Guide to the Best Rechargeable Batteries
Shopping for rechargeable batteries isn’t quite like buying disposable batteries where you can just pick the first one you see on the store shelves or add to your cart the first one that pops up on your screen when you shop for them online. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for the rechargeable version because there are important features that will define your overall experience. Getting the best rechargeable batteries will make a world of difference as opposed to the performance of the standard, cheap rechargeable batteries of poor quality.
While the traditional single-use disposable batteries remain popular due to their cheaper cost, rechargeable batteries are now the practical choice because of their cost-effective long-term benefits, better performance, convenience offer, and eco-friendly advantage.
So, if you’re in the market for the best rechargeable batteries, getting to the right product isn’t going to be easy without knowledge of the basics of rechargeable batteries and the necessary features that you should look for under the radar. However, there’s no cause for worry because we’ve got you covered with this quick guide that will give you just about every vital information you need that will take the stress away during your shopping.
- Best Rechargeable Batteries At a Glance
- What to Look for in Rechargeable Batteries?
- Best Rechargeable Battery Reviews
- 1. Energizer Recharge Universal AA – Top Performing Rechargeable Battery
- 2. Panasonic Eneloop AA – Best Overall Rechargeable Battery
- 3. AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries – Best Value
- 4. Panasonic Eneloop Pro – Best Rechargeable AAA Battery
- 5. EBL High Capacity – Best AA Rechargeable Battery
- 6. Duracell Rechargeable
- 7. Powerex PRO AA High-Capacity Rechargeable Batteries
- 8. Tenergy Rechargeable (2500mAh)
- 9. Powerowl AAA Rechargeable Batteries
- 10. Rayovac Rechargeable
- In a Nutshell
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Best Selling Rechargeable Batteries
Best Rechargeable Batteries At a Glance
At a glance below is the list of our top 10 best rechargeable batteries. We also have our top picks for the best products in certain categories, such as top-performing batteries, best overall, best in value, and more. We also have individual reviews with the pros and cons of each product in the sections below.
- Top-Performing Rechargeable Battery – Energizer Recharge Universal AA
- Best Overall Rechargeable Battery – Panasonic Eneloop AA
- Best Value – AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries
- Best Rechargeable AAA Battery – Panasonic Eneloop Pro
- Best AA Rechargeable Battery – EBL High Capacity
- Duracell Rechargeable
- Powerex PRO AA High Capacity Rechargeable Batteries
- Tenergy Rechargeable (2500mAh)
- Powerowl AAA Rechargeable Batteries
- Rayovac Rechargeable
What to Look for in Rechargeable Batteries?
Most rechargeable batteries may look physically the same based on their visual presentations, but they actually greatly differ in performance, which is something you cannot see during shopping. This makes it relatively difficult during the buying process if you don’t know anything about rechargeable batteries. However, if you know what to look for, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding the right product suitable for your needs and intended use. There are a couple of features that can help you decide if the product is the right one for your needs, and we’ll discuss the important ones.
In rechargeable batteries, the energy capacity is measured in milliamp hours or mAh. The higher the energy rating, the longer it will last or the more energy available in a short time. So, if you’re planning to use the batteries for high-drain devices like a camera flash, you should probably go for the ones with the highest energy capacity. Also, the energy capacity can give you an idea of the run time of the batteries. The higher the capacity rating, the longer the time you can use the device until the next charge. For instance, if a 1000mAH battery gives you about an hour of use with a certain device, a 2000mAH battery can give you 2 hours of use on the same device.
Rechargeable batteries will eventually discharge after prolonged use, and a charge cycle is simply the process of charging and discharging a rechargeable battery. In general, charge cycles are rated in terms of the number of times you can charge them until they lose the capacity to recharge again.
On average, rechargeable batteries have a charge cycle of 500 times, but premium brands have better offers with twice the charge cycle versus the standard products. Other brands can let you charge as much as more than 2500 times. So, if you’re the one who burns through batteries quickly, then you shouldn’t just settle for the 500-time charge cycle. You’re better off with the best recyclable batteries rated for around 2000 or more cycles.
