Written by Richard Baguley and Séamus Bellamy
Updated January 27, 2023
Tired of throwing away money on alkaline batteries? Single-use batteries are cheaper upfront, but investing in a good set of rechargeable AA batteries that'll provide years of service in toys, flashlights or TV remote controls will save you a lot of money in the long run. So what are the best rechargeable batteries?
After hours of testing, the Energizer Recharge Universal (available at Amazon) ended up being our top pick. They provide the best balance of capacity and price, holding about 2,200 mAh of charge and supporting up to 1,000 charge cycles. Interestingly, Energizer lists the capacity of these batteries at 2,000 mAh, but we found them to hold even more in our real-world tests.
For a less expensive alternative, we recommend Amazon Basics Rechargeable Batteries. Each individual cell holds about 1,800 mAh of charge, so your devices won’t run for as long as they would with the Energizers or other higher-capacity batteries. There are less expensive rechargeable AA batteries out there, but they come in packs of 12 at a minimum—which drives the price up. And most people don’t need that many batteries anyway.
The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.
Energizer Recharge Universal
The Energizer Recharge Universal is our Best Overall pick, as it provides the best balance of price and performance: $19.98 gets you a pack of eight batteries, for an individual cost of $2.50. Each battery holds an above-average 2,300 mAh.
Interestingly, Energizer lists its capacity at 2,000 mAh, far less than what we measured in our tests. That’s somewhat against the grain, as most of the other batteries stored less than their rated capacities. During testing, the Energizer Recharge Universal kept our fan going for just over seven hours. And in the case of our flashlight test, four hours and 10 minutes.
Energizer claims that these batteries can handle up to 1,000 recharge cycles, which is pretty standard for the NiMH battery type. We weren’t able to test this, but 1,000 recharge cycles are more than enough for most uses: even if you charge them once a week, they should still be good for about five years.
Best balance of price and performance
Can handle 1000 recharge cycles
More expensive than other options
Buy now at Amazon
If price is a concern, Amazon Basics’ AA rechargeable batteries are for you. These batteries come pre-charged, so you can use them straight away. However, they don’t hold a huge amount of juice. During testing, we found their average capacity was 1,800 mAh—well below their stated 2,000 mAh rating.
So you’ll get less life out of these low-cost batteries than from our main pick. A set of four, for instance, could only run our battery-powered fan for just over four and a half hours, while other batteries we tested managed seven hours or longer. They’re a great value compared to disposable batteries, and more environmentally friendly.
Lowest price-to-performance ratio
Lower price translates into lower charge capacity
$26.53 from Amazon
Duracell, the 800-pound gorilla of the battery world, offers rechargeable batteries, and they’re a solid pick. We found that each battery held about 2,400 mAh of charge, just a bit below their 2,500 mAh rating. The Duracells kept our fan running for over seven hours and our LED flashlight running for three hours and twenty minutes.
One possible issue with these batteries is that they’re only rated for 400 charge cycles. That’s a lot less than the thousand or more that others offer, and that might be an issue if you use them on a daily basis.
Actual charge capacity close to advertised capacity
Only rated for 400 charge cycles
Buy now at Amazon
EBL 2,800 mAh High Capacity
The EBL 2,800 mAh High Capacity batteries came close to living up to their name. We found that they held an impressive 2,600 mAh—the largest capacity of any battery we tested. The EBLs ran our fan for just under six hours and our flashlight for three and a half hours. They come pre-charged and in a handy plastic case that makes them easier to store.
This might sound like a small thing, but storing them properly helps prevent self-discharge, where the charge slowly leaks out over time.
Highest capacity in our tests
High per-battery cost
Buy now at Amazon
Panasonic Eneloop Pro
For rechargeable batteries, you have to consider two things: how much charge the battery can hold, and how long it can hold it for. The Eneloop Pros don’t have the largest capacity in our tests: we found that they held about 2,200 mAh in each cell. This made them capable of keeping our fan running for over five hours and our flashlight shining for over four and a half.
