The best rechargeable batteries for 2023, tested and reviewed

Ditch the disposables and take charge of selecting long-lasting reusable batteries with this handy guide.

Best bundle

An open box from Pale Blue with the company's AA, AAA, 9V, and D batteries lined up in front.

Pale Blue Home Conversion Kit

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Best Overall

Energizer Universal Rechargeable AA batteries product card

Energizer Recharge Universal Rechargeable Batteries

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Best USB-Rechargeable

Keeppower USB rechargeable batteries product card

Keeppower USB Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries

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There are some significant reasons to consider making the easy upgrade from using regular batteries to buying rechargeable batteries … easy unless you hate a good value. With the best rechargeable batteries good for hundreds or even thousands of charge cycles, making that switch could save you a lot of money over time. Follow our recommendations and say goodbye to the days when you’d need one or two batteries but be forced to rush to a store to get a big, expensive, single-use pack just to get your remote back up and running. Additionally, you can recycle your rechargeable batteries. Kinder for your budget and the planet? Sign us up. If it sounds like the best rechargeable batteries are a good proposition all around, that’s because they are, so we rounded up our recommendations, along with some chargers.

Why should I use rechargeable batteries?

On the whole, rechargeable batteries cost almost twice as much as regular batteries. However, when you consider that rechargeable batteries can be charged and recharged for years, it’s a worthwhile investment. Our winner, the Panasonic Eneloop can be charged a whopping 2,100 times. Yes, battery charging capabilities diminish over time, but the life cycle of a set of batteries will pay off after a mere handful of uses.

Then there are the issues of sustainability. According to the Sierra Club, if you use your rechargeable batteries for 150 cycles or more, the investment won’t simply be money-smart but environmentally friendly. Plus, it keeps single-use batteries out of landfills, considering less than 10 percent are recycled.

How we chose the best rechargeable batteries

To select the best rechargeable batteries, we identified the longest-lasting products with the most minimal environmental impact. We looked for rechargeable batteries that could spring into action even when stored in a drawer for years, as well as options that come equipped with the latest conveniences like USB charging that can be done directly to the battery with any compatible cable.

Differences can be very small, so it is important to look into the details. In terms of criteria, we prioritized the following:

Recharge cycles: The number of times a battery can be recharged is a key feature, though it is one that is sometimes overlooked. The comparison between expected life and cost gives a better view of value than price alone. It was an important factor in our choices.

Amp hours: If you have two batteries of the same type, but one has double the Ah (amp hours) of the other, it will run a device for twice as long. Not having to change batteries as often is simply more convenient so we have tried to choose rechargeable batteries that maximize this aspect.

Brand: Duracell, Energizer, and Panasonic dominate the rechargeable battery market. These are high-quality products, most of which are very affordable. Amazon Basics’ rechargeable batteries are also highly regarded. There are cheaper options, and we are keen to find bargains, but in this case, we have chosen to steer clear of no-name brands. Although it would be unfair to generalize, they frequently lack the performance and durability of big-name brands.

The best rechargeable batteries: Reviews & Recommendations

While regular batteries drain over time until they’re bricks, rechargeable batteries are much more energy-efficient and hold a consistent charge throughout the battery lifespan. Using rechargeable batteries keeps more in your wallet and less in landfills, so making the switch can make a difference in your household and beyond. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you.

Best overall: Energizer Recharge Universal AA Batteries

Can't Stop the Bunny

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Why they made the cut: Energizer came up with the world’s first battery made with other recycled batteries.