Size matters a lot in batteries, and battery size is defined by letters. Generally, the available battery sizes are D, C, AA, AAA, and AAAA. Size D is the biggest size, followed by size C. For the number of letters A, as a rule of thumb, the more letter As you see, the smaller the battery. Therefore, AA batteries are the bigger size, and the smallest size is the AAAA battery.
It is important to know beforehand the size of the battery you intend to buy because even the best rechargeable AA batteries will not fit in the slots for AAAA batteries and vice versa. There are rechargeable batteries for all sizes. You can find the best rechargeable D batteries and the best rechargeable C batteries on the market. In our review, however, we’ll just focus on the best rechargeable AA and AAA batteries.
When it comes to rechargeables in the battery market, there are several types of rechargeable batteries to choose from. They are usually classified based on their chemical composition. Among the available choices are lithium-ion polymer (LiPo), lead-acid, nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), nickel-cadmium (NiCd), lithium-ion (Li-ion), and rechargeable alkaline batteries.
Alkaline batteries are usually popular in the disposable battery market, but there are also rechargeable versions. These batteries can carry their charge for several years, longer than some of the other types, and they also have better recharging efficiency.
Lead-acid batteries are perhaps the oldest rechargeable battery type. They have the ability to supply a huge surge of currents, which means that the cells can maintain a quite large power-to-weight ratio. The good thing about lead-acid batteries is their low cost, making them more practical to use in motor vehicles, which require a power surge for ignition.
Lithium-ion batteries are the ideal type to use for portable electronics because of their excellent energy densities and slow discharge loss during storage or when not in use. These batteries can also operate well over a wider range of temperature extremes, and they also have the mobility advantage due to their small and lightweight construction. However, they are also more expensive.
A close relative to the lithium-ion battery is the lithium-ion polymer battery. Their primary distinction is that their lithium salt electrolyte is not held in an organic solvent but in a solid polymer composite, like polyethylene oxide. The notable advantages of LiPo batteries over Li-ion batteries are ruggedness, reliability, lower cost, and adaptability to a wide range of packaging designs. On the downside, they hold less charge.
Nickel-cadmium batteries usually have robust designs. They are excellent in extreme environments, such as hot or cold weather, and best for high-output deep-discharge devices. On the downside, NiCad batteries lack the memory effect benefits of the other types. This means that if you don’t completely charge them after use, let’s say up to 70% only, on your next charge, they will only charge up to the same amount at 70%. Nonetheless, NiCad batteries are quick and easy to charge, and they can take more charging times. They are also cheaper in cost.
A nickel-metal hydride battery, also known as NiMH batteries, is quite similar to the Nickel-cadmium cell, or NiCd batteries. Both batteries use positive electrodes of nickel oxyhydroxide (NiOOH), but the negative electrodes of NiMH batteries use a hydrogen-absorbing alloy instead of cadmium. NiMH batteries have a better capacity of up to two to three times the capacity of a NiCd battery of the same size, and their energy density is almost at par with lithium-ion cells. These batteries have excellent resistance to overcharging and over-discharging, and they have extremely lightweight construction. Plus, they have better eco-friendly benefits over their cadmium, lead, and mercury counterparts.
Capacity retention is the ability of the rechargeable battery to store and retain the charged energy for a certain period of time. This is usually defined by the amount of energy retained for a number of months or years. This is one aspect that sets one brand from the others since the capacity retention significantly varies by brand.
Some batteries can retain a full charge for up to 12 months of nonuse, while others can keep up to 80% of the charge for 3 years. One brand can retain up to 80% of the stored energy capacity for as long as 10 years. If you want to know what the best rechargeable batteries with excellent capacity retention are, check out our reviews of the top 10 best rechargeable batteries. So, read on.
Best Rechargeable Battery Reviews
Below are the brief reviews of each product in our top 10 list, highlighting the aforementioned essential features, like energy retention and rated capacity. For a balanced review, we’ve also included the pros and cons of each product.