Enloop Pros have a reputation for holding onto their charge, when not in use, for a long time. Panasonic claims that they will still hold onto 85% percent of their initial charge after sitting on a shelf for a year.
That’s important for devices that you don’t use that often, but which need to be ready to go when you need them, like a lamp you keep for power outages. They would also be a great pick for an emergency preparedness kit.
They aren’t cheap; sometimes, they cost twice as much as the same number of Amazon Basics batteries. But if you need a battery that you can rely on in a pinch, they’re a sound investment.
Stores charge for a long time
Far more expensive than similar products
$29.92 from Amazon
These AA batteries held an impressive 2,300 mAh of charge. That’s less than the 2,700 mAh they’re rated at, but still respectable—especially given their price.
Powerex says their batteries will retain 75% of their charge after a year on the shelf. That’s 5% less juice than Panasonic claims for their Eneloop Pro. However, the Powerex Pros sell for considerably less.
2,300 mAh capacity
holds 75% charge up to a year in storage
Can't hold in-storage charge as long as Eneloop Pros
$22.95 from Amazon
Bonai’s inexpensive high-capacity batteries are rated to hold 2,800 mAh of charge. In our tests, we found that they stored closer to 2,200 mAh. That’s very respectable for such a low-cost battery.
Bonai claims that these batteries will survive 1,200 charge cycles: that’s a couple of hundred more cycles than most. Charge them once a day and they should last you over three years.
Rated for 1,200 recharge cycles
Can be charged, daily, for over three years
More expensive than competing products
Buy now at Amazon
Tenergy is a newer battery manufacturer that is making a splash by offering low-cost batteries with high capacities. Their premium AA batteries come with a 2,500 mAh rating, Unfortunately, in our tests, the batteries only held about 1,900 mAh of charge. This translated into a short run-time for our test devices: long. just under six hours for our fan, and just over three and a half for our flashlight.
Offered 600 mAh less power than stated 2,500 mAh capacity
Buy now at Amazon
Tenergy Rechargeable (2500mAh)
Tenergy's value-priced AA batteries are designed for more general use in low powered devices, like a universal remote or kitchen scale. A pack of twelve of these batteries is the smallest quantity that you can invest in. Need more? Tenergy has you covered: a gross of 60 of their AA batteries can be had as well.
During testing, we found the Tenergys had a capacity of 2,000 mAh—that’s slightly more power than our Best Value pick. Despite this, we suggest most people stick with our Amazon Basics pick: most people simply don’t need 12 or 60 AA batteries rolling around their home’s junk drawer. A pack of eight often proves to be more than enough.
Low per-battery cost
Smallest buying option contains 12 batteries
Buy now at Amazon
How we tested rechargeable batteries
The most important things about rechargeable batteries are how much charge they can hold and how quickly they can deliver it.
So we tested them by doing just that, using two high-end rechargeable battery chargers (a La Crosse BC700-CBP and a SkyRC MC3000) to measure the amount of charge that each of the batteries could hold, testing four of each and averaging the result. We tested AA batteries as these are the most commonly used size for modern electronics such as TV remotes, smart doorbells, and outdoor security cameras.
To see how long the batteries in our test group would last, we used them to run two devices: a small battery-powered fan and a powerful flashlight.
Drawing 0.6 and 1.4 Amps, respectively, these devices allowed us to measure how long each battery can run during low-drain and high-drain use. For these tests, we ran our fan at maximum speed, recording how long it kept rotating. Our flashlight was operated at maximum brightness—roughly 350 lumens—as we recorded how long it stayed lit.
When the blades stopped turning, the time was noted and the test was stopped. In instances where I had to step away from observing the test, I set up a GoPro camera to record the operation of the fans, just in case one stopped running before I got back.
How do rechargeable batteries work?
Rechargeable batteries are pretty simple devices, but there’s a lot of jargon surrounding them. Here’s our guide to the terms you need to know to make an informed choice.
