The $15 Heating Pad That Will Melt Your Pain Away

Sunbeam, Walmart
Sunbeam, Walmart

If your aches and pains go beyond what a cuddling a microwavable plush sloth can soothe, a good heating pad is a must. But with dozens of brands to choose from at your local pharmacy and online, which one should you get?

After a recent trial run, the answer here at Mental Floss HQ is clear: the Sunbeam king-size moist/dry heating pad massively outperforms its $15 price tag. The giant heating pad gives high-end pain-relief gadgets (many of which we also love) a run for their money, with three different heat settings, a moist-heat option, and auto shut-off. Most importantly, it's big—at 11.7-inches-by-8.1-inches, it's made to stretch across your whole back, abdomen, or hips, meaning that it can target entire muscle groups at one time.

A blue heating pad

Sunbeam, Walmart

Though you can use it as a standard, dry heating pad, it also comes with a sponge insert that you wet for more penetrating heat. Studies have shown that heat therapy can help reduce muscle tension, increase circulation, and relieve pain in numerous different contexts, from chronic lower back pain to jaw pain [PDF] to muscle soreness from exercise. Some studies have also found that applying moist heat is more effective for pain relief (though others have noted no difference, although patients often prefer moist heat).

I bought the Sunbeam pad to soothe my chronic back and shoulder pain, and quickly found that I wasn't the only evangelist for the product. When I posted on Instagram about my new purchase, a friend immediately messaged me: "using mine right now … and ohhhh it is so good." She was right. It's so good.

One more testament to its greatness? It's so popular that it recently sold out on Amazon. Luckily, you can still find it at Walmart or at one of the retailers below—but grab it before it sells out there, too.

And yes, it's FSA eligible.

Put Summer in Hyperdrive With This Millennium Falcon Pool Float

SwimWays, Amazon
SwimWays, Amazon

If you're not as adventurous as Han Solo, you can take a ride on the Millennium Falcon from the comfort of your backyard pool. This Star Wars-themed pool float from SwimWays is modeled after the iconic spaceship from the movie franchise, and instead of flying at hyperdrive speeds, it's designed to drift through the water on leisurely summer days.

Measuring 5 feet long and 3.8 feet wide, the inflatable spacecraft is the perfect size to hold one passenger, either an adult or a child age 5 or older. It's also durable, with heavy-duty PVC material that's strong enough to withstand attacks from the Dark Side.

The float is just as fun at pool parties as it is on solitary days of relaxation. If you're planning a Star Wars-themed party this summer, SwimWays makes more pool accessories inspired by the series, including a Death Star beach ball, lightsaber dive sticks, and a BB-8 pool toy.

The Millennium Falcon pool float is available for $22 from Walmart. It's currently out of stock on Amazon (where it's listed for the same price), but it's set to ship again starting June 18, so you don't have long to wait if you prefer Prime shipping.

Star Wars-themed pool float in box.
SwimWays, Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

ThinkGeek Is Merging With GameStop, and Everything is 50 Percent Off Right Now

ThinkGeek
ThinkGeek

ThinkGeek, that beloved destination for nerdy goods like Star Trek bathing suits, Game of Thrones doormats, and astronomy-themed jewelry, is moving. While the site isn't going out of business, it is merging operations with its parent company, GameStop, and shutting down its website in the process. "After this move, you will be able to shop a curated selection of unique items historically found on ThinkGeek.com via a ThinkGeek section at GameStop," the site explains. And that's good news for you, if you're looking for a bargain. 

ThinkGeek is clearing out inventory by offering 50 percent off everything on its website. That includes 20-side-die-themed waffle makers, constellation lamps, unicorn wall sconces, and more. There are whimsical goods and apparel designed for fans of everything from Doctor Who to The Avengers to Star Wars to J.R.R. Tolkien to Harry Potter to Firefly to Pokemon. Love Funko POP! figurines? ThinkGeek has you covered. What about Super Mario Bros.? Heck yeah. This would be a great time to search for a Halloween costume.

Here are a few things that we would buy if we were you, but there are more cool designs available than we could ever highlight here. 


This 34-ounce TARDIS French press coffee maker is just $20.


ThinkGeek has a bunch of pop-culture themed wallets, but this Star Trek one is extra cool. And it is now just $10. (The NASA one is also great.)


This constellation backpack is out of this world. It's just $24 with the discount.


For $7.50, it's hard to resist this Mario-themed soap dispenser. Add a Mario-themed toothbrush holder to really make getting ready in the morning fun. If you're all about that bar soap, there's also a soap dish.


Wrap yourself in happiness with this Bob Ross-themed blanket that is just $17.50.


If you want to wear your fandom, this Harry Potter Deathly Hallows necklace set is an attractive choice. They're just $7.50 for two.


This handsome Mars watch doesn't have typical hour and minute hands. The moon Phobos orbits the Red Planet as the minute hand, the moon Deimos is the hour hand, and a miniature Mars rover takes the place of the second hand. It's a steal at just $20. 


When it's filled with hot liquid, this Game Boy mug changes from a blank screen to an image of Mario rescuing Daisy. It's only $7.50.


Several '90s cartoon-themed lunch boxes with puzzles are on sale, including ones celebrating Rocko's Modern Life, Hey Arnold!, and Rugrats. The puzzles that come inside the tin lunch boxes are 500 pieces. At less than $5 each, you should go ahead and buy all three.

Shop the sale here using the code MOVINGDAY until July 2. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the sale, all purchases are final, and you'll have to pay for shipping.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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