The Essential Guide to Microwave Wheat Bags and Body Warmers
Purpose of guide
Microwave wheat bags, also known as microwave body warmers, can be great for keeping you warm (or cold) and providing comfort throughout the year including on cold winter nights and mild summer evenings when you choose to spend time outdoors.
Their aromatic nature makes microwave warmers great to aid relaxation, ease aches and pains as well as help you enjoy a good night’s sleep. Their weighted nature also provides sensory and soothing benefits which also contribute to your overall wellbeing.
Despite these benefits, many people simply do not know how to get the most out of their microwave wheat bags and warmers effectively and safely. In this guide we shall walk you through everything you need to know to get the most out of yours.
How does a microwave body warmer work?
Microwave warmers (also commonly referred to as microwave wheat bags, microwave heat packs, or microwave heating pads) are heatable body wraps made from a soft outer layer typically comprising of a fabric such as cotton. This outer layer is sealed and filled with a carefully treated ingredient such as wheat or flaxseed which has been thoroughly cleaned and dried to a specific moisture content.
When heated in a microwave the wheat or flaxseed collect and store heat energy which they release gradually over time. The soft outer layer of microwave wheat bags also helps to further regulate the flow of heat over time with many microwave warmers able to provide soothing warmth for up to one hour.
Most microwave wheat bags also come infused with aromatic essential oils such as lavender which are emitted gradually upon heating. Many can also be used for cold treatment too, as the wheat or flaxseed are also great at storing and gradually releasing cold heat energy over time.
Choosing the right microwave warmer or wheat pack
Microwave warmers are great alternatives to hot water bottles. These days microwave warmers come in all shapes and sizes and are made for a variety of uses. Therefore, it’s important to understand the the full universe of microwave warmers so you can select the right one for your specific needs.
Microwave hot water bottles (also called microwave bottles or sometimes microwave hotties), take the shape and appearance of traditional hot water bottles. However, instead of using hot water to heat up, they contain flaxseed or wheat which can be heated in the microwave.
Microwave neck warmers and microwave back warmers are long and narrow enabling them to wrap around your neck, shoulders or back with ease and provide soothing warmth. These are particularly great if you are suffering from pains or aches or simply want to wind down.
Microwave hand warmers are convenient, light and easy to store ways of keeping your hand warm especially when you are outdoors in the cold. They typically fit quite nicely into your pocket.
Microwave feet warmers and slippers are great for warming up your feet and keeping them warm and relaxed. Keeping your feet warm is a great way to boost circulation within your body. Microwave feet warmers and slippers come in a range of styles, including fluffy and furry varieties.
Microwave animal toys or heatable toys are other types of microwave warmers. These take the form of cute animals or pets and can be heated up for use by children and adults alike.
There are plenty of other types of heatable products including heatable eye masks to relax your eyes and help you sleep as well as therapeutic gel beads which help to soothe you and ease pains.
Using a microwave hot water bottles and body warmers safely video
Checking that your microwave body warmer or heat bag is safe
You must inspect your microwave body warmer before you use it for the first time. Make sure that it is compliant with the relevant standards such as BS 8433:2004 or EN71-1/2/3. Products sold in the USA comply with the US toy safety standard ASTM-f963. To be certain you should be able to find code on packaging and / or label.
Every time you intend to use your heatable wrap or microwave warmer first ensure that is safe to use. Check that there are no tears or damage as the contents of the warmer can get extremely fall and potentially fall out. Also check that there are no foreign objects including metal pins as these can be dangerous to put in a microwave.
Heating a microwave body warmer
Once you are happy that your microwave wheat bag is safe to use, it is now time to check your microwave.
Firstly, check that the microwave and turntable are clean and free from dirt and grease. Place the microwave warmer in the middle of the turntable and check that it can rotate freely. If it cannot, it is important to fold or reposition it so that the heat is spread evenly and there isn’t any dangerous overheating.
It is important to realise that microwave body warmers may have different instructions, so read these carefully before you start heating.
Most instructions will prescribe how long to heat your warmer for and what power is required. This is typically around 1-2 minutes and for safety reasons it is important not to exceed this to avoid overheating. Some products may require you to only place the inner warming pack into the microwave or have different instructions for this accordingly.
Some instructions will also recommend you to place a beaker of water in the microwave for best results, but all will advise against immersing your microwave warmer in water before placing it in the microwave.
Once heating is complete, open the microwave and wait for at least 30 seconds or as per the instructions. At this point, have a quick touch to check whether it is comfortable to use.