NiMH: Nickel Metal Hydride. The chemistry inside the battery that stores the electrical charge. One side of the battery is made of Nickel Oxide Hydroxide, and the other is made of an alloy of several rare earth metals.
When the battery is charged, the Nickel Oxide Hydroxide gives up a Hydrogen ion, which is absorbed by the alloy. When the battery is used, this is reversed, creating a flow of electric charge out of the battery.
Charger: the device that controls the flow of charge into a battery. You should never use a NiMH battery (like the ones in this guide) with a non-NiMH charger, as this can damage them.
LSD: Low Self-Discharge. All batteries lose a certain amount of charge over time, even when they are not connected to anything. This is called self-discharge.
Typically, a NiMH battery will lose up to half its charge if stored for a year. Some brands minimize this with extra insulation inside the battery.
mAh: milliamp-hours. A measure of the amount of charge that can be stored in a battery. 1 mAh is a flow of one milliamp over an hour, so a 2500 mAh battery can deliver 2500 milliamps (or 2.5 Amps) for one hour, or 250 milliamps for 10 hours.
Cycles or Recharge Life: Each full charge and discharge is one battery cycle. All batteries lose capacity when used, meaning that they can store a little less charge with each cycle. Manufacturers offer a cycle life, a number of cycles that the battery can go through before it loses a certain amount of its capacity. This is defined in a standard called IEC 61951-2.
Other Sizes and Adapters: We focused on rechargeable AA batteries for this guide as they are, by far, the most commonly used battery size. They can also be used to power devices that require C- and D-size batteries, too. All you have to do is pop them into an appropriately-sized adapter and you’re in business. This adapter set from Eneloop is a great option for anyone interested in doing this.
More Articles You Might Enjoy
- The Best Nintendo Switch Chargers
- The Best Portable Chargers
- The Best Wireless Chargers
- The Best Flashlights
Meet the testers
Richard Baguley is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.
See all of Richard Baguley's reviews
Séamus Bellamy is a senior editor on Reviewed's Electronics Team. When he's not busy ensuring his team's The Best Right Now roundups are up-to-date, he spends his time reviewing, smartwatches, tablets, fringe tech, and writing how-to guides.
See all of Séamus Bellamy's reviews
Checking our work.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.
Shoot us an email
Who makes the longest lasting rechargeable AA battery? ›
1. Panasonic Eneloop Pro: The best AA rechargeables. Google “best rechargeable battery” and chances are Panasonic's Eneloop range will top the bill.What is the next generation of rechargeable batteries? ›
Solid-state polymer lithium-ion batteries with better safety and higher energy density are one of the most promising batteries, which are expected to power future electric vehicles and smart grids.Which brand of rechargeable batteries delivers charge the longest before needing to be recharged? ›
Best Overall: Panasonic Eneloop AA Battery
These batteries are sold having been fully charged at the factory using solar power. Their capacity is rated at up to 2,000 mAh (with a minimum of 1,900 mAh), and they can be recharged an impressive 2,100 times.
On the performance scale, Li-ion batteries outperform NiMH in most categories. They have a longer overall life cycle of five years, compared to the NiMH life cycle of two to five years.Are eneloops still the best? ›
The Eneloop pro AA and AAA NiMH ready-to-use starter pack is the best overall. These batteries can be recharged up to 500 times, maintain 85% of their charge for up to one year, and come pre-charged by solar power (at the factory) -- so they are ready to use out of the package.What rechargeable batteries last the longest? ›
Which type of rechargeable batteries lasts the longest? Our guide walks you through several different battery options, but it's the Panasonic Eneloop and Eneloop Pro that consistently come out on top in most departments.What is the new super battery? ›
SuperBattery is an innovative technology combining the characteristics of supercapacitors and batteries. 60 seconds of charging will allow for up to 30 minutes of driving, eliminating long charging breaks.What company is making the new super battery? ›
Solid-state batteries are the “forever battery” technology that QuantumScape is developing. QuantumScape is basically pioneering a new class of solid-state batteries to make the world infinitely more productive. In our opinion, these batteries represent the future of, well, everything!Is there a rechargeable battery that lasts forever? ›
Like the name suggests, a diamond battery lasts forever. Its effective life is more than 20,000 years or approximately 28,000 years.Should you leave rechargeable batteries plugged in all the time? ›
Avoid leaving your batteries in a charger for more than 24 hours. Whilst most intelligent chargers are set to a trickle charge once the rechargeable battery is fully charged, to avoid damage to the battery, it is still best to take the batteries out of the charger once they are charged.
