Far Infrared Mats or heating pads have become increasingly popular since 2015. Understanding which is the best far infrared mat review is really tricky as many new products have been released on the market and a lot of confusing information has surfaced as well.
The intention for this Far Infrared Mat review is to:
That’s the “technical” stuff. Here’s the real reason for this article: I’ve been so frustrated in recent years with shopping for big appliances, overwhelmed with trying to find accurate information online. I want to help you make the right decision in choose the best Far Infrared Pad for you, and that means knowing what features to look for and what to avoid.
I remember when I was looking for a washing machine recently and tried researching the best models. I spent hours scouring the internet trying to find complete information. Trying to find honest reviews. Trying to find a clear “winner” as to which would be best for me.
And yet, despite spending hours researching, I still felt like every single product had some pros and cons and many of the reviews were lacking, or sketchy. I couldn’t find information on what features to focus on, and what to avoid. I ended up picking one that sounded good.
I’m the type of person who prefers to spend a little more on a quality product, rather than have to get it repaired or replace it in a year’s time. So many things are considered disposable – it’s not good for our planet. It’s hard to find products that are high quality and built to last these days.
I also know that some people who may want to buy a higher quality product, simply don’t have the budget. You may be addressing health concerns and have a lot of health care expenses. I understand.
That’s why I want you to be able to read this article, learn the most important features to look for in a Far Infared Mat, and understand things to avoid.
WHO AM I?
Before I get into a comprehensive review of the complete features to look for, I need to disclose a few things.
First, I am an Independent Sales Associate for Richway. I represent the Richway Amethyst Biomat® Far Infrared Heating Pad. I’ve been using a Biomat® since 2008. The first Mini Biomat® I got over 11 years ago (it’s 2019 as I’m publishing this post) is still being used by my Mom, almost every evening (she likes to sit on it while she watches TV, part of her evening routine). I currently sleep on a Professional Biomat® that I got in 2014.
Second, I have not personally experienced all of the different Far Infrared Mats on the market. I have seen them online, just like you. My goal is to help you understand the key things to look for based on my experience in using and representing Far Infrared Heating Mats since 2008.
I want you to be an educated consumer.
I am not going to name specific brands in this article. I will show you the features I’m referring to by referencing the Biomat® since it is the product I know. This will help you know what to look for as you do your own research.
Again, I want you to be an educated consumer and make your own decision and not pick something because I randomly assign a product a 9/10, like you’ll find on some of the “ratings” and “reviews” marketing websites.
That’s the thing.
There are a ton of fake review websites (for all products out there, not just Far Infrared Mats).
People may say they are unbiased; yet some of the things they comment on demonstrates that they probably haven’t even seen the product although what they say implies they have used it.
You see, if someone is writing a really long article, they have something to gain. The average person just isn’t going to spend hours researching and writing an article just from the goodness of their heart.
There are people with very profitable online Amazon businesses where they provide a paragraph or two “review” of different products with links to buy in their own Amazon store. And that’s ok, as long as you are clear on the context of the information you’re reviewing.
And then there are also sites that say they are reviewing Far Infrared Mats, but they don’t appear to be a particular person, or company, or reputable organization (like Consumers Reporting) that does thorough product testing. These websites are strictly a marketing tool for a specific company, and they get great rankings in search engines, so you start to trust them.
Watch for Affiliate Disclaimers which are required by the Federal Trade Commission.
These are usually in very small print at the bottom of a web page.
For me, if you decide the Biomat® is right for you, and you feel like you can trust me, I hope that you would consider purchasing your Biomat® from me. And if you decide the Biomat® is not for you, I feel good in sharing information for you to confidently make a decision that also makes you feel good.
Be an educated consumerand do your own research. I want you to understand who is providing you with the information you are “trusting.”
The surface of the Far Infrared Heating Pad takes a great amount of wear and tear. You want to make sure the surface of the product is made from a durable material that will withstand your hours of sleeping and/or sitting on the pad. Plus, ideally you want it to be made from natural fibres that don’t emit positive ions which counteract negative ions that are often associated with Far Infrared Mats.
PRO: Body can have more direct with the stones. These mats tend to have disc shaped stones. So, it’s kind of like a hot stone treatment, but not, because I suspect you’re probably not going to be using the mat directly on your skin.
In fact, I would caution against using it directly on your skin at the high temperatures, because that’s not safe and may cause injury. (Always refer to the product manual for specific instructions.)
CONS: The mesh can get caught on buttons, buckles, jewellery, causing the mesh to tear, and/or damage your clothes/jewellery.