Specs

  • Comes pre-charged: Yes
  • Charge cycles: Up to 1,000 times
  • Capacity: Up to 2,000 mAh
  • Sold in: 4, 8, 16, and combo packs
  • Also available in: AAA, C, D, 9V sizes

Pros

  • Made with recycled batteries
  • Charge lasts 12 months in storage
  • Up to 5 years of usable battery life

Cons

  • Not pre-charged
  • Some chargers only charge pairs
  • Sensitive to overcharging

Energizer was the first to the market with a line of rechargeable batteries made with recycled materials—4 percent of the components inside are previously used batteries. These Energizer rechargeable batteries are made of nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), are more environmentally friendly, and can be charged up to 1,000 times at up to 2,000 mAh. They are available in quantities of four, eight, 16, and combo packs and also come in AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V sizes. While these particular rechargeable batteries do not come pre-charged and ready to use like some others in this round-up, once they are powered up, the charge lasts up to one year in storage, and you can also expect up to five years of usable battery life. One minor drawback is some customers have reported that this product can be sensitive to overcharging, so it’s best if they’re not plugged in to charge and left overnight.

Best bundle: Pale Blue Home Conversion Kit

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Why it made the cut: Pale Blue’s home conversion kit provides the main batteries any household will need, plus two USB chargers to keep them ready to go.

Specs

  • Comes pre-charged? No
  • Charge cycles: Up to 1,000
  • Capacity: 1,560 mAh 
  • Sold in: Kit, with 12 AAA, eight AA, four D, four 9V batteries, and two USB chargers with four prongs
  • Also available in: AA, AAA, C, D, 9V, and AA and AAA combo kit

Pros

  • Kit comes with 28 batteries for comprehensive approach
  • Charges in under two hours
  • Comes with two four-pronged USB chargers
  • You can buy comprehensive kit or individual batteries

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Must have USB-compatible plug for chargers to work

Tired of having to root around for a battery when your alarm clock or flashlight stops working? Pale Blue’s Home Conversion Kit provides the power you need—AAA, AA, 9V, and D batteries—all in one kit, letting you take a more holistic approach. The Utah-based company’s batteries charge up to five times faster than NiMH batteries. The batteries also come with a micro-USB charging port that lets you charge four batteries at a time. And their 1,000-charge cycles put them in line with other top long-lasting rechargeable batteries.

Four AA rechargeable batteries made by Pale Blue in a plastic case, next to a four-pronged USB charger.

The company also invests in sustainability, donating a portion of its proceeds to 1 Percent for the Planet. That said, if you don’t use a lot of batteries, this set is expensive and may lead to additional waste.

Best long-lasting: Panasonic eneloop AA Batteries

Energy Time Capsule

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Why they made the cut: A reliable choice even if you put a pack in a drawer and forget about it for a long time.

Specs

  • Comes pre-charged: Yes
  • Charge cycles: Up to 2,100 times
  • Capacity: Up to 800 mAh
  • Sold in: 4, 8, and combo packs
  • Also available in: AAA, C, D sizes

Pros

  • Can be used worldwide
  • Thousands of charge cycles
  • Holds 70 percent charge after 10 years

Cons

  • Company advises against third-party chargers
  • Can get hot
  • A short circuit can expel gas

Panasonic’s eneloop line of rechargeable NiMH batteries is pre-charged at the factory by the wonders of solar power, which is one thoughtful choice you can make as a consumer when looking for the best rechargeable batteries for your needs. If you’re guilty of just throwing your batteries in a drawer and rarely using them, let alone charging them, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that these claim to hold up to 70 percent charge even after 10 years. You will rarely have to think about replacing these batteries, even if you feel like you are a pretty frequent user of gear that requires them. The eneloop batteries are designed to be able to be charged up to 2,100 times and recharged even if they have only been partially drained of their energy. They’re the ones that can be trusted to take a nap for the longest time, making them good candidates to sleep inside your flashlights.

Best value: AmazonBasics AA Performance Batteries

Slim But Strong

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Why they made the cut: At around $1.45 each, these batteries offer great value for a bulk buyer.