What happens if you leave rechargeable batteries charging for too long? ›
Overcharging occurs when the device or battery is plugged into a charger after full charge has been reached and may reduce battery life. Battery University recommends that nickel- and lithium-based batteries be stored with a 40 percent state-of-charge.What are the disadvantages of NiMH batteries? ›
The main drawbacks of nickel-metal hydride batteries are their high cost, strong self-rate, and the fact that they produce a large amount of heat at extreme temperature. Hybrid electric cars, but instead of rechargeable electric vehicles, often utilise these batteries because of the challenges they provide.What is the biggest disadvantage of a lithium-ion battery? ›
Despite its overall advantages, lithium-ion has its drawbacks. It is fragile and requires a protection circuit to maintain safe operation. Built into each pack, the protection circuit limits the peak voltage of each cell during charge and prevents the cell voltage from dropping too low on discharge.What are the pros cons of NiMH? ›
Pros: Good alternative to Alkalines in most situations, high power density, "standard" size, better capability than alkalines, pretty easy to recharge but not as rugged. Cons: More expensive than Ni-Cads, service life isn't as long, self-discharges quickly.Should I buy Eneloop or eneloop pro? ›
Eneloop PROs are more fragile and die faster than regular Eneloops. Eneloop PRO batteries are not recommended in very low-drain devices such as clocks. The main reason is their higher self-discharge rate. It is much more economical to use Eneloop Lite or standard Eneloops in that case.What is the longest lasting AA battery? ›
Nothing outlasts Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ AA batteries. The Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ batteries are not only the #1 longest-lasting AA batteries…they are complete with leak resistance and performance in extreme temperatures (-40ºF to 140ºF or -40ºC to 60ºC).How many years do rechargeable AA batteries last? ›
Rechargeable batteries typically last between two and five years and can be recharged hundreds of times. While they cost more than alkaline batteries, they last longer per use than alkaline batteries and end up saving you money in the long run.Which is better Energizer or Duracell rechargeable batteries? ›
Which brand of rechargeable batteries is superior: Energizer or Duracell? Duracell. Duracell lasts longer, despite having a lower energy charge measurement of 2000 mAh for their AA batteries, whereas Energizer AA has 2200 mAh.Why do my rechargeable batteries keep dying? ›
In Lithium-ion batteries a film builds up on both electrodes with each charge and discharge cycle which blocks the movement of ions. As the electrodes become ever more covered in these materials their ability to be part of the chemical reaction needed to make the battery work degrades.What is the most promising battery technology? ›
- New-Generation Lithium-Ion Battery. A conventional lithium-ion battery uses lithium-ion as a key component of its electrochemistry. ...
- Lithium-Sulfur Battery. ...
- Saltwater Battery. ...
- Solid State Battery. ...
- Cobalt-Free Lithium-ion Battery.
