It's hot. Too hot. Uncomfortable and ice cream-craving hot. In a country where air conditioners are the exception, rather than the rule, we need a few things to help keep us comfortable on the few days of the year when it gets like this. Here are some of those things, which should help keep your self nice and cool in the coming days and weeks.
Magic Multi Functional Cool Gel Pad, £11
One of the worst things about hot weather is trying to get to sleep. It's basically impossible when it's too warm, so you need to do everything you can to cool off. One way is to keep your pillow nice and cold, and this gel pad can help. Simply slip it into your pillow (or under your sheets) at night, and it'll react to your body temperature and cool everything down - no refrigeration required. [Buy it here]
If you want something a bit more immediate (and advanced) you can for the Gel'O Cool Pillow Matt (£26), which can be refrigerated to offer a lovely cool feeling. This one also conforms to your body shape while still providing support, and can be used as a heated pad in the winter. If that wasn't enough, you can also use this sleeping mask that does the exact same thing.
USB Misting Fan, £14.49
Fans are a great way to cool yourself off, but adding a mist of water into the mix can make it a hell of a lot more effective. This one has three misting functions, along with a humidifier effect should ever decide the heat needs some extra humidity. The great thing about it, however, is that it has its own built-in rechargeable battery. That's 2,000 mAh, which is more than you get in some top tier smartphones, and what way you can get your cool on wherever you are. [Buy it here]
Or failing that you can get a regular USB fan, which will cost you £9.
Cooling Towels, £6 each
If you need some instant relief, you can always pull out a bag of frozen food to hold against your person. But that's not good for said food, which you'll want to eat someday, so grab one of these towels instead. Just soak them in water, wring out the excess, and you'll get as lovely cool feeling for the next few hours. [Buy it here]
If towels aren't for you, there's also a baseball cap (£9.04) that uses the same basic principles. Just soak it in water, and you should get a nice cooling effect for four to eight hours.
Bestaway Inflatable Paddling Pool, £22
There's no better way to cool off than taking a dip in water, but most of us don't have a swimming pool - nor can we hang around at the local pool all day. So you might as well get yourself the next best, and most affordable, thing: a paddling pool with enough room for the family. Just don't be surprised when your water bill arrives, because this thing has a 778 litre capacity. [Buy it here]
Cooper Rapid Beverage Chiller, £66.24
Need your newly purchased drinks to be cooled down, like now? You could put them in the fridge or freezer, but that requires some waiting while thermodynamics does its thing. Or you can use this gizmo which is specifically designed to cool down your drinks quickly. One minute to be exact, though it will take a couple of minutes more if you want them to be cooler than cool (ice cold). [Buy it here]
Corkcicle Booze Chillers, £10-£15 each
Got a bottle that you need to keep cool? The fridge could work, or you could use these handy little gizmos. It's a combination cork and cooling rod, and you keep them in the freezer until you need them. Just slip them in, and your drinks will be kept nice and cool for far longer than they normally would. There are larger versions for wine bottles (£10 each), and smaller one for the folks who like bottled beer (£15 each).
If you're more the type for drinking out of a glass, you can get freezable glasses that offer a similar effect. They cost £12.12 each, and all you need to do it throw them in the freezer until you're ready to drink.
Nivea Protect and Refresh Sun Spray, £6.38 a bottle
Suncream is important in hot weather, even in the UK. If you're going to put some on (and you should), you can get something a little better than the usual bottle you might pick up in Boots. Nivea's Protect and Refresh will not only protect you from the dangers of solar radiation, it also has a cooling effect that should help you feel more comfortable in the heat. It's available in factor 30 and factor 50 if you're pasty and/or prone to burning. Both factors are water resistant, and non-greasy.
Cooling Collar, £5.52
Alright, alright, this is actually designed for dogs, but there's no reason why this won't work on human beings. We are all mammals after all! Though you might need two to fit around your larger human neck. It's got a velcro strap, and you need to freeze it beforehand, but given how much blood travels through your neck (quite close to the surface, as any vampire will know), cooling that down can do wonders for keeping the rest of you nice and cold. [Buy it here]
Home Draught Beer Pump, £40
A nice cold beer is what many people would love to do on a hot day, but what if you could get a draught pint without having to pay pub prices (or actually leave the house)? This contraption will turn your beer cans into draught beer, without costing you a fortune in new equipment. It's not the most practical of devices, bu if you suck at pouring beer from a can this is well worth a purchase. [Buy it here]
If you have a lot more money to spend, you can buy a more serious pump that uses special five litre kegs - and cools it all down to three degrees Celsius. But That's £250, plus the price of the kegs.
Cool Air Breathing Car Seat, £35
One for the car and the office, providing a breezy breathable layer between you and the seat itself - because fans and air conditioners can only do so much when your back is pressed against something. It plugs into the cigarette lighter, and has adjustable cooling so you can be as comfortable as possible. [Buy it here]
YOUR Bottle! Vacuum Sealed Water Bottle, from £17
Drinking enough water is important in hot weather, but we all know that warm water tastes like arse. Thankfully these vacuum-sealed bottles can keep your cold water cool for up to 24 hours, and promises to be completely leakproof. Multiple varieties are available, capable of holding 500ml, 750ml, and 1 litre of water. Sadly the more capacity you want, the more you'll have to pay. [Buy it here]
Ice Maker Machine, £140
Ice is an easy way to cool your drinks down, but you either have to buy bags of the stuff that takes up space in your freezer, or you have to keep filling up your ice cube trays. This machine can keep you topped up, producing ice every 10-15 minutes. Just fill it up with water and you're good to go. It might be pricey, and rather large, but it offers a bit more peace of mind - and means you won't be running out of ice anytime soon. [Buy it here]
Slushie Maker, £40
What's a better way to stay cool than to literally drink ice? That's what makes the slushie machine so great. It's cool, delicious, and this machine means you won't be forced to overpay for what is basically ice and syrup. yeah it's a bit pricey, but you can get use out of this all year round - especially when the weather is like this. It even has a pouring spout so you don't need to dismantle the thing to get yourself a drink. [Buy it here]