1. Energizer Recharge Universal AA – Top Performing Rechargeable Battery
Energizer is a popular and trusted name in the world of batteries, and the Recharge Universal AA is considered the first rechargeable AA battery in the world made with 4% recycled batteries. These 2000mAH batteries are rechargeable up to 1000 times, and a full charge in storage can last up to 12 months. On a single charge, you have an 8-hour window for handheld gaming devices or 5.5 hours of toy activities. Plus, it has an extended life composition that gives you up to 5 years of usable battery life under normal use.
The Energizer Recharge Universal AA consistently tops the charts on scan sales as the world’s no. 1 recharge brand. The outstanding rechargeable time, extended battery life, and more usage hours make the Energizer Recharge Universal AA our top-performing rechargeable battery.
- The battery is rechargeable up to 1000 times.
- Extended battery life up to 5 years.
- Up to 8 usage hours on some applications like handheld gaming devices.
- A full charge in storage can last up to 12 months only, while other brands in years.
- Improper storage may lead to corrosion.
2. Panasonic Eneloop AA – Best Overall Rechargeable Battery
- Recharge up to 2100 times
- Maintain up to 70% of their charge after 10 years (when not it use)
- 2000mAh Type, 1900mAh min, Ni-MH pre-charged rechargeable battery
The Panasonic Eneloop AA features an astounding rechargeable time of up to 2100 times and is capable of maintaining up to 70% of the charge for up to a whopping 10 years during storage or when the battery is not in use. So just charge and leave it, or store the battery in a safe place. Ten years later, you’ll still have 70% of the charge to use. The batteries have no memory effect, meaning they can be recharged safely even when partially discharged without affecting its performance and longevity.
Moreover, the batteries are ready to use and pre-charged at the Energizer factory using solar energy. You’ll enjoy the flexibility advantage in your choices of packaging, from 4 and 8 counts to 16 counts. Combo packs are also available with a mix of AA batteries and AAA batteries, and there are complete kits that have both the batteries and the charger. Considering the long storage life of up to 10 years and that it can be recharged up to 2100 times, plus the high capacity rating, no doubt, the Panasonic Eneloop is the best overall rechargeable battery.
- With up to 2100 rechargeable times
- Maintains 70% of the charge during storage for up to 10 years
- Safe to recharge even when partially discharged with no memory effect
- The plastic wraps may sometimes loosen easily.
- Don’t expect the pre-charged batteries to be at 100% charge.
3. AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries – Best Value
- RELIABLE PERFORMANCE: 8-pack of pre-charged AA rechargeable NiMH batteries (2,000 mAh) for professional or everyday use
- DEVICE COMPATIBLE: For remote controls, flashlights, toys, wireless devices, game controllers and more
- LONG LASTING: Can be recharged up to 1000 times with minimal power loss; provides consistent discharge performance
The AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries are pre-charged high-capacity 2400mAh batteries that are perfect for everyday use. These Amazon battery packs are available in several counts, starting from 4, 8, and 12 to as many as 16 and 24 counts. You will get the best value for your money if you opt for the 24 counts where each battery will cost you a little over a dollar instead of the 4-pack at more than 2 dollars apiece. You’ll further enjoy the flexibility of choice on the rated capacity of the batteries, either the high-capacity 2400mAh or the performance 2000mAh. These batteries have a very low self-discharge, allowing them to maintain 80% capacity for 24 months of storage. They are also ready to use and factory pre-charged, rechargeable up to 400 times with minimal capacity loss. Plus, they are reasonably priced and affordable, which conforms to the basic idea of AmazonBasics, which is to offer highly rated products at affordable prices. All these variables led us to pick the AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries as the best in value.
- Affordable price
- Flexible options for the rated capacity and battery counts
- Retains up to 80% of stored capacity after 24 months
- Average battery life at only 400 charge cycles.
- Some are made in China, while others are made in Japan.
