Infrared Vs Regular Heating Pad

by | Sep 18, 2018 | Infrared Heating Pads

In this article, I’d like to cover the question most of us have when looking to buy a heating pad. Infrared Vs regular heating pad. What’s better the differences and why. 

I came across this topic when I was on the hunt for a solution for my wife and her ongoing back pain issues.

By you reading this I’m sure you aware, when it comes to pain you’ll pretty much do what you can to get lasting relief, especially if it’s an ongoing issue. Not only can it cause pain but the pain can also cause other issues to your body that can leave you incapable of even living a normal life. 

This might sound a little dramatic to some, but for those who suffer it makes plenty of sense. And as I’ve said, I’ve seen this first hand with my wife, her pain was challenging, and even getting out of bed some days was an achievement in itself. 

It not only affects your body but also your mental strength. And seeing this first hand obviously you do what you can to find a solution. And that’s where I knew heat therapy had some benefits and can really help with the pain relief. 

Do Heating Pads Work?

Well, that’s the other question I had, and from what I had seen so far it looked promising, I was really interested in infrared heating pads and the benefits they offered over the regular pad. 

I remember back when I was young, maybe you do as well, mum used to always use a heating pad or a hot water bottle to help with pain relief, just a regular one but it seemed to work to some degree, and when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. I knew infrared therapy wasn’t one of those fads, and I’m sure you can tell from my site It’s not. 

I was confident they worked but I wanted to know how exactly, so of course I did my homework.

How Do Infrared Heating Pads Work?

So the heating pads you can get from the shops, the cheaper ones are usually electric, Not bad but they only heat the surface of your skin. They won’t go any deeper than that, and for what they do they are helpful. But they don’t help with lasting pain relief. 

The issue is because they only heat the surface of your skin and not the muscles and that’s why the heat isn’t long-lasting. If it could go deeper they would help. And once the heat is turned off, the area in question cools down and the pain returns. 

The heat cools down quickly because the heat hasn’t penetrated the skin into your muscles and tissue fibres. And that’s exactly what the infrared heating pad does.

The infrared heating pad converts light into heat which produces energy that penetrates deeper into your skin and into your muscles.

This deep penetration into your body helps to relieve the pain as well as helps with blood circulation. Better blood circulation assists with faster muscle repair and recovery and therefore helps to relieve pain.

Because the heat enters your body it also stays there longer as well. Once you turn off the infrared heating pad the heat remains within your body for up to 4-6 hours giving you longer and better pain relief.

The Heating Elements

The regular electric heating pad uses cotton fibres to heat the area.

The infrared heating pad uses cotton fibres as well as jade stones, amethyst and tourmaline stones. The stones are what helps to transmit the infrared waves into our body through the skin.

I hope that explains how infrared heating pads work and how they can really benefit your health and pain relief.

You can see how different they are and why they work the way they do.

Infrared Heating Pad Pros And Cons

From what I’ve mentioned it’s clear to say there’s no doubt there are benefits of using a heating pad for pain relief as well as for your general wellbeing.

But in saying that, like anything in life there are both sides to the story and that’s the same with the infrared heating pad pros and cons. Nothing is perfect even if its the best in the world.

Whether it’s for muscle issues or ongoing pain or possibly arthritis, heating pads do work. As I’ve explained there are differences in the two and I’ve mentioned what they are. 

Looking at the infrared heating pad pros and cons, well there’s a lot of healing benefits long term over the electric heating pad which I do cover below. If there is a con it would have to be the price of the infrared heating pad, If you call that a con. 

If you understand the differences in the two types of heating pads and how the infrared pad works and what its made of you’ll understand why there’s a large price difference, and to me the price actually makes sense. The long term health benefits outway the upfront costs. 

It’s clear to say, there’s no doubt about the effective use of a heating pad for pain relief. Whether that’s a strained muscle as a result of exercise or you have a long term health condition like arthritis. They do help. But there are very big differences between the two pads.

Infrared Heating Pad Vs Regular Heating Pad. The Differences

So not we know a little more about heating pads especially infrared ones, I’d like to cover the differences in the two, apart from the price difference which I’ve already covered.

Below I’ve put together a little chart showing you the noted differences between the two types of heating pads.

Infrared Heating Pads

Pain Relief

You can see relief for up to 5-6 hours after you have actually finished using your pad

The Heat Source

The heat Is generated with cotton fibers, as well as using Jade stones/Amethyst Stones/Tourmaline stones

Heat Penetration Depth

The heat will reach up to 4-5 cm into your body

EMF Level

Lower than normal

Electric Heating Pads

Pain Relief

You only experience pain relief while you have your pad running. Once you turn the pad off the relief pretty much stops.

The Heat.

The heat is generated with cotton fibers.

Heat Penetration Depth

The heat will reach 2-3 mm into your skin.

