Do expensive batteries last longer? Which? has the answerFind out which disposable batteries you should buy

20 November 2016

Batteries

Consider what you use your batteries for and make substantial savings

Branded batteries come at a much higher price than own-brand versions, so the only reason for buying a Duracell or Energizer battery must be because they are better, right? Our latest AA and AAA disposable battery test reveals whether or not that’s true. 

We tested 15 AA and 16 AAA batteries to find out which ones offer the most power for your pennies. We examined how long the batteries lasted across a range of different power-drain simulations. 

This means you can find out which battery is the best for your devices. Whether that's power-sapping products like remote control cars, or low-powered devices such as TV remotes.  

We tested batteries from big-name brands, including Duracell, Energizer and Varta, and own-brand batteries from Asda, Boots, Sainsbury's, Superdrug, Tesco and Wilko. You can use our results to see whether it makes sense to splash out on a big-name brand.

Find out which batteries you should buy - we reveal the best batteries.

What do you use batteries for?

The batteries we tested ranged from 50p to £7 for a pack of four. We discovered that price doesn't define how long a battery lasts.

In fact, the cheapest AAA battery in our test lasted 10 hours longer than the most expensive AAA in our simulation of a low-power device, like a wall clock. This means a whopping £1.63 saving per battery.

On medium-drain devices, like a video game controller, the most expensive battery had four hours more juice than the cheapest one. This goes to show that you need to consider how you're going to use your batteries before you buy them. 

We'll help you choose the best-value batteries for your devices. Go to how to buy the best batteries.

Looking at battery leakage

No-one is a fan of leaky batteries. Not only is it incredibly annoying to have your devices oozing with battery fluid, it also damages the elements in electronic devices, and the substance produced is poisonous.

Our tests showed which batteries leaked the most over a six-week period. While many manufacturers claim their products are leak-proof, we found that only some of them can back up that assertion. In fact, one manufacturer's batteries leaked after only three weeks.

You can quickly compare the leakage results of the batteries we've tested, thanks to our easy-to-use tables. Find out which batteries leak, and which don't - see the best AA batteries and the best AAA batteries.

More on this…