4. Panasonic Eneloop Pro – Best Rechargeable AAA Battery
- Rechargeable up to 500x
- Precharged & ready to use
- Retains 85% of its charge for 1 year when not in use
The Panasonic Eneloop Pro are high-capacity Ni-MH “low self-discharge” batteries that utilize the advanced rechargeable technology of Panasonic. These batteries can deliver increased power capacity for devices that demand high power consumption. This makes them ideal for tactical flashlights, walkie-talkie radios, battery-powered lanterns, remote control toys, DSLR camera flash units, and more. These Panasonic batteries are rechargeable up to 500 times and capable of maintaining 85% of the charge for about a year. The Panasonic Eneloop Pro batteries have a high rated capacity of up to 2550mAh, and they come pre-charged using solar power. These batteries can operate in cold areas with low temperatures up to -4°F. Considering the high capacity rating, the 500 rechargeable times, and its adaptability to temperature extremes, the Panasonic Eneloop Pro batteries are indeed the best AAA rechargeable batteries.
- The batteries have a high capacity rating of up to 2550mAh.
- These batteries can operate at low temperatures up to -4°F.
- Good storage life of 1 year at 85% of the charge.
- Limited available packs at only 4 and 8 counts.
- They are not long-lasting batteries.
5. EBL High Capacity – Best AA Rechargeable Battery
- Battery: Pack of 8 AA 2800mAh Ni-MH rechargeable batteries with battery storage cases
- EBL batteries can be recharged up to 1200 times when fully or partially drained
- Improved low self discharge makes it still maintain 80% of capacity after 3 year of non-use
If you’re looking for rechargeable batteries that can give you much longer run times, then the EBL High-Capacity AA batteries are highly recommended, with a rated capacity of up to 2800mAh. Moreover, you can recharge these batteries up to 1,200 times when partially or fully drained, which makes these batteries extremely economical. They can retain 80% of the charge for 3 years of nonuse. These batteries are great for remote devices, toys, gadgets, game consoles, digital cameras, and more. The EBL High-Capacity AA batteries are also the best rechargeable batteries for solar lights.
EBL is a trusted name in the battery market with more than 20 years of professional experience since 1998. Their rechargeable batteries are infused with ProCyco Technology, short for professional recycle, which optimizes the batteries to their best capacity while charging and allows them to recycle up to 1200 times. Their battery cells are also fully upgraded to ensure safety while offering reliability. The excellent charge cycles of these batteries at 1200 times, plus the 3-year retention of 80% of the charge, led us to conclude that these batteries are the best AA batteries on our list.
- High-rated capacity of up to 2800mAh
- Rechargeable up to 1,200 times
- Excellent 3-year retention of up to 80% of the charge when not in use
- They may be slightly bigger in size to fit with some devices.
- The actual rated capacity of some batteries may slightly differ from the advertised rating.
- 2,650mAh capacity
- Ideally suited for powering digital cameras
- Can be charged in as little as half an hour using the Duracell 30-Minute Charger
Duracell is one of the trusted names in the battery market, known for its world-class quality and durability, and its rechargeable batteries truly live up to their name. The high-rated capacity of up to 2,650mAh makes it suitable for powering digital cameras, personal electronic gadgets, computer accessories, flashlights, and other household items. Plus, it has a faster charging time, as little as half an hour if using the Duracell 30-minute charger. So, it’s a great rechargeable battery you can carry around while on the go.
- Fast charging time in as little as 30 minutes
- High capacity rating of as much as 2,650mAh
- Good quality product from a trusted name in the battery market
- They are not pre-charged, so full charging prior to use is necessary.
- Average run time.
- Ultra high capacity, 2700mAh
- Optimized for high drain devices
- Retains up to 75% of charge after 1 year in storage
The Powerex PRO AA High-Capacity Rechargeable Batteries were built for performance with a high-capacity rating of up to 2700mAh. These batteries are also optimized for high-drain devices such as remote-controlled toys, digital cameras, flashlights, wireless mouse and keyboards, wireless microphones, game controllers, and more. You can charge these batteries and store them, and you can still enjoy up to 75% of the charge after a year of nonuse.
