Best rechargeable batteries 2021: keep your gadgets powered up

With the best rechargeable battery packs, you won't ever be short of power when you need it

Included in this guide:

Three different packs of eneloop rechargeable batteries
(Image credit: Panasonic)

We're assuming you're in the market for the best rechargeable batteries of 2021 – which is why you landed on this page – and we're going to point you towards the top brands and the smartest picks for batteries that can be juiced up again once they've started to die.

Picking the best rechargeable batteries isn't quite like choosing the best smartphone or the best laptop, because you don't have a whole host of specs or prices to wade through. That said, it's still a decision that requires some though, and we can help you with that.

There are some things, though, that are common between rechargeable batteries which, no matter what you're trying to power, be it the best dildo, best remote control cars or best kids drones, are useful to know about. We're talking about things like overall capacity, battery type and number of estimated recharges, and we cover all of those things in our guide.

Don't forget: the best Black Friday deals may well include rechargeable batteries. They're not exactly big-ticket items but many retailers offer Black Friday discounts on smaller items in the hope that you'll come for practical purchases and then spot an even bigger bargain. That makes Black Friday a great time to stock up on everyday essentials such as the best rechargeable batteries.

How to choose the best rechargeable batteries

There aren't a whole host of factors to think about when you're on a search for the best rechargeable batteries, but that doesn't mean you should just pick up the first pack of rechargeable AA batteries you see on the shelf – it's not quite that easy.

You do of course want to select the right size of battery for the job, and this is something that's worth double-checking, as it's easier to get caught out than you might think. Price is an important factor of course, and you need to factor in the price of the charger as well – this can be a lot more than the batteries, but you'll obviously get good use out of it.

Remember that the batteries you buy should in theory last you hundreds of hours: that means it's worth spending a little extra to get something reliable and long-lasting. Sticking to the well-known brands is advised, but it's not absolutely essential.

For the best results, look for and stick to the low self-discharge Nickel-Metal Hydride  or Ni-MH type batteries, which lead the field in terms of holding on to a charge. They're suitable for all sorts of gadgets, from demanding ones like digital cameras to ones where longevity is important, like remote controls.

The best rechargeable batteries for 2021

Panasonic EneloopT3 Best Buy Award badge

(Image credit: Panasonic)

1. Panasonic Eneloop

The best rechargeable batteries bar none

Battery type: Ni-MH
Battery capacity: 1,900mAh (AA)
Number of recharges: 2,100
Reasons to buy
+Solid performance+Huge number of recharges
Reasons to avoid
-Not the cheapest

The Eneloop series from Panasonic has earned itself a strong reputation for being some of the best rechargeable batteries in the business, and we're happy to award the range our top pick – reliability, performance, affordability, speedy recharging... it's all here with the Eneloop brand.

If you go for the standard set of Eneloop AA batteries, you get a capacity of 1,900mAh and a whopping 2,100 recharges, which should be enough to keep most of your gadgets going for years. The AAA batteries, meanwhile, have a capacity of 750mAh while keeping the same 2,100 number of recharges.

Numerous tests have shown the quality you can expect from Panasonic Eneloop batteries, so they should definitely be somewhere near the top of your shortlist when you're looking for the best rechargeable batteries of 2021.

Energizer Recharge ExtremeT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Energizer)

2. Energizer Recharge Extreme

The best rechargeable batteries for the ultimate in capacity

Battery type: Ni-MH
Battery capacity: 2,300mAh (AA)
Number of recharges: 500
Reasons to buy
+A brand you can trust+Top capacity level
Reasons to avoid
-Less recharges than Eneloop

When it comes to batteries, the Energizer brand is one that you know you can trust, and so it is with rechargeable batteries. As an extra bonus, the Recharge Extreme line is made with 4% recycled batteries, so you're doing even more to help the environment by going for this particular option.