The mesh can get worn out more easily, because there is less material there.
PRO: This is the most durable surface, using natural material.
CON: These products tend to have a “see-thru” silicon window where you can see the stones that are in the channels of the Far Infrared Mat. This is also the weakest point. See below for more information.
PRO: Looks nice.
CON: Most synthetic materials give off positive ions which counteract the negative ions many Far Infrared Mats tend to feature.
This is counter-productive on your wellness journey.
Products made with synthetic materials tend to off gas. You know that “new car smell” – that’s the smell of the chemicals in the materials in the new car. If you are sensitive to off gassing, choose a product that uses a natural material, like the Professional Biomat® or the Mini Biomat®.
PRO: You can see the crystals right through the window. You KNOW there are crystals inside.
CON: The “see-thru” window where you can see the stones that are in the channels of the Far Infrared Mat is the weakest point.
With lots of high temperature use, and for many hours a day, over several years, this can get weak and can crack. It’s the high temperature for an extended period of time that causes this.
Note: My Mini Biomat® that is over 11 years old has not experienced this at this time, but some people like practitioners who use the Biomat® at higher temperatures in a clinic setting for 6+ hours a day have had this experience.
Tip: You can help prevent cracking by wiping the silicon window with a slightly damp cloth about once a week.
Review the number of layers in the Far Infrared Mats and look at the pictures of the product construction.
Some websites make it hard to understand just how many layers of material are in the construction. They indicate that their mats can have “up to x# layers,” but then it can be hard to find out how many layers are in the specific model you are looking at. Just contact the company and ask.
Products that have few layers tend to be more flexible, which can be good, if you want a smaller Far Infrared Pad to wrap around your body.
However, find out what is missing in those layers.
Is it EMF protection?
Waterproof layer to help protect from minor spills?
If it’s eliminating a feature you weren’t looking for, then it’s not a big deal, but if they have removed a layer that will impact your health or the integrity/longevity of the product, you may want to choose another model.
The Richway Biomat® has SEVENTEEN layers of material:
As you review the different products, you’ll notice that there seems to be a range of different stones and crystals in the products. What’s the difference?
Each stone has different properties.
You’ll typically see Black Tourmaline. This is a very grounding stone that also emits negative ions. In the Biomat®, there is a layer of material infused with Black Tourmaline called the TOCA Catch Layer and the Mini Biomat® and Amethyst & Tourmaline Pillow have small Black Tourmaline Stones in them as well. Other mats may have Tourmaline discs.
Some stones are tumbled stones. Other stones have been created from crushed tourmaline. Which is better will depend on who you ask. Both emit negative ions.
It’s a great component to have as the negative ions counteract the positive ions given off by the technology we are surrounded with. Our bodies need a balance of negative ions and positive ions to function optimally. You’ll find negative ions abundantly in nature, like in forests or by the ocean.
Jade is another wonderful stone with healing properties. It is green and emits Far Infrared rays even when the Mat’s heat feature is not turned on.
Richway originally made the Biomat® with Jade crystals. In their research, they found that amethyst refracted the Far Infrared rays in a more powerful way and discontinued making Biomat® with Jade.
Amethyst is a beautiful purple stone that is part of the quartz family. You will find that the amethyst crystal occurs in a range from a very pale purple to a deep rich purple. While the stone can also be found in red and even pink, you typically see only purple amethyst in Far Infrared Heating Pads.
Amethyst is known to have very relaxing qualities and is used in Ayurvedic medicine. It also emits gentle Far Infrared rays.
And as mentioned above, in Richway’s research of all of the crystals they tested, they found that amethyst refracted the far infrared rays in the most beneficial manner and now focus on using this stone in all of the Biomats®.
Review the length of time of the warranty. There is a correlation between the quality of the product and the length of warranty. Most Far Infrared Mats only have one-year warranty. Richway’s Amethsyt Biomat® has a 3-year warranty.
Some companies, like Richway, also have a Trade-in Policy, where you can return your current product for credit to apply towards the purchase of your next product.
Think about how you want to use your Far Infrared Mat.
Do you want to apply it to a small area?
Or do you find the typical drug store heating pads too small and you want something bigger?
Do you want to sit on it or sleep on it?
Some product lines carry dozens of different sizes and features. Which is great because it means that you’ll likely find something that meets your needs and budget. Measure the area you want to focus on and choose the size of Far Infrared Pad that fits.
Personally, I love the versatility and size of the Mini Biomat® (19” x 33”). It’s large enough to apply to a targeted area, without having to constantly shift it around to get the heat to the most needed places. And small enough that it’s easy to manoeuvre and shift around.
