Chances are that you use AAA batteries on a daily basis since they power many small electronic devices, including remote controls, digital cameras, and wireless mouses. However, the cost of constantly buying new batteries can really add up. While it’s true that not all rechargeable batteries are created equal, there are definitely some gems out there that will save you money without having to sacrifice quality or performance.
Why buy AAA batteries?
You likely have a few devices lying around your house that require AAA batteries. While the average cost of a six-pack of AAAs is usually under $10, this adds up quickly if you are running to the store every month or two for new batteries. Rechargeable batteries, on the other hand, will often last over a thousand uses and will always be ready when you need them. In addition to being more convenient and cost-effective, rechargeable AAA batteries will also help you cut back on your environmental impact since you will be generating much less battery waste.
What should you look for in AAA rechargeable batteries?
- Battery Life: A long-lasting battery life is the most important factor you should look for. Naturally, rechargeable batteries with a long battery life will need to be recharged less often. A long-lasting battery life will also help ensure that your batteries have a charge when you need them most, such as during an emergency or power outage. Researching a battery’s mAh (milliampere per hour) rating is important when determining battery life, but remember that not all product descriptions are 100% reliable.
- Shelf Life: A battery’s shelf life describes how long a battery can stay in storage while holding its charge. This factor is especially important if you plan to store some batteries for long periods of time without using them. While it’s true that disposable batteries tend to have a longer shelf life than rechargeable ones, shelf life is still a key consideration when trying to find the best rechargeable batteries for your money.
- Dependability: A dependable battery will provide your device with a steady stream of power. When using less dependable batteries, you might notice your device flickering or randomly powering off since the batteries powering it are unable to dependably provide the voltage it requires. Some lesser brands are even known for packaging “duds” that are dead on arrival. Thankfully, there are many reliable options to choose from when seeking AAA rechargeable batteries.
What is the “memory effect” and why should you care?
The memory effect is a phenomenon where certain rechargeable batteries lose a significant portion of their capacity after being recharged before becoming completely depleted. Avoiding rechargeable batteries that demonstrate the memory effect is wise, especially if you desire the ability to recharge your batteries whenever you choose. Choosing batteries without memory will also help ensure your AAA rechargeable batteries remain long-lasting for as long as possible, even after they have been recharged dozens of times.
Panasonic eneloop AAA Rechargeable Batteries
These rechargeable AAA batteries come pre-charged and feature excellent charge-retention while not in use. They also last for more charges than most other options.
Pros: Eneloop has become a household name in the world of rechargeable batteries, and for a good reason. These batteries set the standard in terms of both durability and quality. They also have no memory, meaning they can be charged when fully or partially discharged with no ill effects. Compared to other rechargeable options, they are also your best option for storing away for emergencies due to their exceedingly low self-discharge rate and excellent performance in extreme hot and cold temperatures.
Cons: These are definitely not one of the most budget-friendly options around. This is especially true, seeing as how these batteries feature a capacity of up to 800 mAh, whereas many less expensive options advertise a 2,100-mAh capacity. In all fairness, though, the Eneloop’s capacity rating definitely appears to be genuine, which isn’t always the case for budget rechargeable batteries.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for AAA rechargeable batteries that are built to last almost forever and don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, these are by far your best option. While you will likely have to recharge them more often than many budget-friendly options out there, it’s doubtful that those batteries will remain reliable for as long as these.
EBL 808U Battery Charger + 8AAA Batteries
Featuring a high capacity for excellent longevity in between charges, these batteries are also great at retaining a charge in high-drain devices.
Pros: There’s a lot to like about this budget-friendly package deal from EBL, both in terms of the rechargeable batteries and the battery charger itself. As for the batteries, they really impress in terms of battery life, so don’t plan on changing them out every other week when used in low-drain devices. The included charger is also worth the price, as it works with both AA and AAA batteries and includes some nice safety features to prevent overheating and overcharging your batteries. As a bonus, the charger can even work with many of your electronic devices, thanks to its two USB fast-charge ports, making this a great buy at its price point.
