I’m sure we can all agree that there is nothing quite like a freshly picked, homegrown tomato. In fact, I would go so far as to say enjoying an exceptional tomato can genuinely be a life changing experience.
This might sound a tad dramatic, but I can certainly testify to this. Growing up in England, a place not exactly renowned for being sunny, it’s safe to say the tomatoes of my youth weren’t typically top quality.
Years later, while exploring the south of France, I was visiting a farm and was invited by the farmer to choose a few toms fresh from the vine.
I chose a little bright yellow one, and the second I popped it in my mouth and experienced the explosion of taste and texture that followed, I knew I would never again be satisfied with the supermarket toms of my childhood.
Luckily for us tomato enthusiasts, there are many varieties to choose from, with over 700 different types in cultivation today. A rainbow of options are available in all shades, from red to yellow to purple, in all shapes and sizes, from a teeny-tiny cherry up to the biggest, beefiest slicer.
I can say without reservation that there’s a perfect type out there to suit every gardener’s needs.
Here, we explore a selection of the best hybrid varieties to grow in your garden. If heirlooms are what you’re after, you can read more about those here.
15 of the Best Tomato Hybrids
- Why Choose a Hybrid Variety?
- Top Hybrid Tomatoes
Why Choose a Hybrid Variety?
When choosing varieties to plant in your garden, you’ll find that you come across two kinds of seeds: hybrid and heirloom.
Hybrid tomato plants are a cross of two different varieties, designed to select the best traits from both parents. They tend to have desirable traits such as improved disease resistance, more dependable yields, less required TLC, and higher quality fruit.
There is one drawback: although they tend to have more beneficial traits, you can’t save and replant hybrid seeds as you can with heirloom species, since they won’t grow true to type.
Top Hybrid Tomatoes
With so many hybrid varieties to choose from, it’s nearly impossible to pick your preferred toms without a little guidance! That’s why we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites, based on qualities that tomato lovers look for.
Best for Color
As an absolute sucker for beautiful multi-colored veggies, I always get really excited about all the rainbow colored hybrids on offer.
When growing tomatoes, you will find cultivars are either classified as “determinate” or “indeterminate.” Simply put, indeterminate varieties grow continuously until killed by frost, whereas determinate cultivars will only grow to a certain height (usually when the fruit sets on the top bud) and then stop growing.
Other differences include the fact that determinate varieties tend to ripen faster and simultaneously, whereas indeterminate cultivars produce for a much longer period, usually right up until the moment the first frost arrives.
1. Sun Gold
The category of beautiful, brightly hued tomatoes includes the ‘Sun Gold’ hybrid, which Burpee boldly claims is rapidly becoming their most popular cherry variety of all time. I don’t know about you, but that certainly makes me want to give it a go!
As beautiful as it is delicious, this golden gem has a beautiful, vibrant, orange-gold color, absolutely ideal for brightening up both your garden and your plate.
This is an indeterminate variety that takes 65 days to reach maturity, and it grows best in full sun conditions. ‘Sun Gold’ comes in packets of 30 seeds, available from Burpee.
2. Lemon Boy
Another colorful delight is this bright yellow ‘Lemon Boy’ hybrid. Ready to harvest in 72 days, this plant produces high quality fruit on vigorous, indeterminate vines.
You can find these seeds at True Leaf Market.
3. Orange Slice
Another winner in the color category is this eye-catching ‘Orange Slice.’ A vigorous indeterminate hybrid that offers a beautiful and bountiful bright orange crop, it is perfect for slicing up for salads.
This variety thrives in full sun and is ready for picking in 75 days. This is a plant that needs its space, as it spreads up to 54 inches, so it’s not ideal for growing on apartment balconies or tiny backyard patios. Grab yourself some seeds from Burpee.
Best for Taste
Whilst it’s true that any homegrown tomato fresh from the vine is an absolute delight, some taste even more delightful than others.
The name says it all with this delicious variety, the ‘Supertasty’ hybrid. I’m not kidding, that’s actually its name.
A regular Burpee taste trials winner each year, this determinate variety produces rich and tangy fruit, and also comes with the added bonus of being disease-resistant and incredibly productive.
It takes 70 days to grow to full maturity and is quite a tame plant, only spreading up to 18 inches. Seeds are available from Burpee.
5. Supersweet 100
Continuing the theme of obvious names, this ‘Supersweet 100’ hybrid (I don’t know if these names are helpful or unimaginative) sure packs a flavor punch.
This delicious cultivar produces very uniformly shaped cherry tomatoes that grow in long, lovely clusters and are packed full of vitamin C.
An indeterminate variety, your ‘Supersweet 100’ harvest will be ready to go in 65-70 days.
You can find seeds at True Leaf Market, available in packets of 10.
6. Black Pearl
Another standout in taste tests is the ‘Black Pearl’ cherry cultivar. This multicolored fruit offers two distinct flavors in one, making this type deep, rich, and sweet all at the same time.
Some growers report that the flavor of this variety when chilled is reminiscent of a Concord grape.
An indeterminate variety, ‘Black Pearl’ only takes 65 days to reach full maturity. Seeds are available from Burpee.
Best for Visual Interest
Hybrids are often perfect for creating fun visual effects, and tomatoes one of the best types of produce for this.
