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Heating pad dilemma-voltage adaptor vs insane price in uk?

Hey all

So I had a voltage adaptor and thought I was ahead of the game, til I recently looked at their question section on Amazon ( had bought mine for a diff trip a few years back). I have chronic pain issues and take heating pads everywhere but apparently this adaptor won’t work with heating pads.

I googled and found that people recommended buying a brand new h pad in England but I found the cost is 40 pounds which is roughly ( I think?) 50ish dollars?! Honestly that’s pretty steep for something I already have. And yes if there’s no other solution I will bite the cost, just seems so high that’s all.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance for your help

Posted by
5505 posts

Voltage converters really don’t work well for things that heat. I’d be concerned about it overheating. I think you will be safer buying one in the UK.

You could also try something simpler and cheaper like a hot water bottle. Most rooms have electric kettles to heat the water.

Posted by
4151 posts

Try searching Amazon for "dual voltage heating pad." If you find something that would work for you, then all you'd need is a plug adapter for the UK or EU like you need for other dual voltage devices. No voltage adapter required.

Caveat: make sure that the device is really dual voltage and exactly how that works. Does it automatically adjust? Do you have to flip a switch? Most of the results I saw had no mention of the actual voltage. Buyer beware.

Another option is to find 220v-240v "Overseas not for use in the US or Canada" heating pads. I found some by searching "heating pad 220v." They might have EU or UK plugs. So then you'd need a plug adapter from one location to the other depending on whichever one you get and where else you might use it. The disadvantage is that you won't be able to test it in the US or Canada.

They are pricey, but at least it's $ and not £ or €. This is one that turned out to have 3 different plug options for ordering. I linked to the UK plug option.
Electric Heating Pad Smart Timer 6 Temperature Modes Warm Pad for Waist (UK Plug 220V).

There are likely others that would work, like this one with many more reviews. It has an EU plug, so you'd need an EU to UK plug adapter. Overseas USE ONLY Norstar 200 King Size Moist & Dry Heating Pad 220-240 Volt

Another caveat: even if you specify 220v in your search, some results will have absolutely no indication of the voltage. Buyer beware...again!

Posted by
14939 posts

If you have an Amazon account, search on Amazon UK.

Your US account will work on Amazon UK. Just have them deliver it to your first hotel and let the hotel know when it is scheduled to arrive and to please hold it for you. (Prime does not transfer to non-US Amazon sites but they will probably offer you a free 30-day trial. Just cancel before the 30 days are up.)

I've ordered many items on Amazon UK and had them delivered all over the country.

These will work in the UK as they will have a UK plug. They may not work in the US depending on the voltage. To work in the rest of Europe, you'll need an adapter plug.

Posted by
1916 posts

This has turned out to be a valuable discussion for myself. And this is among the beauties of this forum in that discussions often help other people besides the OP.

I have bought a heating pad to use on my arthritic knee and it helps some. I was planning on taking it with me on my next trip to Barcelona and the Mediterranean. I have been thinking that I hope I will have room for clothing with all my pills and gadgets.

But after this discussion, I will take my hot water bottle only and leave the heating pad at home.

I was not even going to ask about my heating pad. Glad for this discussion.

Posted by
7511 posts

You do really need to be careful looking on Amazon, many pads are 220/240 V only, maybe a few dual voltage, but they do not make it perfectly clear what is what in the recommendations they bring up. If you travel more than this once, then I would recommend getting one there, in a store.

A main reason for that is due to differences in the basic design of electrical systems in the US vs the UK. While a circuit in the UK has a higher power rating, they build in safety by including a fuse in each devices plug. Randomly buying one on Amazon, without being able to see clearly all specs, may leave you without some valuable protection.

If you purchase the UK one, then with a simple adapter it will work in all of Europe, so good for a number of trips.

Posted by
9099 posts

The US Amazon store sells 240V heating pads. I have personally purchased two different models and they work in Europe. In addition there are USB heating pads powered by external batteries. The advantage of the USB models is that you can use it on a plane or train.

Posted by
7258 posts

Just for completeness, I want to point out an inexpensive radiant heater from an American big box store creates its low-setting inserting a tiny diode into the power line. There are small number of bulky voltage converters with prominent air vents, to cool the diode, that work the same way. Because of the diode they work poorly with, or damage devices with motors or electronic components.

But a heating pad is electrically similar to a water-boiling kettle. It doesn't care about the diode.

However, I think paying $30 for such a converter is not a good investment versus an actual 240 volt heating pad for $50. I acknowledge that many travelers will need a friend with good electrical understanding to identify and safely purchase the right diode-based converter. While the instructions tell you NOT to use the heating pad while sleeping, and to unplug it while not in use, you could accidentally throw a sheet or blanket over such a converter that's near the bed, causing a fire.

Buy a travel heating pad, and the right plug adapter.

Posted by
237 posts

If you have access to a microwave, they make re-usable gel packs that can be heated or frozen. I got mine at Walgreens.

But that probably won't work in a carry-on bag. I have not checked the TSA site, so I don't know.

An old-fashioned hot water bottle might be the best option,

Posted by
11150 posts

if you have access to a microwave, .....

An old tube sock filled with rice is easily heated in a microwave. The rice is probably cheaper than a gel pack.

Also agree that buying a heating pad there seems much better than buying a voltage converter/adapter that would work with your US heating pad and having to lug the thing around.

Posted by
32699 posts

once you get here you can get one for £37 plus in Argos, or in Boots, or many other places, with the proper plug and fuse. Don't forget to switch on the wall switch at the plug.