In a time when environmental conservation is a hot topic, rechargeable AA batteries are a welcome innovation. They’re an environmentally friendly alternative to disposable batteries that reduce an individual’s carbon footprint and the amount of waste produced by the disposables.
Rechargeable AA batteries are not only a cost-saving and environmentally friendly choice; they also provide more stable voltage and consistent energy. Even better, they’re compatible with a variety of everyday devices like remote controls, toys, game controllers, cameras, and power tools. But the bigger question is, how do you know which are the best rechargeable AA batteries for you? We’ll make it easy for you by listing and discussing the features of the best rechargeable AA batteries in various categories. Here are some of our top picks:
- Best Overall: Panasonic Eneloop Pro
- Best on a Budget: Amazon Basics AA Rechargeable Batteries
- Best Environmentally Friendly Option: Energizer Rechargeable AA Batteries
- Best for Everyday Use: Duracell Rechargeable AA Batteries
- Best for High Capacity: Powerex PRO High Capacity Rechargeable Batteries
- Best for Extreme Temperatures: Tenergy Centura AA Rechargeable Batteries
Best Overall: Panasonic Eneloop Pro
- They arrive pre-charged so that you can start using them immediately.
- Maintains as much as 85% charge even if you don't use them for an entire year.
- Can be used in temperatures as low as -4°F.
- Manufactured in Japan, then shipped to the US for final packaging.
The Panasonic Eneloop Pro rechargeable AA batteries are an easy choice for the top spot owing to their high capacity, long lifespan, and low self-discharge rate. Certainly, these qualities make these rechargeable AA batteries a versatile and worthwhile investment in the long run.
They have a high battery capacity of 2,550mAh maximum and a minimum of 2,450mAh, meaning they have enough energy to outlast most other rechargeable batteries. You can recharge your Eneloop Pros up to 500 times in the course of their lifetime. However, their most impressive feature must be their low self-discharge rate, which ensures they retain up to 85% of their charge for up to a year when not in use. This makes them a superb choice for devices that are not frequently used, like emergency preparedness kits, lamps, and flashlights.
They are ready to use right out of the package because they come fully charged using solar power from the factory. The Eneloop Pro rechargeable batteries are great for power-hungry devices, such as digital cameras, game controllers, computer keyboards, and remote flashlights.
|High capacity of up to 2,550mAh||Not ideal for extremely high power devices, like electric vehicles and power tools|
|Low self-discharge rate|
|Works well in extreme temperatures|
Check out the Panasonic Eneloop Pro on Amazon.
Best on a Budget: Amazon Basics AA Rechargeable Batteries
- Can be recharged up to 1,000 times with minimal power loss
- Batteries maintain 80% capacity for two years
- Compatible with any device that uses AA batteries
- NiMH battery cell composition
Amazon’s Basics AA 24-pack is a popular and affordable option for anyone looking for the best rechargeable AA batteries for professional or everyday use. Yes, as the name suggests, they’re a part of Amazon’s wide variety of products, manufactured by the Japanese ICT company Fujitsu. They have a capacity of 2000mAh. Thus, they have enough energy to power multiple household appliances for longer than many other options.
The Amazon Basics AA batteries are a sustainable and cost-effective choice in the long run because you can recharge them up to 1000 times with minimal discharge and consistent performance. They’re pre-charged and ready to use. Further, they can maintain up to 80% of their charge for 2 years when not in use. Unfortunately, because they’re built on alkaline technology, they don’t last as long as other options in their category.
These batteries offer you even more value in their numerous bulk packs that have 4, 8, 16, 12, and 24 batteries each. Certainly, you can use these Amazon Basics batteries to power almost anything in your home, from low-drain devices like remote controls to high-drain devices like game controllers and digital cameras.
|Affordable and reliable||Not the highest performing batteries|
|High capacity of 2000mAH|
|Rechargeable up to 1000 times|
|Low self-discharge rate|
|Sold in value packs of 4, 8, 16, 24 batteries|
Check out the Amazon Basics AA Rechargeable Batteries on Amazon.
