Best rechargeable batteries 2023: how to find the best batteries for your devices
Want to save money and the environment? Rechargeable batteries might be a good place to start.
Reduce your impact on the environment, and save money on endless alkaline batteries with these fantastic rechargeable options. Buying rechargeable batteries is far more sustainable than using throw-away alkaline cells, so the RadioTimes.com team has taken a look at the best options out there for you to buy today.
Panasonic, Duracell and Amazon – among others – are market leaders in this field, and we’ve taken a look at their best offerings and compared them to the competition. We’ve also broken down some of the stats behind each battery and provided a range of recommendations to suit you and your unique use cases.
Gamers will know just how important and helpful rechargeable batteries can be, thanks to the foibles of Xbox Series X and Series S controllers. If you’re looking to juice up your controllers, then use this article in conjunction with our Xbox Controller charger guide.
Read on for our complete round-up of the best rechargeable batteries and battery chargers available to buy in 2023.
Giving our tech a bit of an upgrade? Give your home office a new lease of life with our recommendations for the best DAB radio and best wireless keyboard and mouse.
Best rechargeable batteries at a glance
Our guide walks you through several different battery options, but it’s the Panasonic Eneloop and Eneloop Pro that consistently come out on top in most departments.
Panasonic has quite a long history in the rechargeable battery space now, having launched the first Eneloop cells back in 2005. Those batteries only came in AA and could be recharged 1,000 times. Flash forward 18 years and now, Eneloop batteries are available in AA and AAA, as well as Pro and Lite versions. They can also be recharged up to an amazing 2,100 times, meaning they’re more sustainable than ever.
Best rechargeable batteries to buy in 2023
The Eneloop is an amazing battery. After 10 years in storage, the cells retain around 70 per cent of their charge, according to Panasonic. It’s an impressive stat that means you won’t worry too much about leaving them unattended in your kitchen drawers.
Each battery is made in Japan and goes through rigorous quality-control testing. Plus, Eneloop batteries are all pre-charged with solar energy, further adding to their eco credentials.
The AAA Eneloop carries a minimum of 750mAh, while the AA carries a minimum of 1900mAh.
To contextualise, here’s an example: Standard Eneloop AA batteries can power a digital camera for around 1,000 shots, while a normal alkaline battery only manages roughly a quarter of that, 250. There are some usage cases in which the alkaline battery out-performs these rechargeable ones, but the fact they can recharge time and time again negates that, just as it makes them better value in the long run.
So, if you want to bag yourself some longer lasting batteries and reduce your impact on the environment, check out the buying links below.
Rechargeable Batteries vs. Disposable Batteries
Rechargeable batteries have increased in both popularity and quality over time. Now, it’s common to see rechargeable batteries guaranteeing a life of up to 10 years after purchase (if they’re used and charged correctly). While disposable batteries have much shorter lifespans while in use, their low per-battery cost can make them hard to pass up. For that reason, I wanted to see which batteries will help you save the most money over time.
Of course, the environmental implications are something else to consider when deciding whether you want to use rechargeable or disposable batteries. Rechargeable batteries are ultimately better for the environment but only if used for their entire lifespans.
Whether you’re considering making the switch to rechargeable batteries to save money or to help the environment, you’ll ultimately achieve your goal by investing in a quality setup and using the rechargeables for as long as possible.
Which Is The Most Cost-Effective?
Rechargeable batteries are going to be the most cost-effective over time — but not right off the bat. You are going to spend more on rechargeable batteries than you would spend on regular batteries during the first year. Rechargeables cost more per battery: Expect to pay more than 3 per battery for a long-lasting, quality brand. Plus, the charging station is going to be an additional cost. Still, you’d be surprised at how much you can save over time by making the initial investment.
When it comes to finding an exact savings figure, that’s tough, because many factors come into play: whether you buy cheap or brand-name batteries, where you buy them, how many you use at a time and how often you replace or charge them. For that reason, what you spend and what you’ll save will vary. But generally speaking, you can expect to see rechargeable batteries pay for themselves within two to three years.
In my apartment, we have approximately 12 batteries in use at a time between game console controllers, TV remotes and wall clocks. I would estimate that we replace approximately four of those batteries each month. Of course, if you have kids with toys and electronics or a hobby like photography, you’re probably using a lot more batteries at a time.