Is there a better alternative to lithium? ›
1. Aqueous Magnesium Batteries. If it were not for a few key issues, magnesium metal would be an ideal candidate to replace lithium 一 it is the eighth most common element, non-toxic, has a negative electrochemical potential, and has a high capacity thanks to its additional valence electron.What is the battery that could change the world? ›
In short, lithium-sulfur batteries could allow a huge range of activities to go electric, making net-zero emissions far more feasible. Incredibly, it gets even better. Lithium, sulfur, and other materials that make this new battery are abundant all over the Earth.What is the holy grail of batteries? ›
The new type of battery I am working on — the lithium metal battery — is the “holy grail” of battery technology because it could provide the highest possible energy density, potentially double that of lithium-ion batteries. This means we could get double the mileage of an EV on a single charge.What is a 2023 battery? ›
Energizer CR2032 3 Volt Lithium Coin Battery, 10 Count (Pack of 1)What battery company has Bill Gates invested in? ›
Form Energy Inc., an energy-storage company backed by Bill Gates's Breakthrough Energy Ventures, is planning a $760 million factory in West Virginia, the latest plant announced in the aftermath of President Joe Biden's landmark climate law.What company makes the so called forever battery? ›
In 2010, alongside a few tech execs and with backing from some of the most prestigious venture capital firms in the world, they started a company called QuantumScape (QS). Twelve years later, that company has solved the solid-state battery problem.What company is developing the 12 million mile battery? ›
Solid-state batteries are the “forever battery” technology that QuantumScape is developing. QuantumScape is basically pioneering a new class of solid-state batteries to make the world infinitely more productive. In our opinion, these batteries represent the future of, well, everything!What kind of battery never needs charging? ›
Non-rechargeable, or disposable batteries do not need to be charged.What is the battery that will last 1000 years? ›
Well, a group of researchers and scientists at the University of Bristol have developed Nuclear Diamond Batteries that can power devices for over 1000 years, all the while charging themselves.What battery lasts longer than lithium? ›
Fluoride batteries have the potential to last eight times longer than lithium batteries, but that's easier said than done. That's because fluoride is an anion, or a negatively charged ion, which is the magic behind its high energy density but is also the reason it's reactive and hard to stabilize.
Is it OK to leave rechargeable batteries in the charger unplugged? ›
Leaving the battery on charge You can leave a battery/radio in the charger once charging is complete. Leaving a battery in the charger will not overcharge or damage it. You can remove a battery/radio from the charger at any time without harming the battery, the radio, or the charger.Can I overcharge rechargeable batteries? ›
In a lithium-ion battery, overcharging can create unstable conditions inside the battery, increase pressure, and cause thermal runaway. Lithium-ion battery packs are required to have a protection circuit to prevent excessive pressure build-up and cut off the flow of ions when the temperature is too high.Is it safe to leave AA batteries charging overnight? ›
A: No. They should always be removed when fully charged. Leaving them in the charger wastes electricity and can reduce the life of the battery. Helpful?What kills a lithium battery? ›
Heat is the leading killer of lithium batteries. High temperatures or low temperatures can kill lithium batteries. The effects of reduced temperature are a reduction in the transformation of active chemicals within the cell.What is special about Eneloop batteries? ›
Eneloop batteries are rechargeable NiMH batteries. They are famous for their extremely Low Self Discharge characteristics. This means that they can keep a charge longer than any other NiMH or NiCD rechargeable battery in the world. Besides this, they can also produce a lot of power, more than their competitors can do.How many times can you recharge rechargeable batteries? ›
First, rechargeables have a shelf life of about 5 years and can be recharged roughly 500–1,000 times, depending on brand and usage. That means you'll probably need to buy fewer of them than you do when purchasing single-use batteries.How many years will a NiMH battery last? ›
Typically NiMH batteries can be recharged hundreds of times, potentially allowing them to be equivalent to hundreds of alkaline batteries in total service over their lifetime. However, battery life is limited to 5 years or less.Which is better NiMH or Lithium? ›
On the performance scale, Li-ion batteries outperform NiMH in most categories. They have a longer overall life cycle of five years, compared to the NiMH life cycle of two to five years.What is better NiCd or NiMH? ›
Generally, NiMH batteries are considered a better option mainly because they perform better, have higher capacity, and can power your device for much longer than NiCd. Ultimately they are much safer for the environment, which is an essential advantage over NiCd cells.Which company is best for lithium-ion battery? ›
Top 10 Lithium Battery Manufacturer in India, 2023
- Mahindra – EV. ...