Assuming, the heat is comfortable, your microwaveable warmer is now ready to use.
If you do not have a microwave it is not recommended to heat your heatable product in an oven as temperatures may vary and lead to overheating. Some manufacturers may however permit heating on a radiator.
Replacing the scent of a microwaveable warmer
Many microwave body warmers and microwave wheat packs use aromatherapy, being infused with aromatic scents such as lavender oils.
Unfortunately, like all good things, the scent is likely to fade gradually over time. However, worry not, as it is easy to refresh the scent.
To do so, heat as normal and place a few drops of high quality essential oil such as lavender directly onto the heatable wrap’s surface. This should not damage the outer fabric.
Using a microwave body warmer or heat pack to keep warm
Microwaveable warmers are great for keeping you warm throughout the year no matter the situation. To keep warm with a microwave body warmer, you can either rest it on or close to your body or use it to heat up the inside of your bed or sleeping bag before entering.
To keep warm, place the warmer close to or on you when in and around the house – for instance, when resting on the sofa. What’s more you can also carry it when you are going out on a cold day - for instance wrap a microwave neck warmer round your neck when you are out on a winter walk.
To heat up the inside of your bed, simply place your heat product under your blanket for 5-10 minutes before you intend to enter.
Using a microwave warmer or heat pack to ease aches and pains
Similar to hot water bottles, microwave body warmers are simple to use and cost-effective ways of providing relief to everyday aches and pains. They are able to do this through both heat as well as cold therapy, hence they are sometimes also referred to as hot and cold packs.
Heat therapy is most commonly used to help with back, neck and muscle aches, stiff joints as well as headaches and migraines. It is also widely used for deep tissue injuries and rehabilitation. Heat helps to relax you as well as improve blood circulation around your body, increasing your range of motion and reducing pain and stiffness.
There are some forms of pain for which cold therapy is preferred over heat therapy and this includes acute injuries or pain, as well as inflammation, bruises and swelling.
Microwaveable warmers can also be great ways to cool you down and provide cold therapy. Simply place the product in a grip seal bag and place in the freezer for around 2 or 3 hours. Once cold, they are great for easing aches and pains including bruises and sprains or just cool you down on a hot day.
Here is a summary of which form of treatment may be most effective for your problems:
Therapeutic gel beads and cooling gel pillows are great ways to use heat and cold treatment. Some are especially designed for particular parts of the body such as head wraps for migraines, knees and eyes.
Using a microwave warmer or heat pack to improve sleep and reduce stress
The modern world and hectic lifestyles have contributed to higher levels of stress and sleep problems across society.
Thankfully, microwave body warmers and similar heat wraps can help reduce the impact of stress and improve sleeping by helping you relax. Heat therapy is a great way to stimulate blood flow around your body, improve circulation enabling you to relax and feel more comfortable in your surroundings.
Many microwave body warmers are also infused with essential oils such as lavender, vanilla and rosemary which diffuse through the air and help you feel calm and more relaxed.
Looking after and storing a microwave body warmer
Remember it’s important to take good care of your heatable warmer so that it lasts longer and remains safe to use.
Always follow heating instructions and after each use, it is good practice to follow the cleaning instructions and store in a dry place away from direct heat. Exposure to excess moisture or heat may shorten its useful life.
Most instructions will recommend that you don’t immerse in water whilst cleaning as this can damage the interior, rather they will typically suggest using a damp cloth.
Once a microwave warmer has been identified as worn or damaged it is important to discard it right away otherwise someone else may use it without realising.
Young children and microwave heat products
Microwave warmers and heatable toys (also known as microwave toys) can be great for kids too. This said, extra care must be taken when using these around young children. You must check the minimum recommended age if it is provided and take extra care to read and understand any instructions.
Children and babies should never be left with hot microwave warmers without adult supervision. For use warming a child’s bed, remove the warmer before the child enters the bed to avoid unintentional burns or accidents.
Always check the temperature of a microwave warmer or microwave soft toy before it is used by a child. Remember, their skin is more sensitive than the skin of an adult and a lower temperature may be more appropriate.
We also recommend to store in a safe place, out of reach of children when not in use, as they may unknowingly cause damage if they come into contact.
Disposing of microwave body warmers
Microwave body warmers are generally designed to last for years and thousands of heating cycles.
So there we go...
That's all for now folks. Microwave warmers and similar heating wraps are great and effective ways of keeping you warm, reducing stress, easing aches, alleviating pains, and helping you sleep. This guide has covered how to get the best use out of yours safely and even how you can recycle them when you have stopped using them.