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Think about the household devices and tech gadgets you use on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis that require AA or AAA batteries—TV remotes, video doorbells, alarm clocks, children's toys, game controllers, cordless phones, smoke detectors, electric salt and pepper mills, handheld mixers, and the list goes on.
If you opt for single-use disposable batteries, there are two negatives you should consider: the cost of repeated replacement purchases and electronic waste—dead batteries ultimately end up in a landfill.
An option that is more appealing for the environment and your wallet is rechargeable batteries. While there is a bigger cost initially, rechargeable AA and AAA batteries—depending on the brand—can be juiced up hundreds of times, ultimately saving you money and reducing what you're sending to the landfill.
When it's time to get your gadgets going again, these are the rechargeable batteries worth your money.
Best Rechargeable AA and AAA Batteries
Best Value Batteries: Tenergy Premium PRO NiMH AA/AAA Batteries
Longest-Lasting AA Batteries: Panasonic eneloop AA NiMH Charger and Batteries
Longest-Lasting AAA Batteries: Panasonic eneloop AAA NiMH Charger and Batteries
Best AA Batteries for Remote Controls: Energizer AA/AAA Recharge Pro Charger and NiMH Batteries
Best AAA Batteries for Remote Controls: Deleepow AA/AAA LCD Smart Charger and NiMH Batteries
Best AA Batteries for Toys: Amazon Basics Charger and NiMH Batteries
Best AA Batteries for Video Game Controllers: Duracell Rechargeable NiMH AA Batteries
Best AA Batteries for Motorized Devices: Tenavolt AA Lithium Batteries and Charger
Best AAA Batteries for Motorized Devices: AmpTorrent AAA Lithium Batteries with USB Charging Cable
Best Large Capacity Battery Charger: Tenergy TN438 16-Bay NiMH/NiCAD AA/AAA Charger
The Expert: For nearly 40 years, I've been reviewing consumer technology for publications including U.S. News & World Report, CNET, Rolling Stone, and Sound & Vision. I’m also a judge for the Consumer Technology Hall of Fame. I have reviewed and used many rechargeable AA and AAA batteries over the years.
Rechargeable AA and AAA batteries come in two main types: nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and lithium. NiMH batteries are more popular and have been around a while. In 2020, a handful of Chinese companies started selling a rechargeable version of lithium batteries. Here’s how the two types stack up:
Longevity: NiMH batteries generally outlast lithium ones. NiMHs also retain their power better when they’re sitting idle on a shelf. That’s why they are perfect for TV remote controls, wireless keyboards, digital cameras and camera flashes, wall clocks, and video-game controllers.
Performance: Lithium batteries put out 1.5 volts of energy, while NiMHs put out 1.2 volts. Lithium batteries have the advantage in devices where power supply is key. Motorized products, from remote-control toys to electric toothbrushes, run better on lithium.
More Power To You: Portable Chargers • Electric Vehicle Chargers • Portable Power Stations
Recharge Time: It takes 3 to 7 hours to recharge a NiMH battery, while a lithium one fully recharges in an hour or two. For quick turnaround, lithium wins hands down.
Recharge Quality: Both types lose 20- to 30-percent of their might after several dozen recharges or when you don’t use them for a while. Lithium batteries have the slight edge on retaining power during multiple recharges, while NiMH batteries hold their charge longer when left unused.
Charger Considerations: You can typically use a NiMH AA/AAA charger with any brand of battery. Many have a flip-down AC jack that plugs directly into an AC power outlet. Conversely, lithium batteries should be repowered in their manufacturer-specific chargers.
Price: Overall, rechargeable batteries are a better buy than disposables—and you start saving right away. One major brand, for instance, sells a pack of eight single-use batteries for $22 and rechargeables (with charger included) for $30. If you recharged the batteries just once, you’d save money. But the truth is, you can recharge batteries hundreds if not thousands of times. The $10 here, $15 there, that you’d spend on disposables really adds up.
From the dozens of options on the market, I considered products only from well-known, reputable brands. These manufacturers have a proven track record of battery quality and charger compatibility. I also personally tested rechargeable AA and AAA batteries in a variety of devices to compare their performance.
