The 5 Best Elbow Heating Pads & Wraps (for Quick Relief)

best elbow heating pads and wraps

An elbow heating pad is one of the best natural ways to relieve pain and tenderness of the elbow and arm, caused by a Tennis Elbow, a Golfer’s elbow, arthritis, and sports injuries.

Its special design allows it to wrap around the elbow and arm, delivering the soothing and healing heat exactly where you need it and stays put even when you move around with it.

How do you choose a heated elbow and arm wrap that will fit your needs and won’t fail you?

This is what we’re here for.

In this post, you’ll find how infrared heat helps elbow pain, how to choose the best elbow heating pads for your needs, and our top picks for 2023.

👉 In a Hurry? see our top picks compared below, or jump to our elbow heating pads reviews.

Elbow Heating PadReviewType/Heat RetentionPrice
Cameco Elbow Heating Brace
Best ElectricElectric, corded
90-minute heat
$30 on Amazon
Bed Buddy Joint Wrap
Best Microwaveable
2 wraps
Microwaveable
15-minute heat
$17-$22 on Amazon
3 Sizes
Comfier Wireless Elbow Brace
Best with Massage
(2 pads)
Electric, battery-operated
2 massage motors
30-minute heat
$40 on Amazon
ActiveWrap
Best Dual Gel PacksMicrowaveable
15-minute heat
$32 on Amazon
dpl Joint Wrap
Best LED Light Therapy WrapElectric, battery-operated
LED light therapy
30-minute heat
$179 at dpl Light Therapy
Free shipping

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How Does a Heating Pad Help Tennis Elbow, Arthritis, and Injuries?

Tennis elbow, Golfer’s elbow, and sports injuries are mostly caused by repetitive motions and overuse of the elbow, arm, and wrist, which cause damage to the tendons and inflammation.

They usually cause the same symptoms of tenderness and mild to severe pain, that start gradually and tend to get worse over time.

Heat therapy increases blood circulation to the problem areas, which brings oxygen, healing blood components, and pain-relieving blood components, that simultaneously relieve pain and speed up healing and recovery.

Elbow heating pads are better for chronic conditions, while cold therapy is more suited to the first 72 hours after an acute injury.

Thermal therapy, used every other day, was proven to reduce pain and disability and can help whether the pain is mild, or severe (that is felt even when the elbow is resting), especially for chronic conditions.

Types of Elbow and Arm Heating Braces & Wraps

The 3 types of heated elbow wrap you can find are:

1. Electric

2. Microwaveable

3. LED light therapy

Electric and microwaveable heated elbow wraps are both designed to provide heat therapy to the elbow area, while LED light therapy elbow wraps focus on stimulating tissue repair through light energy.

Electric wraps use built-in heating elements and are the only type that allows for adjustable temperature settings, but they require a power source.

Microwaveable wraps use heat-retaining materials and can be heated in a microwave, making them 100% portable.

However, they won’t keep the heat for longer than 15-20 minutes on average.

LED light therapy wraps deliver specific wavelengths of light to promote healing without generating much heat, and most of them are battery-operated and portable.

They are usually more expensive.

The 5 Best Elbow Heating Pads & Wraps

Here are the 5 best elbow heating pads (for elbow tendonitis), according to our personal experience, and through hundreds of customer reviews and testimonials:

1. Best Electric – Cameco Heated Elbow Wrap 

electric elbow heating brace

  • Type – Electric, corded
  • Heat retention – 10-90 minutes

😍 Pros – Stays in place with 3 Hook Loop Straps and wrap-around design, comfortable and soft, 86℉-158℉ temperature settings

😣 Cons – Tightening the forearm strap is less accurate than a separate strap

$30 on Amazon

The Cameco Electric Elbow Brace is a highly comfortable heated elbow wrap, that fits all arm sizes, both hands, and is highly adjustable when it comes to heat settings and fastening the brace.

The digital LED controller is easy and intuitive, and it has overheat protection and even a countdown function.

