DIY No-Sew Natural Heating Pads (Rice Socks)

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Did you know you can make your own DIY heating pads for natural pain relief? These homemade heat packs (also known as rice socks) are no-sew which makes them a cinch to make. This step-by-step tutorial with video shows you how to make a DIY rice bag for heat therapy to soothe achy muscles and shoulders!

For another popular version, check out how to make DIY aromatherapy heat packs with rice here.

collage of how to make rice sock heating pads

Whether you have aches and pains from normal aging, the weather, or pushing it a little too hard while working out these homemade heating pads will help relieve pain, naturally!

materials for making homemade rice heating packs

The best part? They’re a cinch to make. Grab a long, metallic thread-free sock, some uncooked rice and a few free minutes and you can whip up one for yourself or someone you love.

Plus, you can place them under the covers in the winter to warm up chilly feet. Doesn’t that sound delightful?

How do you make a no sew heating pad?

The secret to the ‘no sew’ part is to use a vessel that’s pre-sewn… which is why a long sock is perfect. The only end that needs to be closed is the top. When closing, make sure to use a tight knot to completely close off the opening. Keep reading for our preferred method!

It’s also important to make sure the sock you are using does not contain any metallic thread as metal and microwaves DO NOT MIX.

tying off DIY rice sock

Or, if you have basic sewing skills or a sewing machine try these easy aromatherapy rice packs here!

What is the best filler for a homemade heating pad?

Dry, uncooked rice is ideal because it’s natural, can be heated and reheated, and holds heat for while before cooling. It’s also small and flexible, which makes the homemade heating pad easier to use and fit to your body.

materials for how to make homemade rice sock heating pad

How do you microwave a rice sock?

It’s recommended that you heat for 1 minute, and flip/ turn it so it doesn’t get hot spots. If it needs to be warmer, microwave in increments of 30 seconds until desired temperature is reached. Be sure to check for hot spots as it may heat unevenly due to variances in microwaves.

DIY rice sock

Which essential oils should I use in my homemade heating pad?

Typically when I’m using a heating pad, I’m in the mood to relax and soothe so my favorite essential oils to add to the rice before closing it are:

  • lavender essential oil
  • stress away essential oil
  • PanAway blend essential oil
  • eucalyptus essential oil
  • Deep Relief blend essential oil
adding essential oil to rice sock

How to make no-sew heating pads (VIDEO)

How to make no-sew heating pads (TUTORIAL)


  • large, metal free socks (mens long or women’s knee socks work well)
  • dry rice
  • ribbon
  • heavy thread
  • scissors
  • mason jar (optional, but helpful)
  • scoop for rice
  • essential oils (optional, but heavenly)
materials for making homemade rice heating packs


Step 1: Add a few drops of essential oil to uncooked rice and stir. Fill a mason jar with the rice. Then, place the opening of the sock over the mason jar, invert the jar, and fill the sock with the rice. As you fill it, make sure the rice fills evenly. Repeat until the sock is mostly full, leaving enough room for it to be flexible and some room at the top for tying it closed.

adding rice to mason jar
filling rice sock using mason jar

Step 2: Once the sock is full, tightly tie off the open end so no rice can spill out.

tying off DIY rice sock

Step 3: Add a ribbon around the knot if you wish, making sure the ribbon is metal-free!

adding ribbon to rice sock

Step 4: Heat in the microwave in 1 minute intervals, checking as you go to make sure it heats evenly. If scent has faded, add a drop or two of essential oil. Once it has been warmed, place on achy muscles, on shoulders or over areas with pain. This also makes a great foot warmer on cold nights.

DIY rice sock
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Here’s a few favorite sock patterns on Amazon:

Natural pain relief can be as easy as whipping up a few rice socks and applying as needed. I love how you can customize the essential oils to match your needs as well!

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how to make rice sock collage

PS- Looking to clean your home with more natural ingredients? Click the image below to get a free ebook for cleaning your home with vinegar:

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