Specs

  • Comes pre-charged: Yes
  • Charge cycles: Up to 1,000 times
  • Capacity: Up to 2,000 mAh
  • Sold in: 4, 8, 16, 24 packs
  • Also available in: AAA, C, D, 9V sizes

Pros

  • Priced to move
  • Useful quantity
  • Holds up to 80 percent charge after two years

Cons

  • Can fall apart
  • Reported lower-than-advertised charging cycles
  • Lower capacity than previous models

Smart shoppers may already know that buying goods in bulk quantities when they are available is a great way to get a price break on items that you want to pick up, but this always bears repeating when you’re ready to spend money. And with 24 NiMH batteries that can be charged up to 1,000 times each, this mega-pack from AmazonBasics will set you up for many years to come if you’re an average or even a prolific battery user with a lot of different gadgets that run on batteries. Priced at around $1.45 for each battery, you may even purchase some spares to share with family or friends if that’s just a few too many to conceive of having at one time. Another idea to consider is to preload gifts to those loved ones with these batteries, which are charged straight out of the package and ready to use.

Best USB-rechargeable: Keeppower USB Rechargeable Li-ion AA Batteries

USB 4 U

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Why they made the cut: Hassle-free micro-USB charging port on the battery makes this a serious universal choice.

Specs

  • Comes pre-charged: No
  • Charge cycles: Up to 1,000 times
  • Capacity: Up to 2,260 mAh
  • Sold in: 4-pack

Pros

  • Plugs into any USB port for charging
  • Blue light on battery indicates charge
  • Charges in 90 minutes

Cons

  • No cover for USB port
  • Micro-USB cables a challenge for big hands
  • Can short circuit

Keeppower’s USB Rechargeable Batteries are made of lithium-ion, which can store more energy than nickel-metal hydride batteries. This model can be charged at least 1,000 times and will last most people for many years. They are made to retain up to 90 percent power after one year and come with micro-USB ports built right into the batteries, so you don’t need to pop them into an external charger (nor do you always have to worry where said charger may actually be hiding in your house). A single battery can be charged with any micro-USB cable connected to a powered USB port, and the pack comes with a 4-in-1 charging cable (LED lights on top of the batteries indicate charging progress).

It’s important to note that while USB rechargeable batteries offer a lot of convenience, this variety of batteries also poses an inherent risk of short-circuiting, and some users have reported that this has happened to them, presumably at a most inconvenient time. You may want to consider keeping an eye on these to be mindful not to overcharge and minimize the chance of having some unwanted outcome.

Best with charger: Duracell Ion Speed 4000 Battery Charger with Batteries

Put Purchasing Power to Good Use

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Why they made the cut: You don’t have to wait all day for these batteries to be powered up.

Specs

  • Comes pre-charged: Yes
  • Charge cycles: Up to 400 times
  • Capacity: Up to 2,400 mAh
  • Sold in: 4-pack
  • Also available in: AAA

Pros

  • Powers up in 1-2.5 hours
  • Charger works with any brand of battery
  • Lasts for up to 10 years in storage

Cons

  • Can only be charged 400 times
  • Charger works with just two or four batteries at a time
  • Can get hot while charging

Duracell rechargeable batteries last up to 10 years, so you can have a reasonable amount of confidence that you can open up an old pack and they won’t be duds. The included pre-charged NiMH rechargeable batteries are known to store less energy as compared to their lithium-ion counterparts, and they can only be charged about 400 times, which is a lot less than some of its leading competitors on the market. But the 4000 mW charger, which you can use for two or four batteries at a time (in matched size pairs), can get batteries up to 90 percent capacity within an hour, and it smartly powers off once the charge is completed, preventing potential problems that can arise in batteries when they are overcharged. Plus, it’s compatible with all rechargeable AA and AAA NiMH batteries. And suppose you’re a practical gift giver during the holiday season. In that case, this rechargeable batteries-charger set could also definitely make for a great stocking stuffer at a cost of about $20.

Best AA: Pale Blue AA Battery Pack

Best AA

Pale Blue AA Battery Pack

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Why they made the cut: Pale Blue’s batteries are designed with lithium-ion that charges five times faster than some other rechargeable batteries.