When it comes to the raw specs, the AA Recharge Extreme batteries have a 2,300mAh capacity and can be recharged up to 500 times, while the AAA versions have a 800mAh capacity and can be recharged up to 500 times as well. They're suitable for just about any gadget out there, and keep their charge for up to a year in storage too.

In terms of testing and performance, there isn't a huge difference between the Energizer Recharge Extreme line and the Panasonic Eneloops line, and you might want to go with whichever one is offering the best deal when you're shopping. Neither will let you down.

To see how this model compared to our top rated rechargeable battery, be sure to take a read of T3's Panasonic Eneloop vs Energizer Recharge Extreme comparison feature.

Panasonic Eneloop ProT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Panasonic)

3. Panasonic Eneloop Pro

The best rechargeable batteries for more demanding tasks

Battery type: Ni-MH
Battery capacity: 2,500mAh (AA)
Number of recharges: 500
Reasons to buy
+Good for high consumption devices+Reliable, lasting performance
Reasons to avoid

Perhaps you need a little bit more juice than the standard Panasonic Eneloop rechargeable batteries are able to offer, in which case we'd like to point you towards the Pro models – they have a higher capacity, so you get more use between charges, but they also have a shorter lifespan overall.

For AA batteries, the capacity is 2,500mAh and you can recharge them 500 times before they'll need replacing. If you're buying AAA batteries, then the capacity is 930mAh and again you can expect 500 recharges. According to Panasonic, these batteries are still going to be holding 85 percent of their charge after a year of use.

You get the same high performance and reliability as you do with the standard Eneloop batteries, but these are ideal for more demanding, high consumption gadgets. For less demanding, low consumption gadgets (such as remote controls), check out the Eneloop Lite range.

Duracell Rechargeable UltraT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Duracell)

4. Duracell Rechargeable Ultra

The best rechargeable batteries for a high-capacity long shelf life

Battery type: Ni-MH
Battery capacity: 2,500mAh (AA)
Number of recharges: 300
Reasons to buy
+Impressive specs list+Will last up to five years
Reasons to avoid
-Not as many recharges as Eneloop

Duracell is of course one of the biggest and most popular brands on the battery scene, and its rechargeable batteries are well worth considering for anyone who's shopping for the best rechargeable battery of 2021 – as normal, AA and AAA are the two sizes to pick from.

If you go for the Duracell AA Rechargeable Ultra pack, those batteries give you a very generous capacity of 2,500mAh and can be recharged up to 300 times before dying for good. Opt for the AAA versions, and they give you a capacity of 900mAh and the same 300 recharge lifespan.

Duracell says these batteries will last for five years if you don't reach the 300 recharge limit by then, and with that in mind we'd say these are a fantastic pick if you need a set of batteries with a long shelf life. The prices are very reasonable as well.

To see how these batteries stack up against our number one choice then be sure to check out T3's Panasonic Eneloop vs Duracell Rechargeable Ultra comparison feature.

AmazonBasics High-Capacity Rechargeable BatteriesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. AmazonBasics High-Capacity Rechargeable Batteries

The best rechargeable batteries for shopping on a budget

Battery type: Ni-MH
Battery capacity: 2,400mAh
Number of recharges: Hundreds
Reasons to buy
+Recommended for bulk buys+Batteries you can trust
Reasons to avoid
-Outperformed by premium brands

Don't dismiss the AmazonBasics range as being only for those who want to spend as little money as possible – the range of rechargeable batteries that Amazon has put out can more than hold their own against the major brands, and you'll be very satisfied indeed if you pick these for your energy needs.

With the AA versions you get 2,400mAh of capacity and with the AAA ones the capacity is 850mAh. Amazon doesn't specify exactly how many recharges you can get out of these batteries in total, but does promise it's in the "hundreds" – so make of that what you will. It also says the batteries keep up to 50 percent of their capacity for a year.

We'd recommend going for these if you need a lot of rechargeable batteries at a very reasonable price – they hold up well and can be relied upon. For an even cheaper option, look for the standard AmazonBasics versions (without the "High-Capacity" label).