Best AA Rechargeable Batteries almost always last longer, cost less, and reduce waste compared with single-use batteries. After four hours of research and 120 hours of testing, we decided not to recommend a specific battery, since most name brands perform about the same regardless of whether you pop them into a wireless mouse, a kid’s toy, or a flashlight.
It was unsurprising that several brands of batteries—from AmazonBasics, Energizer, and Panasonic—had nearly identical results in our tests. Most rechargeable batteries are made in China, Japan, and South Korea—in some cases in the same factories—and contain roughly the same components. So we recommend getting whichever one of our favorite brands is the least expensive when you need to stock up.
Top 10 best AA rechargeable batteries in UK 2021
1. AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries – The best AA rechargeable batteries
Among the top-performing AA batteries in our testing, these kept a flameless candle flickering for 120 hours and a remote-control car running for 17 hours.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive set of rechargeable AAs, then AmazonBasics is your best bet. These rechargeables have a (surprisingly large) 2,400 mAh capacity, but Amazon doesn’t specify how many charge cycles they can endure—a sign that they aren’t manufactured with a lot of consistency.
In our experience, the AmazonBasics rechargeable AA batteries are fairly reliable. But some of the batteries lose their charge or fail faster than others. They’re worth putting into an Xbox controller, a wireless keyboard, or a set of motion-sensing lights, but don’t be surprised if they act a little weird.
2. Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries by Panasonic
Better designed than other rechargeables, Eneloop batteries have become a best-selling battery. Eneloops can be recharged up to 2100 times, and they will retain their charged capacity even after years of storage. After 6 months, they retain 90% of their charge. After five years, they retain 70% of their charge (when stored at 20 degree Celsius). Panasonic recommends keeping the batteries in a cool location to maximize charge retention.
The AA-sized Eneloops are rated at 2000 mAh, and the AAA-sized Eneloops are rated at 800 mAh (mAh stands for “MiliAmp hours” — a unit that indicates how much energy a battery can hold.)
The charge times are as follows: AA Eneloops charge in 230 minutes, and AAA Eneloops charge in 135 minutes.
Eneloop batteries are available at Amazon in 8 packs, and 16 packs and 32 packs. They are also available with a charger: 8 Eneloop Batteries with a Charger. Note that these links to the second-generation 2000 mAh eneloops.
3. EBL – Highest Capacity Rechargeable AA
EBL is a small electronics brand that’s focused on cornering the rechargeable battery market. And as of right now, the company is doing a great job. Its rechargeable AA batteries (8-pack) have a massive 2,800 mAh capacity, and EBL claims that they can endure 1,200 recharge cycles.
But unlike the Eneloop Pros, these EBL batteries have a fairly fast self-discharge rate, which means that they’ll drain faster than the Eneloop Pros when used in low-resource electronics (like TV remotes and simple wireless keyboards). We suggest using these batteries in power-hungry electronics, like cameras, lights, and musical instruments. That way, you’ll make the most of their capacity without getting bit by their self-discharge rate.
4. Energizer Recharge Universal – Best Overall
The Energizer Recharge Universal is our best overall pick, as it provides the best balance of price and performance. $19.98 gets you a pack of eight batteries, for an individual cost of $2.50. Each battery holds an above-average 2300 mAh. Interestingly, Energizer lists the battery capacity at 2,000 mAh, significantly less than the capacity they achieved in our tests. That’s somewhat against the grain, as most of the other batteries stored less than their rated capacity. During testing, the Energizer Recharge Universal kept our fan going for just over seven hours and in the case of our flashlight test, four hours and 10 minutes.
Energizer claims that these batteries can handle up to 1,000 recharge cycles, which is pretty standard for NiMH batteries. We weren’t able to test this, but 1,000 recharge cycles are more than enough for most uses: even if you charge them once a week, they should still be good for about five years.
5. Bonai 2800mAh Rechargeable – Great low cost, high-capacity rechargeables
Bonai isn’t exactly a household name, but there’s nothing to grumble about with these cut-price rechargeables. They measure out at a capacity of 2800mAh when fully charged, and in tests with a Roberts DAB radio and Xbox One controller they last roughly as long as the AmazonBasics High Capacity AAs. What’s more, Bonai states that they’ll last through 1,200 charging cycles and hold 80% of their original capacity after three years of non-use, though we’ve been unable to put either claim to the test. They’re also rated to handle temperatures of down to -20°C.
While the Bonai batteries won’t be knocking Panasonic’s Eneloops off their throne any time soon, they’re a great alternative to the more cost-conscious Amazon and Energizer options, and even better value if you buy them in their eight, 16 or 24-pack bundles.
6. Varta Recharge Accu Endless – The best AA and AAA batteries for continual usage
Varta doesn’t enjoy quite the same level of brand kudos as Duracell and Energizer but this 1,900mAh battery functions well when used with devices that don’t require too much juice. You don’t quite get the capacity you do with the Eneloops or Energizers, but the Vartas have one advantage they don’t. The 1,900mAh AA batteries can be recharged up to 2,100 times, while retaining 60% of their charge after five years of storage. The 550mAh batteries go even further, with up to 3,400 recharge cycles.