Specs

  • Comes pre-charged: No
  • Charge cycles: Up to 1,000 times
  • Capacity: Up to 1,560 mAh
  • Sold in: 4, 6, 8, and 12 packs
  • Also available in: Home Conversion Kit, AAA, C, D, 9V, AA and AAA combo kit

Pros

  • Charges in under two hours
  • Comes with a four-pronged USB charger
  • Company makes kits so you can buy a set

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Must have a USB-compatible plug for the charger to work

If you’re looking to take a more holistic approach to saving energy, Pale Blue AA batteries may be a good start. The lithium ion batteries charge up to five times faster than NiMH batteries. The batteries also come with a micro-USB charging port that lets you charge four batteries at a time. And their 1,000 charge cycles put them in line with other top long-lasting rechargeable batteries. 

Pale Blue has developed an entire line of batteries that includes AA, AAA, C, D, and PV batteries, in addition to its Home Conversion Kit above. That said, if you’re just looking for a few batteries, this set is expensive.

Best AAA: Duracell AAA Battery

Best AAA

Duracell AAA Battery

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Why they made the cut: Duracell’s batteries stand out for their high capacity when compared to other leading brands. As a result, they’ll power devices for longer before they need to be recharged.

Specs

  • Comes pre-charged: Yes
  • Charge cycles: Up to 400
  • Capacity: 900 mAh
  • Sold in: 2-pack, 4-pack, and 4-pack with charger
  • Also available in: AA, C, D

Pros

  • High capacity for their size
  • 10-year shelf life
  • Leak-proof design

Cons

  • Low recharging cycles

Although Duracell was by no means the first rechargeable battery maker, the company is perhaps the best known. A key claim is how long they will run between charges, which depends on the milliamp-hour capacity. While rivals typically deliver 800 mAh or 850 mAh, the Duracell AAA rechargeable batteries are rated at 900 mAh.

If long-term storage is a consideration, Duracell’s AAA batteries will hold a full charge for up to a year and are guaranteed to last up to 10 years uncharged, making them the best rechargeable AAA batteries. However, that life could be dramatically reduced in use, as they can only be recharged 400 times.

Best 9V: EBL 9V Battery and Charger

Best 9V

EBL 9V Battery and Charger

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Why they made the cut: EBL 9V batteries are the best rechargeable 9V batteries because they have excellent durability, and a range of safety features that make them the ideal choice for smoke alarms, metal detectors, and walkie-talkies.

Specs

  • Comes pre-charged: Yes
  • Charge cycles: Up to 1,200
  • Capacity: 600 mAh
  • Sold in: 4-pack
  • Also available in: AA, AAA, C, D

Pros

  • Unrivaled service life
  • Pre-charged
  • No memory effect

Cons

  • Occasional reports of faulty chargers

9V rechargeable batteries like these from EBL are often used in devices like smoke alarms or portable testing and medical equipment where it is inconvenient to change batteries frequently. In these situations, the fact that lithium-ion chemistry holds a charge better than NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) batteries is a definite advantage.

These batteries are also extremely durable and capable of recharging up to 1,200 times. While a charger is included, any 9V PP3 size charger should work. The EBL 9V rechargeable batteries are also very safe, with overload, overcharging, and overheating protection. And they have low discharge in storage, holding 75 percent of capacity if unused for 3 years.

While these batteries are pre-charged, it’s only to 20 percent. According to the manufacturer, this is for shipping safety. They will actually take 3-5 charges to reach full capacity, but as lithium-ion has no memory effect, this has no impact on performance or service life.

Best C: Energizer C Battery

Best C

Energizer C Battery

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Why they made the cut: Energizer is one of the world’s best-known battery brands, and their rechargeable C batteries reflect the company’s reputation for performance, reliability, safety, and value.

