Ranking The 13 Best Sour Candies

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If you're a sour candy lover, you know the sensation: you pop a candy in your mouth, your lips pucker, and your eyes squint. Eventually, your tongue begins to burn. It's hard to hide this reaction. If someone didn't know better, they might assume you were in pain. But for sour candy fans, this sensation is more pleasurable than painful. We love the sour-yet-sweet taste of these candies. But are all sour sweets winners? Not in our book. 

What constitutes a crave-worthy candy? There are several categories to consider. We have to think about the amount of tartness in a treat, as well as how quickly this zing reveals itself to us. Additionally, sour candy fans may have different texture preferences. Some people may like hard candies, whereas others prefer gummy treats. What satisfies our taste buds best is subjective, but we've put together a pretty thoughtful hierarchy of treats. Keep reading to discover our ranking of the 13 best sour candies.

13. Toxic Waste

If you want a strong physical sensation from your sour candy, look no further than Toxic Waste. This treat's dual-action experience means that both the outer and inner layers provide intense sourness, meaning the sting is unrelenting. 

One reviewer appreciated the sourness of Toxic Waste, even despite personal concerns regarding the nutrition content of these candies. "As a true fan of sour candy ... I must say yours is the top! I love it. I know they have their health issues with all the food dyes but you know ... you only live once and its got to be with a sour candy in your mouth," they wrote on the Toxic Waste website

There's no denying that these candies are incredibly acidic. Toxic Waste candies earn the last spot on our list because they are too sour for us. However, if you can't get enough sourness, this is your candy. 

12. Nerds

These small, pebble-like candies originally came in flavors like strawberry and grape. Depending on how old you are, you might be able to remember the iconic pink and purple packaging that these candies came in. The brand has since expanded its offerings, selling fruity flavors of Nerds like orange, watermelon, and lemonade. Nerds aren't advertised as sour candies. But in our book, they have enough tartness to qualify as such.

Nerds get a spot in our ranking from us for a few reasons. These colorful rocks are fun to eat by the handful, the flavors blend nicely, and the box has a fun design provided by split compartments. Plus, the company has even more fun products to try. If you want a completely different texture, try Nerds' Sour Big Chewy Candy. These candies are large, chewy, and sour. However, there isn't a lot of complex flavor in these candies. Nerds don't have a ton of flavor other than just sweet and tart. For this reason, we rank them lower.

11. SmartSweets Sourmelon Bites

If looking to eat a slightly more nutritious candy, SmartSweets might be the answer. These treats are advertised as having 92% less sugar than traditional candy. The brand even sells its own version of classic candies such as gummy bears and Twizzlers. In the sour candy department, SmartSweets has a few options. These are called Sour Blast Buddies and Sourmelon Bites.

We especially like SmartSweets' Sourmelon Bites. Despite having only 3 grams of sugar per serving, these sour snacks are delicious. They have the refreshing taste of watermelon to balance out their acidity. Plus, they're vegan, gluten-free, and don't contain artificial sweeteners. This makes them easier for more people to enjoy. 

What's the catch? Unfortunately, eating these candies may cause stomach issues. This side effect may be the result of allulose, an ingredient used to naturally sweeten Sourmelon Bites. According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, increased allulose consumption was shown to cause nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea. While the amounts consumed in the study were far greater than in a SmartSweet bag, individual tolerance always varies. If you find yourself a bit sick after crushing a bag, be smarter than the sweets. Share your Sourmelon Bites with others, or take a break from these candies. 

10. Haribo Z!NG Sour Streamers

What we love about Haribo Z!NG Sour Streamers is their unique size and shape. These candies consist of long flat ribbons covered in a grainy sour coating that you'll instantly fall in love with. Sour Streamers come in flavors like sour blue raspberry, sour orange, and sour apple.

While it's considered a gummy candy, Haribo's Sour Streamers are not as predictable as something like gummy worms. These candies are uniquely malleable, making them fun to play with. Haribo encourages you to do as much. "Enjoy the stretchable, twistable, bendable fun in every bag," the company says on its website. Feel free to get creative with these sour candies as you enjoy their mouth-puckering goodness.