Take, for instance, the bicolor gold and red ‘Tye-Dye’ variety. This hybrid’s surface is marbled with red streaks and is sure to make a great talking point around the table.
This indeterminate type takes around 78 days to mature and flourishes in full sun. You can get your seeds from Burpee.
Another stunning garden centerpiece is the ‘Shimmer’ hybrid. This magical little tom is slightly bigger than your average cherry variety, with a unique almond shape.
Instead of your typical red, it’s covered with green stripes and touches of shimmering gold, and it’s absolutely beautiful.
With yields of 300-350 fruits per plant in a season, there’ll be plenty to go around. This is an indeterminate type that is best planted in full sun.
Seeds are available from Burpee.
9. Sweet Seedless
Something else that might “pip” your interest is this ‘Sweet Seedless’ variety. I guess by now we’re all pretty used to seedless grapes and watermelons, but perhaps not seedless tomatoes?
Well, this indeterminate hybrid is a world first, doing away completely with its seeds, and producing instead a smooth and solid fruit. The fact that there are no seeds means that the plant instead invests all its energy into making sweet fruit.
This is a slicer variety, ready for enjoying in 68-70 days. You can find seeds at Burpee.
Best for Added Health Benefits
Tomatoes prove that foods that are sweet and tasty don’t have to be bad for you! In fact, there are some types in particular which offer a bit more nutritional oomph.
10. Midnight Snack
When you think of antioxidants, the classic “superfoods” such as blueberries might come to mind. Well, the same antioxidants that put the “blue” in blueberry can also be found in purple tomato varieties.
This ‘Midnight Snack’ hybrid is similarly purple/dark blueish thanks to the same anthocyanins found in other darkly hued superfoods, and it is jam-packed with delicious and nutritious flavor.
This indeterminate variety was the 2017 All-America Selections Winner for good reason. Harvest about 65-70 days from planting and grow in full sun for best results. Find your seeds here at Burpee.
11. Sun Sugar
The ‘Sun Sugar’ orange cherry variety may be the sweetest type around, winning “Best Flavor” in True Leaf Market’s cherry tomato taste tests.
There aren’t many things in life that are both sweet and good for you – but this hybrid manages it!
These tiny tomatoes also have an especially high vitamin A content, and they’re perfect for healthy snacking.
The breeder was also able to add more crack resistance while retaining a very thin skin on this tasty type, making it very enjoyable to eat. And it comes with the added bonus of resistance to fusarium wilt race 1 and to tobacco mosaic virus.
‘Sun Sugar’ is an indeterminate cultivar that takes only 62 days to mature. Seeds are available at True Leaf Market.
Best for Size
From the tiniest tom to the biggest beefsteak variety, tomatoes certainly come in some impressive shapes and sizes. We’ve selected our favorites among the biggest and smallest of the bunch.
You could feed an army with the ‘SteakHouse’ variety. One of the biggest types ever bred, tipping the scales at a whopping 3 pounds each, you can be sure that there will be more than enough to go around.
Whilst it’s true that bigger is not always better, this type also comes with the added benefit of being both delicious and delightfully fragrant. It takes a little longer than other toms to be ready for picking – between 75 and 80 days – but it’s worth the wait.
This is an indeterminate variety, and seeds are available at Burpee in packets of 25.
Another contender for the spot of beefiest tom is the ‘Goliath’ hybrid. With beautiful, smooth, bright red fruits weighing in at an average of 10-15 ounces each, this sweet, flavorsome fruit is ready to enjoy in 65 days.
An indeterminate type, this is a highly productive plant that is also highly disease resistant. You can find seeds at True Leaf Market, available in packets of 100.
14. Napa Grape
Coming in at the other end of the scale, the ‘Napa Grape’ is a firm favorite, regularly beating its rivals for best flavor.
Thanks to its higher than average sugar content, this tiny tom is deliciously sweet and retains this sweetness all summer long.
This indeterminate variety produces tiny 1-inch toms that are ready for picking in 65 days. You can find seeds available from Burpee.
An All-America Selections Winner in 1999, this tiny red cherry tom, weighing in at just 1 ounce apiece, is produced in grape-like clusters on long, vigorous, indeterminate vines.
‘Juliet’ tomatoes grow to be between 1 and 1 1/2 inches long and they are sweet and plentiful, with excellent crack resistance.
Seeds are available from True Leaf Market.
Which Type Tickles Your Taste Buds?
Whichever hybrid you decide to go for, there are so many wonderful varieties out there that you are sure to find one that tickles your fancy and your taste buds alike!
Have you had a “grow” at producing your own? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below!
If you liked this article, be sure to check out some of the following information about growing tomatoes:
© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on January 2, 2020. Last updated: January 7, 2020 at 13:29 pm. Product photos via Burpee and True Leaf Market. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
About Natasha Foote
With a passion for soil health and growing trees, Natasha Foote is a biologist who was hit with a serious case of green fingers, and decided to swap sterile laboratories for getting her hands dirty in the soil. Formerly a farmer and researcher working with the agroforestry project Mazi Farm in Greece, when she wasn't working on the farm, she was busy studying soil biology under the microscope. Now, you can find her in the south of France where, in between enjoying all the fresh peaches, plums, apricots, and cherries that the area has to offer, she's working on various agricultural projects whilst writing about all things green.