Specs

  • Comes pre-charged: Yes
  • Charge cycles: Unknown, though typically 500 – 600
  • Capacity:  2,500 mAh
  • Sold in: 1-pack, 2-pack
  • Also available in: AA, AAA, C, D, 9V

Pros

  • Use 7 percent recycled battery material
  • Pre-charged
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Relatively short life, though normal for C-cell batteries

Although C cells are one of the less common battery sizes, they are still found in flashlights, some bicycle headlights, and numerous toys. These are devices where you want to maximize run time, and the 2,500 mAh power of the Energizer rechargeable C battery can provide many hours of continuous power.

Although we were unable to find specific information, C-cell rechargeable batteries can typically be recharged 500 times. While they will hold a charge for a month in storage, shelf life is quite short at around 3 years. The NiMH battery chemistry can be disposed of safely but is notoriously difficult to recycle. Energizer’s use of 7 percent recycled battery material makes them the current world leaders.

Best D: Tenergy High Capacity D Battery

Best D

Tenergy High-Capacity D Battery

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Why they made the cut: The best rechargeable D batteries from Tenergy deliver class-leading performance for devices that have high power requirements, and those that have lower demands but over extended periods.

Specs

  • Comes pre-charged: Yes
  • Charge cycles: Up to 1,o00
  • Capacity:  10,000 mAh
  • Sold in: 4-, 8-, and 16-packs 
  • Also available in: AA, AAA, C, D, 9V

Pros

  • Consistent high output
  • UL-certified for safety
  • Competitive pricing

Cons

  • Modest shelf life

Tenergy’s D cell rechargeable batteries are designed for what is called high-drain applications. In other words, devices like powerful flashlights make big energy demands. Many other brands are in the 3,000 to 5,000 mAh range, whereas these batteries provide 10,000 mAh. This also makes the Tenergy D cell rechargeable battery a good choice for lower drain but long-term applications such as field cameras, which might run a week or more unattended.

In addition, this battery has the ability to be recharged up to 1,000 times, with relatively low self-discharge. That said, the shelf life is only around three years. Nevertheless, Tenergy D rechargeable batteries represent good value when compared with other high-drain rivals.

Best 12V: Optima 12V Batteries RedTop

Best 12V

Optima 12V Batteries RedTop

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Why it made the cut: The durable, high-capacity Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery from Optima provides consistent all-weather starting for cars, SUVs, and trucks, and aside from occasional recharging requires zero maintenance, making these the best rechargeable 12V batteries.

Specs

  • Comes pre-charged: Yes
  • Charge cycles: Typically 350 plus
  • Capacity: 800 CCA (Cold cranking amps)
  • Sold in: 1
  • Also available in: N/A

Pros

  • Suitable for a wide variety of vehicles
  • 100-minute standby
  • Spill-proof design

Cons

  • Premium price

Most people will recognize 12V batteries as the one that starts their vehicle, and the Optima 12V battery is one of the best currently available. ‘Deep Cycle’ versions of 12V rechargeable batteries can be used to power a range of items, from forklifts to other electric vehicles. These batteries typically provide 30Ah (30,000 mAh) capacity and cost around $1,000.

The Optima 12V battery is made with lead-acid technology but uses Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) internally so there’s no fluid to spill if it gets tipped over, and it never needs to be topped up. AGM also offers excellent vibration resistance, which is particularly useful for off-road vehicles. Additionally, the Optima provides a 100-minute standby, which means it can deliver 12V power to any suitable appliance or device for that period before needing to be recharged.

The best chargers for rechargeable batteries

Best overall: Nitecore Digicharger D4 Battery Charger

Best overall

Nitecore Digicharger D4 Battery Charger

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Why it made the cut: This universal charger works with lithium-ion and NiMH AA, AAA, and C batteries. 

Specs

  • Dimensions: ‎5.4 inches long x 3.7 inches wide x 1.4 inches high
  • Weight: 0.4 pounds
  • Volts: 240V

Pros

  • Works with a wide range of batteries
  • Made with fire-retardant material for safety
  • Compact and portable

Cons

  • May reset

If you’d prefer to have one device to recharge your batteries, the Nitecord Digicharger is a strong all-around choice. With the ability to charge most types of rechargeable batteries on the market, this smart device can sense the battery type and charge four batteries at once. This charger is also made with fire retardant materials and automatic shutoff when the maximum charge is reached. 