Cons: Compared to other AAA battery chargers, this one does take quite a long time to get the job done. While there is a reason for this (it utilizes a trickle charge once a battery gets close to full capacity), this might not be a great option for those who like their batteries charged as quickly as possible. Additionally, batteries must be charged in pairs, which is inconvenient if you have items that use an odd number of AAA batteries.
Bottom Line: It’s unlikely to find better AAA rechargeable batteries and a charger at this price. While the charger isn’t exactly perfect, it really excels where it needs to in safety and reliability. As for the batteries, there’s not much one can say about them other than they’re likely one of the best budget options you can buy.
BONAI 1100mAh AAA Rechargeable Batteries (24 Pack)
These AAA rechargeable batteries can be charged up to 1,200 times for some serious savings compared to alkaline AAA batteries. They also arrive partially pre-charged.
Pros: These Bonai AAA Rechargeable Batteries seem to perform incredibly well after being recharged many times and maintain most of their power after years of non-use, making them a great inexpensive choice for electronic devices that receive frequent or infrequent use. They also come partially pre-charged so that you can use them right out of the box if the need arises.
Cons: Given this product’s price per battery, many may conclude that the deal is too good to be true. In a sense, it is. While the batteries boast an impressive 1,100-mAh capacity, somewhere around 800mAh is a much better estimate as to what these batteries will actually provide, and that’s well below the expectations many have when they purchase these batteries.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a cost-effective bulk buy to keep your office supplied with AAA rechargeable batteries, this is a great choice. While they might not outlast or outperform premium brands, they do perform admirably compared to other budget options at their price range. They also show surprising durability for the price.
EBL Rechargeable AAA Batteries (16-Count)
These batteries feature a high 1,100-mAh capacity to make them ideal for high-drain electronics. They also have some great safety features to prevent failure.
Pros: These EBL batteries feature a surprising capacity for the price, making them ideal for high-drain devices such as digital cameras and children’s toys. They also seem incredibly durable, with a safety-conscious design that won’t prematurely degrade like lesser budget options. If you’re seeking high-capacity AAA rechargeable batteries that are ready for the most demanding electronic devices, this is an amazing budget option.
Cons: While these sport the best capacity of budget-friendly AAA rechargeable batteries, it should be noted that they lack the long-term reusability of premium options such as Eneloops. Thus, while they perform great while they last, you might find yourself with fewer batteries than you started with after a year or so of heavy use.
Bottom Line: Given their low price and above-average capacity, it’s hard to fault these batteries for not lasting forever. If you find yourself constantly purchasing AAA batteries for high-drain devices such as your kids’ toys, these batteries will quickly become a lifesaver. However, if long-term usability is your primary purchasing factor, you will likely need to invest a little more for the performance you desire.
Energizer Recharge Universal AAA Batteries
These batteries score high marks in terms of reliability and longevity for those who don't mind spending a little extra.
Pros: Although these Energizer batteries likely won’t “wow” you in terms of battery life, they do enough well to make them a solid contender. Featuring a durable design that will remain functional after hundreds of charges, these batteries have better lasting power than most budget-friendly options. They also perform admirably in low-drain devices such as television remotes and provide reliable output to prevent your devices from faltering. If you prefer batteries with name recognition, this is a great product to go with.
Cons: These batteries feature a capacity of 700 mAh, which is well below average in the world of AAA rechargeable batteries. However, they do tend to last a while if you avoid using them in high-drain devices. Despite their low capacity, they are also one of the more expensive options on the market, which is sure to turn many potential customers away.
Bottom Line: In terms of reliability and longevity, these batteries exceed expectations. However, there are many budget-friendly options on the market that surpass these batteries in terms of capacity and cost-effectiveness. While these certainly aren’t the best AAA rechargeable batteries you can buy, they outperform offerings from most of the other major battery brands, which is enough to give them a spot on our list.
If you’re constantly burning through packs of AAA batteries, investing in a rechargeable option is truly a no-brainer. It’s not always simple to find a good balance between price, reliability, capacity, and longevity. However, if you consider your needs before making a purchase, you will be much more likely to end up with quality batteries that will provide your devices with power for many years to come.