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Which? reveals the best AAA and AA batteries

Do Duracell or Energizer batteries last longer?

A collection of disposable batteries

We test batteries under high-drain and very high-drain conditions

We’ve now put a total of 40 disposable batteries through our rigorous lab tests, but have only found four AA batteries and four AAAs that are good enough to be rated as Which? Best Buys. 

We’ve tested lithium and alkaline batteries including Duracell, Energizer and supermarket own brands under high-drain and very high-drain conditions. 

You can be confident that the batteries that do best in our tests will last the longest in your demanding devices, such as a torch, or the most power-hungry of battery-operated items, such as digital cameras or DAB radios. 

Our full results tables also show the best value batteries, as we’ve calculated the cost per hour for each battery under these different conditions. 

If you’re stocking up for Christmas, log in now to find out which are our Best Buy batteries. Or if you’re not already a Which? member, you can see the full test results and get instant access to all our reviews by signing up for a £1 trial

We’ve now tested even more batteries, including the newest from Duracell and Energizer in 2015. Check our latest results for the best AA disposable batteries and best AAA disposable batteries.

Supermarket battery multibuy deals

Which? members told us that they look out for special offers on batteries. Using independent shopping website Mysupermarket, we tracked the price of supermarket mutlibuys for two packs of one type of Duracell battery and for two packs of one type of Energizer battery at Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose between September 2012 and September 2013.

‘Which? members told us they look out for special offers on batteries, so we tracked the price of supermarket multibuys’

For two Duracell Ultra AA and Energizer Ultra Plus AA four-packs, Asda was cheapest and Waitrose was most expensive on average. 

The average price for two Duracell Ultra AA four-packs at Asda was £6.17, while at Waitrose it was £7.64. The average price for two Energizer Ultra Plus AA four-packs was £4.15 at Asda and £6.70 at Waitrose. 

Best value batteries 

Our tests also find great value batteries that don’t last quite as long but are cheaper to buy and cost less per hour of use. Some batteries included in our latest test cost just 4p per hour in a child’s toy or 11p per hour in a digital radio. 

We don’t test batteries in low or medium drain conditions that mimic low-power devices, such as a remote control, as we know most batteries last well under these conditions. 

To become a Best Buy a battery must last well under both high-drain and very high-drain conditions. Lithium batteries tend to do better under very-high drain tests, but our tests have found Best Buy lithium and alkaline batteries. Head straight to our Best Buy batteries to find out which they are.

Battery brands on test 

We’ve tested batteries from a range of big brands and high street shops including:

  • Aldi 
  • Duracell
  • Energizer
  • GP
  • Lidl 
  • Maplin
  • Panasonic
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Sony
  • Superdrug
  • Tesco
  • Varta

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