Icy Hot Smart Relief Reviews: Facts about These Inexpensive Tens Units

Tens Units By Icy Hot

These Icy Hot Smart Relief Reviews are dealing with two products by Icy Hot, so that is what we will be discussing. They are basically identical--just focusing on different body areas. The Icy Hot Smart Relief Back and Hip Starter Kit may be used for pain in the back, whereas the Icy Hot Smart Relief Tens Therapy Knee and Shoulder Starter Kit is used for the knee/shoulder areas--as its name would suggest. Other than these differences these two tens units are essentially the same in every aspect.

This device is also FDA cleared. SmartRelief is a class 2 medical device regulated by the FDA.

Smart Relief Ultimate Combo

Another brand with a similar name is "Smart Relief Ultimate Combo" but don't be mistaken, it is not the same product as SmartRelief from Icy Hot.

Now let's talk about what Icy Hot Smart Relief is and how you can get electronic pain relief.


Icy Hot Smart Relief

Single Channel TENS Technology

1 Pre-set TENS Mode

63 Intensity Levels

Use with 2 Pads

Wire Free

Features and Specifications

One Mode/Program

1 Pre-set TENS Mode

Unlike many other tens units out there Icy Hot Smart Relief only offers one mode. It is not customizeable like the Tens 7000, which I talked about in another review. The Tens 7000 had settings for pulse width, frequency, and intensity, which can all be adjusted.

One Channel

Single Channel

These TENS devices are single channel and they can only be used with two electrodes. If you were to purchase a dual channel unit you would be able to adjust each channel individually and target two different areas of your body at the same time. Most tens units are dual channel and many people say that even if you don't anticipate needing to target two spots at once, it may come in handy sometime.

63 Intensity Levels

63 Levels of Output Intensity

This back therapy machine (and shoulder and knee therapy machine) has 63 different intensity levels to choose from--and I have seen very few tens devices which offer this kind of range. The current emitted from this machine is evidently fairly strong as it has been labeled "prescription strength." This much diversity should make it fairly easy to find that ideal level of intensity, even if you are particularly sensitive.

After 30 minutes the device will automatically shut off.

The main problem I have seen occurs once the device has been applied to your back when using smart relief for back pain. It might be difficult for you to adjust the intensity level where you cannot see the device; there is no interface and you can't see the buttons. Some degree of guesswork is required.

Ease of Use

Icy Hot Smart Relief - Ease of Use

Using SmartRelief is, for the most part, relatively easy to do. According to the instructions all you must do is snap the device into an adhesive pad. After you have done this you will peel off the pad's clear backing, turn it on, and finally apply it to your skin where you are experiencing pain.

At this point you will adjust the intensity levels. As there is only one mode and one channel, there aren't a lot of setting to mess with, just a few buttons--so in one way this can be looked at as an advantage, especially if you get confused with a lot of options.

If you are using the unit on your back it may be difficult to operate, according to some. This is because you can't see the buttons which are located on the device directly above the electrode. So if you are using the Icy Hot Smart Relief Tens Therapy Knee and Shoulder Starter Kit on your knee this shouldn't be a problem.

An instructional video by SHAQ can be found here. He will show you how to use the device as well as just how small it is--so you can see it for yourself.

Here is a commercial video by Shaquille O’Neal--the same man from the first clip above. You can also check out the tens unit in this video and see a the device in action.

There have also been a few issues for people when using the electrodes which often either did not sick well enough or stick too well. In order to have better luck with the pads, it is more effective to dab water onto your fingers and then run it over the pads. These electrodes may also be bought for a discount online for pretty cheap.

Smaller Than a Credit Card

Icy Hot Smart Relief - Size Comparison

Evidently this micro tens unit is even smaller than a credit card, and weighs less than an ounce, so when it comes to size this unit looks like one of the smallest on the market. With this design it is innately very portable and great for those who are mobile.

SmartRelief states that you can wear the unit all day, regardless of almost anything you are doing. You can wear it while on the job or even if you are working out and exercising. This is a very portable electronic pulse massager.

The exact dimensions of the device are: 2.51 x 1.49 x 0.51 inches (64 38 13 mm). You can find out the technical details of smart relief here.

3V Battery

This device works on a common, small 3V CR2032 battery which is included in the box when you buy the unit itself.

