11 Best Sugar-Free Hard Candies Of 2023

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We aren’t ashamed to admit that we have a massive candy problem! We simply can’t get enough of it!

However, like everyone else, we have realized that we should probably either cut it out completely or find an alternative version that is much healthier.

And that brings us to today’s article – sugar-free hard candies! If you didn’t know about this type of product, you’re about to love us even more!

There are tons of sugar-free candies available on the market that are made from different sugar substitutes, that come in a wide variety of flavors, and that can be bought at varying price tags.

So, what are the best sugar-free candies? We highly recommend candies made from isomalt, which have been sweetened using stevia. This is the most common, healthiest substitution and has half the amount of calories, all while still being equally sweet and delicious.

In today’s sugary sweet article, we will have a look at what exactly hard candies are, how they are made into sugar-free candies, and then finally discuss our 11 best sugar-free hard candies that can all be conveniently found online!

What Are Hard Candies?

Hard candies are a type of candy made from primarily sugar.  Sugar syrup is boiled to 320°F, molded into specific shapes, and allowed to cool.

When cooled, the syrup hardens and forms what you know as hard candy.

These candies are made from different types of sugar syrups including glucose, fructose, and sucrose. All these syrups are used in the same way but have very different chemical structures and even origins.

These candies are also often flavored using different liquid essences or concentrates, and can also be colored with either gel, powder, or liquid food coloring.

Almost all types of hard candies are made from nearly 100% of their own weight (meaning they consist of sugar only). Other ingredients often added are colorants, flavorings, and preservatives.

Another interesting addition to these candies is coarse coatings. Sometimes they are coated in castor sugar or another type of flavored sugar, and sometimes they have a slightly sour or acidic coating.

As time has passed and different ingredients have been discovered or developed, we have been able to create more and more sugar-free recipes, and even sugar-free candies!

What Are Sugar-Free Hard Candies?

Sugar-free candies are made without any sugar – or at least granulated sugar as we know it. They are instead made from other ingredients that happen to be sweet.

Usually, they are made from isomalt as a substitution for regular sugar. Isomalt is a type of sugar alcohol that is often used as a substitute for regular sugar. This is because of its extremely similar characteristics to sugar.

The main difference between the two is that isomalt doesn’t affect your body in the same way regular sugar does. It doesn’t affect your blood sugar levels, has an impact on your insulin levels, or is even high in calories.

To create the intense sweetness of regular hard candies, artificial sweeteners are added such as saccharin, aspartame, or sucralose. Alternatively, other sweeter sugar alcohols are added like xylitol.

Isomalt also has very similar melting and hardening properties to that of regular sugar, so using it doesn’t necessarily mean a bunch of additional steps.

Buyer’s Guide

Now that you know there are delicious sugar-free candy options out there, where do you even start looking? Are there good and bad options? What should you look out for?

Well, worry no more! We have the ultimate buyer’s guide to sugar-free hard candies to help you weigh all the pros and cons, and choose the perfect product that meets your needs.


First and foremost, it is important to discuss all the nutritional aspects of these sugar-free candies. Naturally, most people cut out sugar from their diet to have healthier lifestyles; however, many of these candies actually turn out to be a bit less healthy.

When choosing a candy, make sure you know which products it has been made from. It’s also great if you know how your body reacts to those products.

Some brands also incorporate a lot of unhealthy artificial flavorings, coloring, and preservatives. Sometimes it is better to consume the actual sugar candy than an extremely processed one.

You will also see that there are a ton of fruit juice-based hard candies that are often considered healthier because of the type of sugar it is made from. 

Again, it all comes down to what your needs and goals are.

Calorie Intake

A misconception about sugar-free hard candies is that they are automatically calorie-free. This couldn’t be further from the truth and many sugar-free versions are actually just as high in calories.

This is mainly because of the size of the candies. If you compare a lot of regular sugar-based hard candies with sugar-free versions, you will see that the sugar-free ones are usually much bigger.

So if they were compared side by side (same weight and size), sugar-free candies are usually lower in calories; however, with bigger sizes, it balances out and ends up being the same.

If your goal is to lower your calorie intake, you might want to do some calculations first. You can either consume less of the larger candies or simply purchase smaller versions if possible.

What It’s Made Of

The most common ingredients sugar-free hard candies are made of include sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, stevia, and different types of sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, and lactitol.

Each of these has its own list of pros and cons and it is important that you know how each will affect you personally.

Some people have very extreme intolerances or sensitivities to some of these sweeteners, while others simply don’t like the flavor.

It is always important to know what you are putting in your body, especially if you are looking to be healthier.

The 11 Best Sugar Free Hard Candies Of 2021

Now that we have finally discussed the different aspects to consider before buying a fantastic sugar-free hard candy, let’s take a look at some of our personal favorites!

Each of these products has various pros and cons, but like we always say, at the end of the day the one you choose depends entirely on your specific dietary and lifestyle needs.

RankProductBest Feature
1.Jolly RancherBest overall sugar-free hard candy
2.Werther’sBest caramel sugar-free hard candy
3.Brach’s Mixed Fruit40% less sugar compared to regular candies
4.Brach’s CinnamonBest cinnamon sugar-free hard candy
5.Dr. John’sIncludes strawberry, watermelon, and green apple flavors
6.Life SaversBest sugar-free mint
7.LaetaFoodBest sugar-free peppermint
8.Dad’s Root Beer BarrelsBest root beer flavored sugar-free hard candy
9.StevitaBest orange flavored sugar-free candy
10.Coastal Bay ConfectionsAffordable sugar-free hard candy
11.Russell StoverLemon, lime, watermelon, grape, orange, and cherry flavors

1. Jolly Rancher

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Jolly Rancher is a world-famous candy brand that was bound to join the sugar-free game.