For the sake of the price comparison, let’s assume a household replaces 6 batteries each month, or 72 batteries annually. Here’s how much that household will spend on batteries each year :
If you’re wondering whether or not it’s worth it for you personally to invest in rechargeable batteries, the short answer is most likely “yes.” Rechargeable batteries are almost always going to be cheaper over time. Even if you replace as few as four batteries each month, you’re still looking at a savings of 63.61 to 130.81 over the course of five years.
If you have kids who use batteries in their toys or if you have a battery-powered camera you use daily, know that the initial cost for rechargeable batteries will be significantly higher, but your savings over time will be even greater. Let’s say you do replace 10 batteries every month (120 every year). If you buy an eneloop charger with four rechargeable batteries plus an extra 12-pack, you’ll spend 70.98 the first year, but you’ll save 133.02-301.02 over the course of five years.
Of course, you don’t have to use rechargeable batteries in all of your battery-powered electronics. If you have batteries in a wall clock or TV remote that you only have to replace once every year or two, it may be worth it for you to stick to the
Ultimately, rechargeable batteries are going to cost more initially, but the investment will be worth it. In fact, you’ll start seeing significant savings within 2-3 years of making the switch. Over the course of five years, you’ll have saved a minimum of 63 if you replace four batteries each month. Of course, more frequent battery users will see much bigger savings of 200 in the same time period.
If you’re ready to move away from disposable batteries, make the switch to rechargeable batteries as smooth as possible by following these tips:
- Buy quality batteries and a quality charger. Chargers range from 10 to 40 on Amazon, and it’s worth spending a few extra dollars initially to get the right charger and batteries. You want them to last as long as possible. Take the time to research, read reviews and make a purchase you’ll be happy with.
- Have backups. Be sure to buy enough rechargeable batteries so that you can keep a few on standby in case you need them. For the same reason, keep a small pack of disposables ready to go in case of an emergency.
- Change the batteries strategically. When you first buy your rechargeable batteries, don’t just throw away all of the disposables you’re currently using. Get your money’s worth and switch to rechargeable batteries only when those disposables die. When you do start using rechargeable batteries, make sure they’re totally drained before putting them on charge.
Lastly, keep in mind that you don’t have to use rechargeable batteries in all of your devices in order to save money and be environmentally conscious. If you only have one or two devices that use a lot of battery power, switching those to rechargeable batteries will still make a big difference over time.
Do you use rechargeable batteries? Share your tips and recommendations in our Clark.com Community!
.34-.62 per battery cost as opposed to using a 3.33 rechargeable. Instead, you could save the rechargeable batteries for those devices that go through batteries like crazy: game console controllers, kids’ toys, cameras, etc.
Amazon is one of the best places to buy batteries with low to average prices, so I looked at the current of disposable and rechargeable AA batteries there to get an idea of how much they cost.
If you use store-brand batteries, AmazonBasics will run you about.34 per AA battery. If you prefer brand-name batteries, I found AA Energizer batteries for as low as.62 each at the time of writing (December 2022). At that price, 72 new disposable batteries each year would cost around 24.48-44.64.
When it comes to rechargeable batteries, you’ll see a higher cost during the first year. Each year afterward, you’ll have no additional cost beyond the pennies that charging adds to your electric bill.
At Amazon, I found the highly-recommended eneloop rechargeable batteries. In December 2022, a charging station with four rechargeable eneloop batteries was 17.99. Additional 4-packs of the batteries still cost 12.99, and the product page claims the batteries will maintain up to 70% charge after 10 years of storage. So if you want to begin with a charging station and eight rechargeable batteries, you’re looking at an initial startup cost of around 30.98.
Of course, rechargeable batteries and charging stations vary greatly in quality and price. You can find chargers from as low as 10 to as high as 40 on Amazon, so taking the time to research and find a happy medium between price and quality is important. You’re making an investment with rechargeable batteries, so you want to make sure they last as long as possible.
Do Battery Brands Matter?
Brand matters, though not necessarily in the way you think. Some battery brands perform better than others, but some off-brand batteries are made on the same manufacturing lines as their brand-name counterparts. SEE ALSO: Everything You Need to Know About Buying Refurbished Electronics For example, Costco’s Kirkland-brand batteries are made by Duracell, and IKEA Ladda rechargeables supposedly come off the same assembly line as Panasonic Eneloop rechargeables. You want to buy a good brand, but sometimes generic battery brands are good brands.
