Warming Rice Bags

This simple little bag can help relieve anything from minor pain to major pain. Simple and easy to make and use and with the harshness of cold weather it can alleviate pain associated with arthritis. Consider making one for someone who needs pain relief. Makes a wonderful Christmas or birthday gift for young or old.

Approximate Time: 20 minutes


  • sewing machine
  • heavy material
  • regular rice


  1. Cut a piece of material 15 inches long by 6 inches wide.
  2. Ad

  3. Turn it to the wrong side and start stitching from one corner almost all the way around.
  4. Leave one small side open for stuffing. (I normally sew this twice to ensure the rice doesn't come out.)
  5. Turn the bag inside out and run a stitch through the middle. Leave about 3 inches so you can pour the rice in each tube like area.
  6. Start filling with dry rice and fill until about 3 inches are left at the top. Turn the ends of the top over and stitch it together.

Heating instructions:

With everything safety comes first. Only use a microwave to heat the bag. Do not put the microwave on longer than 3 minutes.

If hot to touch allow to cool or wrap in a towel. Apply to areas that hurt for no more than 20 minutes at a time. Doctors usually recommend 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.

If you smell the rice you probably have the temperature too high. Take it out immediately.

These make wonderful gifts for older adults who suffer aches and pains regularly. They are much safer than a heating pad.

Rice bags can be made in any size or shape. Smaller ones are used for headaches and earaches. Larger ones are great for back, arm and leg pains. Some Ladies like them during their cycle to help relieve the cramps.

Enjoy making a small gift that can last a lifetime if taken care of.

Do NOT put in water. If it needs to be cleaned use a vacuum cleaner to clean it. If you are really obsessed with cleanliness put it in a pillowcase or make a cover just slightly bigger than bag and cover your bag.

You may want to make one in several sizes to keep on hand for yourself or family. Enjoy the comfort of warmth in painful areas.


By Gem from VA

February 2, 20110 found this helpful

This is one of the projects I use old denim fabric from the legs of worm out blue jeans for. I make them in all sizes, even very small ones that fit inside gloves or mittens. They are wonderful under the covers at the foot of your bed before you get into bed. They will do the job of pre-warming your bed for you, and I love climbing into a nice snuggy-warm bed on these very cold winter nights.

If you make a large one, put it on the floor under your feet (take off your shoes) and work at your desk. A 20 pound bag of rice can be purchase for $3.99 sometimes, and 20 pounds of rice will make a lot of rice bags. I also keep a medium sized rice bag in a Ziploc plastic freezer bag in the freezer for hurts and bruises that require a cold compress. Just be sure to push all the air out of the freezer bag to reduce the chance of moisture in your rice bag.

If you take care of them, they'll last years. I do make little pillow cases for them which can be washed. Flannel is nice for this.

Great project for sharing. Many people will thank you. Thumbs up.


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February 3, 20110 found this helpful

I purchased one from a local Crafter that goes down my back and 2 flaps over my shoulders. My DH uses it to warm up his hands after his Chemo treatment. Thanks, now I'll make one for his feet as well.

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February 4, 20110 found this helpful

I love my rice bags. We've been using them for about 6 years now, and I keep little pillow cases on them which get washed frequently. They are just as good as new. I guess they'll last forever if you don't loan them out, cause they don't find their way back home. You've been warned. lol


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January 4, 2005 Flag
0 found this helpful

I wanted to make a heated Rice bag. Does it matter what kind of Rice I use? And can I add dried herbs in with the rice? I heard about using kitty litter instead of rice, just the regular clay litter? Thanks!


Answer This QuestionWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
January 4, 20050 found this helpful

Not sure what kind of heated rice bag you mean, but I made neck wraps that I filled with regular long grain rice..

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January 4, 20050 found this helpful

I use the cheapest River Rice - Aldi's has a big bag very cheap.

I've made them from plushy hand towels....from tapestry place matts (fold in half for a big square one).....from washcloths - to use at work when my fingers ache.

You can even use a big old athletic sock and tie a knot in it once you fill it with rice...its great to drape around you neck or to wrap around an elbow or knee...

