Rechargeable batteries are one of those purchases that can provide you with a lot of convenience and ultimately save you a decent chunk of change in the long term. While you might not think about them regularly, it’s always good to know that you have a ready made solution when you find your TV remote control not working right. But while they may all be generally inexpensive and might look the same at a glance, there is some significant variance in the quality of rechargeable batteries.
Our review guide for 2020 can help you pick out the best rechargeable batteries for your household. And when you’re done reading the reviews, be sure to check out our shopping advice and frequently asked questions located at the end of the guide.
- 10 Best Rechargeable Batteries
- 1. Panasonic BK-3MCCA8BA eneloop AA Rechargeable Batteries
- 2. Energizer Rechargeable AAA Batteries
- 3. Rayovac Rechargeable AA Batteries
- 4. AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries
- 5. EBL Rechargeable AAA Batteries
- 6. Duracell – Rechargeable AA Batteries
- 7. GEILIENERGY Solar Light AA Ni-CD Rechargeable Batteries
- 8. RayHom AAA Rechargeable Batteries
- 9. Tenergy High Drain AA and AAA Rechargeable Cell Batteries
- 10. Mr.Batt NiMH AA Rechargeable Batteries
- Rechargeable Batteries Buyer’s Guide
10 Best Rechargeable Batteries
1. Panasonic BK-3MCCA8BA eneloop AA Rechargeable Batteries
Panasonic is one of the leaders in producing some of the best and most innovative new technology for rechargeable batteries with their eneloop brand. With the eneloop batteries, Panasonic has constructed a model with no memory effect, so it can be safely recharged without risk of power loss no matter how charged or dead it is, and they come out of the package pre-charged in solar light so they're always ready to go as soon as you crack them open. And these rechargeable batteries are built to last even if you find yourself using them rarely.
With Eneloop rechargeable batteries, Panasonic promises you can maintain 70% of their charge if left unused for a period of 10 years, so you can safely stock them away for a rainy day. Eneloop batteries are also designed to worked in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Energizer Rechargeable AAA Batteries
There's no brand that's as well known or well respected in the world of batteries as Energizer, so it should come as little surprise that Energizer rechargeable batteries can stand up to all of the competition. Energizer doesn't oversell their batteries with proprietary tech talk, instead letting their standards do the talking. These Energizer batteries can last for up to a year in storage without losing their charge, and you can count on them to arrive at your door from Amazon pre-charged and ready to be used.
And Energizer is conscientious about minimizing their footprint on the environment as well. These Energizer batteries are the first to be built from 4% recycled batteries, so you can feel good about using them without having to worry about the impact your devices are having on the world around you.
3. Rayovac Rechargeable AA Batteries
Rayovac has done a great job of demonstrating that you don't need to pay a premium for high-quality rechargeable batteries that are built to last. You can get a four count of rechargeable batteries AA type for right around $5, and for just a little more, they'll even come with their own battery charger for your convenience. With the ability to recharge a total of 1500 times, these are the longest lasting and best rechargeables that Rayovac has to offer, and that puts them right behind competitors like eneloop and actually significantly ahead of their Energizer contemporaries.
And if these rechargeable AA batteries aren't to your taste, you can find Rayovac alternatives in all the major battery types. These are pre-charged rechargeable batteries, and Rayovac claims that a single one is equivalent to 1650 alkaline batteries.
4. AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries
Amazon has turned into what's arguably the largest retail company in the world by selling quality products from other manufacturers, but they're branched out into their own productions with the AmazonBasics rechargeable batteries. In terms of rechargeable batteries, AmazonBasics may not have the brand appeal that a name like eneloop does, the batteries they produce are actually some of the best in their price range. $15 for a pack of rechargeable AA batteries is appealing, especially with the promise of a capacity between 1900 mAH and 2000 mAH.
AmazonBasics rechargeable batteries will last you a good long time, but you can rest easy knowing that they can easily be recycled when you're finally done with them. With their rechargeable batteries, AmazonBasics uses a low self-discharge technology ensures they last years without needing any extra juice, and they're specially formulated to maintain a high permanent capacity even with excessive use. You can also find AmazonBasics AAA batteries.
5. EBL Rechargeable AAA Batteries
EBL offers some of the cheapest rechargeable batteries that you'll experience anywhere. Each AA battery in this pack costs roughly a dollar, but they offer respectable (although not the best) performance that well exceeds what you could expect given the price. They sport an incredibly high capacity to ensure that they maintain their worth even after being recharged countless times, and the supercell lattice from which they're constructed provides constant voltage even when they're performing heavy duty work for your devices.
EBL is clearly thoughtful about the impact their products are having on the environment as well. The completed absence of hydrogen, cadmium, and lead in their construction ensures that they won't have a negative impact on the world around them when it's finally time for disposal.