Unfortunately, it's easy to get tired of eating Sour Streamers. It might be all fun and games in the short term, but eating too many isn't advised. After consuming a few, your tongue feels almost raw. Sour foods tend to do that, but we feel the rough coating of Sour Streamers pushes things over the edge.

9. Fun Dip Sour

It's time to let your inner child rejoice. There are now three sour flavors of Fun Dip that you can try: Strawberry Smackeroo, Watermelon Whammo Dip, and Tartastic Mystery. We're not certain what the mystery variety is, but with its bright blue hue, we can't help but guess that it has a blue raspberry flavor.

With Fun Dip's sour candies, the dipping sticks remain unchanged and still contain a subtle sweetness. This blandness continues to work in their favor. These sticks are the perfect vessel for collecting Fun Dip powder. The laborious business of licking and dipping makes us feel like we've earned each bite. Plus, because it's so time-consuming, one pack can last for ages. These Fun Dip sour packets are indeed more acidic than regular Fun Dip, but perhaps not sour enough. If you want a little bit of tang, this dip will satisfy you. But if you want a candy that will make you pucker up, you'll have to really gather a lot of the powder. 

We also dislike how often these dipping sticks break. This problem has been noticed by several customers. On the Walmart website, one customer said: "I hate the fact that almost all of the candy dip sticks are broken ... they are useless. The pieces aren't big enough to dip in the powder." These sticks are delicate, so gently feel the package before purchasing to ensure that a stick isn't already broken. 

8. Starburst Mini Sours

Starburst Mini Sours are small and soft, making them super easy to pop in your mouth. Plus, they're not individually wrapped, making it easier to eat more in one sitting. We suggest eating a handful of them at a time. Like regular Starburst candies, they are extremely juicy. But that's where similarities between the two candies end.

While we like these qualities, we're not entirely sold on their flavor. One Amazon consumer explained this issue well: "Taste-wise, I much prefer the larger and thicker standard Starbursts, given that there is more substance and thus flavor to them." It's all about perspective. Starburst Mini Sours are delicious, but we wish they tasted more like a sour version of the original Starburst candies. For this somewhat small reason, we rank the candies lower on our list. But that doesn't mean we wouldn't eat these candies again. We probably will. 

7. Airheads Xtremes Bites

Airheads Xtremes Bites — especially in the Rainbow Berry flavor — have a lot going for them as sour candies. These treats are bite-sized and come with a beautiful striped rainbow pattern. Additionally, Airheads Xtremes Bites are chewy enough to be satisfying, but they don't stick to your teeth. On top of all that, they pack a decent amount of sour flavor without going overboard. 

However, we do have one criticism. Airheads Xtremes Bites are sensitive to the elements. When exposed to moisture or heat, they melt and stick together. In colder climates, they become too firm to enjoy. We weren't surprised to discover others had a similar experience. One customer said as much on the Amazon website. "When they came they were a bit clumped and dried out," wrote one mildly disappointed user of their order. Under your watchful eye, Airhead Xtremes will stay in perfect shape. But who knows what can happen before they reach your kitchen pantry? 

6. Sour Punch Strawberry Straws

Sour Punch Strawberry Straws have been around since the '90s. They're still around today, proving that these candies have stood the test of time. If you ate them as a kid, you'd be happy to know they're still as soft and chewy as you remember. Sour Punch Straws are the perfect movie snack since there are enough in one pack to last a while. The perfectly sweetened coating is also great. Sour Punch Strawbery Straws also smell delicious, with a scent reminiscent of tart strawberry juice. We like this flavor more than Sour Punch Grape Straws.

The biggest downside is they tend to stick to your teeth. The gummy texture is fun at first, but gets out of hand the more you chew. It's the kind of chewiness that could make your kid lose a tooth. Additionally, while we can definitely taste the sourness, calling it a "punch" feels like an overstatement. They're more sweet than sour.