Best Environmentally Friendly Option: Energizer Rechargeable AA Batteries
- Battery last for as long as 5 years
- Use in conjunction with the Energizer Recharge charger for best results
- 15% of the materials used to make these batteries was recycled
- Batteries are pre-charged
The Energizer Rechargeable AA batteries are the most environmentally friendly option on this list. That’s because, despite being reusable, having a long lifespan, and being more energy efficient than disposable batteries, they are made from 15% recycled materials. In addition, Energizer’s Universal batteries have a 2,000mAh capacity and balanced charge retention thanks to the engineered alloy used by their manufacturer. Besides, they boast longevity and a consistent user experience thanks to their advanced manufacturing process.
The Energizer Universal rechargeable batteries feature advanced NiMH technology that minimizes self-discharge and natural aging effects, making it possible for these batteries to retain their charge for up to a year in storage. According to the manufacturer, they can be recharged up to 1,000 times for about five years. They are perfect for powering everyday medium- to high-drain devices like remote controls, digital cameras, and game controllers. These batteries come pre-charged and are ready-to-use right from purchase.
|High capacity of 2000mAh||May malfunction as a result of overcharging|
|Long lifespan of up to 5 years|
|Can be recharged up to 1000 times|
|Low self-discharge rate|
Check out the Energizer Rechargeable AA Batteries on Amazon.
Best for Everyday Use: Duracell Rechargeable AA Batteries
- Warranty: 1 year
- NiMH standard batteries
- 2500mAh battery capacity
- Perfect for use in cameras (500 photos on each charge)
The Duracell Rechargeable AA Batteries are an excellent choice for everyday use in a variety of devices. Duracell claims that these batteries are the number one longest-lasting batteries per charge and it’s easy to see why. They have a high capacity of up to 2,500mAh and a voltage of 7.2. In fact, they can take up to 500 photos on a single charge or last up to 24 hours in a wireless game controller.
These Duracell rechargeable batteries come with a one-year warranty and are guaranteed to last up to 5 years in storage. They boast pre-charged convenience and reliable performance, but can only be recharged up to 500 times. They have low self-discharging rates thanks to the Duralock technology, which makes them capable of staying charged for up to a year when not in use after charging. These batteries deliver a consistent voltage output, making them a splendid choice to power a variety of devices, including digital cameras, game controllers, and portable audio players.
|High capacity for longer run time||Number of recharges is fewer than that of most brands.|
|Pre-charged and ready to use right out of the package|
|Retains 80% of their charge for up to a year in storage|
|Reliable performance from a trusted brand|
Check out the Duracell Rechargeable AA Batteries on Amazon.
Best for High Capacity: Powerex PRO High Capacity Rechargeable Batteries
- Battery Capacity: 2700mAh at 12V
- Still holds as much as 75% charge even if not used for an entire year
- Can be used in temperatures as low as 20°C
- Lifetime: 500 recharges
The Powerex PRO High Capacity Rechargeable Batteries are a popular choice for photographers and other professionals as they have the highest capacity on the list at 2,700mAh. Due to their high capacity, Powerex Pro batteries are the best choice for powering high-drain devices that need a more consistent power supply for short periods of time. Additionally, they need less frequent recharging. However, you can only recharge them up to 500 times. They retain up to 70% of their charge after one year in storage, and they can be charged in as little as 1 to 2 hours using a compatible charger, which is faster than most other alternatives.
|High capacity of 2,700mAh||Only charged in pairs|
|Fast charging time of 1-2 hours|
|High performance and consistent output|
|Retains up to 75% of charge after 1 year in storage|
Check out the Powerex PRO High Capacity Rechargeable Batteries on Amazon.
Best for Extreme Temperatures: Tenergy Centura AA Rechargeable Batteries
- Lifetime: 1000 recharge cycles
- Maintains as much as 85% charge even if not used for one to two years.
- Warranty: 1 year
- Included charger recharges batteries at 450mA (fast)
The Tenergy Centura AA Rechargeable Batteries are a reliable choice for those who require reliable power in cold and hot temperatures. With a low self-discharge rate, high capacity, and wide operating temperature range of between -20°C (-4°F) and 45°C (113°F), they are a brilliant investment for outdoor enthusiasts or those who work in extreme temperatures.