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January 5, 20050 found this helpful

you should use long cooking rice.....not instant or five minute as the long cooking doesn't crumble as easily.....you might beable to use kitty litter but I think it may retain too much moisture????? and how would it smell when warmed???? don't know tho.....you can add all kinds of dried herbs if you want but remember 2 things....one they will lose the aroma in time and two they too may crumble and work through the fibers........but rice bags are wonderful..........we got one as a gift and I made 2 more for our home and one for each of my siblings, and my aunt and uncle.......they feel just great just remember 2 minutes heated in the microwave is usually enough to last and hour or so, any longer and you may burn your skin......the one I received was made with a hand towel, I made mine with one wash cloth and it seems to be a handy size.....

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January 6, 20050 found this helpful

try flax seeds- the oil content makes it stay warm longer :)

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January 7, 20050 found this helpful

I use bird seed for filler instead of rice. Costs less and is much smoother. It also stays warm much longer.

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January 7, 20050 found this helpful

To combat the price factor, try buying your rice in bulk. Regular long or short grain rice sells in bulk here for about 26 cents per pound.

2 Kitchen towels sewn together is my rice bag and I often scent it with essential oils. Lavendar is the most soothing and is also okay to use in contact with skin. Some are not, so be careful. I also have one I used while in labor with my last child that was scented with dried herbs.

Rice bags are the ONLY thing that combat my chronic migraines. They can be heated or frozen.

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November 23, 20070 found this helpful

Long grain white is better than brown rice, which has lots of powdery residue. I put a thin knee high sock as my first bag then put that into a second sleeve. This really helps keep small pieces from coming out as the bag ages. Also if your bag is long you may want to stitch dividers to keep the rice from all pooling to one area. I'm an RN and made my first rice bag about 15 years ago after attending an Infant Massage Class, during which the rice bag was talked about. We were also told to heat the rice 30 to 45 min in the oven at 250 degrees or so to keep it from absorbing moisture. Do add scent because the rice does not smell great without it. The bags are great for pain relief.

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January 15, 20080 found this helpful

I had a nurse tell me last night about using an atheletic sock to put the rice in and then tie knot in the end of it. She said I would have to find out by maybe 35 secs. heating and add more if needed. Can you add anything to this suggestion. Thanks.

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January 15, 20080 found this helpful

I find the cheaper the better!... Why pay for top quality number one rice when you can buy the "seconds", that's rice with broken off ends... That's the "generic" rice that comes in larger bags, sold in grocery stores, usually on the bottom shelf. It tastes just the same as high grade, name brand rice, but if you look closely, you'll see the bits of the grain are broken off & each rice kernel isn't whole.

* I've found that the cheapest place to buy any type of rice is in a "Ethnic" Store... If you have a local Chinese/Japanese store or an East Indian store, they usually sell rice in very large bags. In fact, in Seattle, we have a Japanese/Chinese grocery store where the rice is one-third to one half the price you'd pay in the grocery store down the block from it!

* Many other whole grains work equally well... You can use wheat & many other grains other than rice! In fact, when my partner is suffering & needs a bit of warm, moist heat, I simply fill a clean pillow case with whatever whole grain we have around the house. Then tie a piece of yarn around the end to seal it up. I then warm it in the microwave it for him to use, then later when he's finished with it, I'll put the grain back in the jar or box it came out of & use it to cook with... It taste's as good as new!

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February 24, 20080 found this helpful

Is this rice edible? Where can I purchase about 200LBS?

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May 26, 20100 found this helpful

February 13, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

I was making a rice bag and was wondering if I could use the Success white rice, also called "boil in bag"? It says it's precooked, but it's dry, so I wasn't sure if I could use it. (To cook it to eat, it says to boil the bag for 10 minutes.) Can I use it for my rice bag?

By Danielle

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February 21, 20120 found this helpful

Personally I wouldn't. The long grain rice is preferred.

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February 21, 20120 found this helpful

No. You cannot use instant rice in a rice bag. The rice will cook when heated in the microwave and if heated for too long the rice will overcook and could catch fire.

Use long grain white or wild rice, or a blend of both. Personally I use the jasmine rice because it has a nice soothing scent when it's heated.

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February 21, 20120 found this helpful

Sharon is right. Barley lasts the longest, but most of us don't like the scent as well. I would make it so you can slip in a cheap bag that you can refill, then you don't have to slit the bag open when it's time to refill.

Good luck. This site will give you some ideas

http://www.healthandbodystore.com/n ... tml?gclid=CN2_vJ27sK4CFQ40hwodeErGPw

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