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Best rechargeable batteries 2024: AA and AAA cells with serious staying power

A selection of rechargeable AA batteries

More power, longer life and better for the environment – the best AA and AAA rechargeable batteries deliver on all fronts

With the best rechargeable batteries, you can make sure your compatible devices always have plenty of stamina without any of the baggage that legacy battery technology was saddled with.

We’ve been writing about battery technology for over a decade and we’ve covered everything from hearing aid batteries to solar storage battery systems. So you can certainly say that we’re guilty as charged if the crime is trying to find the best battery solutions out there.

In our roundup below, we’ve brought together some of the best rechargeable batteries you can buy today. Each of these products has something that makes them special, and in our testing those strengths (and weaknesses) have been laid bare. You’ll also find a useful buying guide at the end which will help you find the right batteries for you. And if you just want a quick list of recommendations, check out our at a glance list.

Best rechargeable batteries: At a glance

Best AA rechargeablesPanasonic Eneloop Pro (~£18)Check price at Amazon
Best-value AA rechargeable batteriesEnergizer Recharge Power Plus (~£9.33)Check price at Amazon
Best combination of value and performanceAmazon Basics (~£7.16)Check price at Amazon
Best rechargeable Lithium AA batteries and chargerKratax 3,500mWh Lithium (~£38)Check price at Amazon

How we test rechargeable batteries

We tested these batteries using a cheap children’s radio-control car (these machines are renowned battery eaters), timing how long each set took to deplete. As expected, there were running time discrepancies between batteries of different milliampere hours (mAh), but all of the batteries featured here performed well.

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The best rechargeable batteries you can buy in 2024

1. Panasonic Eneloop Pro: Best AA rechargeables

Price when reviewed: £18 (4 x AA) | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… long term storage and maximum endurance
  • Not so great for… long term durability, and smaller budgets

Google “best rechargeable battery” and chances are Panasonic’s Eneloop range will top the bill. We tested a four-pack of black 2,550mAh Pro AAs and found they were nearly fully charged straight out of the box. Eneloops are said to retain around 85% of their charge after a year in storage. However, we would always advise giving any rechargeable battery a boost before use, especially if you plan on using the device they’re powering out in the field.

Granted, these are the most expensive batteries that we tested here and you can only charge them around 500 times before they lose their mojo. However, they’re the reigning endurance king when it comes to stamina, lasting over four and a half hours in our radio-controlled car test. That makes the Eneloop Pro the go-to battery for power-hungry devices, including toys, cordless landline phones and high-performance torches. If you still use AA batteries in your digital SLR, then the Eneloop Pros will keep it snapping for longer than any rival.

If you don’t wish to spend as much, consider a lower-capacity model or the cheaper standard version, which packs a 1,900mAh punch and can be recharged up to 2,100 times.

Key specs – Capacity: 2,500mAh; Charging cycles: 500

2. Energizer Recharge Power Plus: Best-value AA rechargeable batteries

Price when reviewed: £9.33 (4 x AA) | Check price at Amazon

This great-value AA battery has a charge capacity of 2,000mAh and can be recharged up to 1,000 times. What’s more, our four-pack arrived fully charged and are said to remain at near full capacity for up to a year of storage.

Granted, they didn’t last quite as long as the Eneloops in our test, but they’re under half the price. However, when we discharged and recharged them a few times, they displayed the same level of charge as when they first came out of the packet, and that’s a sign of a great battery. Special mention must also go to Energizer’s exceptional Recharge Pro charger, which comes bundled with four AA batteries at a very reasonable £20 or less.

Key specs – Capacity: 2,000mAh; Charging cycles: 1,000

3. Amazon Basics: Best combination of value and performance

Price when reviewed: £7.16 (4 x AA), £5.10 (4 x AAA) | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… balancing price and performance
  • Not so great for… long-term storage

When it comes to buying batteries, most users prefer to stick with reliable, trusted brands such as Duracell and Energizer. So, a plain-looking battery with the words Amazon Basics on it has got to be avoided, right? Wrong. Some unfounded rumours have suggested that these Amazon-branded batteries – which arrive in an unprepossessing cardboard box – are made in the same factory as the Panasonic Eneloops. Whatever the truth, they’re an excellent choice even though they’re not necessarily the best-value battery here.