This specific sugar-free product of theirs is arguably the most famous sugar-free hard candies that exist!

This mixed pack of hard candies includes their most popular flavors such as Green Apple, Watermelon, Cherry, Grape, and Blue Raspberry.

We prefer buying bigger bags as it usually works out cheaper and will naturally last you longer.

These sugar-free hard candies are made from corn syrup and do contain colorants and flavorings like almost all candies do.

This hard candy is definitely at the top of our list! They are delicious, make the perfect snack, and can be conveniently transported as they are all individually wrapped.

2. Werther’s

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We are such a sucker for caramel candies and naturally, one of the biggest and best suppliers of them is Werther’s.

This brand has perfected caramel-flavored hard candies over the years and has expanded into the sugar-free niche.

This is a fantastic example of an isomalt candy. It does contain other ingredients like salt, butter, and cream to create that classic caramel and develop a beautiful flavor.

Each candy is individually wrapped, making them easy to share, add to the kids’ lunch boxes, and make them especially easy to store away again.

3. Brach’s Mixed Fruit

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This sugar-free hard candy product differs from the Jolly Rancher one quite a bit.

Even though they might appear the same, these mixed fruit hard candies from Brach’s are made from isomalt.

Again, it does contain citric acid (a stabilizer and flavor enhancer), colorants, and flavorings.

These candies contain about 40% less sugar compared to regular candies and each individual one averages around 35 calories each. That is a considerable difference and is a fantastic option if you are looking to cut out sugar.

We always prefer buying mixed packets when trying new products as you can much more easily decide which flavors you like or don’t like. This mixed packet contains flavors such as Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grape, and Cherry.

4. Brach’s Cinnamon

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We just had to single out this particular flavor of sugar-free candies, again by Brach’s.

We love cinnamon-flavored candies and this one doesn’t disappoint.

Usually, with this flavor specifically, it either has well-balanced flavors or is inedible.

Obviously, we love it because it has extremely well-balanced cinnamon flavors. It has just enough cinnamon to make its presence known, but without disturbing your pallet and even overwhelming it.

These candies are made from isomalt and are sweetened with Splenda. Splenda is a massive brand of sugar substitutes and is about 600 times sweeter compared to normal sugar.

Naturally, you need much less to create an equally sweet product, with much fewer calories.

5. Dr. John’s

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From the instant, we first tried Dr. John’s sugar-free hard candies we knew it was love at first taste!

Again, we recommend buying this mixed bag to more easily find the flavors you love best. This bag includes Strawberry, Watermelon, and Green Apple.

These candies are mainly made from Xylitol, another type of sweetener that is far sweeter than regular sugar, so requires far less to match it.

6. Life Savers

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Everyone needs a little refreshing candy every now and then, especially one that can make your breath super minty!

LifeSavers have released a no-sugar hard candy that still has its original crisp and tasty flavor, but with far less sugar.

These hard candies are made from sorbitol, a type of sugar alcohol that can be naturally found in fruits.

They do also contain aspartame and other flavorings which gives them their refreshing minty flavor.

7. LaetaFood

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This is another type of minty hard candy that we’ve included because of its decorative functions.

Peppermint pinwheel candies are often used to flavor desserts and even decorate them.

They can be used at birthday parties, Christmas, Halloween, or simply as a quick and easy snack on the go!

These refreshing candies are made from a combination of polyglycitol syrup and isomalt. One of the things we love most about it is that it is made from natural peppermint oil, not artificially produced ones!

8. Dad’s Root Beer Barrels

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So we have heard a lot of mixed opinions about these sugar-free root beer barrels made by Fruidles; however, we cannot get enough of them!

You can buy them on Amazon in various-sized bags for your convenience.

Each candy comes individually wrapped inside a re-sealable bag to make it easier to store and even divide for lunches.

These root beer candies are made from a blend of isomalt and sucralose and do contain flavorings and colorants.

9. Stevita

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Many people love these Stevita hard candies, our personal favorite being the Outrageous Orange flavor.

It is definitely a product with more modern packaging and comes in a beautifully stylish designed pop-up tin.

Stevita sugar-free hard candies are vegetarian, keto, and paleo-friendly, completely gluten-free, and do not contain any GMOs or artificial ingredients.

So not only are you getting a candy that is low in sugar, but it also has many other benefits!

10. Coastal Bay Confections

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If you are looking for a more affordable sugar-free candy, we would highly recommend these from Coastal Bay.

Their mixed fruit pack comes in a 3-ounce bag and contains individually wrapped candies for your convenience.

These are made from isomalt but do contain citric acid to enhance the flavorings used. This is another sugar-free hard candy that uses Splenda to add a ton of sweetness without adding a ton of calories.

11. Russell Stover

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Our final sugar-free hard candy of the day is this one from Russel Stover.

These candies are made using Maltitol syrup and also contain a mixture of natural and artificial flavorings which are further enhanced with some citric acid.

The sweetener used to help add sweetness without calories is Stevia extract, which we have already discussed.

This mixed pack comes with flavors like Lemon, Lime, Watermelon, Grape, Orange, and Cherry! A massive variety of flavors all conveniently individually wrapped for your convenience.

And what might make this product even better is that it comes at a very affordable price tag!

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