon fiber to produce and deliver safe infrared heat to sore joints and muscles in the body for faster healing. It’s also the perfect heating pad for those who suffer from illnesses such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.
The device has an affordable price (almost eight times cheaper than the HigherDOSE Infrared Mat) but is not inferior in functionality, making it a great choice for those who want to try infrared therapy, but have a limited budget.
Because of its small size and flexibility, you can almost wrap it around your body. However, if you are looking for a more compact option for a small area, take a look at UTK Jade Far Infrared Heating Pad.
The Venture Far Infrared Heating Pad is equipped with an auto-off feature that can be set to ten hours or less. Since such devices are often used before going to bed, the automatic shut-off feature is very useful to ensure that you will not overheat the device and only receive the dose of heat desired.
The three temperature settings on this heating pad make it very simple to use, unlike other devices such as the HigherDOSE Infrared Mat (with seven settings) and the UTK Jade Far Infrared Heating Pad (four settings). However, the Venture Far Infrared Heating Pad heats up quickly so you don’t have to wait too long to start your session.
Another great thing you will love about this heating pad is its flexibility. It is light (only around 1 kg), portable, and comes with a convenient case, so you can travel with it anywhere in the world unlike the HigherDOSE Infrared Mat, which is for home use only, due to its hefty weight (20 kg).
Health benefits of infrared heating pads based on scientific research
Infrared heating pads have been around for a while. However, scientists are only beginning to understand whether they can be more than just heating devices. Below we will look at some studies on infrared heating pads and their potential health benefits.
A study  examined the effect of far infrared heating pads on chronic low back pain in 50 patients. They used a heating pad over four weeks for at least 45 minutes per day. After the study period, researchers observed a significant reduction in pain intensity in these patients. In addition, using heating pads improved their quality of life, sleep, and mental health.
In another study , 40 patients with chronic low back pain lasting more than six years were randomly allocated between infrared therapy or placebo therapy. Infrared therapy was carried out using two small portable devices on a strong belt. The placebo group had identical devices, but with no power connected. Patients attended seven therapy sessions per week. The results showed that there was a significant reduction in pain in the affected areas of the back and improved mobility.
Another study  confirmed the effectiveness of infrared therapy in pain reduction. Ninety patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were randomly divided into three groups (group I: infrared therapy for five minutes, the total radiation dose of 3 J; group II: infrared therapy for three minutes, total radiation dose — 2 J; group III: placebo laser group + exercise). All patients received a total of ten treatments. Significant improvements were observed for all parameters including pain, functionality, and overall health after therapy in both active laser groups.
The positive effect of infrared radiation on blood circulation has also been shown in another study . This study included 58 diabetic patients who had impaired circulation in their legs, causing them pain. They were divided into two groups: the experimental group (31) received far infrared foot therapy (40 min/session, three times a week for six months), and the control group (27) received conventional wellness therapy. After the study period, significant positive effects of far infrared therapy on foot temperature, pulse, and blood flow were observed. Pain sensitivity, tactility, and pressure also improved significantly in the experimental group.
FIR therapy may also be a useful adjunctive treatment for certain chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease.
A study  involving 41 patients diagnosed with chronic heart failure (with an average age of 68 years) examined the effect of far infrared radiation in this patient population. The participants were treated with far infrared radiation five times a week for 21 days. The results demonstrated an improvement in heart function and overall physical fitness in these patients.
Pros and cons of infrared heating pads
Infrared heat therapy has been around for a long time, but in the last decade it has become very popular due to its many benefits. The concept is simple: you feel warmer because the energy from infrared light increases blood flow in your body.
Below we have listed the pros and cons of infrared heating pads and some things to keep in mind before getting one:
- Infrared light can penetrate deep into the body, providing warmth to muscles, bones, and other tissues.
- The heat is calming and therapeutic. It’s great for relieving pain caused by arthritis, strains or sprains, and other injuries.
- There are no side effects to infrared heat therapy, as it is all-natural.
- Infrared heating pads are very versatile and you can use them almost anywhere on the body.
- They are travel-friendly/portable and can be taken with you anywhere in the world.
- Heating pads come with various time and temperature settings, and a digital controller. You can set the temperature that is comfortable for you for each therapy session. Therefore, there is no risk of burning your skin.
