Best rechargeable batteries revealedRechargeables last longer than disposables

21 May 2013

Rechargable battery 2

New Which? tests have uncovered the best and worst rechargeable batteries from big brands including Duracell, Energizer and Varta.

We've highlighted the best, longest-lasting AA batteries, and for the first time this year have also included AAA batteries in response to requests from Which? members. Our reviews now include all of the most popular brands in two sizes – and reveal two brand new Best Buys in the smaller AAA size. 

We've also tested and rated pre-charged batteries that you can use straight from the pack, and show which batteries last the longest, which keep their charge the best and which have earned our coveted Which? Best Buy recommendation.

Which? members can log in to view the winners and losers in our full rechargeable battery reviews area. If you're not already a Which? member, you can get instant access with a £1 trial to Which?.

Best AA and AAA batteries

Our most recent Which? survey told us that alongside the popular AA batteries, 90% of you also use the smaller AAA size around the home, typically in remote controls, clocks and toys.

You told us that when choosing rechargeable batteries, you’d like to know how long the batteries last per charge, how well they keep their charge when not being used, and how long they take to charge. 

Our test scores take all these factors into account, and we can reveal that our latest tests have found three AA rechargeable batteries and two AAA  rechargeable batteries that are impressive enough to be Which? Best Buys.

Which? energy expert Sylvia Baron says: 'Rechargeable batteries are becoming more convenient to use, especially those that come pre-charged, as these can be used straight from the pack. Many of the batteries we tested hold on to their charge really well too, so you can charge them up in advance and they’ll still have plenty of power when you come to use them several weeks later.'

Rechargeables last longer than alkalines

We test how long each of our batteries lasts by using a rig that simulates use in a high-drain gadget, such as a digital camera or shaver. 

Our latest tests include batteries from Ansmann, Duracell, Energizer, GP, Maplin, Panasonic, Sony and Varta, and show that on average, AA rechargeables now last longer than standard disposable alkalines.

Save more than £235

Our calculations also show that a pack of four Best Buy AA rechargeables can save you in excess of £235 over their lifetime, compared to using Best Buy disposable alkalines. If you want to find out more about the cost saving, go to our batteries FAQs page.

More on this...

  • Best and worst batteries revealed in our rechargeable battery reviews
  • You'll also need a charger - find out the best battery charger
  • Need disposables? Read our disposable battery reviews