Best budget: Energizer Rechargeable AA and AAA Battery Charger

Best budget recharger

Energizer Rechargeable AA and AAA Battery Charger

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Why it made the cut: This recharger from a trusted name works with both AA and AAA batteries.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 4.33 x 2.68 x 9.65 inches
  • Weight: 0.64 pounds

Pros

  • Can charge up to 4 batteries at once
  • Fast charging
  • Great for travel

Cons

  • Long charge time

This portable, plug-in charger from Energizer is easy to take with you. Able to charge up to four AAA batteries at once, this device works with AA NiMH batteries as well across a range of brands. The batteries will fully recharge in four hours; then the charger turns off automatically for safety. A light and audio signal will indicate when the full charge is reached.

What to consider when shopping for the best rechargeable batteries

When you’re considering what the best rechargeable batteries for your needs will be, take a moment to think practically about what sizes and quantities you should have for all the battery-powered gear that you keep around the house, in the garage, in the car, etc.

Note how many charge cycles are associated with the product you want to purchase. You may also think about if you want to get a small or large charger to go with your rechargeable batteries, depending on how many you need at once, or if you want just to buy a brand of rechargeables that have USB ports right on the batteries, so you can use any USB charger to give them a jolt. Here’s more of what to consider before making your selections.

Chemistry

NiCad: Most early rechargeable batteries were Nickel Cadmium (NiCad). However, cadmium is toxic, and batteries are considered hazardous waste. NiCad batteries also suffer from what’s called ‘memory effect.’ They don’t discharge completely, so each recharge is less effective, thus shortening useful life.

NiMH: Nickel Metal Hydride were the next round of batteries. They can store more energy, are not considered toxic waste, are cheaper, and suffer negligible memory effects. The majority of AA, AAA, C, and D cell rechargeable batteries available today are NiMH.

Li-ion: Lithium-ion is a more recent technology in batteries, though it is now widely available. The batteries are also non-hazardous, are capable of storing more energy than NiMH, and have no memory effect at all. However, they are more expensive and less tolerant of temperature variations.

Flow Batteries: Currently under development, this technology allows for an instantly rechargeable battery by swapping out the electrolyte fluid inside. It’s a bit like emptying a bucket of dirty water and filling it up with clean. Flow batteries are a very fast alternative to typical electric vehicle charging, but are unlikely to be practical for small rechargeable types.

Volts (V) and amps hours (Ah)

In most cases, voltage is of little concern. AA, AAA, C, and D rechargeable batteries all produce 1.2 volts. It’s simply a question of inserting the required number of batteries into the device. With other rechargeable battery types, voltage is normally made clear by the description, 9V, 12V, etc.

Amp-hours, or milliamp-hours (mAh) in the case of smaller batteries, can best be described as the amount of ‘fuel’ available. For example, with two otherwise identical AA batteries, one might be rated 900 mAh, the other 2,000 mAh. Although they are both putting out the same voltage, the latter will deliver the same level of performance for much longer before it needs to be recharged.

Recharge cycles

All batteries degrade eventually, but the speed with which they do so is an important consideration. The usual figure for comparison is the number of times a battery can be recharged. Again using AAs, as a guide, one brand might be rated as rechargeable several hundred times, while another could recharge a couple of thousand times. The latter, though initially more expensive, might actually work out to be a better value.

Although NiMH batteries have almost no memory effect, the amount of charge they hold does diminish if they are not used and recharged regularly. It is called self-discharge. In a typical example, manufacturer figures state that by the time the battery is a year old it will only retain 90 percent of its charge. By the time it is five years old, that figure has diminished to 75 percent.