EMF Level

On the high side

All I wanted to do is break down the differences so you could see them side by side. 

Regular Heating Pad

So the regular heating pad uses the electricity along with the cotton fibres to generate the required heat. The infrared pad does have the same set-up but with the infrared heat things do change a lot, you can see that above but I’ll touch on that soon.  

As I’ve mentioned the electric pad only penetrated around 23 mm into the skin, all this means is the heat doesn’t really break the skin, it pretty much just heats the surface of your body, hence why the heat disappears quickly once you have turned the pad off. 

If you’re not monitoring your heat with the electric heating pad you can actually burn the skin. 

Infrared Heating Pad

Now let’s turn our attention to the infrared heating pad. This is where you’ll start to see why the infrared heating pad is a little more expensive but so much more effective.

This is where I found the infrared heating pad pretty cool. Not only does it use electricity to heat but they also use these stones called jade and tourmaline stones. They use these stones to transfer the heat into infrared heat. 

These stones are really effective and without them, you won’t get the same effect or results.

As I mentioned in the chart above, the infrared heat penetrates a lot deeper than the normal heating pad. The infrared heat can effectively get as far as 5-6cm into your body, allowing the heat to get to where it’s going to be the most helpful.

Using the infrared heating pad for even 30 minutes a day can get you up to 5-6 hours of pain relief. And the reason for this. You see, when the heat penetrates into your body, your inner body can retain the heat for longer periods of time, thus allowing you to get longer relief with a lot more benefits, this all comes about because the heat is still retained in your body.

Just think about the impact that could have on your life. Up to 6 hours of pain relief, all-natural therapy without medication. Allowing you to get on with your life.

There are a lot more health benefits involved with infrared therapy, we have some other articles on our site that you can read if you wish.

Heating Pad Safety Concerns.


When it comes to the safety of using an infrared heating pad your pretty safe, and I’ll explain why.

Infrared rays are very safe because you’re actually exposed to infrared light every day, and I’m talking about the sun. The sun is a natural source of infrared rays, therefore infrared light cannot hurt you, It’s actually the UV rays that are the problem. 

Something that all infrared products do not emit. So knowing that you can see how it’s very safe for us to enjoy and use as a natural healing source.


With the electric heating pad. You’re also pretty safe, as I mentioned above, there have been cases where the skin had been burnt, this would be due to the high heat they produce as well as not keeping an eye on things. So that’s an area of concern if you’re going to go down the electric path.

Now let’s cover EMF’s. Electromagnetic Fields.


This is a big topic in today’s world. I put that down to living in an electronic world where we have these devices with us all the time, we are exposed to EMFs every day, and you’re probably not even aware of it, just think of your cell phones for example.


There are safe levels of EMF’s and of course unsafe levels. At the end of the day if you can limit your exposure to any type of emf your doing ok.


This is a big one for me and I’m sure I’m not alone. Electric heating pads emit more EMF than the infrared heating pad does, and companies that produce infrared products, especially the infrared heating pads are always working hard to lower the emf exposure. Most if not all heating pads are very low in EMFs..

Infrared Heating Pad Benefits


When it comes to comparing the benefits of both heating pads, looking at all the data, really there’s no comparison. While the only health benefit of the regular heating pad is pain relief, which is a benefits of course.

The infrared heating pad on the other hand comes with a number of other health benefits that’s associated with infrared therapy. Below is a short list of the types of health benefits you can get from using a infrared heating pad.

Health Benefits Associated With Using An Infrared Heating Pad
  • The relief of pain, which is longer lasting. Up to 6 hours.
  • Help to relieve arthritic pain.
  • Helps to increase your blood flow to the affected areas and throughout your body.
  • Helps with healing stiff and sore tissue damage
  • Helps with inflammation.
  • Helps with relaxation and a reduction of stress. This is a result of your pain relief. You can relax a little more knowing your infrared heating pad is giving you relief.
Our Summary


Well first of all thanks for checking out our article on the comparisons of heating pads. As you can see we much prefer the infrared heating pad over the regular pad, and with all the date I’m sure you can see why. In saying that if you feel a regular heating pad might suit your needs better it’s all good my friend.

Infrared therapy is a wonderful natural therapy that has the ability to give you ongoing pain relief, as well as a number of other health benefits associated with infrared therapy and pain.

It also gives you the opportunity to live a happier and healthier life, something we all strive for.

If you would like to know where you can get the best-infrared heating pad on the market, you can check out our infrared heating pad review. We recommend a number of different infrared heating pads that will suit everyone’s needs, whatever they are. Cheers.

Hi. I’m Greg. I’m a bit of a health nut and into all things health and wellness. Train the body and the mind I say. I’m fascinated with the wonderful world of infrared therapy and the health benefits behind it. I’ve built this site to help others discover infrared therapy and help to improve their happiness and health in the process.