The Top Rated AA Batteries

by Justin Thomas •


Here are my recommendations for the best rechargeable AA batteries:

Overall, the best rechargeable AA battery is the Eneloop Pro. They have a high energy capacity (2500 mAh), and they perform better than similar high-capacity AAs. They can only be charged 500 times (versus 2100 times for regular Eneloops). But most people will never charge their batteries that many times. For example, if you charged your batteries twice a week consistently, it would take 5 years to reach 500 charges.

Sanyo Eneloop

Top Review Sources:

  • Consumer Reports: Recommended
  • Doc’s Charger and Battery Reviews: “Good performance for a 2000 mAh rated battery, and fantastic shelf life for a Ni-MH”
  • Amazon: 4.5/5.0 (1,600+ reviews)

Eneloops are currently the top rated rechargeable AAs, and we have found them to perform well.  We should also mention Imedion batteries, which are similar to Eneloops but rated at 2400 mAh (this stands for milli Amp hour, and indicates a battery’s energy storage capacity). Eneloops, by comparison, have a lower rated capacity — 2000 mAh (or 1980 mAh according to my informal tests).

You’ll find the Sanyo eneloop AA four pack ($11) on Amazon. You can also buy an eneloop AA four pack with included recharger ($18) as well as an eneloop AA eight pack ($20).

Eneloop Pros

Sanyo XX "Powered By Eneloop"

The Eneloop Pro is a high-capacity version of the regular Eneloop cell. The Eneloop Pro has a capacity of 2500 mAh –this is 500 mAh more than the regular Eneloops. Their only potential downside is that they can be charged 500 times — not 2100 times like the regular Eneloops. However, on average most people will charge their batteries about 100-200 times over a 5 year period.

Eneloop Pro batteries are available on Amazon.

Energizer Ultimate

Energizer Ultimate

Energizer Ultimate


  • Great for high-drain devices and maximum runtime
  • Fantastic shelf life


  • Not rechargeable

Top Review Sources:

  • Consumer Reports: Recommended
  • Amazon: 4.5/5.0 (150+ reviews)
  • CHOICE Online (Australia): “The ENERGIZER e2 Lithium was by far the top performer in our test”

The Energizer Ultimate is a disposable battery meant for high-drain devices and long periods of time away from another power source. It is the successor to the similar Energizer e2. Like the e2, the Ultimate is a lithium battery. One of lithium’s advantages over other types of batteries is a longer runtime. The Ultimate AA is a 3000 mAh battery that operates at about 1.7 volts; it is able to energize a high-drain device (such as a powerful camera) for a longer period of time than most other batteries. If you have a gadget that needs the higher voltage, or if you need a battery that will last in a high-drain device for as long as possible, lithium is a great option. Another lithium advantage is its 10+ year shelf life, making it a good backup battery to have around for emergencies. Lithium batteries also operate in sub-freezing temperatures, unlike alkaline disposables.

The Energizer Ultimate four pack ($5) is available on Amazon. Also for sale is an eight pack ($15).

Duracell Coppertop

Duracell CopperTop

Duracell CopperTop


  • Low initial cost
  • Long shelf life


  • Not long-term cost-effective

Top Review Sources:

  • Amazon: 4.5/5.0 (125+ reviews)
  • PC Magazine: Longest runtime in flashlight test (of seven batteries tested)
  • CandlePowerForums.com Alkaline Battery Shoot Out: 4th place (of 19 batteries tested for watt-hours)

Duracell CopperTop batteries use alkaline technology to deliver reliable performance at a low cost per battery. While rechargeable batteries will save you money in the long run, disposable alkalines like the CopperTop have advantages such as lower initial cost and longer shelf life (7+ years). CopperTops are not suited for high-drain devices; they won’t last as long as NiMH or lithium batteries. However, if you use batteries very infrequently or need a long-lasting, inexpensive solution for a smoke detector or rarely-used remote control, the CopperTop offers a compelling price/performance balance.

The Duracell CopperTop 20 pack is for sale on Amazon.

See also our extensive review of rechargeable batteries and chargers on MetaEfficient.

Comments 1

  1. Tabitha Bowling

    Hi Justin, you might be interested to know about a new rechargeable battery hitting the market called the Boost FP 1.5v, available in both AA/AAA sizes. Unlike its NiMH and Alkaline counterparts, the Boost FP maintains 1.5v output from start to finish, until it needs to be recharge. Essentially there is not discharge curve until the very end of its life cycle. The Boost FP, developed by Volt Technology, can be recharged 1000x and fast charges with any charger in 2 hours. Please let me know if you’re interested in learning more, have any test you’d like us to conduct or have any questions.

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