Snoozing dog in bed wearing an eye mask.

Is It Bad to Sleep on a Heating Pad?

Aches, cramps, stiffness, and muscle fatigue are all feelings you’ve likely experienced in your lifetime. Whether as the result of poor posture, biology, or exercise, the soothing effects of a heating pad may be the first thought of many. But with winter underway, many ask one burning question: Is sleeping with a heating pad dangerous?

The Benefit of Heating Pads

First, let’s take a look at the benefits of heating pads. Heat therapy is often the first step in alleviating physical ailments. This is because heat boosts circulation by allowing our blood vessels to widen—circulation is, in essence, how our body repairs muscle tension and relieves itself of small aches and pains.

The Dangers of Heating Pads

Heating pads are convenient because you can choose the level of heat you want to apply, but it’s important to follow the proper procedures for heating pad use.

Risk of Burns

Health experts recommend 20 minutes on followed by 20 minutes off to avoid any risk of burns. While burns from a heating pad aren’t expected, there’s always a chance that an electric heating pad could overheat and burn your skin. It’s also important to think about the level of heat your heating pad is set at. A heating pad on a high setting has a much greater chance of burning you than a heating pad set to low does.

Risk of Electrical Fires

Any electric device plugged into an outlet has a risk of creating an electrical fire. The last thing a fire needs is extra tinder from being stuffed beneath blankets and pillows. While this is an admittedly low risk, it’s probably not worth it to chance it.

To clarify: It’s okay to use a heating pad in bed, as long as you follow proper precautions while doing so. Keep your heating pad out from underneath anything—you, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. This helps prevent any chance of fire should the coils overheat. Finally, make sure to always turn off your heating pad before falling asleep.

Don’t rely on a heating pad to keep you warm on cold winter nights! Contact the Grapids Heating & Cooling, Inc. team at (616) 223-6777 for heating repairs to keep your home cozy all year long.