Wire Free Tens Unit

When SmartRelief calls the machine "wireless" it basically just means that it is battery powered and cannot be plugged in and charged. There is no wireless control of the tens machine but the unit is still essentially self-contained.

This is where one of the most frequent complaints comes in.

The battery evidently does not have a very long life. I have seen that, on average, it typically only lasts for around two hours. If you choose to buy this device I would recommend stocking up on batteries so you don't run short.

If the financial burden from the batteries turns out to be too much for you then it might not be a good fit. As far as expense is concerned, however, the device itself is considerably cheap. It would definitely be a good choice for first-time tens users to try out the water and see what they think of a tens unit.

Included with the Unit

Icy Hot Smart Relief - Accesories

Both the Icy Hot Smart Relief Tens Therapy Starter Kit and the Icy Hot Smart Relief Tens Therapy Starter Kit include the same accessories when you buy one of them: the unit itself, 3V battery, reusable electrode pad, and finally the user manual.


I've had some trouble getting any facts about the warranty on this product so you may have to contact SmartRelief directly. You may be able to get a refund but that depends on the third-party retailer you purchase from and their unique requirements and guidelines.

Great Price

Let's talk about how much Icy Hot Smart Relief is. The biggest reason that this Tens device is so great is the price. For how little it costs it is actually quite a decent tens unit, and it is understandable that it might have a few quirks and flaws.

Wondering where you can buy Icy Hot Smart Relief? If you want to buy online you can find both devices on amazon, walmart, walgreens.com, drugstore.com and target.com. Amazon and walmart have the best prices. It is also available offline in stores like CVS, Safeway, Meijer, Costco, RiteAid, Kroger, Publix, and Kmart.

Usually the device sells for around $35 but you may find one for cheaper depending on where you look. The following prices are for the Back and Hip Starter Kit: On walmart.com the price is $24.50. You can find it at target.com for $29.49. It is $38.99 at drugstore.com and $39.99 at walgreens.com.

There is a $5 coupon available here, where you can print the coupon for offline use, so this will help even more with the Icy Hot Smart Relief price.

You must, of course, also consider the price of replacement pads and batteries. Pads can be found in packs of two for about $10. Icy Hot Smart Relief Replacement pads can be found on amazon here.

What Do People Think?

Online Store Number of Reviews 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star 2 Star 1 Star
Walmart.com 100 49 16 9 9 17
Walgreens.com 22 13 3 0 2 4
Drugstore.com 7 1 2 1 0 3
Target.com 18 7 6 3 1 1

Are you wondering "does Icy Hot Smart Relief work?" According to many reviews the answer is yes.

72% of people on Walmart chose the “Would recommend to a friend” option which is actually pretty good. On drugstore.com the number of individuals who would recommend the unit is only 57% but that's not too bad.

Reviews about these electrical stimulation devices for back pain and shoulder/knee pain are generally fairly positive.

On walmart.com there are 100 total reviews. 49 gave it five stars and 17 gave it one star.

I have also read customer reviews mentioning that they got relief from sciatica, which could be important if you are suffering from this condition.

Smart Relief VS Other Tens Units

Icy Hot Smart Relief TENS Therapy

Omron electroTHERAPY Pain Relief Device PM3030

TENS 7000

HealthmateForever Pro-8AB
Modes 1 3 5 8
Channels Single Single Dual Dual
Pads 1 2 4 4
Intensity 63 5 8 20
Touch Screen No No No No
EMS No No No Yes
Battery 1 x 3V 2 x AAA 1 x 9V Rechargeable lithium
Size (inches) (H x W x D) 2.51 x 1.49 x 0.51 3.74 x 2.12 x 0.71 3.98 x 2.4 x 0.96 3.5 x 1.75 x 0.25
Weight (oz) 0.70 2.12 5.29 1.9
Warranty - 1 Year Warranty 1 Year Warranty Limited Lifetime Warranty
Price $ $ $ $$$
Rating 7.0 6.4 8.2 8.2
Icy Hot Smart Relief TENS Therapy

The Bottom Line

I have already mentioned the few complaints that customers seem to have with the product. It can be challenging to operate and adjust the intensity levels, there have been issues with electrodes, and the device also sometimes breaks down easily. Still, many people have been satisfied with the unit and have had good results.

Side By Side TENS Units Comparison

Pick the TENS Units you want to evaluate and compare specs, ratings, prices