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The best rechargeable batteries: AA, AAA, and 9V

We’ve all been through the hassle of needing to swap out batteries on a TV remote, only to realize that the “replacements” we’ve dug out of the everything drawer in the kitchen are more dead than the dying AAs we’re trying to replace. Rinse, repeat, and relive the frustration. Or we could calm down and think of a good alternative to constantly cycling through low-tier batteries that say goodnight after a month of use. That’s where rechargeable batteries come in.

Yes, the upfront cost of rechargeable batteries is a bit steep, but the charger and any batteries you purchase will usually pay for themselves in the long run. The batteries below feature impressive recharge capacities and the ability to retain the bulk of their energy during prolonged storage, starting with the highly-affordable Panasonic Eneloop Pro batteries.

If you use gadgets on the go, consider picking up a portable battery charger as well.

The best AA rechargeable batteries

Panasonic Eneloop Pro

Four-pack of Panasonic Eneloop batteries.

Sanyo’s Eneloop was one of the top picks in our original list and remains one of our favorites even though Panasonic now manufacturers the batteries. The Eneloop Pro is the newest version, and it sports a capacity of 2,500mAh. The Pros can only be charged 500 times or so, but their performance is what makes them so good. Eneloops simply work better than ordinary batteries and perform flawlessly both in everyday conditions and extreme temperatures. Plus, the batteries don’t exhibit any sort of memory effect, meaning you can recharge them when they’re fully or partially drained.

AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries

AmazonsBasics AA batteries being inserted into a game controller.

AmazonBasics’ 2000mAh rechargeable batteries are particularly dependable. They’re designed to maintain 80% of their battery capacity for two years, even when not in use, thanks to the very slow self-discharge feature built-in. Amazon rates the batteries as usable for up to 1,000 charges, an excellent feature for making sure they last as long as possible. Our link takes you to an eight-pack, but other sizes are available, and the whole line of AmazonBasics rechargeable batteries is very good if you want to pick up some other types, too. The batteries are recyclable at the end of their lives, too.

Powerex Imedion

Four-pack of Powerex Imedion.

You’ve probably never heard of Powerex, but the company’s Imedion batteries get high marks for being a great mix of performance and value. They have nearly the same capacity as the Eneloop Pros (2,600mAh), although they won’t perform as well over time. If you need to store these batteries long-term — i.e., over a year — they should retain about 85% of their original charge, and you should see about 1,000 charge cycles before the batteries need to be replaced. Performance in high temperatures is also impressive.

Energizer Recharge Universal

Four pack of Energizer recharge batteries.

Energizer is a household name, and the company’s Recharge Universal brand is widely available. While they offer only 2,000mAh capacity, they remain one of the cheaper options among top-tier rechargeable batteries. Tests have shown these batteries to keep up with more expensive options when it comes to performance, and unless you need the larger capacity, they make a good option for your wireless keyboard or mouse.

EBL High Capacity

Eight EBL rechargeable AA batteries.

If you’re willing to take a risk with an off-brand alternative, try EBL’s rechargeable batteries. Each battery sports 2,800mAh, and you get eight in a pack instead of the typical four. The company also claims its batteries will retain most of their charge even after three years of storage. While we don’t have any experience with these batteries ourselves, reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive.

The best AAA rechargeable batteries

Panasonic Eneloop Pro High Capacity AAA Batteries

Four-pack of Panasonic Eneloop AAA batteries.

Panasonic is back with a revamped version of its Eneloop AAA batteries: The Pro batteries are high-capacity, 950mAh units that are rated to last for 500 charge cycles without developing any issues. You can store them for up to a year when not in use, and they’ll maintain 85% of their charge. They’re also quite versatile and able to weather extreme temperatures and be recharged from any capacity as needed. That makes these AAAs an easy recommendation for someone who wants reliable recharging in a battery size that doesn’t always have a lot of good options.

AmazonBasics AAA Rechargeable Batteries

Amazonbasics AAA batteries.

