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Hot weather tips: how to stay cool

We explore how to keep cool in the summer sun as UK temperature records keep being broken

Hot weather tips: how to stay cool

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s really rather hot at the moment. It’s so hot, in fact, that the Met Office has issued a heatwave warning and advised people to stay out of the sun this week.

According to the Met Office, Friday 27 July could be the warmest day of 2018 so far – and it could even break the all-time July record of 36.7°C (recorded at Heathrow in 2015). However, many of us haven’t really needed to depend on the Met Office for weather updates – the stuffy and restless nights have been perfectly informative enough.

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to stay cool while still enjoying the summer sun. It’s very important to do this, especially as we age.

The older we get, the worse the body becomes at regulating temperature and hydration by itself. Those with medical conditions such as breathing or heart problems can experience exacerbated symptoms, too.

Keeping cool in warm weather: our full must-read Which? Elderly Care guide runs through keeping cool, home adaptations and health considerations.

Top 9 tips on keeping cool

  1. Stay hydrated We’ll all be sweating a little more, so you might need to drink a little more water to avoid dehydration.
  2. Eat healthily A good and balanced diet helps the body work more efficiently.
  3. Conserve energy Try not to be at your most active during the warmest part of the day, if possible. If you’re out and about, seek shade.
  4. Dress appropriately Avoid thick tops and trousers, and dig out your light and airy clothing. If it’s made of cotton, even better.
  5. Cool your feet and wrists This can help you drift off when it’s time to hit the hay.
  6. Close your curtains or blinds Shut out the sun’s rays to prevent your room from overheating.
  7. Use an air conditioner If you’ve already got one, switch it on. If you don’t, take a look at our advice on how to buy an air conditioner, which takes into account your budget and needs.
  8. Grab a fan If an air conditioner is a step too far, buy a fan to help keep rooms cool. You could even get yourself an electric heater – while it might seem illogical, many of those we’ve tested have a cool air setting. You can then use the same unit to stay warm when the nights start drawing in and the temperature drops.
  9. Check your bedding If you have a memory foam mattress topper, take it off. Memory foam is notorious for warming up quickly. You might also want to consider buying a summer duvet. Interestingly, we recently looked into the best mattresses for keeping cool and found that quality ones were few and far between.

Protect your skin with Best Buy sun cream

As well as being painful and irritating, sunburn is very dangerous and is linked with skin cancer.

Our sun cream tests reveal which brands match their claimed sun protection factor (SPF), helping to protect your skin from harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays.

The top-rated sun creams not only pass our strict tests, but also feel nice to have on – that is, they don’t leave your skin feeling greasy or sticky.

Take a look at our Best Buy sun creams for more.

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