Plus, I can use it so many ways.
If you want to sleep on the Far Infrared Pad, you want one that is the full length of your body.
If you are over 6 ft tall, be sure to check the pad’s measurements, because there are fewer models that are long enough for you. In the Richway product line, you would look at the Single Biomat®, Queen Biomat® or King Biomat®.
The Richway Amethyst Biomat® comes with a cotton cover to help evenly distribute the heat of the mat, keeping it functioning optimally (eliminates hot spots), makes it easier to clean (just throw the cotton cover in the washing machine), and adds a tiny bit of comfort for lying down on.
Examine the temperature range of the Far Infrared Pad. Most have a temperature range starting just below body temperature, up to around 156F or 70C. The Biomat’s® heating range for the Mini Biomat® is 104F -158F and for the Professional and larger is 98F-158F.
CAUTION: Watch for dual-sided Heating pads.
Most Far Infrared Heating Pads have a layer of material to direct the heat up to the body like the Biomat® does, to maximize the therapeutic heat going to the body, and minimizing the heat transfer to the surface below.
I have seen a few pads that boast a dual-sided heating pad, which sounds great. However, my concern is the heat transfer to the surface below the heating pad. It could cause damage to the bed, floor, chair, sofa, etc.
All Far Infrared Heating Pads will have some heat transfer to the surface below, so you will still need to take care, but actively directing the heat to the surface below causes greater concern.
Also beware of inconsistent heat spots.
The Biomat® comes with a cotton cover to not only protect the surface of the Biomat®, making it easy to clean, but the cover also helps to create consistent heat across the entire surface.
A timer is an important feature to look for.
The timer feature will help you to more easily control how long the heats stays on. The timer should turn the mat off completely at the end of the specified time. The Biomat® has a timer with a 2, 4, 8 or 12 hour setting.
Alternatively, you can also use a timer that you purchase from a hardware store to get the timer feature. Although these tend to allow you to set it to turn on a device at a specific time like 8pm and turn off at 9pm, rather than simply turn it on now for 1 hour.
Most Far Infrared Heating Pads have some sort of EMF Blocking features. All appliances with an electric current running through it will give off some EMFs. The degree of which will vary by community based on the quality of electricity coming out of the wall, as well as whether or not they have any mechanisms in the design to block unwanted EMFs.
There has been a lot of research on the detrimental effects of EMFs, so it makes sense to choose a health tool that minimizes your exposure to them.EMFs can be measured with a Gauss meter. You can watch You Tube videos that evaluate the EMFs that are emitted from various Far Infrared Mats.
The Biomat® has EMF blocking technology in the control panel and within the Biomat® itself. Gauss meter testing shows 0 readings over the mat, except for close to the plug. Personally, I have my Professional Biomat® on my bed positioned with the plug at the foot of my bed, furthest away from my body.
The highest quality Far Infrared Mats are made in South Korea. South Korea has the most experience making high quality Far Infrared Mats. Richway’s Biomat® was launched in 1997 and is made in South Korea.
Imitation Biomats are often made in China.
BEWARE: Ask QUESTIONS about where products are made. Some Far Infrared Mats appear to be made in the USA, because the company’s head office is in the United States, but they are manufactured somewhere else.
How can you tell WHERE the Mat is made?
You get what you pay for. Like all products you purchase, whether it’s a car, a blender, a washing machine or a toaster oven – you get what you pay for.
If you have a small budget, then you may want to focus on a smaller size of a higher quality product to best meet your needs and get a product that will last. Quality vs. Quantity (size).
The Mini Biomat® I purchased 11 years ago, cost me the equivalent of less than $50/year or about $4/month. That’s less than a tube of greasy pain relief cream every month.
If the product you choose has a lower initial cost, but only lasts a couple of years, how much are you really paying or saving?
Also consider the accessories that come with the product, like a cotton pad. Make sure you add up the cost on all of the components you need when comparing pricing.
Focus on these 10 specific areas when you are considering a Far Infrared Mat and evaluate what features are most important to you. Take the time to record the pros/cons in each area, the quality vs the cost, and the needs vs your budget. Make the right purchase for you.
Jennifer Lyall is an Independent Sales Associate for Richway Products. She’s been using a Far Infrared Mats since 2008 and is an advocate for their health benefit. She recognizes that there are many brands and types of mats and encourages you to make the best purchase possible for you. You can contact Jennifer here to answer any questions you have about this article or the Richway Amethyst Biomat.