It’s easy to make DIY microwave heating pads with items you likely have around your house. A sock or sewn washcloth or piece of flannel can be filled with things like rice, corn, flaxseed, buckwheat, or lentils.
What are benefits of a heating pad?
Heat is great for relaxation, comfort, and helping with several kinds of muscle aches. Muscle cramps and knots, like period cramps or trigger points in the neck and shoulder, often feel better after applying heat.
(Note: sometimes muscle injuries do better with ice applied first, so check with a doctor if you have any questions)
The heat actually helps us feel safe, encouraging relaxation, and you get a bit of increased blood flow to the sore area.
Herbs like lavender, rosemary or chamomile can be added, or a few drops of essential oils. to add to the relaxation factor.
Best shape for a diy heating pad
By making heating pads at home, you can control the size and shape of the material you use. A heating pad for neck and back should be a long rectangle.
A heating pad for cramps would be better as a shorter, fatter rectangle. Small square heating pads could be made to fit in pockets as hand warmers.
Other uses for heating pad
Besides just warming our toes or soothing sore muscles, there are other uses for heating pads made at home. Pets like dogs or cats often like to cuddle up to a warm heating pad, and it may even be necessary in caring for new kittens and puppies.
People have also found that using a heating pad for seedlings and plant starts indoors helps them grow better and be ready for outdoor planting in the spring.
Check out all these different variations of tutorials that you can try for yourself or for gifts.
Heating pad with non-food filler
All the posts below include instructions on how to make homemade heating pads with food, like rice or beans. But if you are looking for a non-food microwavable heating pad, your best bet is going to be purchasing a LavaBag.
A LavaBag is filled with natural lava sand – so you’ll never get a funny smell from your heating pad. The bag is 100% cotton and comes with a washable 100% hemp cover. (Plus, the Lavabag can also be stored in the fridge or freezer to be used as an ice pack.)
I’ve had my LavaBag for over a year and it works great. It’s heavier than my rice bag, so provides some comforting weight, plus stays warm for a long time.
Other supplies and tools you’ll need to make these diy microwave heating pads: