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.
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?
Last updated February 2022.
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.
Last updated February 2022.
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.
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.
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.