Choosing the best microwave heat pack often means understanding which packs can provide the soothing relief of moist heat efficiently and safely. Microwave heat packs may also be called heat pads or heat wraps. Although these products may feature different shapes, they generally provide the same benefits. Thankfully, choosing among the different microwavable heat pads available is often simple and straightforward. You can simply review the various features and functions available in heating packs to find out which products offer maximum pain relief for your specific needs.
The quality of the microwave heat pack is usually one of the most important considerations. Most pads feature insulative outer fabrics such as cotton or fleece, with various materials used inside to hold heat. Lower priced pads may use less durable materials or fillers like rice that do not retain heat as long. Higher quality packs may be made with barley or other grains that are less likely to burn if overheated. To help ensure even heat distribution, the best microwave heating pads may also contain multiple chambers sewed into the pad.
Another top quality usually desired in a microwave heat pack is versatility. Heating packs work to increase blood flow to the area of the body over which the heating pack is placed, and therefore heat is usually used to reduce joint stiffness and treat muscle spasms. Some heating packs, however, feature a gel interior and can be placed in the freezer and used for cold therapy, numbing the area of injury to reduce swelling and inflammation. If packs are regularly used to treat sore muscles and various types of aches and pains, investing in a high-quality pack capable of delivering both cooling and heating therapy may offer the most benefit.
Pleasant scents are another way of treating pain while creating a calming and soothing environment. For aromatherapy benefits, look for a microwave heat pack that contains aromatic herbs such as lemongrass and cinnamon. It is also possible to choose herbal microwave heat packs that are suited to treating specific ailments. For instance, breathing in a peppermint-scented heat pack may provide some temporary relief from a clogged nasal passage. Lavender, on the other hand, is often used as a means of relieving tension and stress.
Finding the best microwave heat pack often means considering the specific area of the body where the pack will be applied. Preformed heat packs are customized to fit specific areas of the body. Neck wraps, for instance, are designed to be wrapped around the neck to relieve muscle strain in the neck and shoulders. Foot pads that are designed to look like slippers are also available. These foot pads usually feature removable microwave heat packs that can be warmed for a minute or two and then tucked back into the shoes to soothe arthritis or relieve tired feet.
Ultimately, determining the features needed in a microwave heat pack can help with purchasing the best product. For some, a weighted pack is preferred to provide just the right amount of pressure to the area of injury. Others prefer packs with handles that can be picked up out of the microwave without burning the fingertips.