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Five budget buys to keep you cool this summer

Discover affordable ways to keep cool and comfortable all season long. From portable fans to cooling towels, elevate your summer experience and embrace the joy of feeling refreshed in the heat.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Jun 29, 2023

Selection of keep cool products

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With temperatures soaring, it's essential to find effective solutions to keep cool and comfortable during the scorching summer months. However, many will understandably be reluctant to splash out hundreds on a top-of-the-range portable air conditioner or other seasonal buys during a cost of living crisis. That's where we come in; we've teamed up with Amazon to bring you five must-have items that can help you create a refreshing oasis without breaking the bank.

When it comes to keeping cool indoors, finding the right products can make a noticeable difference to your home. Firstly, a high-quality tower fan or air circulator can provide a refreshing breeze; just make sure you opt for powerful but energy-efficient models that won't skyrocket your electricity bill, and be mindful of how often you use them. Also consider investing in window coverings like blackout curtains to block out the sun's rays and keep your living spaces cool and shaded - you'll certainly be thankful of them when a heatwave rolls around!

If you're spending time outdoors, there are budget-friendly accessories that can help you stay comfortable in the heat. Portable misting fans or cooling towels can provide instant relief when you're on the move, while lightweight and breathable clothing made from moisture-wicking fabrics can help you stay cool and dry during outdoor activities.

Whether you're out and about or seeking respite at home, these Amazon products offer practical and cost-effective ways to stay cool during the sweltering summer days, from as little as £15.

Plus, for more summer inspiration, we've rounded up Mumsnetters' best cooling boxes and favourite cooling pillows to beat the heat this year.

1. Rafada Handheld Fan

Rafada handheld fan

Price on writing: £19 | Buy now from Amazon

What Mumsnetters say

"Those little handheld fans are good." - advice from LagneyandCasey

This mini portable fan is not only convenient but also packs a powerful punch. With its built-in 4200mAh battery, it can provide up to 13 hours of cooling relief on a single charge, making it perfect for those long, hot days.

Whether you need a gentle breeze or a stronger gust, this fan has got you covered. The one-button design makes it easy to switch between different speeds, ensuring that you can find the perfect airflow for any situation. The LED display conveniently shows the current windspeed and battery level, and the five-blade design maximises airflow for a refreshing breeze. Additionally, the removable fan guard allows for easy cleaning, ensuring that you can maintain optimal performance while keeping dust and allergens at bay.

Weighing only 190 grams, it's lightweight and easy to carry wherever you go. Use it as a handheld fan, hang it around your neck with the included lanyard for hands-free cooling, or place it on your desk for a personal breeze while working. It's a versatile companion that will keep you cool and collected throughout the summer heatwaves.

2. Miulee Blackout Velvet Curtain


Price on writing: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

What Mumsnetters say

"I used to live in Florida. Thermal curtains will help a lot [in the heat]. They will also help keep the room warmer in winter." - advice from LifeExperience

With a 70-85% blackout effect, these curtains create a darkened environment that helps to keep the sun's rays at bay and maintain a cooler temperature indoors. They also have the added advantage of reducing noise, ensuring a peaceful and comfortable environment for your family. Whether you want to enjoy a restful night's sleep or create a cool sanctuary during the scorching summer days, these curtains are a great investment and are far cheaper than a lot of room fans.

With an interior diameter of 1.6 inches, the grommet holes are well-crafted, ensuring smooth and effortless hanging. The curtains are sewn meticulously at each edge, displaying fine craftsmanship. They are machine washable in cold water, allowing for easy cleaning and upkeep. For a quick refresh, tumble dry or give them a light ironing or steam clean at a low temperature.

Related: Keep hydrated in summer with the best reusable water bottles

3. Elegear Cooling Blanket

Elegear cooling blanket

Price on writing: £36 | Buy now from Amazon

What Mumsnetters say

"You can get cooling blankets made with a magic material that always feels cold, I busted mine out this weekend and it's great. All on amazon." - advice from unvillage

If your pedestal fan alone isn't cutting it, the Elegear Cooling Blanket is a recommended choice that offers a refreshing and comfortable sleep experience. Designed with advanced Japanese Arc-Chill cool technology fabric, this blanket is specially crafted to absorb body heat, instantly reducing skin temperature by 2 to 5°C. It's the perfect solution for those experiencing night sweats or struggling to sleep in hot conditions.

The double-sided design of the blanket adds versatility to its cooling properties. One side is made of a special blend of mica nylon and PE cool fabric, providing a cool and breathable surface that is ideal for summer use. On the other hand, the back is made of 100% cotton, so it is suitable for spring, autumn, or even year-round use.

Along with cooling capabilities, it also prioritises breathability and softness. The proprietary jade stone particles embedded in the fabric enhance its soft and smooth texture, so it is a pleasure to touch. Additionally, the 100% cotton back layer promotes excellent breathability, making it safe and hypoallergenic for sensitive skin.

Read next: Relax in the shade this summer with our pick of the best hammocks

4. Sukeen Cooling Towel

Cooling towel

Price on writing: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

What Mumsnetters say

"Order some cooling towels." - advice from Geansai on dealing with a heatwave

The Sukeen Cooling Towel is designed for convenience and reusability, without the need for any chemicals. Made with a hyper-evaporative breathable mesh material, activating the cooling towel is as simple as soaking it, wringing it out, and snapping it. The unique cooling system draws moisture away from your skin, keeping you refreshed and comfortable without the use of harmful substances. This makes it an eco-friendly choice that can be used repeatedly.

The towel comes with a carrying pouch that includes a convenient carabiner clip. This allows you to attach the towel to your sports bag or backpack, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. It's perfect for personal cooling, whether you're at the office, engaged in outdoor activities like camping or hiking, or even enjoying a day at a theme park or watching a sporting event. Don't let sultry weather ruin your day when this chilly towel can be your trusty companion.

5. Begleri Portable Air Conditioner

Begleri air conditioner

Price on writing: £60 | Buy now from Amazon

While a lot of portable air conditioners will set you back hundreds of pounds, this mini version is a great idea if you're struggling in the heat but don't want to splash too much cash. Controlling it is simple with the included remote control and LCD display. The remote control has a range of 19ft, allowing you to adjust the settings while comfortably sitting or lying down. With the upgraded signal receiving panel, you can easily control the air conditioner from multiple angles, too.

The device is an energy-saving alternative to traditional fans and air conditioners. By adding water or ice water, you can create a refreshing airflow, but keep in mind that it is designed for personal use and cannot cool an entire room.

Featuring a larger capacity water tank, two mist sprayers, and three speed options, this air conditioner offers versatility and customisation. It operates with a low noise level of ≤55dB, making it suitable for a comfortable sleep. Additionally, the air conditioner includes seven colour lights that can create a soothing atmosphere, adding a touch of relaxation to your surroundings. It can also be used on desks, tables, and in offices to provide immediate relief from the summer heat.

Related: The best desk fans for your home office