5. Warheads Extreme Sour

Warheads hit you with sourness right off the bat. Then, the mouth-puckering sensation persists for quite some time. The candy's secret to long-lasting flavor is in a layering of ingredients. Warheads get their sourness from malic acid, which is then coated in a layer of hydrogenated palm oil, helping to give each candy the effect of a time-release capsule. As you eat the candy, the oil disintegrates, exposing a sour flavor. If you can stand it, you'll be rewarded sweetly. The sourness gives way to sugar within, which is what we love most about Warheads Extreme Sour candies. 

These candies give new meaning to the phrase "no pain, no gain." However, that pain is too extreme for some. A child once reportedly received chemical burns from eating too many Warheads. Take this extremely rare incident as a warning. We don't recommend eating more than one or two in one sitting. Personally, we think we'll be eating Warheads again, but in moderation.

4. Haribo Sour Goldbears

These aren't your average gummy bears. Inside each bag, there are bears of many different flavors. But unlike regular Haribo gummy bears, they are sweet and sour. Just when we thought we couldn't love gummy bears more, Haribo goes and adds that delicious sour sugar coating. These candies also bring up sweet childhood memories. On top of all of that, Haribo is a brand we know we can rely on for consistent quality. 

Our critique of this sour candy is that it takes quite a bit of chewing to soften them. One Home Tester Club reviewer agreed, "The only complaint I ever have is sometimes this brand is a bit too hard ... But other than that, they're delicious and a great little snack!" If you are ready to do a lot of chewing on your sour candies, then Haribo's Sour Goldbears are for you. If not, then we'd recommend buying a different treat. 

3. Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers

Nothing beats the texture of Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers. They're so soft and chewy, they almost melt in your mouth. People usually consider gummy worms a kid's candy, but we disagree. Adults can enjoy Trolli's Sour Crawlers just as much as children — if not more. As one fan on Influenster said of these sour treats, "These are fantastic gummies! They're the perfect combination of sweet and sour, and have a great soft and chewy texture."

Sour Brite Crawlers will keep you coming back for more. Once you pop one into your mouth, you'll already be grabbing another. But if you wait long enough, you'll notice a mild chemical aftertaste. It's not that surprising, considering the long list of artificial ingredients listed on the candy's packaging. This includes questionable food dyes such as Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, and Blue 1. But without them, our favorite sour crawlers would probably resemble real worms, rather than our favorite colorful treats.

2. Sour Skittles

There are probably a few things you didn't know about Skittles. But you're probably aware that these candies come with colorful, hard shells. When you crunch through these shells, you break through to their chewy interior, revealing something a little like gum. But unlike gum, Skittles slowly dissolve in your mouth. This delightful sensation is one candy lovers know well. While there are many types of Skittles out there, our favorite is Sour Skittles. 

These candies are coated in citric acid, the same acid that gives lemons their tart taste. If you like sour candies, we highly recommend you try these. Each bag comes with candies flavored with strawberry, orange, lemon, green apple, and grape. Surprisingly, each flavor holds its own. It's easy to tell them apart while eating. Additionally, each candy maintains the right balance of sweetness, sourness, and refreshingly fruity flavor. We don't have any criticisms of these candies, which is why they appear so high in our ranking.

1. Sour Patch Kids

Sour Patch Kids top our list of the best sour candies. They have a first-rate balance of sweetness and sourness, as well as the most satisfying texture for snacking. It should come as no surprise, seeing how they are one of the most popular candies. In a 2019 survey by Statista, children were asked what their favorite non-chocolate Halloween treats were. Sour Patch Kids took up a good portion of the votes. 

People love these soft and chewy sweets, especially the blue ones. Thanks to a Sour Patch Kids survey showing that blue was a popular color, you can now buy entire bags filled with entirely blue Sour Patch Kids. If the standard Sour Patch Kids aren't fulfilling your needs, you can try the Extreme version, for an extra punch. 

If you want something sour that isn't candy, the Sour Patch Kids brand has expanded its repertoire. Now, you can start your day with a bowl of Sour Patch Kids cereal. Or, if it's a hot summer day, cool off with a Sour Patch Kids ice cream or popsicle. Whichever you choose, we are sure you will enjoy them.