With Powerex PRO AA High-Capacity batteries, you can minimize clutter by allowing you to reuse the batteries over and over again, up to 500 times or more. This gives you significant savings over time while allowing you to take part in reducing the carbon footprint of disposable batteries. They are the perfect rechargeable batteries for those in cold climates with freezing temperatures up to -4°F. At the same time, they are the best rechargeable AA batteries for solar lights as well. The Powerex PRO AA High-Capacity is a good rechargeable NiMH battery at a reasonable price.
- Retains 75% of charge after one year of nonuse
- Great for use in cold areas up to -4°F
- Affordable price for NiMH batteries with a high capacity of up to 2700mAh
- These batteries have an average battery life.
- The actual rating of some batteries may not go as high as advertised.
- Replace standard batteries - Replacements for standard alkaline AA sized batteries. These NiMH AA rechargeable batteries measure 50.5mm (length) x 14.5mm (diameter) and fit any standard AA size...
- Money saving eco-friendly - Tenergy rechargeable batteries AA can be recharged up to 1000 times and between 1-10 charges will have paid for themselves. You are also diminishing the carbon footprint by...
- Everyday usage - Ideal rechargeable high capacity replacement AA cell is ideal for high/low draining electronic items. Use it in all your household everyday devices such as LED lights, flashlights,...
The Tenergy AA Rechargeable Battery can be your everyday battery for the daily use of your devices. The high capacity of up to 2500mAh means you have more usage time with these NiMH AA 1.2-volt batteries. If you’re conscious about carbon footprint, then you should consider the Tenergy Rechargeable Battery on your list because they are environmentally friendly and UL-certified with no mercury and no cadmium. You can also reduce the carbon footprint of disposable batteries by recharging up to 1000 times. Plus, they have no memory effect, which means you can charge them anytime, even if they are partially discharged. These Tenergy AA rechargeable batteries are ideal for both low- and high-drain electronic items, including solar lights, LED lights, flashlights, calculators, controllers, remote devices, and cordless phones, among others.
- High-capacity rating of up to 2500mAh
- Environment-friendly and UL-certified batteries
- Rechargeable up to 1000 times
- Overcharging may damage the battery.
- Some deliveries seem like old stocks with manufacturing dates of around 2006 to 2007.
- High Capacity: 1000mAh Powerowl AAA rechargeable batteries 1.2V Ni-MH.
- Longer Service Life: Powerowl rechargeable batteries can be recharged over 1200 times and keep 70% power after non-use for 3 years. It is highly recommended to fully charge each battery before first...
- Environment Friendly: Powerowl rechargeable batteries don’t contain Hg/Cd/Pb. They are recycled and eco-friendly.
Another eco-friendly rechargeable battery is the Powerowl AAA Rechargeable Batteries, which contain no Hg/Cd/Pb and no pollution to the environment. These 1000mAh batteries have a longer service life of up to 1,200 rechargeable cycles. They also have excellent charge and discharge performance, with the ability to keep up to 70% charge after nonuse for 3 years. Moreover, they are impact-resistant with resistance to abrasion, making them perfect for remotes and controls, including handheld games, LED lights, alarm clocks, battery-powered toothbrushes, portable audio players, digital cameras, and various home appliances. The recharging time of Powerowl AAA Rechargeable Batteries to a full charge is about 2 to 3 hours, which is at par with the standard rechargeable batteries in the market. One of the positive highlights of the brand is the 30-day money-back and 12-month warranty offers, which is not bad for rechargeable batteries at an affordable price.
- Impact- and abrasion-resistant
- Very affordable price
- With 30-day money-back and 12-month warranty offers
- Average rated capacity is upt to 1000mAh only.
- These batteries are not pre-charged and require a full charge prior to use.
- 8 pack of Rayovac 1350mAh Rechargeable NiMH AA Batteries
- Lasts up to 2x longer vs Rayovac standard AA alkaline in digital cameras (results may vary by device)
- Double A batteries ideal for high use devices including gaming controllers, wireless mice, flashlights and remote-control vehicles
There are three distinct features of the Rayovac Rechargeable batteries. First, they have a 5-year power guarantee, which means these 1350mAh batteries can hold power for up to 5 years in storage and not in use. Secondly, you can recharge the batteries up to 500 times, and one Rayovac Rechargeable battery is equivalent to about 1650 Alkaline single-use batteries. This gives you the opportunity to help in the global cause for a healthier environment by keeping disposable batteries out of landfills.
