4 Ways to Make a Homemade Heating Pad

woman applying plastic heating pad to her shoulder

Heating pads provide comfort in many instances and for a range of ailments, and even if you don’t have one on hand you can still make use of one. Simply DIY your own. There are many methods of making your own that are simple and quick, taking advantage of items you likely already have around your home.

Bake a Towel

spa towels rolled up

Take a washcloth or hand towel and dampen it. Place it in the oven, heated to 300 degrees. Leave it in the oven for ten to 12 minutes until it reaches the desired temperature. Then, roll this towel up and place a dry towel or cloth around it to safely enjoy the warmth beneath.

Microwave a Towel

woman with hot towel around her face

A similar method of making a heating pad involves using the microwave instead of the oven. Take two hand towels and wet them, squeezing out all excess water. Put one towel in a ziploc bag, leaving it unsealed. Microwave it on high for two minutes. Then, carefully remove the bag from the microwave and seal it. Wrap the other dampened towel around the bag and you’ll have a DIY heating pad that will hold its temperature for quite some time.

Fill an Old Sock

supplies for stuffing sock heating pad

Take an old sock that’s clean and make it into a simple heating pad. Fill the sock three-quarters of the way with uncooked rice, barley, or oatmeal. Either tie or sew the sock shut. Then, microwave it for one to two minutes on high. If you want to make this a scented heating pad for added relaxation, add a few drops of lavender, rosemary, or any essential oil in the scent of your choosing to the filling of the sock, mixing it well when filling it.

Sew a Flaxseed Heating Pad


Using a 12 inch by 20 inch piece of 100 percent heavyweight cotton fabric, make a heating pad filled with flaxseed. There are certain benefits to using this type of filling, such as the fact that it provides a more gentle and moist heat than rice and the fact that they’re a flower seed, which is made of 30 to 40 percent oil, allowing the substance to retain heat well time and time again. Additionally flaxseed does not give off the same grainy smell that other substances do when heated. Finally, flaxseed is a good substance to heat in the freezer to use as a cold compress, making your heating pad a dual-use item in your home.

Start creating your heating pad by using a sewing machine to close the end and side seams of the fabric, which should be folded in half to create a pillow that will be five and a half inches by 20 inches in size. This size pillow will be ideal for draping around your neck comfortably. You will just need to sew these seams in simple straight lines. Fold the fabric with the right sides together and begin sewing one of the short ends on the folded side farthest from you. Sew around three sides of the pillow, leaving one side open for the filling.

Fill the fabric about two-thirds full with flaxseeds. You may also add dried herbs or flowers for scent if desired, such as dried lavender. You’ll need about two and a half pounds of flaxseed for this project.

Now, pin the open edge and sew it shut. You may want to go back and forth a few times with the needle and thread in order to ensure it’s completely sealed and that no seeds will fall out.

Warm this heating pad in the microwave for about one minute. Take it out, shake the seeds, and warm another 30 seconds to the desired temperature. The seeds should remain warm for at least an hour for use.

These homemade heating pads can be used to relieve muscle pain, cramps, headaches, or muscle knots. However, for safety purposes, make sure never to use heating pads on infants, those with diabetes, or anyone who has suffered a stroke.