It’s simple, easy to use, starts to heat up in 10-15 seconds, and does what it says – for a reasonable price.

However, we wish it could be wireless so we could move around with it.

Available on Amazon ($30 with coupon code under the price)

2. Best Microwaveable – Bed Buddy Joint Wrap  

microwaveable elbow heating pad

  • Type – microwaveable wrap
  • Heat retention – up to 15 minutes

😍 Pros – Soft touch material and Velcro strap secure the wrap in place, can be used for both hot and cold therapy, portable

😣 Cons – Short heat retention, needs reheating every 15 minutes

$17-$22 (for 2 wraps) on Amazon

The Bed Buddy elbow wrap is made from a form-fitting material (100% natural grains that can be heated/chilled and a soft nylon cover).

All you have to do is microwave it and wrap it around your elbow.

It is long enough to fit any elbow and can also be used as an arm heating pad (15.5″ long and 6″ wide), and is super simple to use and easy to clean (only with a damp cloth).

It is nonelectric so no cords can limit your movement, it heats up quickly in the microwave (in less than one minute), keeps the heat for 15 minutes, and you get 2 wraps for a reasonable price.

moist heat elbow heating pad
Two wraps for the price of one – in 3 sizes to choose from

However, it will cool down in about 15 minutes, and you’ll have to reheat it for a longer treatment, and some buyers don’t like the smell of the grains when they are heated (they smell like peas or broccoli).

Available on Amazon ($17-$22 for 2 wraps – according to size)

3. Best Dual Gel Packs – Activewrap Elbow Wrap  

activewrap heated elbow and arm wrap

  • Type – microwaveable gel packs
  • Heat retention – up to 15 minutes

😍 Pros – Easy to apply and adjust for a customized fit, non-latex wrap provides firm, supportive compression, portable, washable

😣 Cons – Some users feel it doesn’t get hot enough

$32 on Amazon

The Activewrap heating pad sleeve provides heat or cold therapy for the whole elbow and surrounding area (arm) through two durable gel packs that can be microwaved for soothing heat or frozen for acute inflammation reduction.

The size can be adjusted by the Velcro strap, but you still can choose from two different sizes – Small/Medium (10 to 16 inches) and X-large (16 inches and up).

The XL size is recommended if you have swollen arms.

The flexible gel packs do not get stiff when frozen and the two pockets that hold them prevent direct contact with your skin.

activewrap hot and cold wrap review

The wrap itself is made from plush fabric which is flexible, comfortable, durable (seems quite sturdy to prevent tears or leaks), and washable.

This means that If you close it tight enough, it can also be used for compression treatment.

All in all, the Activewrap is great for Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow, arthritis, sports injuries, surgery recovery, and the occasional aches and pains.

However, it may be a bit challenging to put on one-handed, and since it is not electric, the heat won’t keep for more than 15 minutes, and you’ll have to reheat it, strap it on again, and so on.

Available on Amazon ($32)

4. Best Led Light Therapy Wrap – dpl Joint Wrap  

led light therapy elbow wrap

  • Type – electric, rechargeable, LED light therapy
  • Treatment time – 20-30 minutes

😍 Pros – Flexible and comfortable, large arm coverage, can be used with a power bank, long battery life

😣 Cons – Expensive

$179 at dpl Light Therapy

The dpl joint wrap (FDA-cleared) is a red light therapy wrap that uses powerful LED lights using IR (infrared) and red wavelengths for pain relief and healing.

The red and infrared wavelengths have been proven to reduce inflammation, reduce pain, and repair damaged cells – for decades.

Although this USB joint wrap does not feel as hot as conventional electric heating pads, the LED light is deep penetrating and reaches all the way to your muscles and tendons.

It energizes the cells and boosts blood circulation – without getting too hot.

red light therapy wrap for elbow pain
You can see the LED lights inside, though the infrared light is invisible to the human eye

Plus, red light therapy wraps are lightweight, thin, 100% portable (rechargeable), and can be wrapped around any joint.

