According to research firm Technavio, the demand for alkaline AA batteries is expected to grow by 1% until 2024. AA batteries are useful for powering TV remote controls, radios, flashlights, video game controllers, video and music players, clocks and other low drain electronic devices. All these devices will likely continue to be popular, even while COVID-19 restrictions remain in effect. The problem is that there is no clear standard for determining which AA battery brand is better than another.
Fortunately, a variety of different blogs and non-profit organizations have put various battery brands to the test. Foremost among these is Consumer Reports, the leading product research firm in the United States. Other factors can come into play as you make your purchasing decision, as well. Some AA battery manufacturers stand behind their products with satisfaction guarantees, for example. Other AA makers offer discounts on bulk orders. Keep reading to see how five of the most popular AA battery brands compare.
The all-around best AA batteries
Energizer Max strikes a good balance between affordability and performance. If you’re looking for a decent and reliable battery that doesn’t cost too much, this could be your best option. Another nice thing about Energizer Max batteries is that they can be placed in storage for a long period of time. The two-year guarantee against leakage adds to their reliability.
- Two-year guarantee against leakage. Energizer says that Max batteries are specifically designed to guard against battery acid leaks, which can ruin electronic equipment.
- Holds power for up to ten years. You can store these batteries for a full decade before they’ll begin to lose their charge.
- Convenient packaging. Inside the large cardboard battery box you get when you order in bulk, you’ll find two 24-pack boxes. Inside each 24-pack, there are six four-packs.
- Good performance. Energizer Max performed well against other battery brands when put to the test in Consumer Report’s lab.
- Above-average price point. The cost per battery is high relative to competing battery brands, even when you buy in bulk.
In a nutshell
Energizer Max AA batteries are versatile, but slightly more expensive compared to AA batteries from other brands. Nevertheless, they can be stored for very long periods of time and the two-year guarantee against leakage is a sign that Energizer’s production techniques are stable. If you’re looking for an all-around good, dependable battery this might be your best bet.
The best AA batteries to order in bulk
The more AmazonBasics batteries you buy, the more you’ll save. You can order as many as 300 batteries at a time. Like most alkaline batteries, they’ll last for a full decade in storage before they go bad. Another significant perk is the cardboard packaging, which is easier to open compared to the plastic style packaging that other brands use.
- Bulk purchases are available. Businesses will appreciate the fact that you can order up to 300 batteries at a time for a discount.
- AmazonBasics brand name. As is the case with all AmazonBasics products, orders over $25 qualify for free shipping. You also get a five percent of your cash back if you subscribe to Amazon Prime.
- Ten-year shelf life. A recent design improvement boosted the shelf life from five years to a full decade.
- Simple cardboard packaging. Since there’s no plastic, the box is eco-friendly and very easy to open and use.
- Advanced safety features. The SPW (Shortcircuit Preventative Washer) ring stops self-discharging and two miniature holes relieves the pressure buildup that can lead to accidental bursts.
- Large bulk orders are not always available. At publication, the 200, 250 and 300 packs were temporarily out of stock.
- Consumer Reports hasn’t tested it yet. AmazonBasics was not a part of the nonprofit consumer organization’s recent battery brand comparison.
In a nutshell
One of the best things about AmazonBasics AA batteries is the cost savings that comes along with any product in the AmazonBasics line. All Amazon Prime subscribers can get cash back on their purchase if they go with AmazonBasics AAs. That makes them extremely inexpensive. If you intend to buy in bulk, you won’t find a better deal.
The best high performance AA batteries
One potential reason for Duracell’s longevity could be its commitment to quality production. No other battery brand offers a guarantee against damage caused by leakage. When Consumer Reports tested CopperTop against other battery brands, Duracell ended up at the top of their list. Another convenient thing about CopperTops is that you can order more of them as needed instantly through Alexa voice commands.
- Excellent performance. Duracell CopperTop ended up toward the top of Consumer Reports’ list when the organization compared the performance of several different battery brands.
- The Duracell guarantee. No other battery brand we’ve seen guarantees that it’ll replace or repair your electronic equipment in the event that its batteries cause damage.
- Ten year shelf life guarantee. Like most alkaline batteries, these ones will retain their charge in storage for at least a full decade.
- Refill your supply with ease via Alexa. Just say “Alexa, order Duracell batteries” when you’re running low to get more.
- Expensive compared to the competition. Duracell batteries are three times as expensive as some competing battery brands.
- Limited bulk discounts. Cost savings end at the 24-pack. Other brands give you better deals when you buy in bulk.
In a nutshell
Duracell CopperTop AA batteries ranked near the top of Consumer Reports’ recent battery performance comparison. In addition, if a leak ruins your device, Duracell will replace or repair it for free. No other battery manufacturer we’ve seen is offering that kind of promise to their customers. The main downside is the pre-battery cost, which is high compared to other brands.
The best budget AA batteries for high drain devices
Alkaline batteries typically don’t perform well when placed in high drain devices, but these batteries from ACDelco are an exception to that rule. If you’re looking for a way to power your digital camera, this brand could be your best option. Another significant perk is that they are cheap relative to the competition.
- Ideal for devices that consume energy quickly. ACDelco claims that their batteries beat other alkaline battery brands when it comes to powering high drain devices like digital cameras, GPS receivers and stereos.
- Holds electricity for up to ten years. The ten-year shelf life specification meets the industry standard.
- Low per-unit cost. This battery brand offers excellent deals on bulk purchases.
- Hasn’t been evaluated by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports didn’t include ACDelco in its recent battery performance comparison test.
- No warranty. Other brands will give you your money back if a battery leakage occurs, but ACDelco does not.
In a nutshell
ACDelco batteries are specifically engineered to handle the demands of high load electronic devices. This makes these batteries unique among alkalines, most of which are designed for low drain devices like remote controls, toys and LED lights. In addition, the per-unit price is low relative to other brands. Good deals on large purchases are available, as well.
The best AA batteries that are made in the USA
The fact that Rayovac is headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin sets this brand apart from other battery manufacturers. If you aren’t totally satisfied with their batteries, they’ll give you a complete refund. No other battery maker offers this kind of guarantee. One reason why Rayovac is so confident in the quality of their products could be that they test each battery twice at the factory before shipping them out to consumers.
- Made in the United States. Based in Middleton, Wisconsin, Rayovac has been manufacturing batteries for over 100 years.
- Satisfaction guarantee. Royovac is the only battery brand we’ve seen that will give you your money back if you aren’t totally satisfied with the performance.
- Quality control. Each battery gets tested twice prior to shipment.
- Good value. Rayovac’s cost-per-unit is very low compared to the competition when you buy in bulk.
- Ten-year shelf life. Like most alkaline batteries, you can store these ones for a decade before they’ll begin to lose power.
- Flimsy plastic packaging. While the see-through box lets you see how many batteries you have left at a glance, it isn’t very durable.
- Hasn’t been evaluated by Consumer Reports. Rayovac was not one of the battery brands that Consumer Reports evaluated in their most recent lab test.
In a nutshell
Patriotic-minded battery shoppers might lean toward Rayovac, since it’s one of the only battery brands that is headquartered in the United States. Some components of the batteries are imported, but all the production happens in Fennimore, Wisconsin. Quality control is likely better than many brands, too. Rayovac claims that each battery goes though two checks before it leaves the factory.