Who Invented The Heating Pad? Key Heating Pad Takeaways

Who Invented The Heating Pad

Today the heating pad is a very popular device. Its main purpose is warming body parts to manage pain. 

The heating pad working mechanism is unique. 

The localized heat application dilates the blood vessels in the area, enabling perfusion to the tissues. There are different heating pads, such as chemical, electrical, and hot water bottles. 

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The article has more information on the heating pad and its usefulness. However, let’s begin by finding out about the inventor of this device. So!

Who Invented The Heating Pad?

Heat is one of the most effective pain relievers for chronic injuries. Usually, people use ice in the 1st 48 hours for a swell reduction but later use heat to promote healing. 

Therefore heating pads are quite common in many households for this reason. Earl Richardson did invent the first heating pad in 1911 and named it El Warm. 

Additional Information 

El Richardson worked as a meter reader in his local power utility, Ontario. He left his meter reading job to electrify some popular household appliances. 

The ingenuity did lead to creating several inventions that are popular today. Here are some of the devices:

1. El Caballo 

In most modern household kitchens, teapots are common. Manual teapots cannot keep tea hot for quite long. 

Richardson did develop an electric teapot that could keep the tea warm for extended hours. It works as the coffee maker keeps the coffee pot warm over time.

2. Jug Cooker 

Cooking meals is much easier if you have a slow cooker in your kitchen. You can drop some food in the cooking bowl and leave it to simmer for hours with electricity. 

The popular slow cooker brands are the crockpot etc. They are so slow that people refer to them as crock pots. Richard did invent the earliest slow cooker version and named it a jug cooker.

Its first production was in 1920 and looked pretty modern and is almost similar to the most modern version in kitchens today.

3. El Perco 

It’s another device with great similarities to the coffeemaker. Richardson did develop the early model of the electric coffeepot. The coffeepot could brew coffee and ensure it’s warm. 

It’s an invention that people still widely use today. You have to put little coffee in a filter, add water and turn the appliance on. 

Before the invention of the electric version, coffee preparation was mainly through stovetop appliances. Therefore flame was a necessity to heat the coffee.

4. El Stove 

A hot plate is a nice thing to have in your kitchen. It’s simply a portable way to cook that doesn’t need an actual stove. A hot stove is common on many gas grills today. 

According to Richardson, a hot plate that could plugin was a more useful item, which led to El Stove’s invention. 

The El Stove was known to be economical and quick. The el Stove had three heat snap heat control and could do all cooking and not only baking.

Type Of Heating Pads 


The electrical pads use household current, and therefore you need to protect them against overheating. People place the moist heating pad on the user’s skin. 

Usually, they register temperatures of 76 to 82 degrees and are ideal for tissue treatment. Electrical heat pads can be dangerous if you leave them unattended for long. 

Physical therapists are the people that mostly use moist heating pads, but you can also use them at home. 

You can add a stupe cover on the moist heating pads to increase moisture, ideal for treatment. 

The electric heating pad and electric heating pouch are similar, only that the heating pouch is curved to wrap around joints.

High Specific-Heat Capacity Materials 

There are heating packs that rely on high specific heat capacity material. The material is known to release heat over time gradually. 

The popular heating pad type example is a hot water bottle. The microwavable heating pad is also another type; you warm it using the microwave before using it.

It’s from fabric with insulation like flannel and then filled with a grain such as flaxseed etc. 

They are simple to make, and thus people mostly sew them by hand with custom shapes to ensure the perfect fit for usage. 

Some have aromatic compounds to create a soothing and pleasant smell when put under heat. The Source of aromatic compounds varies significantly. 

They can be from essential oils and other ground-up spices like nutmeg, cloves, or dried rose petals. 


The chemical pads are always disposable and employ a one-time exothermic chemical reaction. The most popular chemical pad is used as a hand warmer. 

You will trigger it by simply unwrapping packets (air-tight) with salt and many more —the chemical pad catalysts rust after some exposure to oxygen. 

Other pads have separate or different compartments; therefore, you have to squeeze the pad and thus rupture them mixing the compartments hence producing heat. 

The commonly reusable heat pads have sodium acetate supersaturated solution in water. You will trigger crystallization by flexing a small flat disc in the liquid. 

You release tiny adhered sodium acetate crystals into the solution through the press. You can reuse the chemical pads by putting them in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. 

It re-dissolves sodium acetate tri-hydrate in the water, thus recreating the supersaturated solution. You can trigger the pad again when it gets back to room temperature. 

If you trigger it before it reaches room temperature, it reaches a lower peak temperature. The reaction will be different if you let it cool completely.


People experience pain that stems from strain and muscle exertion. It creates soft tissues and muscle tension. 

Such tensions constrict circulation, and this sends pain signals to the brain. The best solution here will be heat application. Here is how heat application eases pain.

  • Increases the flexibility of tissues (soft) around the part with an injury which can be connective tissue and muscles.
  • Stimulates skin sensation and thus reducing pain signals sent to the brain.
  • Dilates the blood vessels that surround the area with pain. Better blood circulation ensures proper oxygen and nutrient supply, which guarantees quick healing of damaged muscle tissue.

Many heating pads are portable, so you can use them at home, work, traveling, etc. 

According to certain physicians, it’s better to alternate ice and heat for better pain relief. Plus, always consult physicians before conducting any pain treatment.    

Homemade Heating Pad

As mentioned, heating pads help reduce pains and aches. Plus, it reduces muscles and joint stiffness. It’s among the best heat therapy or chemotherapy procedure. 

Most people rely on heat pads to reduce muscle aches, back pains, neck pains, menstrual cramps, and arthritis symptoms. In this section, you’ll learn more about making the heating pad from home.

1. Old Sock

It’s possible to make reusable heating pads from old socks of fabric. You can also use the old sock as cold compresses by freezing and not heating them. 

Fill a clean sock with uncooked corn barley, rice, or oatmeal to make the heating pad. Tie or sew it and then put it in the microwave for about one to two minutes. 

To prevent burns, check the heating pad using your arms inside before using it on the affected area. The feels should be comfortably warm and not too hot.

2. Wet Dishcloth

It’s another simple way of making a heating pad. Put the dishcloth in a freezer bag and then in a microwave. How to be certain the freezer bag is microwave safe. 

You can use a towel to wrap the heating pad perfectly and put it on the affected part. According to professionals, you should do this for 15 to 20 minutes,

3. Oven Heated Towel 

It’s the best method of making larger heating pads. Firstly place the damp and folded towel in the oven and set it at 149 degrees. The towel should stay in the oven for five to ten minutes. 

The timing will depend on the thickness of the towel. After warming it up, wrap the heated towel on a thinner dry cloth, then put it on the affected area for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Risks Of Heat Pads 

As much as the heat pad is useful, avoid using it in immediate injury aftermath. It is usually the inflammatory healing phase, and heat can lead to tissue injury and swelling. 

Immediately after injury, it’s advisable to use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Elderly adults and young children need to avoid using heating pads. 

People with heat sensitivity should also restrain from any thermotherapy form. It includes those with neuropathy that comes from diabetes and other chronic conditions. 

Pregnant women should use heating pads on the pelvic area or the abdomen. They also need to avoid hot tubs or hot shower baths.


Heating pads are important first aid tools that provide thermotherapy or heat therapy. You can buy heat pads from several local stores, but they are also easy to make at home. 

The heat pad will help reduce pain from different conditions like menstrual cramps, neck pain, etc. However, use it with maximum caution since it can cause skin burn, etc.