- Some heating pads can be quite heavy or bulky, making them difficult to maneuver around the body.
- The price of a far infrared heating pad is slightly higher than a regular electric heating pad, but their versatility often outweighs their cost.
Infrared heating pads are one of the best ways to invest in your health and comfort. These devices can be used at home or while traveling. They soothe aching muscles, provide comfort for many different conditions and just simply make you feel better.
There are numerous heating pads available on the market and while it may be hard to determine which one is the best fit for you, we have done extensive research to help you choose the best option that is suitable to your needs.
Medical Editor and scientific communicator with a PhD in health sciences
and extensive experience in scientific research and Medical Communications in various therapeutic areas.
🤔 What is an infrared heating pad?
Infrared heating pads are devices that emit natural far infrared waves which penetrate deeply into the body to increase blood circulation, relax muscles, relieve pain, and improve sleep conditions.
♨ Which infrared heating pad is the best for me?
Many devices on the market promise to relieve joint and muscle pain. Our top 5 include the following:
- HigherDOSE Infrared Mat — Best for meditation;
- UTK Jade Far Infrared Heating Pad — Best deep penetration heating pad;
- HealthyLine Far Infrared Heating Pad — Best for relaxation and full recovery;
- UTK Far Infrared Natural Jade and Tourmaline Heating Pad — Best for targeted relief.
- Venture Far Infrared Heating Pad — Best budget-friendly;
🔍 How do I use an infrared heating pad?
Place your heating pad on the area you want to warm up. Then turn it on and select a temperature that’s comfortable for you. The warming effect will start in about 10-15 minutes. You can leave it on for as long as you like. When you’re done, just unplug the power cord.
📌 How do I clean an infrared heating pad?
Just use a damp cloth to wipe it clean after each use. The pad does not need to be washed!
⏳ How long can an infrared heating pad warm me?
It depends on the heating mode you choose. Some heating pads can keep you warm for up to 12 hours, making them perfect for a cozy night in.
❓ What happens if I leave an infrared heating pad turned on for a long time?
The cord has an insulation layer that prevents it from getting too hot, so you don’t have to worry if you forget to unplug it. But, we recommend unplugging your pad after every use.
- Shang-Ru Tsai and Michael R Hamblin. Biological effects and medical applications of infrared radiation. — J Photochem Photobiol B. 2017 May; 170: 197–207. Published online 2017 Apr 13. DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2017.04.014.
- Fatma Vatansever and Michael R. Hamblin. Far infrared radiation (FIR): its biological effects and medical applications. — Photonics Lasers Med. 2012 Nov 1; 4: 255–266.
Published online 2012 Oct 16. DOI: 10.1515/plm-2012-0034.
- Frank Ervolino, Ronald Gazze. Far infrared wavelength treatment for low back pain: Evaluation of a non-invasive device. Work. 2015;53(1):157-62. DOI: 10.3233/WOR-152152.
- George D. Gale, Peter J. Rothbart, Ye Li. Infrared therapy for chronic low back pain: a randomized, controlled trial. Pain Res Manag. 2006;11(3):193-6. DOI: 10.1155/2006/876920.
- Ali Gur, Abdulkadir Cosut, Aysegul Jale Sarac, Remzi Cevik, Kemal Nas, Asur Uyar. Efficacy of different therapy regimes of low-power laser in painful osteoarthritis of the knee: a double-blind and randomized-controlled trial. Lasers Surg Med. 2003;33(5):330-8. DOI: 10.1002/lsm.10236.
- Yu-Hung Wang, Fang-Yu Cheng, Yann-Fen C. Chao. Effects of Far-Infrared Therapy on Foot Circulation Among Hemodialysis Patients With Diabetes Mellitus. Biol Res Nurs. 2020;22(3):403-411. DOI: 10.1177/1099800420923730. Epub 2020 May 5.
- Takashi Ohori, Takashi Nozawa, Hiroyuki Ihori, Takuya Shida, Mitsuo Sobajima, Akira Matsuki, Satoshi Yasumura, Hiroshi Inoue. Effect of repeated sauna treatment on exercise tolerance and endothelial function in patients with chronic heart failure. Am J Cardiol. 2012;109(1):100-4. E-pub 2011 Sep 23.