AmazonBasics AAA 800mAh batteries are super accessible — you can find them in four, eight, or 12-packs depending on what you need, and they last up to about two years. That’s due to their slow-releasing self-discharge system of recovery, where the batteries consistently maintain 80% capacity through it all. Say goodbye to non-functioning TV remotes, cameras, and other standard household technologies that tear through batteries. You can even recycle these batteries when they’ve expired, similar to their AA counterparts.

Powerowl AAA Rechargeable Batteries

Powerowl rechargeable batteries.

If you’re a techie who likes harnessing as much power as you can, there are batteries available to meet your needs. 1,000mAh Powerowl AAA batteries (available in eight, 12, and 16 packs) last for up to three years. They maintain 70% of their power over time when not in use. These are an eco-friendly choice because they don’t contain the toxic metals found in other AAA batteries.

The best 9V rechargeable batteries

LP 9V Rechargeable Batteries with Charger

Four pack of LP Batteries.

Unless you’re on top of your game with regularly scheduled battery maintenance, you’ve experienced your smoke detector going off at the most inconvenient times. Before we all punch our smoke detectors, consider this trusty LP-made 9V four-pack of batteries. Home devices across the board, specifically smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detection systems, and other essential monitoring devices, are likely to have longer lifespans with these batteries. It’ll last you years before you even have to think about replacements because the pack includes a charging dock for the batteries; you can recharge each battery as many as 500 times.

EBL 9V Rechargeable Batteries with Charger

Four EBL 9-volt batteries with charger.

EBL batteries prioritize performance energy for their rechargeable lineup, meaning each battery is engineered for maximum output to your devices and long lifespans. EBL also builds in a number of fail-safes, including overcharge/over-discharge protection, and both temperature and short-circuit protection. On the charging unit, there’s an LED indicator for each charging bay that lights red when powering and green when the battery is back to full life. EBL batteries are a great buy for wireless instrument (guitar/bass) line-ins, medical gear, smoke and CO2 alarms, and much more.

Rechargeable battery shopping tips

Which types of rechargeable batteries last the longest?

In terms of sheer timeframe, rechargeable pure lead batteries can last over eight years on the shelf.  LiFePO4 batteries can charge and discharge the most, supporting upwards of 2,500 cycles in their lifetimes.

Are rechargeable batteries worth it?

Rechargeable batteries are absolutely worth it. Even if a given rechargeable battery is twice as expensive as its non-rechargeable counterpart, you’re getting hundreds of cycles of use out of it. Meanwhile, you would otherwise have to keep buying non-rechargeable batteries for every single cycle.

Are rechargeable batteries ready to use out of the box?

Yes, you can use rechargeable batteries right out of the box. The natural discharge rate of modern batteries, especially lithium-ion, is quite low. Charging up a new battery isn’t necessary to maintain its maximum charge level.

Can you mix rechargeable batteries and single-use batteries in the same product?

It’s inadvisable to mix rechargeable and single-use batteries in the same product. It’s likely that they’re operating at different voltages and discharge rates, which can lead to dangerous outcomes.

How do you recycle rechargeable batteries?

You can recycle rechargeable batteries for free. Sites like Call2Recycle can help you find a drop-off location near you.

What are common battery terms?

These terms should cover the basics, but be sure to read up on how batteries work to get the full picture.

  • Voltage: A volt is a unit of potential electric force. Think of it like water pressure in plumbing.
  • Amperage: An ampere (or amp) is a unit of electric current. Consider it like the volume of water moving past a single point in plumbing.
  • Wattage: A watt is a unit of power transferred over time. The function is similar to the flow rate in plumbing.
  • Lithium-ion: A battery type well-known for high power output and light weight.
  • Alkaline: A battery type well-known for its energy density and shelf-life.
  • NiCd: Nickel-cadmium, a battery type well-known for low price and high discharge rate.
  • NiMH: Nickel-metal hydride is a battery type well-known for high energy density, but reduced lifecycle.
  • Anode: The positively-charged end of a battery.
  • Cathode: The negatively-charged end of a battery.

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