The dpl joint wrap is large enough to wrap over your shoulders and elbows but is capable of tightening (through the Velcro strap) around your wrist as well.

The battery lasts for almost 3.5 hours per full charge.

However, this technology, which is safe, natural, and side-effect-free, is more expensive than regular heating pads.

Available at dpl Light Therapy ($179 with free shipping)

🥇5. Best with Massage – Comfier Wireless Heated Elbow/Knee Brace  

elbow heating pad with massage

  • Type – battery operated, heat & massage
  • Heat retention – 30 minutes

😍 Pros – 100% portable (rechargeable), heat and massage options, easy to use

😣 Cons – Battery may feel heavy for some people

$47 on Amazon

The Comfier electric heated elbow brace is the only one on this list that features vibration massage to the elbow and arm and is 100% portable (comes with a built-in 5000MA rechargeable battery).

When you use the Comfier joint wraps, you can choose from 3 heat levels (113°F, 122°F, 140°F), and 3 intensity levels of vibration massage, delivered through two powerful motors.

You can use the heat and the massage separately.

battery operated elbow heating pad
Adjustable heat and massage settings that can be locked

The battery lasts for more than 2 hours per single charge, so you can move around with the elbow heating massaging wrap freely at home or outside.

The pads are not bulky or heavy, charging is easy, and the pads fold up neatly for storage.

The Comfier brace shuts off automatically after 30 minutes, but you can use it 2-3 times a day as needed. The smart touch control is easy to use and has a locking feature that keeps the setting steady in case something accidentally touches the controls.

Available on Amazon ($47 with coupon code under the price)

How to Use an Elbow Heating Pad

Electric or microwaveable elbow heating pads are easy to use and operate.

Electric braces and sleeves only require that you slide them up to the elbow and surrounding arm, choose a heat setting, and start your treatment.

They shut off automatically and can be set through a controller or a built-in touch controller.

Nonelectric elbow heating pads only require about one minute of microwave heating.

It’s best to follow every heating pad’s instructions in the manual.

How Long and How Often Should You Heat Your Elbow?

An average heat treatment time for Tennis elbow, arthritis, and sports injuries ranges from 15 to 30 minutes, up to 2-3 times a day.

Depending on the heating pad’s type and strength, most people use an elbow heating pad at least 3 times a week.

Just like any other heating pad, it is generally safe to use it until you feel pain relief, as long as the device works properly and doesn’t get overheated.

Ice or Heat for Tennis Elbow?

Ice and heat are both beneficial for treating tennis elbow. Ice helps reduce inflammation, pain, and improve range of motion and function.

It is recommended to apply ice for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, especially during the first 24-72 hours of treatment or after any activity that causes ongoing pain.

On the other hand, heat therapy can help treat stiffness and pain associated with the injury by increasing blood flow, relaxing muscles, and promoting healing.

It is advised to use heat for 15-20 minutes throughout the day, ideally every few hours, as needed to decrease tension and improve the elbow’s flexibility.

Alternating between ice and heat, known as contrast therapy, may also be beneficial for reducing pain and inflammation, and improving range of motion.

To your health and happiness,

Meital

Studies

Bjordal JM, Lopes-Martins RA, Joensen J, Couppe C, Ljunggren AE, Stergioulas A, Johnson MI. A systematic review with procedural assessments and meta-analysis of low level laser therapy in lateral elbow tendinopathy (tennis elbow). BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2008 May 29;9:75. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-9-75. PMID: 18510742; PMCID: PMC2442599.

Chandler A et al (2002) Using heat therapy for pain management. Nursing Standard. 17, 9, 40-42. Date of acceptance: August 29 2002.

Meital James
Founder and CEO of 4 healthy living blogs, has a background in Naturopathic medicine, research, journalism, and nutrition. Her blogs are the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and experience and all the posts are verified by scientific findings.

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