The Different Types of Household Batteries

If you were to turn back the clock a few hundred years and visit an ordinary house, you’d be in a completely different world. Apart from your usual modern deco, there would be no TVs, no microwaves, no hoovers, and no lighting.

It’s almost unimaginable.

Indeed, after the industrial revolution, most of (particularly western) human civilisation was graced by the technological revolution. In the ensuing years that followed the end of the second world war, the consumer boom truly began.

What people once dreamt about owning was now far more affordable. Consumer appliances like television remotes, handheld music devices and even recreational toys all became popular household commodities.

And the power behind them all? Batteries, of course!

In this infographic from Battery Shop Sussex we explore the different types of batteries that have appeared in our homes.

Batteries rule the world when it comes to electrical appliances. From military aircraft, medical equipment, and cameras, to hearing aids, laptops, and power tools - batteries help to power far more than we think.

Showing just how much we love these devices, every person in Britain goes through at least 10 batteries every year!

But they don't make them like they used to do. Did you know, there is a battery at Oxford University that has been continuously ringing since 1840?!

Ask yourself this: how many different types of household batteries can you think of? If you’re struggling, we have a few pointers.

Valve Regulated Lead Acid Gel (VRLA)

Perhaps one of the more obscure batteries, lead acid gel batteries are extremely useful for high-powered and typically rotary devices and applications – think wheelchairs or power tools.

First invented in 1859 by a French physicist, lead acid batteries have the amazing ability to supply high surge currents.


NiCd cells are commonly found in smaller consumer devices such as cell phones and laptops – and a wide range of medical equipment, too.

Rechargeable sources of power, NiCd batteries are also far more temperature tolerant than their counterparts.


Mercury batteries are electromagnetic cells that use mercury and zinc in an alkaline electrolyte.

Thanks to these amazing button-cell batteries, these mercury cells are perfect for the manufacture of small electronic devices.

Silver Oxide

Using silver oxide and zinc, silver oxide batteries are often used in LCD watches with a backlight. And thanks to their chemical make-up, they’re especially functional in lower temperatures.

Zinc Air

These metal air batteries are by far our favourites!

Zinc-air cells are metal-air cells that work by oxidising zinc and oxygen from our air. And they’re also winners with modern scientists, too. With their high energy densities and cost effective manufacturing requirements – zinc air fuel cells are commonly found in small consumer gadgets and medical equipment like hearing aids.

Well, there you have it. Clearly, our modern lives are full of a wide variety of batteries that continue to power our devices. And these batteries don’t just fuel our recreational devices – they’re crucial to powering devices that we depend on, such as medical equipment, both big and small.