In most cases, one rechargeable battery costs about what four or five standard batteries cost. But even though traditional AA batteries can cost as little as 30 cents each, that adds up if you go through a lot of them. Depending on how many batteries you go through a year, the best AA batteries may be rechargeable AA batteries.
What Are the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?
To pick the best battery value, we’ll compare and features of the common AA battery. Whether you’re looking for the best AA battery or the best AAA battery, these should be a good guideline. So let’s dive in to find the best rechargeable AA batteries.
Panasonic Eneloop AA Rechargeable Batteries
- Battery capacity: 2,000 mAh or 2,550 mAh
- 2,000 mAh 8-pack price: 26.98 (3.37 each)
- 2,550 mAh 8-pack price: 33.68 (4.21 each)
- 2,000 mAh 4-pack price with charger: 17.99
For comparison, Panasonic non-rechargeable AAs cost about 84 cents each, so you’d have to use four or five Eneloop charges before you matched the cost of a single standard battery. However, if you consider the cost of the charger, Eneloop comes out ahead: a 4-pack of 2,000 mAh batteries with a charger comes at a lower price than other charger bundles.
Energizer AA Rechargeable Batteries
Energizer rechargeable batteries are the top picks from Wirecutter, due to a high capacity and long shelf life. Their top capacity is 2,300 mAh, so they have a little less power than Panasonic Eneloop Pros. But Energizer promises they’ll hold a charge for five years, so you’ll find them ready to go even if they’ve been sitting in your kitchen junk drawer.
- Battery capacity: 2,000 mAh or 2,300 mAh
- 2,000 mAh 8-pack price: 18.57 (5000.32 each)
- 2,300 mAh 8-pack price: 19.99 (5000.50 each)
- 2,000 mAh 4-pack price with charger: 18.19
Energizer’s standard batteries are around a quarter of the price of the 2,300 mAh rechargeables at 62 cents each, so you’d go through four charges before saving money. They offer good performance for a modest up-front price.
AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries
Don’t discount AmazonBasics as a knockoff brand — these are great batteries for a great price. You can choose between 2,000 mAh and a high-capacity 2,400 mAh model, both of which have low compared to similar batteries.
- Battery capacity: 2,000 mAh or 2,400 mAh
- 2,000 mAh 8-pack price: 14.99 (450.87 each)
- 2,400 mAh 8-pack price: 18.99 (5000.37 each)
- 2,000 mAh 4-pack price with charger: 23.98
Amazon’s non-rechargeable AA batteries are pricey compared to other models, selling for about 450.75 each. But even though there isn’t a dramatic difference between their rechargeable and non-rechargeable models, the rechargeables are still a great value compared to other brands — they cost 44% less than the Panasonic Eneloop.
Duracell AA Rechargeable Batteries
Duracell’s rechargeable batteries have nearly as much capacity as the Panasonic Eneloop — but they’re also more expensive than the 2,000 mAh Eneloops and get middling reviews after real-world testing. They’re neither the best nor the worst rechargeable batteries on the market, and if you find them at a good price they may not be a bad buy.
- Battery capacity: 2,450 mAh
- 2,450 mAh 4-pack price: 14.48 (3.62 each)
- 2,450 mAh 6-pack price with charger: 18.81
Standard Duracell CopperTop AA batteries are more modestly priced at 89 cents each, leaving them in the middle of the road pricewise. Like most other brands, you’d have to go through four AA charges before you saved money by buying rechargeable units.
Rayovac AA Rechargeable Batteries
Wondering which is the best battery in a Rayovac vs. Duracell battle of affordable brands? A low price of 450.56 per battery means Rayovac’s rechargeables have a very modest start-up price. But temper your enthusiasm, because they also have a low 1,350 mAh capacity, so you can expect a shorter battery life. They might be a reasonable choice for low-power devices that don’t go through batteries quickly — but that also means it’ll take longer for them to start saving money. In this case, Duracell definitely is the winner.
