Living with a stiff neck and sore muscles has become a normal thing for many people nowadays, considering the fact that most of them spend their work days sitting in one position in front of a computer. Sore muscles and aching joints often lead to more serious problems such as chronic back pain, reduced leg and arm mobility, insomnia, which in turn contributes to additional stress and can even affect your mental health.
For that reason, the need for something that can help alleviate this nagging pain has dramatically increased in the past couple of years, which is why manufactures came up with one of the most ingenious ideas ever. Introducing, my personal favourite in the never-ending battle against aches and stress – the heating mat.
This revolutionary product is an invention that has brought spa-like experiences in the comfort of your home to a new level. In addition to alleviating sore muscles and calming chronic back pain, heating mats are also great for treating aches in shoulders, hips, knees and feet as well as soothing menstrual cramps.
Today, there are various types available, with the most popular ones being the electric and infrared heating mat. Both of them are known for their practical design, but they have distinct features and work on different principles. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each type and which are the features that set them apart.
Infrared heating mat
With its advanced features and superior performance, the infrared heating mat is one of the best innovations in heat therapy. It makes use of far infrared rays to deliver radiant heat which deeply penetrates the body, thus providing relaxation and alleviating back pains and muscle soreness. It features natural stones, like jade or tourmaline, that not only transform the infrared light into heat, but also transmit the created heat.
This mat provides temperatures ranging from 25°C to 70°C, so you can easily adjust it to your specific needs. Relaxed muscles, stress relief, enhanced blood circulation and detoxification are just some of the many benefits you will reap from using an infrared heating mat. One downside of it is that infrared heat sources can cause minor burns since they penetrate deep within the skin. However, the option to adjust the temperature of the mat leaves you totally in control so it is you who determines how much heat you want.
Electric heating mat
While the infrared mat makes use of natural stones to deliver relaxing heat, the electric heating mat features multiple coils which are heated by electricity. Once the mat gets warmer you can use it on the painful areas where the coils will help increase blood circulation and relax the muscles.
Unlike infrared mats, which deeply penetrate the skin, electric mats are not as effective and usually maximum heat is required for optimum results. Most electric mats can reach temperatures of 100°C, sometimes even higher, which considerably increases the chances of burns and skin damage. This type of mat is available in various sizes, including small, medium and large. It comes in either dry and moist heat models and it often includes a protective cover which is usually machine washable.