These batteries have a 2,000mAh capacity and are designed for heavy-duty usage. They can be recharged up to 2,100 times and retain 85% of their power when left in storage for a year. The Tenergy Centura comes in a kit that contains four batteries and a USB-powered charger. The charger allows you to boost the juice in these conveniently using a variety of everyday devices, like a desktop, or a car. It also has a microprocessor and four independent charging channels that allow you to charge individual batteries quickly at a speed of 450mAh. You can use these batteries in all your everyday devices, ranging from clocks, remote controls, flashlights, and game controllers.
|Exceptional performance in cold temperatures||May not hold their charge as well as other brands over the very long term|
|Low self-discharge rate for longer-lasting power|
|Wide operating temperature range for extreme conditions|
|Made using eco-friendly materials|
Check out the Tenergy Centura AA Rechargeable Batteries on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries: Step-By-Step
There are several factors you must consider before picking the best AA rechargeable batteries for your devices. We’ll go over them now.
We measure rechargeable AA battery capacity in milliamp hours, or mAh. The higher the number, the longer a battery will last, making it ideal for high-drain use. Unfortunately, it may also mean that your batteries take longer to recharge.
When not in use, rechargeable AA batteries naturally discharge or lose power over time. The self-discharge rate is an important factor to consider, especially when you intend to pre-charge your batteries and leave them ready to use.
Most of the options in this guide promise to retain at least 70% of their charge for over a year. This is great, especially for low-drain devices that use little power over a long time. Batteries with high capacities typically retain significantly lower amounts of charge, which is fine because they are intended for use in powerful, high-drain devices.
Rechargeable AA batteries have a limited lifespan because they degrade over time. We measure their lifespan in charge cycles, which vary based on the chemistry and quality of the battery. The batteries on our list have between 500 and 1000 charge cycles, which means they’ll last several years before it’s time for you to recycle them.
What to Know Before Buying Rechargeable AA Batteries
Rechargeable AA batteries are becoming increasingly popular due to their cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness. They’re also very convenient because you don’t have to run to the store every time your batteries die. Just charge them or reach out for a spare set of charged batteries. So, inevitably, sooner or later, you’ll find yourself reaching out for a pair or a value pack of rechargeable AA batteries to power your favorite everyday devices. When you do, it’s important that you keep in mind their shortcomings to ensure they perform optimally and last a long time.
For starters, rechargeable batteries are more expensive yet have lower capacities than disposable batteries. You end up spending more, especially if you don’t already have a charger. However, this high initial cost is spread over a longer period, which makes rechargeable batteries a cost-effective option in the long run. Charging times vary across different battery brands, and purchasing an option that takes a long time to recharge may be inconvenient if you want to use your batteries immediately. This disadvantage is also present when you purchase batteries that are not pre-charged before packaging.
Using Rechargeable AA Batteries: What It’s Like
The first thing about rechargeable batteries is that they’ll power your devices for as long as they are charged. So, you’ll need a charger that’s compatible with their rated capacity and chemistry to keep them running. Charging times vary between different battery brands and may be determined by the charger you’re using and the capacity of the battery. Another thing is that rechargeable batteries perform best within certain temperature ranges. Some perform well in extreme temperatures, while others suffer from reduced capacity and lifespan when exposed to temperatures beyond a certain range.
Two options that perform well in extreme temperatures include the Tenergy Centura AA and the Powerex PRO AA NiMH. Unfortunately, the environmentally friendly Energizer Recharge Universal batteries incur a hit on their lifespan and capacity when exposed to extremely high or low temperatures. You should also know that rechargeable AA batteries have a limited lifespan, measured in charge cycles. The number of cycles varies depending on the chemistry and quality of the battery. Therefore, it is important to choose high-quality batteries and follow proper charging and storage guidelines to maximize their lifespan.
Our favorite thing about rechargeable AA batteries is that they reduce your carbon footprint because they require fewer resources and energy to manufacture. Additionally, they reduce the amount of disposable battery waste going to landfills, which is better for the environment.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Alex Popov/Shutterstock.com.