Don't forget the batteries

Posted at 3:25 PM, Dec 22, 2015

You’ll need lots of AA batteries this holiday season for all of those new toys and electronic devices. But do you need to buy expensive batteries to keep those gadgets up and running?

Consumer Reports tested 15 double-A batteries, 13 alkalines and two lithiums ranging in price from 62 cents per pair to $5. The tests simulated typical use in toys and flashlights. Which ones lasted the longest?

Overall, the lithium batteries were tops, but so were some of the alkalines at half the price. Duracell Quantum was the best alkaline performer and sells in packs that cost about $2.50 per pair.

Consumer Reports’ Best Buy for batteries is Kirkland Signature Alkaline from Costco. They are sold in large value packs, so a pair ends up costing only $1.

When it’s time to change the batteries in your devices, always use ones that are all the same age, brand, and type. And that old wives’ tale about keeping batteries in the fridge to prolong their life? Consumer Reports says don’t bother. Keep your batteries in a cool, dry place and they will probably last about seven years.

Consumer Reports says not to keep batteries or your battery-powered devices in extreme heat for extended periods to avoid leaks and ruptures. Also, don’t keep batteries in your pockets because they could rub against spare change, causing them to short-circuit.


Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to