Amazon’s batteries ship in high capacity 2,400mAh versions and a slightly cheaper 2,000mAh version, and if you’re looking for longevity then you’ll be surprised by how well they can perform. The high-capacity rechargeables couldn’t quite match the Panasonic Eneloop Pros in our tests, but they outlasted the HiQuick High Capacity 2,800mAh batteries by surviving 3hrs 57mins in our radio control car, and weren’t far behind the Kratax Lithium batteries – impressive stuff. Amazon also claims that, once charged, they will maintain 70% capacity for up to six months and 50% capacity over a year.

Key specs – Capacity: 2,400mAh; Charging cycles: 500

4. HiQuick High Capacity 2800mAh Rechargeables: Great low-cost, high-capacity rechargeables

Price when reviewed: £7.99 (4 x AA) | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… high capacity needs
  • Not so great for… maximum endurance

A quick search on Amazon will turn up a host of smaller brands selling high-capacity 2,800mAh batteries at super-low prices, but these HiQuick batteries are the most reliable we’ve tested. Performance in our test remote-control car puts them slightly behind the Amazon Basics batteries, despite the higher nominal capacity, clocking 3hrs 49mins of use in our radio-controlled car. However, when we tested them in a torch, a DAB radio and an Xbox controller, they performed well over long-term use.

They also held up over repeated discharge and recharge cycles in our tests, maintaining a steady voltage, while HiQuick claims that they can hold 80% of their charge even across three years in storage. Don’t expect Eneloop levels of stamina, but if you’re after a solid, cheap, long-lasting battery, then buy away.

Key specs – Capacity: 2,800mAh; Charging cycles: 1,200

5. Duracell 1300mAh Rechargeable AA batteries: Best AA rechargeables for fast charging

Price when reviewed: £13 (4 x AA) | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… the need for speed
  • Not so great for… capacity

You’ expect Duracell to have some great rechargeables, and while its cheaper 1,300mAh Plus AA batteries don’t seem great value, they have a real advantage in terms of charging speeds. Plug them into Duracell’s 45-minute Hi-Speed charger and they’ll reach 85% capacity within the stated three-quarters of an hour. Go for the even quicker 15-minute charger, and you’ll hit 95% within the stated time. Duracell’s 750mAh AAA batteries will charge completely within the same time.

While both chargers work with other batteries, it makes sense to stick with the brand they were designed for, and Duracell sells both in handy starter packs. And if you’re happy to trade charging speed for a little more stamina, Duracell’s 2,500mAh batteries are good, reliable performers and will still charge within around 90 minutes in the 45-minute charger. If you’re often caught short without a charged set of AAs, these are the batteries for you.

Key specs – Capacity: 1,300mAh; Charging cycles: Not specified

6. Varta Recharge Accu Endless: Best AA and AAA batteries for continual usage

Price when reviewed: £16 (4 x AA) | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… never buying batteries again
  • Not so great for… availability

Varta doesn’t enjoy quite the same level of brand kudos as Duracell and Energizer but this 1,900mAh battery functions well when used with devices that don’t require too much juice. You don’t quite get the capacity you do with the Eneloops or Energizers, but the Vartas have one advantage over these: the 1,900mAh AA batteries can be recharged up to 2,100 times, while retaining 60% of their charge after five years of storage. The 550mAh batteries go even further, with up to 3,400 recharge cycles.

The downside is that these batteries aren’t so widely available, while a packet of four AAs is comparatively expensive – it’s worth shopping around for the best price. They’re also available in several different capacity strengths so check the specs first before clicking the buy button.

Key specs – Capacity: 1,900mAh; Charging cycles: 2,100

7. Venom Power Recharge: Great-value rechargeables for console controllers and other devices

Price when reviewed: £6.99 (4 x AA) | Check prices at Amazon

  • Great for… low-draw devices like controllers.
  • Not so great for… frequent recharging.

Venom is best known for producing specialist battery and charge kits for console controllers, particularly the Xbox One, which still uses traditional AAs. These Power Recharge batteries are standard-issue AAs and AAAs but, in some ways, they’re better than the dedicated options.

They’re cheap and you can use them on other devices. With a 2,100mAh capacity they’re easily good for around 20 to 40 hours of gaming, depending on how much your game uses the controller’s rumble motors and whether you have a headset plugged in. You can also use them with Venom’s own USB-powered Intelligent Charging Station, which costs £15 with four batteries thrown in. It isn’t a rapid charger, but if you get one set charging while the other set is busy gaming, low batteries won’t spoil your demon-slaying or foil your Fortnite win.