Lastly, these batteries can last up to twice longer than Alkaline batteries in digital cameras. So, you will enjoy more usage hours with these rechargeable batteries compared to the number of hours you’ll get with conventional Alkaline disposable batteries. They are also very affordable at only less than two dollars per count. So, if you’re in search for good-quality rechargeable batteries without breaking the bank, the Rayovac Rechargeable batteries should be on your list as it is in our top 10 list.
- They can last twice longer than Alkaline batteries.
- Long storage life of 5 years.
- Very affordable batteries that cost less than two dollars per count.
- Low-capacity rating of only 1350mAh
- You can charge these batteries up to 500 times only and not 1500 times as advertised.
In a Nutshell
Not all batteries are equal, and there’s always one that has the edge over the rest. Like all else, however, they’re not perfect in every way, and you can always find flaws in every product. You’ll just have to balance the pros and cons as we presented above so you can arrive at a wiser decision on the suitable battery for your intended use.
It’s easy to pick the best rechargeable batteries with the highest capacity rating complemented by a super-extended energy-retention capability like the Panasonic Eneloop AA. Sometimes, though, the best rechargeable batteries are not always the most suitable, or the right one, for what you intend to use them for.
You must always keep in mind your purpose and why you’re in the market for batteries. If you’re going to use them for high-drain devices that demand high power for a short time, rechargeable batteries would be the best option. However, if you intend to use them for low-drain devices that require just enough power for several months, like wall clocks, investing more in rechargeable batteries may not be practical.
Most devices right now are more demanding in power, and rechargeable batteries are generally the cost-effective alternative. On top of that, the growing worldwide concerns about the impact of disposable batteries on the environment further make recyclable products like rechargeable batteries a green-friendly option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to several frequently asked questions.
What’s the Difference Between Rechargeable Batteries and Single-Use Batteries?
The traditional, disposable batteries that you’ve known for years are single-use batteries, sometimes known as primary batteries. Once these batteries are fully discharged, they should be disposed of properly. Single-use batteries are now available in various types, such as carbon-zinc, silver-oxide, alkaline, zinc-air, and lithium batteries. They are, however, more popularly known as Alkaline batteries. On the other hand, rechargeable batteries can be used multiple times from 500 up to 1000 rechargeable cycles or more. There are also a few types of rechargeable batteries, such as lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, nickel-cadmium (NiCd), and nickel-metal-mydride (NiMH) batteries. Rechargeables are more associated with NiMH batteries, while lithium batteries are the premiums.
How Can You Take Care of Rechargeable Batteries?
Proper care and maintenance are the keys to the longevity of rechargeable batteries. One of the best ways to provide proper care is to store these batteries in a cool and dry place and away from direct sunlight since heat can accelerate corrosion, thereby shortening the battery life. Likewise, your recharging habit is essential in extending the life of the battery. You should avoid overcharging since this could lead to damage and shorten its life. Some batteries may require a regular charge/discharge cycle to extend their life. This, however, depends on the brand. Therefore, read the maintenance fine prints of the device, and observe the recommended maintenance measures to ensure the batteries are in their optimum performance and form.
Which Devices Can You Power with Rechargeable Batteries?
The ideal devices to use rechargeable batteries are high-drain applications or those that demand high power for short periods of time. They are also the ideal one to use on devices that you regularly use, such as wireless console controllers, digital cameras, Bluetooth devices, and portable video games. However, if you’re looking for batteries for low-drain devices like alarm clocks and TV controllers, you’re better off using the conventional disposable single-use batteries.
How Can I Charge My Rechargeable Batteries?
There are separate chargers specific for rechargeable batteries. Some are quick or superfast chargers, while others are overnight chargers. Most rechargeable battery brands usually have their own rechargeable battery chargers for their products, and it is best to purchase them as a set during your first use to ensure compatibility. You may also use third-party battery chargers of other brands, but make sure they are compatible and suitable for the sizes of your batteries.