Last Updated: May 8, 2023 @ 1:26 pm.

What are the best candy hearts? We rounded up 9 different brands and did a blind taste test. Yes, candy hearts are great party favors . . . and clever conversation starters. Here are the ones we recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Be Mine: The Fascinating History of Candy Hearts

Did you know that candy hearts—otherwise known as conversation hearts or sweethearts—started as medicinal lozenges, invented by a Boston pharmacist?

Back in the 1800’s, lozenges were a popular way for folks to take medicine, but making them by hand was laborious. Bostonian Oliver Chase invented a machine that stamped out lozenges . . . and then soon found a way to print little messages on them. (Of course, candies with messages on them pre-dates conversation hearts—scalloped candy shells in the 1800’s had little printed paper messages.)

Chase quickly pivoted to candy from medicine, after the lozenges proved popular.

Chase’s company later became the New England Confectionery Company . . . which  you may know better by its initials NECCO. Chase’s original lozenges morphed into what are known today as NECCO wafers.

The first conversation hearts weren’t actually hearts—they were disks. It wasn’t until the start of the 20th century that the heart shape first appeared (along with other fun shapes like horseshoes).

Of course, the sayings have changed over the years. The larger disk or lozenge style conversation candies could fit longer sayings—for example, ““WHY IS A STYLISH GIRL LIKE YOU A THRIFTY HOUSEKEEPER?” 

The shorter “Kiss Me” and “Be Mine” are classics . . . but the companies that make the hearts have dropped some sayings over time (for some reason, “Fax Me” no longer appears).

In 2013, the Atlantic Magazine reprinted a list of the dropped sayings over the years: 

  1. DIG ME
  2. HOT CHA
  6. WHY NOT
  10. FAX ME
  11. HEP CAT
  14. 1-800 CUPID
  17. OH BOY
  18. YOU ROCK
  19. LET’S READ


Of course some sayings are timeless—”The One I Love” first appeared in 1902 and is still there today!

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Best Classic Candy Hearts

Banana, orange, grape, cherry, lemon flavors
Just the right amount—not too big or too small a bag, these candies feature the "classic sayings" such as "Kiss Me" and "Be Mine." Great for traditionalists. Also handy for crafting!

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Best Tart Conversation Hearts

Very tangy!
Sour candy lovers, unite! These conversation hearts take the traditional candy and put a tart spin on it—love the cherry and grape flavors, although green apple is quite good as well. Nice texture.

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Best Budget-Friendly Hearts

Best-tasting hearts
Great flavors and easy on the wallet, this bag offers a wide variety (our favorite: lemon-lime and cherry). Fruity and flavorful, plus those ever-cute sayings.
$19.99 ($0.50 / Ounce)

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Best Party Favor Hearts

Mini boxes of hearts
Perfect for classrooms, these mini boxes of conversation hearts feature the classic flavors . . . just in a smaller package. Flavors include wintergreen, cherry, lemon, banana, orange and grape.
$6.99 ($1.86 / Ounce)

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About the Authors

Denise & Alan Fields are consumer advocates and best-selling authors. The Fields have authored 12 books with three million copies in print, including the best-selling guide to baby gear, Baby Bargains.

The Fields have been featured and quoted in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

As consumer products experts, the Fields have been guests on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America and ABC’s 20/20.

How We Pick Products To Recommend

We often turn to our readers (3 million strong!) to find products to recommend. We ask our parent readers for their favorites and consider their real-world experiences in our recommendations.

When we test a product, we always purchase it with our own monies. We do not take free samples, as we believe that compromises our independence.

We also fact check manufacturer information with our own measurements. If a maker claims a product weighs X pounds, we will weigh it to make sure. If the battery life is supposed to be six hours, we will see how it stands up in the real world.

In some cases, we will do interviews with experts in the field to get additional feedback on products.

To get hands-on time with products, we regularly meet one-on-one with gear companies and even tour manufacturing facilities. (When we do this, we pay our own travel expenses).

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

We make our living from affiliate commissions, but we always recommend what we think are the best bets for our readers (not the ones that are the most expensive). We are always looking for products that offer the best bang for the buck.

Our independence is a key reason why we have been doing this so long. As we mentioned above, when we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Baby Bargains: Your Baby Registry Cheat Sheet is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and its related sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.