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Don't Buy batteries

by Ryan Shaw

A Don't Buy battery lasts significantly less than the best batteries - some only last around five hours. We've tested AA and AAA batteries to identify which you should avoid.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Don't waste your money on a sub-standard battery. Which? regularly tests the latest AA and AA batteries to not only highlight the best, but also uncover the worst. 

We can help you save money and time before you set out to find the perfect battery for your needs - one that won't fizzle out before its time, is cost effective, and how likely they are to leak once discharged.

Join Which? now to unlock our disposable batteries Don’t Buy warnings on this page. Already a member? Log in now.

What makes a Don't Buy battery

Don't Buy AA and AAA batteries often don't last that long, no matter what device you're using them with and how much power they're draining. In one of our performance tests, the worst battery gave up the ghost 13 hours before the best.

Don't Buy batteries can also be prone to leakage over time whilst kept in storage. The worst battery brands we've seen had several batteries leak after six weeks, which could irreversibly damage your device if you don't spot it. 

Don't Buy batteries are also generally poor value for money.

With a wide range of batteries available, typically at varying prices, it can be enticing to pick up what is currently on sale and just hope for the best. However, the cheapest Best Buy battery pack costs just 25p per battery, so it's clear you don't need to spend big money to receive great long-lasting battery life. 

With our expert advice you can avoid overpriced Don't Buys, and spend your hard-earned money on a battery that will stand the test of time.

Unique battery testing by Which?

Every year, we analyse more than 1.5m pieces of data in our disposable batteries tests, including the latest batteries from Duracell, Energizer, and Panasonic. 

We test the batteries in the most and least power-hungry conditions you’re likely to use them in, plus we calculate how much they cost per hour. This helps to identify which batteries are the longest-lasting, and which are the cheapest to run.

  • We test AA and AAA batteries on nearly 100 unique criteria to ensure we investigate the full capabilities of every battery.
  • Every battery is scored out of 100, so you can see immediately at a glance which are the best and worst.
  • There is no bias and our independent tests cover a wide range of brands and prices, so you can be sure we'll always recommend the right battery for you and your needs.

If we declare a battery to be a Don't Buy, it's definitely one to avoid. No matter how temptingly cheap they are or how much they have been discounted in a sale, they're not worth the hassle and inevitable buyer's remorse.

Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We're not influenced by third parties and we don't accept freebies from product manufacturers or retailers. We buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

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