6. Duracell – Rechargeable AA Batteries
If there's a name brand battery that can compete in terms of exposure with Energizer, it's Duracell, and these rechargeable batteries are capable of keeping pace with the best in class Panasonic eneloop brand as well. They aren't the cheapest batteries on the market, but they occupy a spot right in the middle of the road as far as pricing is concerned. Also available in a AA variety, these batteries have a guaranteed shelf life of 10 years, so if you're prepping for the worst (or just using them with low capacity devices like remote controls), they're ready to fulfill your needs.
And while they don't sport the longest charge life in the industry, you can count on them to consistently get the job done. These Duracell batteries are specifically designed to reduce the risk of leakage and ensure reliable performance regardless of the situation.
7. GEILIENERGY Solar Light AA Ni-CD Rechargeable Batteries
Geilienergy isn't exactly a household name, but they create some of the best batteries we've found for people operating on a tight budget. If you have a lot of electronics that need to stay charged and you're not looking to drop a hundred dollars for that privilege, you can get a 20 pack of these rechargeable AA batteries for less than $15. And unlike most of the rechargeable AA batteries offered today, Geillenergy provides some of the best and most eco-friendly results around.
These AA batteries are unique on this list for their chemical composition. As NiCad batteries. While that unfortunately means they tend to lose their maximum capacity faster, that composition allows them to be some of the cheapest batteries on the market. If you're less worried about getting the best performance and more concerned about pricing, they'll serve you well.
8. RayHom AAA Rechargeable Batteries
Where most rechargeable batteries will degrade if you charge them when they're not completely dead, these RayHom batteries promise no memory effect, so you can charge them whenever you feel the need without having to worry about harming their long-lasting qualities. And that's just the best in a number of features from these deceptively cheap batteries.
They're also low self-discharging, so not only do you not have to fret over charging them too early, but you can also count on them to last longer than the average battery, or at least the average battery within this price range. These batteries come fully pre-charged so they're ready to go right out of the gate, and they'll contain to hold 80% of their power even if you store them for as long as three years.
9. Tenergy High Drain AA and AAA Rechargeable Cell Batteries
You'll never have to worry about running out of batteries when you rely on Tenergy. 26 dollars is enough to get you a 12 pack of both AA and AAA batteries in a single package, and that should be more than enough to cover most (if not all) of the important battery-powered electronics in your home. But if you do need to store some batteries for later, you can be confident knowing that there's no memory effect on the cells of these Tenergy models.
These batteries are rated at 2600 and 1000 mAH, so they're guaranteed to last quite some time, and you'll easily make your money back on them in just a few charges. Tenergy is also conscientious about their impact on the environment, and their batteries are compatible with most consumer grade chargers.
10. Mr.Batt NiMH AA Rechargeable Batteries
Practically any electronic gadget you have in your home can benefit from a Mr.Batt battery, and they're an especially useful choice if you want some backup batteries that are charged up and stored away for a rainy day. Mr.Batt charges each battery to 60% using solar energy before they're delivered to the customer, and you don't have to worry about much loss if you keep them tucked away in a closet. When left in storage, they only discharge about 10% over the course of an entire year.
And these are a great choice for the environment too. Since they include no cadmium, lead, or mercury, the negative impact they have on the ecosystem is refreshingly minimal.
Rechargeable Batteries Buyer’s Guide
The best rechargeable batteries are pretty similar in terms of features and performance, and they undergo similarly rigorous testing standards. And since there are a lot of great batteries on the market, that means that many of the results for our list are largely uniform in terms of quality and features. But there is some variance, and if you decide you want to follow up your reading here with some more comprehensive shopping, we want to make sure you’re prepared.
We’re here to explain all the important specs when shopping for the best rechargeable battery models, help you determine what qualities are important to you, and provide you with answers to some of the most commonly answered product questions we hear from.
Rechargeable AA and AAA batteries are far and away the most common type of rechargeable battery you’re going to find, but they certainly aren’t the only batteries on the market. And if your device needs a certain type of battery, AA and AAA batteries simple aren’t going to get the job done. You can always check the inside of your device before testing to make sure that you know what type of batteries you need, but if you’ve just ordered your new device, that might not help you very much.
Our list is focused exclusively on AA and AAA batteries, but many of the listings we’ve posted are available in other sizes as well. Below, we’ll outline where all these different types of batteries are most commonly used.
- The smallest devices that require the least amount of power typically use AAA batteries. They use the same voltage as AA batteries, but they require a much smaller power draw to perform. You’ll typically find AAA batteries in low power devices like digital cameras and smaller remote controls.
- AA batteries are the most common batteries on the market, and you’ll want to seek out AA rechargeable batteries for most of the devices you’ll use. Everything from video game consoles to TV remotes to smaller flashlights tend to use AA batteries, as they’re the recognized standard for a majority of low power electronics.
- Big and bulky, C batteries are used when you need a little more power. Larger maglight flashlights, complicated toys, and electronic instruments all tend to make use of C batteries to work.
- Electronics that use a lot of drain make use of D batteries to ensure that you don’t have to replace them often. If your device gives off a lot of power and does so for extended periods of time, it probably uses D batteries. They’re commonly used in radios and receivers for that reason.
