The weird, rambunctious, and fragile human species was designed to operate safely within a very specific and narrow range of temperatures, and yet we’re constantly battling a massive fireball that just casually hangs out in the middle of our sky. And I’m no scientist, but apparently, it’s also supposed to help us survive? What kind of warped reality do we live in, anyway?! Oh... right.
Even if you love the sun, at some point, you’ll have to put up with its shit on days you really don’t want to, and we’re here to help. Here’s a list of things you should consider grabbing to stay cool in this summer heat. Most of the recommendations are for bringing down indoor temps, especially if you’ve had to give up every ounce of dignity you have and sleep inside a fridge like the guy above. If you’re outside, well, just strip as much as the legal limit allows wherever you are!
(Just kidding! We have a few cool things for that predicament, too. )
If you’re not living in the lap of luxury with central air, I’m here to present the new love of your life: A portable air conditioner. Actually, this one provides both cooling and heating, but we’re shunning the latter for at least the next few months, m’kay? M’KAY?!! M’kay.
We’re featuring Black & Decker’s unit here, which regularly runs just north of $400, more than reasonable for something like this. Sure, you could buy those window units much cheaper, but from someone who has accidentally dropped one from a second-story window, I sure wish I had one of these.
There are caster wheels and handles to easily roll it from room to room, and it ships with a remote to tweak the thermals in rooms up to 350 square feet between 55 degrees and 81 degrees Fahrenheit.
A quality fan is one of the most cost-effective ways to cool off. Far too many boast of powerful circulation with big blades and numerous speed settings, but you set them up and it feels like Dani just whispered “dracarys” in Drogon’s ear.
Then there’s Vornado, which you might mistake for a desk-bound weakling until you plug it in and witness it manipulating air around you better than Aang from Avatar ever could. At first glance, this $65 “medium” model’s dwarfed appearance doesn’t at all look conducive to your efforts, but don’t let that fool you: This thing can blow.
If your fridge doesn’t already have one, an ice maker is crucial. You can buy big bags of the frozen water relatively inexpensively at the local pumps, or you could make your own in the comfort of your own home.
Whether you’re throwing them into a nice summer drink, chilling a cooler of beers, or caressing them against your lips and other questionable body parts, ice cubes are worth their weight in gold, and you might as well make your own. This MagicChef ice maker churns out nine ice cubes in seven minutes, and can hold up to 1.5 pounds worth the stuff in its chamber.
We all know windows are meant to let light in, but a nasty byproduct of that is your house becomes a big ass heat box during the summer. These cheap sun-blocking shades will block said light much more intensively than typical curtains and blinds, but the downside is obviously that you’ll miss out on the warm healing properties of those sweet vitamin D rays. Amazon has them in a variety of styles and sizes.
Every summer, I’d look forward to my mom’s daily kitchen announcement: “Ooooh child, it’s too hot to turn the oven on!” (Quick black linguistics lesson: The “d” in “child” is silent.) That usually meant leftovers and microwaveables, but some days—if I didn’t run her up the wall and out of the house—it meant BBQ and takeout.
But if you really want something oven-fresh, consider a toaster oven. They’re not nearly as big as traditional ones, so the heat stays isolated to a small corner of your kitchen rather than a big oven hotboxing the entire floor it’s on. This $160 Cuisinart model is plenty roomy has seven different bake and broil options to go alongside everyone’s new favorite: air frying.
I recommend sleeping naked to fight the heat, but if that’s something you just can’t get down with and you absolutely need to stay covered, it’s time to buy some new bedding. You can find breathable sheets, comforters, and pillows (and their respective cases) in many different forms and styles.
Elegant Comfort’s microfiber bed-in-box sets are highly rated and come in various styles ranging from twin to king, plus they have side pockets! You don’t know it yet, but you’ve always wanted pockets on your sheets. You’ll need a mattress pad of similar ilk if you’re into those.
Making your own ice cream is a fun way to beat the heat, especially if you have kids. I mean, I don’t fully know what that’s like, because my grandma would bust out the old churner and make us do it by hand directly under the sun like the monster she is. But the reward—cooling down with ice cream we made with our very own hands—was well worth it.
I don’t recommend such a counterintuitive method, however, so I’ll just turn your attention to this affordable automatic Nostalgia bucket that makes up to four quarts in about 30 minutes.
In my house, the go-to for quick breakfast on a hot groggy morning is a bag of frozen fruit that has been absolutely obliterated by the strong blades inside the Nutribullet. Simple to use and easy to clean, you’ll have a cold and tasty drink packed with nutrients in minutes, which will help your body maintain high energy levels all day long.
We’ve already discussed the importance of a good ice maker. An ice cube tray is an affordable, but slower, alternative to ice-on-demand. Where it carves out a niche spot in your arsenal is in its ability to create your own custom popsicles! Just pour in your favorite juice, cover it with aluminum foil, poke some toothpicks or popsicle sticks into each reservoir, and throw it in the freezer. Before long, your tongue will be dancing a whole new tune.
I’m not sure this thing is the final piece your wedding ensemble needed to turn heads, but depending on how hot it is, no one would blame you. This portable fan blows air right up into your face as it hangs from the included lanyard, which makes it perfect for outdoor use. With 12-hour battery life on two AA cells, it’ll last all day.
Walking around with one of these on is like strolling into an Amish party with a smartphone: People will look at you like you’ve lost your damn mind. But the joke is on them. You won’t be drenched with sweat and sunburned to hot pink after a long day in the sun, and you won’t need your own personal marine following you around to hold an umbrella. (ThAnKs ObAmA!)
You could probably get away with something less gaudy, but with silver-coated cloth and a two-piece convertible design, this umbrella hat (or “double canopy hat” if you need it to sound less dorky) is built to battle both rain and rays, all the while your hands stay free for more pressing matters. (Again, ThAnKs ObAmA!)
I’ve used a Simple Modern bottle to keep my ice water icy for the past three years, and I’m still amazed every time I can wake up in the middle of the night and instantly cool my body. The amount of unique forms and styles within Simple Modern’s product line is bewildering, but these 34-ounce stainless steel Wave units are bottle-shaped, leak proof, and they come dressed in trip-tastic garb.
Sometimes, all you need is a quick, cool spritz to get you back into your comfort zone. I hope you’re carrying your Simple Modern, because alone, one of these 8oz spray bottles doesn’t hold much, and you’ll want to refill it with cold water just before use. There are six in a pack for just $17, and they come with three nozzle modes: stream, mist, and off.