Best Sour Candy: Top 5 Mouth Puckering Treats Most Recommended By Foodies

From Warheads to Air Heads and every brand in between, we are breaking down only the best sour candy when it comes to these tart treats. Loved by many for their ability to deliver a punch of flavor that is both mouth-watering and addictive, the tangy sensation that comes with sour candies is enough to make even the toughest taste buds tingle with delight. Whether you’re a fan of the intense sourness that makes your face contort or prefer a milder sweetness, there is a sour candy out there for everyone. 

Of course, many of you probably already have a favorite go-to candy. Things may change, but your sweet tooth seems to remain the same forever! A new poll of 2,000 Americans reveals that the average person first picked a “favorite candy” around the age of 11 and has stuck with it ever since. In fact, 52 percent eat more candy now as adults than they ever did as kids. So, if you fancied the sour variety as a kid, you may still reach for it in the candy aisle.

Speaking of sour candy fans, your preference may reveal something about your personality. A new survey shows that those with a love for sour sweets are more extroverted. They also tend to identify themselves as eccentric, funny, and sarcastic. For all the sour candy lovers out there, does this align with your personality?

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying candy once in a while as long as you beware of tummy aches! As always, we at StudyFinds have researched across multiple expert sources to bring you today’s ranking of the best sour candy! Don’t see your favorite on the list? No worries, we would love to hear from you in the comments down below! 

A jar of Sour Patch Kids
A jar of Sour Patch Kids (Photo by Kelly Brito on Unsplash)

The List: Best Sour Candy, According to Experts


1. Toxic Waste

Remember those fun little neon overflowing barrels from when you were a kid? If you do, then you’ll know why Toxic Waste is number one on our list. If not, you’ll just have to try it for yourself. “Taking the crown as the most sour candy in the world is Toxic Waste Hazardously Sour. These small, hard candies are the ultimate test for sour candy aficionados. With the highest sour intensity, duration, and coating on our list, Toxic Waste Hazardously Sour lives up to its name by delivering an incredibly potent and long-lasting sour experience. The high acidity level and diverse flavor options only add to the intensity, making this candy the ultimate challenge for those brave enough to take it on. If you’re searching for the sourest of the sour, look no further than Toxic Waste Hazardously Sour,” says Candy Store.

Toxic Waste Candy
Toxic Waste Candy

“What sets Toxic Waste Candy apart from other sour candies is its double-action super sour formula. Not only does it have an intensely sour outer layer, but it also has a sour powder center that adds an extra punch of sourness. This combination of flavors creates an explosion of sourness in your mouth that is hard to beat,” writes FreshersLive.

“This bit is relatively vicious, regardless of how you look at it. Printed on the packet of toxic waste is fifteen seconds; you’re a wuss. Sixty seconds, you’re a hero. It is undoubtedly the sourest of the huddle. The tartness of poisonous waste can dissolve your tooth enamel, so brush your teeth or gargle your mouth afterward,” explains Candy Paradise.

2. Sour Patch Kids

Next up is Sour Patch Kids—a tried and true option when it comes to mouth-puckering treats. “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,” states The Daily Meal.

Sour Patch Kids
Sour Patch Kids

“For a sour candy to be great, it needs to be sour enough to make you wince a bit but not so much that it becomes a challenge instead of food. Sour Patch Kids strike that balance perfectly. If they were any more sour, they’d be hard to eat, but they’re just mild enough to keep you reaching for more,” raves Mashed.

“We are often comparing, in jest, our loved ones to Sour Patch Kids due to the mixture of sweet and sour elements. When you consume Sour Patch Kids, you can understand the correlation between the two. Biting into one of the candies gives you an instant burst of tartness you don’t expect. After the initial blast, the candy turns sweet. Sound like any toddlers you may know? You can find Sour Patch Kids in different styles, even candy canes at Christmas! New varieties are constantly popping up on the market, some being seasonal and others sticking around for the long term. My go-to is always the original pack,” describes Restaurant Clicks.

3. Warheads Extreme Sour

Of course, Warheads had to make the list. Wally Warhead himself depicts just how sour these candies are on its wrapper. “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,” reports The Daily Meal.

Warheads Extreme Sour
Warheads Extreme Sour

“The confection that puts sour candy on the map packs a more significant initial punch than Toxic Waste, but it wears off a lot quicker. That said, it’s the perfect late afternoon treat if you’re in the office and have a hankering for something that will wake you up and isn’t another pricey Starbucks latte,” comments Food Network.

“With an impressive sour intensity, duration, and coating, Warheads Extreme Sour delivers a powerful punch followed by a sweet and fruity flavor that brings relief once the sourness subsides. The high acidity level and variety of flavors make Warheads Extreme Sour a popular choice among those seeking a thrilling and intense sour candy experience,” notes Candy Store.

4. Cry Baby Tears

There’s no crying in candy! Okay, maybe there is, and the cause is Cry Baby Tears. “Cry Baby Tears offers a powerful sour punch that’s sure to make your eyes water. These small, hard candies come in a variety of fruit flavors and boast a high intensity, long duration, and a substantial sour coating. The acidity level is also quite high, ensuring that Cry Baby Tears delivers a memorable and mouth-puckering experience. For those who love a bold and intense sour candy, Cry Baby Tears are a must-try,” says Candy Store.

Cry Baby Tears
Cry Baby Tears

“We’re convinced these were made to turn any grown man or woman into a crybaby! See if you can handle them! These appropriately shaped teardrop candies are a classic when sour candy comes to mind, and a must try to anyone who thinks they can stand up to the test,” states Candy Funhouse.

“The consensus among sour candy fanatics is that Cry Baby Tears Extra Sour Candy are some of the most mouth-puckering hard candies out there. They are literally shaped like tears! A retro candy, they seem to have gotten overshadowed by some of the newer candies on this list, but they still have a dedicated following of extreme candy lovers,” adds Candy Club.

5. Sour Skittles

Last but certainly not least on our list belongs to the sour sister of the original Skittles candy. That’s right, the fifth on our list is Sour Skittles. “A lot of sour candy fans don’t realize that one of the most readily available sour snacks (other than Sour Patch Kids) is also one of the most extreme. Sour Skittles are so wonderfully offensive that they literally make your gums peel if eaten in excess. We’re not entirely sure if that’s appealing or your idea of a nightmare, so we’ll just let you decide and not cast any judgments,” notes Food Network.

Sour Skittles
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,” adds The Daily Meal.

“You can trust that when Skittles promise sour, they’re bringing sour. As one taster put it: ‘It’s super sour, makes you pucker…gives you that bite, has that texture—it’s everything you want.’ Jordan, who fondly remembers eating these with her cool, older next-door neighbor, suggests putting the candy directly on your tongue to get the most out of the stabby sour sensation. Skittles also sells a sour gummy that’s plenty good but doesn’t have the same face-slapping sourness or that classic Skittles crunch we love,” concludes Sporked.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Jilly Hite

New York raised and Florida-based Jilly Hite studied screenwriting and theatre at The Lee Strasberg Institute before becoming a full time content creator and podcaster. She loves old movies, musical theatre, and her pup Ted.

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