It’s no secret that as a nation we’re ill-equipped to deal with scorching temperatures, but every year without fail, there comes a heatwave where the weather emulates that of a Mediterranean country.
While we thought summer was over, another heatwave is upon is this September.
This usually means means sleepless, sticky nights, followed by commutes that leave you sweltering and your clothes most likely a little damp.
However, as most of the country continues to work from home, it means two things.
Firstly, no train or bus journeys in eye-wateringly high temperatures (and dealing with the sweat) and secondly, it means there's no escape from the heat at home, unless anyone has air-con, that is.
There are – thankfully – plenty of products to help keep your home and working life cooler, especially as they are so interwoven for the time being.
We’ve rounded up our favourite finds to make getting on with your day much more manageable.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
A godsend of course, but when shopping for a fan, consider how much room you have and how it will look in your workspace.
Don’t just buy the first one you find out of desperation, however tempting it may be. Instead invest in one that will not only keep your surrounding cool but will compliment it too.
Not only is this a fabulous fan – almost silent which is great for working, noticeably smooth air flow, automatic operation and no dangerous blades – but it doubles up as an effective heater in winter, and it also purifies air, capturing allergens, bacteria, pollen and mould spores inside your home.
It’s best used with the Dyson Link app (handy for pre-setting when you’re away from home), although the LCD screen has some onboard controls. It provides a wealth of information, including room temperature, the air quality both inside and outside your home, and which particles and gases it has detected.
If you’re limited on space, this Swan retro desk fan (Amazon, £40.33) is ideal and has a fun retro feel to it and comes in a range of funky colours including green, grey, red, blue, cream and black.
It’s part of a wider range that includes a pedestal fan but it’s the 12in desk fan that won us over as we found it a good size, as well as being quieter than other desk fans. It’s instantly cooling, although the adjustability is welcome, so it doesn’t blow those all-important documents right off your desk.
Ice, ice baby
To survive a heatwave working from home, you’ll need ice in abundance, so make sure you have an ice cube tray (or three) ready to fill.
As holidays abroad are off the cards for now, this BarCraft tropical shapes green silicone ice cube tray (Harts of Stur, £3.95) will bring the tropics to you with its pineapple, watermelon and cactus shapes.
It’s made from non-stick silicone so you won’t have any problems dispensing the cubes into your glass and it’s food-safe too, so you also use it to make jelly or sweets.
An ice lolly mould is fun too and makes the perfect pick-me-up treat when that afternoon slump hits and you still have work to get through.
This Lakeland lolly maker (Lakeland, £12.99) is easy to use and can be made as decadent or as healthy as you like.
All you need to do is add your ingredients, whether you’re opting for fruit and ice, yoghurt, chocolate and sprinkles or even cider or prosecco, close the lids and put in the freezer until frozen enough to eat.
The moulds make eight at a time and are dishwasher safe too.
Face mists and beauty saviours
One of our ultimate hacks is to liberally spritz your favourite face mist onto your skin (face and body) for an instant boost of refreshment.
If you want something that has skincare benefits beyond just being cooling, try the La Roche-Posay toleriane ultra 8 face moisturiser mist (Boots, £19.50) that’s like a moisturiser in a spray bottle and suits sensitive skin crying out for a moisture boost.
It alleviates any discomfort from sensitive skin and dryness and can be used in your skincare regimen throughout the day, over or under makeup. The formula is lightweight, fragrance-free and the droplets are fine so you won’t be left with giant droplets dripping down your face on your next zoom call.
For a cheaper option, the Avène soothing thermal spring water spray (Boots, £4.80) is one we can’t do without.
It soothes hot skin if you’ve spent too much time in the sun on your lunch break, takes the sting out of patches of eczema, is anti-inflammatory for sensitive skin and most importantly, cools you down when it’s too hot.
Our top tip is to spray it onto the face and body, then sit directly in front of a fan. The mist will go ice cold with the cool air and instantly make you feel better.
You can also pop your face mists and other skincare products, such as sheet masks and under-eye masks, in the fridge for 10 minutes to cool down overheating skin.
Under-eye masks are brilliant for making you feel more awake and can be applied and worn while you get on with work or in-between zoom meetings with your boss.
We loved the Milk Makeup cooling water under eye patches (Cult Beauty, £21 for a pack of six). As the name suggests, they’re deliciously cooling and are the equivalent of espresso for your under eyes.
The patches are supercharged with caffeine-supporting microcirculation along with seawater and aloe to sooth skin.
Or, treat yourself to a spot of pampering with these Skin Glow London hydrogel under eye treatment (Skin Glow London, £8).
Minimising dark circles and brightening the under-eye thanks to the turmeric and vitamin C formula once you’ve applied these, they’re so discreet you’d probably be able to get away with wearing them on your next video call.
The biggest downside of being uncomfortably hot is how difficult it is to get a good night's sleep, which often means being awake until the early hours until you’re forced to get up bleary-eyed and complete a full workday.
Aside from draining your energy, a lack of sleep makes it impossible to concentrate or be as productive.
The easiest answer to this is linen bedding and pyjamas. Linen is perfect for year-round style as it's breathable, durable, lightweight and adapt to the seasons to keep you cool in summer and toasty in winter.
Linen also has impressive eco-credentials: it’s made from the long fibres of the flax plant – one of the oldest continuously cultivated plants in the world, and a renewable source that’s fully biodegradable – so you can sleep soundly, snuggled up in your environmentally friendly bedding set.
The beauty of this linen bedding set is its simplicity. The fuss-free double duvet cover comes compete with two standard housewife pillowcases (these gave our pillows a snug and secure fit).
Our reviewer also found it also offers a pleasing texture that just gets better with wear. Lightweight and breathable, yet reliably durable, you can’t go wrong with this 100 per cent linen set. Team it with the matching sheet and square pillowcases for the full effect.
Don’t let your pyjamas get in the way of a good night’s sleep either. As an all-round multitasking material, linen is up to the job, as it dries quicker than cotton, so you won’t wake up with a soggy top.
We love this Piglet white linen pyjamas shorts set (Piglet, £90). Made from French flax linen – which is cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
In our guide to the best summer pyjamas, we found this set oozes luxury and you’ll absolutely want to wear it at breakfast, as well as all day on lazy Sundays too, and you certainlycertaintly won’t be caught out if someone rings the doorbell.