- Battery capacity: 1,350 mAh
- 1,350 mAh 8-pack price: 12.46 (450.56 each)
Rayovac’s standard alkaline batteries are also modestly priced at 72 cents each, so you’ll start saving money after three batteries. Still, if you want to power RC cars and other gadgets that burn through batteries, they may not be the best AA batteries for your needs.
IKEA Ladda AA Rechargeable Batteries
When you’re shopping for batteries, you probably don’t think of IKEA — but its rechargeable batteries have the best battery on the market. Low-power rechargeable AA batteries cost just 450 each, while beefy 2,450 mAh batteries are only 450.75 each. Their performance is on par with the much more expensive Panasonic Eneloop — possibly because they’re Eneloops by a different name. While neither Panasonic nor IKEA confirm this, both batteries are produced in the same factory in Japan and have nearly identical performance.
Don’t Forget the Charger
If you’re buying rechargeable batteries, you’ll need a charger. Typically, these devices are universal, so you can charge any NiMH battery — including those on this list — in any NiMH charger. Most models can also handle batteries of different sizes: AAs and AAAs will often fit in the same unit. Just be sure to check the details before you click buy.
Often you’ll find the best value in batteries bundled with chargers. These packages will usually include four batteries with a charger that can hold all four for around 20. If you buy a charger separately, expect 4-battery chargers to start at 10, but you can buy chargers that will hold as many as 18 batteries. They’re costly, though, and can be as much as 40. But 8-battery chargers are the best value — you can find them for as little as 10, just like a 4-battery charger. For the best battery charger, however, expect to spend a little more, from 15 to 25.
Readers, what are your go-to brands for rechargeable batteries? Let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below!
Originally working in IT, Elizabeth now writes on tech, gaming, and general consumer issues. Her articles have appeared in USA Today, Time, AOL, PriceGrabber, and more. She has been one of DealNews’ most regular contributors since 2013, researching everything from vacuums to renters insurance to help consumers.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
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The mainstream chargers charge batteries in pairs in series with each other. If one battery is fully charged and one is in a discharged state the charger will sense a lower total voltage from the pair and therefore over charge the fully charged battery. This boiling of the good battery and thus ruining it has led to a lot of people not liking NiMH rechargeables. When using two or more batteries in a device one should always use batteries with very close capacities. If you use two AA batteries in a flashlight and one has a capacity of 2400mAH but the other one has only a 1300mAH capacity the flashlight will stop working after 1300mAH are drawn from the pair of batteries. The 2400mAH battery will be only partially discharged but when the 1300mAH is exhausted the flashlight will quit working. If you place these two batteries in a charger that requires 2 cells to operate you over charge the partially drained 2400mAH contributing to it’s early demise.
Low-Power Devices Last Longer with Disposable AAs
Just a few decades ago, the vast majority of battery-powered electronics used disposable alkaline batteries. And it was an expensive pain in the neck—devices that used a lot of power, such as portable game consoles or CD players, could blow through a set of batteries after just a few hours.
These power-hungry electronics now run on built-in rechargeable batteries. It’s a serious convenience, and it’s an even bigger money saver.
But some new electronics, specifically low-power devices like clocks and TV remotes, still use disposable AAs and AAAs. And this is for good reason—disposable alkaline batteries have a much lower self-discharge rate than their NiMH equivalents. If a product needs to last for several months on battery power, disposable batteries are usually the best option, as they’re capable of sitting around without losing their charge.
And, in some cases, you may choose to use disposable batteries in your power-hungry devices. Maybe you pick up your old Game Boy just a few times each month, for example. If you expect that Game Boy to still have a charge after sitting around, disposable batteries are your best bet. (Bear in mind that alkaline batteries will leak when left unattended for too long.)
Just to be crystal clear, disposable and rechargeable AAs tend to have a similar capacity. If you stick them both in a power-hungry device, like a Game Boy, they’ll die around the same time. It’s the low self-discharge rate of disposable batteries that makes them ideal for low-power electronics.
And this is really a matter of preference; if you want to avoid buying new batteries, or if you’re concerned about the environmental impact of disposable batteries, go ahead and use rechargeable AAs or AAAs in your low-power devices. But you can’t use rechargeable batteries in everything.
Duracell Coppertop AA Batteries (24 Count)
Buy some long-lasting alkaline batteries for your TV remotes, clocks, or any other low-powered devices in your home.