- Hyundai – EV. ...
- Ola – EV. ...
- Amarraja (Amaron) – EV. ...
- Exide – EV. ...
- Panasonic – Telecom. ...
- LG -Telecom. ...
- Samsung - Telecom.
What is the downside to lithium batteries? ›
Despite their technological promise, Li-ion batteries still have a number of shortcomings, particularly with regards to safety. Li-ion batteries have a tendency to overheat, and can be damaged at high voltages. In some cases this can lead to thermal runaway and combustion.What is better lithium or lithium-ion? ›
Both lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries are suitable for robust and high-power use. Nevertheless, lithium-ion batteries are more effective and prevalent than lithium-polymer batteries. This is because they possess higher power levels making them fitting for massive usage.Why do NiMH batteries fail? ›
Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride cells can be individually discharged to zero volts without damage, but they cannot be reverse charged without generating gas. Eventually pressure will build up to the point that the cells start to vent, which results in permanent capacity loss.What causes NiMH batteries to fail? ›
The most common failure mode of a Ni/MH battery is an increase in the cell impedance due to electrolyte dry-out that occurs from venting and active electrode material degradation/disintegration.When should I stop charging NiMH? ›
Do not overcharge NiMH batteries. Put simply, this means that once the battery is fully charged you stop charging it.Which type of AA battery lasts the longest? ›
Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA Batteries, World's Longest-Lasting AA Battery, 10 Pack.What is the longest lasting double AA battery? ›
Energizer AA Lithium Batteries, World's Longest Lasting Double A Battery, Ultimate Lithium (2 Battery Count) Amazon's Choice highlights highly rated, well-priced products available to ship immediately.How long should rechargeable AA batteries last? ›
Rechargeable batteries typically last between two and five years and can be recharged hundreds of times. While they cost more than alkaline batteries, they last longer per use than alkaline batteries and end up saving you money in the long run.Are rechargeable AA batteries worth it? ›
Rechargeable batteries almost always last longer, cost less in the long term and reduce waste compared with single-use batteries and when used in high-demand devices. That's because many of them continue to work until being charged up to 500 times (2 to 5 years), offering hundreds of hours more use than disposables.Who manufactures Kirkland AA batteries? ›
Much to my surprise, the Costco CEO recently divulged that Kirkland batteries are actually made by Duracell. So why pay up to 35 cents more per battery with Duracell when you can opt for the Kirkland brand knowing that the quality is probably identical.
What is the most long lasting battery in the world? ›
Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA Batteries, World's Longest-Lasting AA Battery, 10 Pack - Walmart.com.Are Energizer Ultimate Lithium worth it? ›
The Energizer Ultimate Lithium is an amazing product. If you need a battery that you don't want to replace often, this is the thing. But while not having to change your batteries in your wireless system for a day on set is nice, the PHC doesn't justify it for us.Which batteries last longer alkaline or lithium? ›
Can last up to 6X longer than an alkaline battery. Performs even in extreme temperatures ranging from -40℉ to 140℉ Can hold power for up to 20 years in storage. Weighs approximately 33% less than an alkaline battery.
- Greater Up-Front Costs. In nearly every case, you'll find that a battery with the capacity to be recharged is more expensive than its disposable counterpart. ...
- Limited Capacity to Hold a Charge in Storage. ...
- No Alerts When Depleted.
A: No. They should always be removed when fully charged. Leaving them in the charger wastes electricity and can reduce the life of the battery.Can you overcharge rechargeable AA batteries? ›
Don't overdo it.
Overcharging occurs when the device or battery is plugged into a charger after full charge has been reached and may reduce battery life. Battery University recommends that nickel- and lithium-based batteries be stored with a 40 percent state-of-charge.
Forever batteries have arrived.
But believe it or not, QuantumScape stock is far from the only solid-state battery stock out there with millionaire-maker potential.