Pre-charging

Some rechargeable batteries come pre-charged, while others need to be charged before using for the first time. Pre-charged rechargeable batteries are usually labeled as such on the package. If you don’t pick up pre-charged batteries, consider whether you have an appropriate charger at home or whether you should pick up a starter kit that includes one.

Lifespan

The sad truth is that rechargeable batteries start to degrade over time, meaning they can’t hold as much energy as they did initially. The rechargeable batteries we’re recommending can all be topped up roughly 1,000 times before needing to be replaced, which means they’ll last several years before you recycle them.

FAQs

Q: How much do rechargeable batteries cost?

This varies by brand, battery type, and package size, but you shouldn’t have to pay more than $35 for a four-pack of AAs. Popular AA and AAA rechargeable batteries cost between $1 and $3 each.

Q: Which rechargeable battery lasts the longest?

The longest-lasting battery can transcend eras. Our picks for best rechargeable batteries include the Panasonic eneloop AAA Batteries, which can retain up to 70 percent charge even after being stored for a decade.

Q: How many times can rechargeable batteries be recharged?

The life of a rechargeable battery varies from manufacturer to manufacturer but, in general, you won’t have to think about replacing them for a long, long time. Some products can be charged hundreds of times, while others can go through more than 1,000 cycles before they’re done.

Q: Do rechargeable batteries go bad if not used?

Yes, rechargeable batteries go bad if not used. While it’s not a bad idea to keep rechargeable batteries around, it is a bad idea not to use them once in a while. Chemicals within the batteries react together when unused and start reducing stored charge. Even if many rechargeable batteries can hold a charge for long periods, they will self-discharge if you don’t take advantage of it.

Q: Can I mix single-use and rechargeable in the same device?

While you might get a device to work with a mix of single-use and rechargeable batteries, technically, it’s better to avoid mixing and matching these different kinds of batteries. Regular batteries and rechargeables output slightly different volts of energy—the former uses 1.5 volts, while the latter uses 1.2 volts. There’s another key difference between the two: regular batteries start outputting at 1.5 volts, and that number decreases until the battery dies. In comparison, rechargeable batteries stay consistent at 1.2 volts throughout the hundreds or even thousands of charge cycles until it will no longer hold a charge.

Q: Should I recycle my old batteries?

Please recycle your rechargeable batteries—and your regular batteries, too! In some states, like California, if you throw them away, they’re actually considered to be hazardous waste. Batteries are accepted at select recycling centers (including nonprofits) and drop-off locations, including some organic groceries, Best Buy locations, and participating battery retailers, among others.

Q: How do I recharge the batteries?

In most cases, you’ll need to buy a separate charging station to recharge your batteries, but the good news is that the accessory is compatible with batteries from any company so you can mix and match.

Q: What brand of rechargeable battery is the best?

Generally speaking, Energizer, Panasonic, and Duracell consistently rank among the best rechargeable batteries in independent tests. The text above provides useful information to help you select the best rechargeable batteries of different sizes.

Q: Which rechargeable battery lasts the longest?

Some lithium-ion and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries can be recharged more than 2,000 times. They might also offer a storage life of up to 10 years. Li-ion versions charge faster, but NiMH is more tolerant of temperature variations and usually less expensive.

Final thoughts on the best rechargeable batteries

Time and money are valuable commodities, and rechargeable batteries help you save both. Factor in the bonus of being friendlier to the planet, and you’ve got an undeniably smart buy—a convenient, long-lasting investment that’s there when you need it. Stock up on the best rechargeable batteries, and the main thought you might have is how nice it is not to have to think about them.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

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Bob Beacham

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Bob Beacham has always had a fascination for all things mechanical and received an engineering degree from Aylesbury College in the UK. During his 35-year career, he has worked on everything from automotive components to oil rigs. On weekends you will often find him tinkering with a car or motorcycle. He’s also a DIY enthusiast, and with a great deal of help from his wife has completely renovated two derelict buildings, turning them into comfortable homes. He now splits his time between contract work and writing articles that share his practical experience. He may be the last person on earth who isn’t on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin.