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The batteries you need this Christmas

Our latest tests reveal the best batteries to buy this Christmas. Find out what to look for and which batteries are worth spending your money on

Christmas is approaching and there are plenty of reasons to stock up on batteries. Whether you’re powering children’s toys or fairy lights, it’s worth choosing wisely to avoid having your festivities cut short. We’ve tested a range of batteries to help you decide which ones to buy for the holiday season.

Buying batteries may not be as straightforward as you think, and the type of battery you choose depends on the device you want to power. Power-hungry gifts such as toys need batteries that perform well in high-drain devices. A low-drain battery is what you’re looking for if you’re only looking to power a remote to go alongside a shiny new TV.

Read our guide on how to buy the best batteries

Best batteries for kids’ toys

A lot of the trendiest toys this Christmas require batteries, from Barbie’s Ultimate Kitchen to Crate Creatures and the Spider-Man Mega Laser Set. And they’re not always included in the box.

Whichever toy is on the Christmas list this year, buying batteries that perform well in high-drain devices will not disappoint – and you won’t have to spend big to do so.

We’ve found that price doesn’t necessarily match quality. You can get a four pack of decent AA batteries for £3.50, and £3.25 for AAA. The best AA batteries in our latest tests lasted over nine hours in power-hungry devices, costing around £7.00 for a pack of four, where the Don’t Buy ones lasted less than six.

Our tests that mimic power usage in children’s toys uncovered a battery that costs 12p per hour and lasted almost as long as the Best Buys, which would suit people who need to buy lots of batteries and want to keep costs down. See the full verdicts in our reviews below to make sure you don’t waste money on batteries that aren’t going to last.

Best batteries for Christmas lights

Battery-powered fairy lights are great for decorating your home, especially when you don’t have a plug socket available or want to avoid a spaghetti junction of wires. Batteries that last for plenty of time in medium-drain devices are perfect for Christmas lights and they cost around £3.50 to £7.00 for a pack of four.  

Our latest results showed a massive difference of almost 14 hours between the best and worst batteries for medium-drain devices. Don’t let Christmas end early with bad batteries and make sure your lights are still twinkling for the big day. Check out our full reviews to find the best for your decorations:

Best batteries for remote controls

If you’re treating yourself to a new TV to watch all the festive specials, you don’t want the remotes giving up the ghost. Portable speakers, radios and clocks are great gifts and are ‘low drain’ too, meaning you’ll get a long life out of your batteries in these devices. That’s if you pick the right ones, of course.

Buying batteries for low-drain devices is generally cheaper as you won’t have to change them as often, so you needn’t buy the most expensive batteries. Our latest tests revealed the best batteries for low-drain devices: the best lasted an amazing 93 hours, versus around 73 hours for the worst.

We also found a Best Buy AA battery that works out at less than 1p per hour. For AAAs, our tests showed one battery that has great battery life in low-drain devices, despite not performing well in other areas, and only costs £3.00 for a pack of four. Make sure you read our latest battery reviews to discover the best deals.

Rechargeable Batteries

If disposables aren’t your thing and you’re looking for something that will last longer, we also put rechargeable batteries through our rigorous tests. See our rechargeable battery reviews here.

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