The downside is that these batteries aren’t so widely available, while a packet of four AAs is comparatively expensive – it’s worth shopping around for the best price. They’re also available in several different capacity strengths so check the specs first before clicking the buy button.
7. ACDelco AA Super Alkaline Batteries, 48-Count
These alkaline AA batteries won’t last as long as some of the more premium brands, but they do have one thing going for them: they’re very cheap. Coming in at around half the price of the next most affordable options, these are the best AA batteries for those on a tight budget who still need a lot of power. They ship in a handy carry case too, so you don’t even need to worry about batteries rolling around in your drawers once you’ve torn open the packaging.
8. Rayovac AA Alkaline Battery – Best AA Batteries In Bulk
If swapping batteries out doesn’t matter and you just need a lot of them right now, Rayovac offers a monstrously huge 500 pack of alkaline batteries. They’re mercury free and rated to last 10 years so you shouldn’t ever need to buy AA batteries again after picking up this pack.
Despite the relatively low cost, Rayovak batteries perform rather well in most tests, outlasting some of the more recognized brands. They’re not top of the line, but they aren’t scraping the barrel either.
Do note, however, that alkaline batteries are more prone to leakage than other types of disposable AA batteries. These are rated for a long shelf life so that shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s worth noting before deciding on which AA batteries are right for you.
9. Energizer Max AA – Best Branded AA Batteries
Need a lot of batteries but want to stick to a brand you know? Energizer has you covered. This 48-pack of AA alkaline batteries will last far longer than most competing batteries in demanding devices and they’re even sold at a competitive price.
They aren’t the longest-lasting batteries out there, and you’ll never enjoy the same longevity of rechargeables or lithium batteries with alkaline, but the Energizer Max are some of the best AA batteries for anyone who wants a lot of long-lasting batteries without spending a fortune.
10. Powerex Pro
These AA batteries held an impressive 2,300 mAh of charge. That’s less than the 2,700 mAh they’re rated at, but still respectable—especially given their price.
Powerex says their batteries will retain 75% of their charge after a year on the shelf. That’s 5% less juice than Panasonic claims for their Eneloop Pro. However, the Powerex Pros sell for considerably less.
How to choose the best AA Rechargeable batteries in UK 2021
What is NiMH?
All of the batteries featured here are of the nickel-metal hydride variety, or NiMH. These batteries cost only a few pounds more to buy than disposable alkalines and yet they’ll power most devices for much longer. They’ll also do so more efficiently because the voltage of a NiMH battery is maintained at 1.2V for much of its operating time. By comparison, alkaline batteries’ voltage tapers off as they’re being used.
Lithium-ion batteries should be even better at maintaining voltage, and they are just becoming available at AA sizes. At the moment they come at a price premium and capacities and running times aren’t quite up there with the best AAs. The biggest manufacturers – Panasonic, Duracell, EverReady – don’t seem to be in any rush to put Li-ion products out there. However, watch this space: the technology is improving and we may have some seriously good Li-ion rechargeable batteries before you know it.
Can I use rechargeable batteries in devices that use disposable alkaline batteries?
In the vast majority of cases, yes, although some experts have noted that some devices that require six or more batteries may not perform as well using NiMH batteries. The jury’s still out on that one.
What does mAh mean?
This is the measurement of a NiMH battery’s capacity and its ability to run a given load for a greater length of time. Basically, the higher the number on the battery, the bigger its capacity and the longer it will run. We recommend you choose batteries with a capacity of 1,900mAh or more so you don’t need to recharge quite as often. You may not see the mAh figure on the box, so check the specs in the listing first. Incidentally, mAh stands for milliampere-hour.
How we test
We tested these batteries using a cheap children’s radio-control car since these machines are renowned battery eaters. As expected, there were running time discrepancies between batteries of different miliampere hours (mAh), but all of the batteries featured here performed well.
What’s the best charger to buy?
A rechargeable battery is as useless as a chocolate teapot without a charger. There are a plethora of models out there (including a small pocket-sized model by Eneloop), but for the charging of AA and AAA batteries, the Duracell High Speed Expert and Energiser Recharge Pro are tough to beat. If you’re after a charger that tackles the five main sizes of battery (AA, AAA, C, D and 9V) then the Duracell Hi-Speed Multicharger is the model to go for.
Whatever charger you decide on, make sure it’s designed for NiMH batteries and never use it to charge lithium-ion batteries – this could end in disaster. Don’t worry if your NiMH batteries and charger feel warm to the touch while charging, it’s perfectly normal.
Whilst initially setting you back more than regular disposable batteries, over the long-term rechargeable batteries are the best option in terms of convenience, value and the environment.
It is important to consider the capacity rating and number of recharges offered for the price, but it is safe to say the technology of rechargeable batteries has significantly progressed.
All of the batteries above should be fit for purpose, however, depending upon the intended use for the best AA rechargeable batteries, different criteria will be priority; capacity, recharge cycles or overall longevity.
We hope this article has helped to speed up and demystify the process of choosing the best rechargeable battery for your needs.
Please note that all quoted prices were correct at the time of writing. As prices on Amazon can fluctuate, it is recommended to check the current prices for your time of purchase.