If you use lots of batteries for home or business, you can’t do better than this bulk bundle of 12 AA and 12 AAA batteries. Made by a Silicon Valley battery supplier, this brand holds its charge, so you don’t have to change your batteries as often. While there are less expensive 24-packs on the market, they generally don’t last as long.
Keep in mind that with this set, you need to purchase a charger separately if you don't already own one.
Tenergy Premium Pro NiMH AA/AAA Batteries
Chances are these batteries will still be going strong even when you’re ready to retire the device they’re powering. The Panasonic eneloop remains more powerful after multiple recharges than many of its competitors. Plus, you can recharge the batteries up to five times more than another well-known brand. Whoa!
Panasonic eneloop AA NiMH Charger and Batteries
Although you may get slightly less oomph from a single charge than with some other options, these Panasonic batteries hold up over the long haul. They can handle more than 2,000 recharges.
Panasonic eneloop AAA NiMH Charger and Batteries
You can’t beat the price on these Energizer batteries. While they don’t have quite as much juice as what you'll find from some other brands, you won’t notice a difference in low-power devices like remote controls.
Energizer AA Recharge Pro Charger and NiMH Batteries
If you’re killing it at Mario Kart, you don’t want your controller’s battery to die mid-game. Video game controllers need dependable, powerful batteries, and this Duracell four-pack outgames other brands.
It lasts longer on a single charge and doesn’t wear out as much when recharged many times. If you don’t have a compatible charger, you can buy one separately or buy a pack that comes with a charger.
Duracell Rechargeable NiMH AA Batteries
Motorized products, like a personal fan, electric toothbrush, and remote-control cars, run better on lithium batteries than NiMH versions.
When I compared them in an electric toothbrush, the device vibrated more with the lithiums, leading to a better cleaning. This lithium brand is as good as it gets, lasting 20-percent longer than most of its competitors. Plus, it provides more consistent voltage so your device runs nearly as effectively as the battery nears the end of its charge as it did at the start.
Tenavolts AA Lithium Batteries and Charger
The highest power level offered in this battery type, Deleepow’s bundle is an excellent buy. Its LCD chargers are backlit, making it easy to see the level of each individual battery.
Once it reaches capacity, the charger trickles in power to make sure a battery is always filled. And unlike some chargers that allow you to power only two or four batteries at a time, this device permits you to charge the amount you need.
Deleepow AA/AAA LCD Smart Charger and NiMH Batteries
Similar to the company's AA version, these batteries don’t run out of juice as fast as their competitors. While it’s a little awkward to hook up the batteries individually to the USB cable for recharging, you get used to it pretty quickly.
AmpTorrent AAA Lithium Batteries with USB Charging Cable
If your kids play with a lot of battery-powered toys or you use devices that have a continuous drain (like gaming controllers or wireless devices), these batteries are for you.
You’ll receive eight AA batteries in this pack, but you can purchase up to a 16-count. The batteries themselves are good quality, and can be recharged several hundred times.
Amazon Basic Rechargeable AA NiMh High-Capacity Batteries
If you need to recharge batteries in bulk, this 16-bay device gets the job done. It costs about the same or less than many 8-bay battery chargers and offers several handy features.
For instance, its "refresh" button will run the battery down completely before recharging it. Take that simple step to help preserve the battery’s efficiency and lifespan.
Tenergy TN438 16-Bay NiMH/NiCAD AA/AAA Charger
Can you use rechargeable batteries on any kind of device?
No. Avoid using rechargeable batteries, which last only around half as long as their single-use counterparts, in emergency or security devices such as flashlights, smoke detectors, or cameras.
Are rechargeable lithium batteries better than NiMH batteries?
It depends on how you’re using them. Rechargeable lithium will provide more power to a device, which makes them a better pick for motorized products, such as personal fans, small drones, and electric toothbrushes.
NiMH, which last longer on a single charge than a rechargeable lithium, are better for nonmotorized devices, such as remote controls and video game controllers.
Can single-use batteries be recharged?
The alkaline ones can, but with a couple of caveats. You need a special charger designed to recharge alkaline batteries. A single-use alkaline battery can be recharged only around 15 times—and won’t recharge to full power. And if the battery has a small leak, it could catch on fire.
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