Key specs – Capacity: 2,100mAh; Charging cycles: 500

8. Kratax 3500mWh Lithium: Best rechargeable Lithium AA batteries and charger

Price when reviewed: £38 (8 x AA plus charger) | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… charge endurance
  • Not so great for… longevity

These are the first Lithium rechargeables we’ve tested that we’re happy to recommend. As you might expect, they have plenty of stamina; tested in a 500-lumen torch, they maintained their full 1.51V voltage for just under two hours of continuous use, at which point most NiMH rechargeables we’ve tested are either fading fast or all but dead.

When they do go, they go quickly, and longevity isn’t up there with the Eneloop Pros when it comes to remote control toys; three AAs kept the wheels spinning on our remote control car for 4hrs 3mins, but the Eneloops kept them moving for an additional 28 minutes. However, they’ve been consistently good with an Xbox controller, lasting for two to three weeks at a time, rather than the usual seven to 10 days with a pair of 2,000 to 2,100mAh cells. The Xbox battery indicator doesn’t fall at all until they’re nearly empty. However, due to the voltage drop curve, this is expected with lithium batteries.

Kratax states the capacity as 3,500mWh, which sounds extremely impressive until you convert it to 2,333mAh at 1.5V, which is a little lower than some NIMH AAs. Still, the charger brings them back from empty in just under two hours, and takes its power conveniently through a USB Type-C port. It’s still early days for Lithium rechargeables, but it’s easy to see the potential.

Key specs – Capacity: 2,333mAh; Charging cycles: 1,600

How to choose the best rechargeable battery for you

What type of battery should I buy?

Most of the batteries featured here are of the nickel-metal hydride variety, or NiMH. These batteries cost only a few pounds more to buy than disposable alkalines and yet they will power most devices for longer. They will also do so more efficiently because the voltage of a NiMH battery is maintained at 1.2V for most of its operating time. The voltage of Alkaline batteries tends to taper off while they’re being used.

Lithium batteries are even better at maintaining a consistent voltage, and they are now available at AA sizes. However, they come with a steep price premium and require their own chargers, while the running times with high-voltage devices isn’t usually up there with the best AAs. The biggest manufacturers – Panasonic, Duracell, EverReady, Varta – don’t seem to be in any rush to put Lithium products out there, so it means taking a punt on a smaller brand. From our initial tests, they’re quick to charge and very effective in some devices, but you might still want to wait for the technology to mature.

Can I use rechargeable batteries in devices that use disposable alkaline batteries?

In most cases, yes, but where high-performance alkalines generally run at 1.5V (to start with), rechargeables are often designed to run at 1.2V, which can cause problems with a few devices that require a constant high voltage from four or six batteries to operate. However, many rechargeables can run at a higher voltage than their nominal voltage, and then hold on to that voltage for a longer time, even under a high drain. In other words, the best rechargeables actually work better. We didn’t run into any actual problems during our testing related to this issue, but you should keep it in mind on a case-by-case basis.

What does mAh mean?

This number, which stands for milliampere-hour, covers the NiMH battery’s capacity and its ability to run a given load over a longer period of time. The higher the number on the battery, the bigger the capacity and the longer it will maintain an ample working charge while powering a specific gadget. We recommend you choose batteries with a capacity of 2,000mAh or more, so you don’t run out of charge when you’re half way through doing something, and you don’t need to recharge quite so often. The capacity is usually listed on the box as well as on the battery itself, and you will also see it listed if you’re buying batteries from an online store.

What’s the best charger to buy?

Obviously, you’re going to need a charger, and if yours is ancient you might want to replace it with one of our best battery charger recommendations. If speed isn’t important there are some great basic options, including some that will charge from a standard USB port. Otherwise, you might want to look at high-speed chargers from Panasonic, Energizer or Duracell, which can charge a set of AA batteries in around sixty to ninety minutes. You can usually save some money by buying a charger and four batteries in a bundle, but check the capacity of those batteries before you buy; some manufacturers will throw in cheaper, low-capacity AAs. In our testing, newer chargers did the job faster, while producing less waste heat. So it really is worth using a modern charger designed for the specific battery technology you’re using.

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