How Long Should You Lay on An Electric Heating Pad?

Electric Heating pads are always a good product to have to help relieve bodily pain from an injury. Heating pads also work well for every day aches and pains.

You want to use an electric heating pad properly though so you do not injure your skin or anything else on you. Here are some tips on how to best use you heating pad so you stay safe and healed.

Twenty Minute Rule

Twenty Minute Rule

Although you may be able to tolerate more heat, you want to generally keep a electric heating pad on your body for no more than twenty minutes.

It is easy to be able to have the heating pad on for more time, you just must take the heating pad off your body for at least twenty minutes before you put it back on. So, the general rule is twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off. This way you will prevent from the possibility of the area on your body from over-heating.

Lay the Electric Heating Pad on Top

Lay the Heating Pad on Top

For the best possible results, make sure that you place electric heating pad on top of your body. It is important not to lay on top of the heating pad, because the heat of your body, plus the heat of the heating pad pressed against the bed or couch may cause burns.

The heating pad needs to have air around it to enable proper usage and operating. You want to make sure that you do not role over onto your heating pad while you are sleeping.

Use the Auto-Shut Off

auto shutoff

Most eletric heating pads will have an auto-shut off. The auto shut-off can be multiple amounts of time. If the heating pad controller does not have an option for shutting off after twenty minutes, just make sure that you keep an eye on the clock to take the heating pad off your skin.

Circulation is Important

Pain and healing requires many different things. Circulation and blood flow are part of healing. Circulation and healing are two more reasons why you do not want to lay too long with a electric heating pad.

If you sit in one place for too long, you can decrease the blood flow to the area you are leaning on the most. You must release the pressure on any given area to allow for proper circulation. Circulation can help reduce pain and help promote healing.

Don’t Let It Get Too Hot

Dont Let It Get Too Hot

You never want your skin or your body to feel uncomfortable from the heat. If you start feeling too hot before twenty minutes is up, then it is time take the heating pad off. The twenty-minute time measurement is for people who like to keep the heat on for a long period.

Twenty minutes is the max you can have a heating pad on, but there are people who might feel uncomfortable or overheated before the twenty minutes is up. It does not matter how short of time you need to take the electric heating pad off.

If you are uncomfortable after five minutes of the heating pad on, either take the heating pad off your body or turn down the heat. You always want to be safe.

Safety First

No matter what you do, you want to make sure to do safety first. When it comes to heat and your skin, you want to use your judgement of how you feel. If you feel dizzy or uncomfortable, you probably want to take the heating pad off your body. Heat also is drying so you want to keep hydrated by drinking water.

Drink Water

Drink Water

Heat dries up water, so you want to make sure you have fluids when you use a heating pad. You can place a glass of water or a bottle of water by wherever you are sitting when using your heating pad. Drinking small amount of water during eletric heating pad use will help you from feeling dryness.

Electric heating pads are very effective in healing pain, but you do not want to cause yourself more pain by not using them properly. It is important to follow the twenty-minute rule. Taking a heating pad off your body after twenty minutes of use is the proper way to use a heating pad.


Madison Brown received her graduate degree from the University of Iowa from the physical therapy program. As a therapist for over five years, she has treated many patients with pain or with many physical problems. Through her experience she has learned more along the way how to best serve her patients. Her patients come into her office with all sorts of pain from head to toe. She has always made it her goal to know all the latest techniques and devices to best treat the patient in front of her. She cares about people and works for the best for her patients.

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