While summer can be a time to relax and have fun, oppressive temperatures and wild hair can often get in the way of a good time.
Ellen Levine, editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping magazine, shared some of the most-wanted summer tools for combating summer heat and what it can do to hair, as reviewed by researchers from the Good Housekeeping Institute.
Check out the fans, bottled coffee drinks, hair removal products and anti-frizz hair tools reviewed for Good Housekeeping magazine.
The Good Housekeeping Institute tested 32 fans (prices from $9.99 to $110) and came up with four winners, one for each category. The Institute's Engineers tested the fans based on four factors: ease of use; features; performance; and safety and appearance. They had staffers who were not engineers rate the importance of each category while taking into consideration the price to determine Best Overall winner.
Best Desk/Table Fan: Honeywell HFT-114B ($14.99): It's energy efficient (consumed only 20 watts of power at its highest setting). It's also inexpensive, small, quiet and light. The fan passed Good Houskeeping's safety test and there's no assembly required.
Best Box/Floor Fan: Honeywell HF-810 ($29.99): This fan does a great job of creating wind flow, with breezes detected as far as 60 feet away from the unit. It can circulate gusts of air in hallways and basements and also works well when angled to blow air up a staircase. Staffers praised the appearance. Note to parents: as with all box/floor fans the Institute tested, the Honeywell HF-810's large grates are not kid-safe for children under 3. No assembly required. No remote control.
Best Pedestal Fan: Lasko 2530 ($44.99): This fan is great for families with small kids because the grates are too small for fingers to get stuck in. It has an innovative space-saving design and is powerful enough to refresh a room quickly — air flow could be felt up to 44 feet away. Very quiet. Assembly required; took engineers about 11 minutes to set up. Fairly heavy at 11.4 pounds. Has a "Breeze" function that you can use when fan is oscillating to randomly fluctuate the speed of fan from high to low.
Best Window Fan: Holmes HAWF3159R-U ($49.99): This programmable double-rotor fan was one of the quietest the Institute tested. The twin fans can be set independently, meaning you can have both fans taking in air or blowing it out, or set one to intake and one to exhaust. It has three power levels, plus a thermostat and a 16-hour timer. It also has a remote control. Staffers thought it was very attractive. But, as with the Honeywell floor fan, keep kids under 3 away from this fan since they could get their fingers caught in the grates. No assembly required.
Iced Coffee Break: The Best Brews
No time to stop for coffee? Bottled drinks that taste like they were brewed by your local barista can be a convenient substitute. To find the best chilled java, Good Housekeeping's taste testers sipped five national brands and gave two top billing: The creamy Folgers and the rich-tasting Starbucks.
Folgers Jakada French Roast ($1.59 for 10.5 ounces): Testers said it had a good coffee flavor and creamy texture.
Starbucks Frappuccino ($1.49 for 9.5 ounces): The top brew in the mocha and vanilla categories.
Summer's Worst Enemy: Hair