DIY Heated Neck Pillow. A Dollar Store DIY

This easy to make pillow is filled with rice giving it a heavy weighted feeling that feels great around a stiff neck plus it heats up in the microwave until it’s toasty warm. 50% of people over the age of 45 have some kind of neck pain at least once a year. Probably on account of our brains being so heavy with information. 

When I started blogging 10 years ago my health went to crap. CRAP I say. Within months of working at a desk all day I got migraines, my shoulders became knotted like a macrame plant holder and my neck got so stiff I lost the ability to shake my head “no”.

This tragically led to the misconception I was agreeing to a lot of things I wasn’t. I now have the 24 month extended warranty on every electronic I’ve bought since then for instance.

After a few years, yes it really took me a few years, I started dealing with the correlation between sitting at a desk most of the day and my health. I started doing stretching exercises every day, built myself a GREAT  DIY treadmill desk,( you can read the tutorial on how to make your own for $250 here ),  and got regular Active Release Treatments (which hurt like hell).

I still get a stiff neck the odd time and the one thing that helps it is my heated neck pillow. Which is really just a couple of towels from the dollar store sewn into a bag and filled with rice.

DIY Heated Neck Pillow

You can make this out of any soft material. Flannel, cotton, linen, an old favourite pillow case, whatever you want.  I chose terry cloth because it’s thicker and so if the rice is really hot from heating up, there’s more of a buffer between you and the hot rice. 

When you choose what to use for your fabric make sure it has a tight enough weave that the rice and lavender won’t work its way out.




If you are absolutely and completely opposed to sewing you can use a longgg sock for this.  Just fill it and tie the end in a knot or fasten it with a string or rubber band.  The sleeve off an old sweater would work too.

 If your towel is really big, just sew the seam allowance that leaves you with a pillow that will be 18″ long by 5″ wide once sewn.

Cut off the excess seam allowance fabric.


Get your rice (I used 2 small bags for my pillow) and dried herbs.  Only use dried otherwise you’ll get a mouldy mess in your pillow.

I used lavender that someone had given me 2 years ago. It has become so brittle I can’t touch it without the flowers falling off so it will have a second life in this aromatherapy neck pillow.



Here I have lemongrass I dried in the oven and the  lavender.


Once your bag is filled with rice add 1/4 cup of the herb and sew the end of the bag up.


How to use the warming pillow.

To heat the bag put it in the microwave for a minute on high.  Remove the bag then shake it around.  Put it back in the microwave for another minute.  Repeat until it’s the temperature you want.

DIY Heated Neck Pillow.

DIY Heated Neck Pillow.

Yield: 1 neck pillow
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $3

Like a little weighted blanket for your neck!


  • 1 terry cloth hand towel*
  • 1 bag of rice
  • 1/4 cup of dried lavender (optional)


  • Sewing machine or needle and thread.


  1. Remove the tag from your hand towel.
  2. Turn the terry cloth towel* inside out and fold in half lengthwise.
  3. Sew around the edge with a standard 5/8th seam allowance, leaving one end open to fill the pillow.
  4. Turn the pillow right side out.
  5. Fill the pillow 2/3rds with rice**.
  6. Add 1/4 cup of lavender flowers***.
  7. Turn in the edges of the open end and either hand or machine sew together.
  8. To heat the bag put it in the microwave for a minute on high.  Remove the bag then shake it around.  Put it back in the microwave for another minute.  Repeat until it’s the temperature you want.




*You can also use linen, cotton, old soft tee shirts, bed sheets … whatever material you find around the house that’s soft and not too stiff.

** Whole Oats or wheat will work as a filling as well.

*** Try mint, lemongrass, rose petals or any other nice smelling dried herb or flower.


(To dry lemongrass cut it into 4" lengths, then slice those pieces thinly lengthwise. Place on a cookie sheet and place in oven at lowest temperature possible. Leave oven door open so any moisture escapes. Remove from the oven when the lemongrass pieces are brittle, after 3 or 4 hours)


If any other part of you is sore you can use this just like a heating pad.  Heat it up, then rest it on your leg, arm or wherever.

I now have a loose neck, warm shoulders and he ability to shake my head no.  With God as my witness I will never buy an extended warranty again.

DIY Heated Neck Pillow.  A Dollar Store DIY


  1. Mickey says:

    interesting post, but these pillows are not good for neck pain not will it be of any other pain. if you want special for neck pain so please visit this website.

  2. Lisa says:

    I put a tablespoon of coffee beans – not ground – in with the rice…….. mmmmmm coffee…..

  3. Pam'a says:

    Apologies if someone already discovered this… I figured this out when a mouse ate a hole in our *brand-named microwavable thing.* Put the rice inside a nylon knee-high and tie it shut before inserting it into its cover. :)

  4. whitequeen96 says:

    I’m going to use this as a bed warmer! Keep my toes toasty.

  5. Annie Young says:

    Thank you Karen. I’m doing this! I was thinking I might use jasmine rice from the bulk warehouse and then I’ll feel like I’m at the movies (because it smells like popcorn) 😋

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