As much as we love overheating at night and sweating through all layers of clothing, we’re ready for something to change. And since we likely still have several months of summer left, we tapped the experts at Wirecutter to find the best tools to keep you cool. While you may not be able to thrive in 90-plus degree weather, you can at least survive.
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Keeping bigger rooms in your home cool can be something of a nightmare. A small fan won’t cut it, a huge fan can be an eyesore, and opening the windows is totally out of the question. The Bionaire Twin Reversible Airflow Window Fan is the perfect solution to this problem. It’s noticeably more powerful than the other window fans Wirecutter tested, which means it’ll do a better job of keeping your whole room cool.($62; amazon.com)
Not all mini-fans are created equal. The highest-ranking fan on Wirecutter is the Vornado 630 Medium Air Circulator. Actually, the 630 isn’t technically a fan, it’s an air circulator. Air circulators are designed to create a vortex that circulates all the air in a room and cool down spaces a lot better than oscillating fans. Plus, the Vornado 360 is more reliable, easier to clean, and quieter than its noncirculating competitors.($70; amazon.com)
A fan that stays silent while doing its job is hard to come by. Never fear, Wirecutter found the best one on the market: the Dyson Air Multiplier AM06. It’s not cheap, but it’s the sleekest, quietest fan you can buy. It’s still immensely powerful, and its modern design means it won’t stand out like a sore thumb.($310; amazon.com)
Not all of us are blessed with central air conditioning (sigh), so window units it is. Though most look identical on the surface, not all are created equal. If you’re trying to find the best AC on a budget, go for the Frigidaire FFRE0833S1. While it’s not the quietest, it cools your space just the same. It’s also a lot easier to install than its more expensive counterparts.($254; amazon.com)
A portable air conditioner can sometimes be a pain, but Wirecutter found the best option for people who prefer one over a window unit: the Whynter Elite ARC-122DS. The Whynter is the best because of its cooling capabilities—it sucks the most hot air out of the room you’re trying to cool. Even better, it’s significantly smaller and easier to move than its competitors.($419; amazon.com)
Finding sheets that you don’t want to kick off the bed every sticky night can be a challenge, but Wirecutter found ’em: this percale set from Snowe. The sheets aren’t cheap, but you’ll feel the quality difference on the next grossly hot night.($188-$228; snowehome.com)
If you’ve never tried them, then trust us: Summer-specific undies are game-changing. The best pair of breathable underwear for women comes from Patagonia. The Active Hipster pair is perfect for women who travel, work out, or simply exist in the hot weather.($24; patagonia.com)
The top pick for breathable men’s underwear is the ExOfficio Give-n-Go boxer briefs. This pair is ideal for hot weather since it prevents chafing and keeps you cool while also staying super supportive. Again, if you’ve never tried sweat-wicking underwear, this summer is about to get way better.($23; amazon.com)
Blackout curtains are great for more than just sleeping in late.The Sebastian Insulated Total Blackout Window Curtains keep out nearly all the sun-induced heat. Go grab ’em to see just how much better you’ll sleep.($32.99+, bedbathandbeyond.com)
I scream, you scream, we all scream. The best ice cream maker out there is the Whynter ICM-15LS. It’s so easy to use and is guaranteed to churn out great treats, even after years of use. The Whynter ain’t cheap, but if you want quality (and homemade ice cream for years), it’s the way to go.($266; amazon.com)
Hot coffee is the last thing you want on sweltering days. Make your own cold brew with the Filtron Cold Water Coffee Concentrate Brewer. It’s affordable and performs just as well as the more expensive guys.($40; amazon.com)
We all have an old cooler lying around a garage somewhere that dates back to the 1980s, and it probably does a solidly mediocre job at summer barbecues. But can that cooler keep ice solid for a full week? No? Well, the Coleman 70-Quart Xtreme Marine Cooler can. That’s why it’s Wirecutter’s top choice—not only is it the best performing cooler out there, it’s also affordable and easy to clean. Score.($36; walmart.com)
Photos by Michael Hession