- 9 volt batteries tend to be a bit more fringe than their lower energy counterparts. With their rectangular shape, your household probably uses 9 volts for smoke detectors, clocks, and other devices that are intended to stay reliably running for long periods of time. Because of this, rechargeable 9 volt batteries tend to be fairly rare.
Where cycles and recharges refer to the amount of times a rechargeable battery can be charged before needing to be recycled, the maximum capacity refers to how many hours a battery can go before it needs to be recharged. With alkaline batteries, max capacity is the maximum life of the battery.
Max capacity is measured in mAH, or milliAmp Hour. You should be careful to note that just because the eneloop model on our list offers a mAH rating of 2000 doesn’t mean that you’ll get 2000 hours of use out of it. Instead, the mAH rating is calculated by the number of hours you can get based on the amperage used. If you’re using an electronic device that draws 100 amperes consistently, you can count on a consistent 20 hours of usage on a single charge.
On our spec list, the battery life listed refers to the max mAH listed by the manufacturer. mAH ratings tend to deteriorate with consecutive charges, so you’ll get less value in terms of mAH out of your batteries the more times you have to recharge them. Batteries that promises a larger number of charge cycles will typically take longer to see their mAH rating drop. Max capacity is sometimes referred to as permanent capacity, but in either case, the term is used to measure mAH. You’re best off evaluating both the maximum capacity and the number of charging cycles offered when evaluating the cost value of rechargeable AA batteries.
It’s generally best practice to let your batteries fully discharge before charging them. Recharging batteries too frequently will cause their mAH rating to drop and potentially reduce the number of recharge cycles they can support.
Modern rechargeable batteries employ one of two cell types. NiMH models are composed of nickel and a metal hydride, while NiCad are composed of nickel and cadmium. In most cases, NiMH is going to be the best choice for consumers. That’s because NiMH models work better when they’re giving off a consistent discharge at relatively low power levels. The majority of devices that consumers are going to be using won’t experience high power spikes or fluctuations regularly, and the NiMH option will provide more consistent performance over long periods of time. While NiCad batteries can’t be discounted completely, there’s a reason why we only feature one NiCad model on our list.
It’s not common knowledge that leaving batteries in storage for extended periods of time will cause them to slowly degrade. And while that’s typically more of a problem for alkaline batteries (which are more likely to be stashed for later use) than for rechargeable batteries (which are intended to be used over and over again), you may want to consider the storage life of your batteries when making a purchase.
Brands like eneloop and Energizer use one of two methodologies for measuring storage life. Some battery manufacturers will list the overall lifespan of their battery, which is to say they’ll let you know when inactive batteries will simple stop working. Other manufacturers base their testing off of how much the battery will discharge over a given amount of time and present it in percent. Storage life probably won’t be a major concern, but we’ve included it here for readers who want their batteries rechargeable in the case of an emergency.
Will your rechargeable battery AA work in any battery charger? Often times yes, but that’s not a sure thing. Different bands tend to follow different standards, and the rating of your battery isn’t assured to meet the testing standards for another battery charger. For that reason, you should always get a charger of the same brand as your battery or at least make sure it’s compatible with the batteries you’re using. When budgeting your money, be sure to keep that in mind.
If you plan on using your batteries right away (or haven’t invested in a charger yet), it can be frustrating to receive your new batteries only to realize that they aren’t ready to work with your favorite electronic devices. It’s a small concern but one that can be a real hassle in the moment. Batteries that arrive pre-charged will usually say so in the description. When at all possible, we’ve tried to note which batteries come already charged with solar power. Otherwise, these batteries will usually require you to charge them before use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Best Rechargeable Batteries to Buy?
For our money, the best tested model is going to be the Panasonic eneloop. Eneloop combines a trusted brand name with some of the best technology in the business. That includes a complete lack of memory effect and that includes a lack of memory effect and the ability to work in very low temperatures. Eneloop batteries even come pre-charged. While they aren’t the cheapest model we’ve included on our list, they’re undoubtedly one great deal.
Which Rechargeable Battery Lasts the Longest?
The Panasonic eneloop offers the best recharge time overall in our list. That’s largely due to the fact that it promises a remarkable 2000 charges with a respectable 2000 mAH rating. Further bolstering their lifespan is the fact that the eneloop doesn’t suffer from any memory effect.
Are Rechargeable Batteries Worth It?
For most customers, yes. While rechargeable models may cost you more upfront, they’ll dramatically outperform conventional models and quickly pay off the difference many times over. Unless you rarely use your batteries, you’re better off investing in rechargeable. They’re also a much better choice for the environment.
What Are the Best AAA Batteries?
If you’re looking for the absolute best, we recommend EBL batteries. They combine together some smart design and an eco-friendly sensibility all at a great price. You’ll be set with these batteries for years to come.
Shopping for rechargeable batteries may not be the most exciting time, but you’ll be happy to have them when your favorite entertainment gadget dies, and they can save you a lot of money over more conventional models. Regardless of the model we choose, we hope you’ll continue to follow HotRate for all the latest reviews and guide on the coolest electronics.