Best AA batteries
By Hollie Hennessy
Our tough lab tests have uncovered big differences between the best AA batteries and the worst. Use our results to make sure you don't waste your money.
Put a set of one of our Best Buy AA disposable batteries in your most power-hungry devices, such as a camera or torch, and they will last around three hours longer than the worst. Put them in a medium-drain device, like a games console or Christmas lights, and you'll get an amazing fourteen extra hours.
No one else tests like Which? – our independent lab tests simulate the way you really use batteries, so you can be confident that our Best Buy AA batteries will power your devices for longer.
Our tests discovered that one big brand battery conks out thirteen hours before the best in certain devices. Price is no indicator of quality - we've discovered great value Best Buys, as well as expensive Don't Buys.
For the bargain hunters amongst you, there are some own-brand batteries that we recommend. They only cost 25p per battery, which is significantly less than other Best Buy batteries. Plus they last just as long as other big-name brands across high, medium and low drain devices.
However, some of the batteries we have tested are astonishingly cheap and are fine for low-drain devices, such as TV remotes, but might not last as long across the board.
For high-drain devices, low-cost batteries may only be fractionally cheaper per hour of intensive use than some of our Best Buys. When the latter will last longer, is the extra hassle of buying, replacing and recycling them more often worth such a small saving?It's also worth checking the leakage star rating to find out how likely each brand is to leak if you forget to take it out of your device when it’s discharged. You can use our results to make sure you leave the worst batteries on the shop shelves, and only buy the best.
Which brands make AA batteries?
At Which? we test a variety of different brands, including big names in the industry as well as own-brand AA batteries.
- Duracell has multiple disposable alkaline batteries on offer
- Energizer produces multiple different types of consumer battery, including alkaline and lithium disposables
- Panasonic has four different categories of alkaline batteries and also has a range of zinc batteries
- Varta sells six different AA ranges, including lithium, alkaline and zinc
- GP batteries are sold online, from alkaline batteries to carbon zinc and lithium
- Kodak offers three types of alkaline batteries as well as zinc
- Supermarkets such as Aldi, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons, Lidl and Tesco
- Retailers, including Ikea, Boots and Wilko and online with Amazon.
Best AA batteries
Spotting bargain batteries
If you prefer to buy branded batteries but often balk at the price, it’s worth shopping around.
Data from MySupermarket.com shows that over the month of November 2018, at any given time, packs of our top-scoring branded AAs (packs of eight) were on offer in at least four of the following supermarkets: Asda, Morrisons. Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Waitrose.
So you're likely to find them on offer somewhere, provided you're prepared to shop around.
If you're thinking about switching to rechargeables, head to our Best Buy rechargeable batteries.