The Best Gadgets to Help You Beat the Heat

By Tom Pritchard on at

This heat wave is a right bitch, isn't it? We're not used to these sorts of temperatures in this country, and it doesn't look like they'll be going anywhere anytime soon. So rather than grabbing yourself an expensive air conditioning unit to stop your home from turning into an oven, try some of this cooling tech instead.

Even if this heatwave were to disappear tomorrow, you can be sure more hot days will appear before summer is up. So be prepared!

USB Fan, £1.70

If you're sitting at a desk all day, you want something blasting cool air at you none-stop and it would be ideal if it didn't need a plug socket. USB fan to the rescue! Just plug it in, make sure it's pointed at you, and you're good to go. Plus, it's not restricted to your desk. If you have a USB battery pack, you can take it into the outside world for portable cooling power. [Buy it here]

While you're buying tech to keep yourself cool when you're working, think about your poor computer as well. If it's a laptop, grab yourself a cooling pad to make sure it doesn't catch whatever the computer version of heat stroke is.

Dyson Bladeless Desk Fan, £250

I promise this won't just be a list of fans, but if you want a step up from the tiny USB fan and have money to spend then Dyson has you covered. it has no blades, so you don't need to worry about getting your fingers trapped or it falling over and shredding things. This also means it makes less noise, uses less power, and is easier to clean that that £20 one you got at Tesco. [Buy it here]

Gel'O Cool Pillow Mat, £25

The only thing worse than sleeping in a hot bed is sleeping with a hot pillow, so do something about that will you? This mat can go on or under your pillow, and will conform to all pillow shapes. Aside from the cool feeling you'll get with use, you won't even know it's there. Just make sure to refrigerate it before hand, or it'll be useless. [Buy it here]

Andrew James Ice Cream Maker, £28

When the weather's hot, all you want to do is sit around in your pants eating ice cream (or is that just me?). The problem is heading out to buy said ice cream is not possible in just your pants. So buy an ice cream maker and ditch clothes from the equation entirely. This one is nice and cheap, with enough room to whip up 1.45 litres of icy goodness. That's nearly three times more than your average tub of Ben & Jerrys. [Buy it here]

Clip-on Solar Powered Fan, £5

Looking to off-set the cost of powering your cooling tech? This might help a bit, since it's a clip-on fan with built-in solar panels. If it's too hot in this country chances are the sun is out as well, so you don't have to worry about it getting enough light. [Buy it here]

USB Mini Fridge, £25

Some people say that hot drinks are best for regulating temperature on hot days, but I say those people have never experience the joy of a freezing cold beverage when the weather is hotter than hell itself. So make sure you've got the kit to keep your drinks cool, and a USB-powered mini fridge on your desk is ideal. Not only does it keep your drinks nice and cold, it's always within reach. It only has room for two cans (or one bottle), though, so make sure to keep it topped up. [Buy it here]

Corkcicle Booze Chillers

You have to keep your booze cool, but stuffing your bottles into the fridge is a bit inefficient. Wouldn't it be better to cool your wine/beer/whatever down from the inside? Glad you agree, because there are some bits that can do just that. From Corkcicle come these booze chillers that get plugged inside the bottle, and cool it down the right way. They're basically very long and narrow ice packs that you can stuff into your beer and wine (£15 each). Just stick them in the freezer, and pull them out when you're ready.

If you're not fond of the bottled stuff, give these freezing pint glasses (£13) a go instead. Again, keep them in the freezer and pull them out whenever you need them.

Cooling Towel Two Pack, £12

Need some instant relief from the heat, but more than a fan can offer? Put that bag of peas away and use this instead. It's a micro fibre towel that stays cool for hours without any batteries.Just soak it in water, wring out the excess, and you're good to go. It's long enough to be draped around your shoulders too. [Buy it here]

Cooling Dog Coat, £33

You shouldn't worry about keeping yourself cool in this heat. Think about your furry companions as well. Like the cooling towel it's activated by water, so just give it a soak and throw it on them. It's designed for dogs, so think twice before you get into a fight putting this on any pet cats you might have. [Buy it here]

If you're not fond of that, you can always go for a cooling mat. It doesn't need soaking, but manages to keep itself powered from your pet's movements. It's activated by weight and pressure as well, so it won't be cooling the surrounding air when it's not in use.

A Paddling Pool, £17

Sometimes it helps to go as low-tech and possible, and nothing beats the cooling effect of being in water. Since the large majority of people don't own their own swimming pools, and public pools are bound to be full of people, you better take matters into your own hands. You can't beat a paddling pool, although your water bill might take a bit of a hit. Try this one, it's family sized so it should be big enough for pretty much all your needs. [Buy it here]

Super-Soaker Bottle Blitz, £10

Another great low-tech option, in case a pool isn't an option for some reason. It'll require more than one person to get the full effect, but if you need to cool down and don't have any tech on you, this will do nicely. This one works because it fires water from a removable bottle, which you can refill from the tap/hose. [Buy it here]