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Best rechargeable batteries revealed by Which?

The best last four hours longer than the worst

graph showing the longest and shortest-lasting AA batteries with similar stated capacities

Batteries with similar stated capacities can have different lifetimes in your devices

The latest Which? test of 30 rechargeable batteries, including big brands Duracell, Energizer and Varta, reveals the best and worst rechargeable batteries.

We’ve uncovered seven Best Buy rechargeable batteries, including one great value AAA battery which is less than half the price of its rivals. 

But we’ve also found that some AA and AAA rechargeable batteries last around four hours less than other batteries on a single discharge, or leak away their charge while not in use.

To reveal the best rechargeable batteries, see our full results for the best and worst AA rechargeable batteries and best and worst AAA rechargeable batteries.

Best Buy rechargeable batteries

The best rechargeable batteries strike a balance between long battery life (on a single discharge), reasonably fast recharging and won’t leak away their charge while not in use.

We only award our Best Buy recommendation to those batteries which perform well in all these areas – and do a good job of reaching the capacity stated on the pack when recharged.  

You can use our test results to make sure you only buy the best batteries and don’t waste your money on batteries that won’t last.

Stated capacity and single-recharge lifetime

All rechargeable batteries have their capacity printed on the packaging in mAh (or milliamp hours). You should be able to use this figure as an indication for how long, in comparison with other batteries of the same size (such as AA or AAA), the rechargeable battery will last in your device before it needs charging. The higher the number, the longer it should last.

But our lab tests found that batteries with similar stated capacities don’t last for similar amounts of time when used in identical conditions (see image, above right). In fact, some rechargeable batteries can outlast those with higher stated capacities. 

Our test results reveal which really last the longest. To find out more about our testing and our results, click batteries.

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