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Updated: 1 Mar 2022

Best AA and AAA batteries: Which? Best Buys and expert buying advice

The best AA and AAA batteries last hours longer than the worst. Our expert guide will help you choose the best batteries for your gadgets and budget.
Jake Massey
Best and worst AAA batteries

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.

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. 

We’ve compared Energizer, Duracell and Panasonic batteries with supermarket own-brand batteries, such as Aldi, Morrisons, Lidl and Sainsbury's, to find the very best.

Best Buy AA batteries on test

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.

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?

Best AA batteries for 2022

Log in to reveal our pick of the best batteries in our tests. Not a member? Join Which? today.

  • 92%
    • best buy
    £7.00

    These batteries perform amazingly in high-drain devices, such as cameras. They're one of the most expensive we've tested though, so don't waste them in low-drain devices such as clocks or remotes.

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  • 79%
    • best buy
    £1.69

    The budget-friendly option, this AA battery performs well in most draining scenarios. It's a fantastic compromise between price and duration.

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Last updated February 2022.

Best Buy AAA batteries on test

Our Best Buy AAA batteries last an hour and a half longer than the worst batteries on test in high-drain devices and four hours longer in medium-drain devices, like a games console.

Our rigorous lab tests simulate a range of different power drain situations; in low-power devices, such as a clock, and high-power devices, such as a camera or torch. Our lab tests have revealed that some batteries are better in high-power devices, but not so good in low-power devices. This means you can use our results to choose the best battery to suit the type of device you want to use them in.

Typically, the Best Buys are also some of the priciest batteries. However, you can save money by opting for high scoring own-brand batteries, where a pack of eight is just a fraction of the price of other Best Buys. 

Best AAA batteries for 2022

Log in to reveal our pick of the best batteries in our tests. Not a member? Join Which? today.

  • 92%
    • best buy
    £7.49

    These lithium AAAs achieved the best score in our tests and are the perfect choice if you need long-lasting batteries for high-drain and medium-drain devices.

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  • 87%
    • best buy
    £7.00

    These lithium batteries are great in high and medium-drain devices such as cameras or games console controllers, but it's worth noting they are quite expensive and won't power your low-drain devices as well as cheaper alternatives.

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Last updated February 2022.

Are rechargeable batteries better than disposables?

Rechargeable batteries are made of nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rather than the alkaline and lithium formulations of disposable batteries. 

Rechargeable batteries can run for hundreds of cycles, meaning you don't have to buy and dispose of huge quantities of disposable batteries. This is much cheaper and it's better for the environment as well since battery disposal and recycling can be a carbon-intense process. 

The drawback of rechargeable batteries is that they have lower durations. You can expect between 6-7 hours on a single charge when they're new, but this will decrease over time. 

Find a best rechargeable battery to save you using dozens of packs of disposables.

How much do I need to spend on batteries?

Top-of-the-range alkaline disposable batteries can set you back roughly £7 to £13 for a pack of four. But you don't necessarily need to spend that much. Our lab tests have uncovered Best Buy batteries that are a lot cheaper. 

However, the price you pay for the pack isn't the whole story. The cost per hour of each battery when used in high, medium and low-drain devices is the best indicator of good value. We’ve found AA batteries that cost as little as 4p per hour in the most power-hungry gadgets, as well as some that cost up to 13p per hour. 

We’ve tested batteries from Aldi and Lidl – which can cost as little as 25p per battery – alongside big brands Duracell and Energizer to see how they match up. Only our tests reveal whether buying cheaper batteries will save you money and hassle.

Check our batteries reviews to see which batteries are best value for money.

Should I buy alkaline or lithium disposable batteries?

Shop around for AA and AAA batteries and the main types you’ll find are alkaline and lithium disposable batteries.

Lithium batteries last a lot longer in more energy intensive devices. We've found that they can give you 2 -3 hours more power than an alkaline battery. But they're also much more expensive.

In fact, per hour, lithium batteries still cost more than good alkaline batteries. So they're good if a failing battery is a major inconvenience (like if you're travelling) but they aren't necessarily the cheapest per hour of use.  

Now find the perfect batteries for you by checking our batteries reviews.

How do I dispose of batteries?

When your batteries are out of juice, the best thing to do is to take them to your local shop and put them in the battery bin there.

Any shop that sells a certain amount of batteries per year (and the threshold is low) is obliged to have a collection point for old batteries. From here, they will be recycled and the useful chemicals will be extracted.

It's not just disposable batteries that be thrown away like this. If you have a lithium-ion battery for a phone, computer, or other electronic device, it can go in the same bin. If it fits in your hand, it's probably fine to go in a shop's battery bin.

There may also be collection point sin local libraries and town halls. Some councils also have kerbside pick-ups for batteries if you put them in a bag on top of your bin.