How can you tell which app is better suited to all your needs—and worth the time and energy that first dates require? We gave our best shot at answering these questions and convinced a few of our editors to review the best free dating apps on the market right now. The stories will make you laugh, make you cry, and perhaps inspire your own search for love. Want to know if our editors found what they were looking for? Read their quest to find—if not love—the best free dating apps, and pick one out for yourself.
Owned by the same company as Bumble, you’re likely to find a date among Badoo’s more than 400 million users. It is a little different than the dating apps we reviewed. Instead of uploading your own information, you select a photo of a celebrity or famous person. The app then shows you other users who look similar. Your pool of potential dates will probably be smaller because of this, but you'll definitely find them attractive. You then scroll through those user profiles and decide whether to "like" them or pass. You can see each user's age, interests and several photos. If a user you've liked likes you back, you can then message each other and decide whether you want to meet up. More than 350 million messages are sent via the app every day, and there are 300,000 new daily signups, making it incredibly popular.
Features for introverts: The SmartPick can really be your best friend, serving as the best icebreaker. If both you and someone you're interested in both vote "yes" on each other's profiles, the SmartPick feature will let you know the good news by email and shoot you a message in your Zoosk inbox. Another good option is the Super Send feature, which could help eliminate the scary feeling from being the one to make the first move. Choose a message to break the ice, then allow Zoosk to blast it out for you using Super Send. If someone indicates they're interested by writing back, then you get to view each other's profiles.
Who it's for: Picky people looking for something super specific in a partner. And guys, this is not the place for the younger millennials: EliteSingles loves to brag that 82% of their members are college grads, and with most of its members being 33-50 years old, we can pretty surely say that the main target is mature, working professionals rather than the the Tinder-using generation. Sorry college kids.
During most of the 20 century, the mail order bride continued with the main method of women putting themselves in catalogs. Then men would view the women's profile, then for a fee order the women address. These became the main order bride companies business method in the 20 the century, with the fall of the Soviet union and cheap airfares, these companies spread from Asian to Eastern Europe, mainly now the Ukraine
Starting in 2016 Bumble added related but separate modes to the app. Bumble BFF can be used to find platonic friends and Bumble Bizz is for making business connections. To switch modes in the Bumble app tap/click on the Bumble mode at the top of the screen/page. This will bring up a mode-switching menu where you can toggle between Bumble Date, Bumble BFF, and Bumble Bizz.
This is a very simple service. The website operators want to keep it that way. The startup procedure is along these lines: State whether you are a gay or straight man or woman. Then press “Continue.” Joining is 100 percent free. This website has promised never to charge members for the service it offers, period. The site has unlimited chatting too. So find someone you like, then, once they’ve accepted you, let the chatting begin!
There are dozens of expert reviews and roundups of online dating sites, many of which involve hands-on testing. The most helpful include detailed comparative reviews and rankings based on real-world usage from sites including Ask Men, Top Ten Reviews and Digital Trends. Expert roundups from sites such as CNET were also helpful, even if they didn't involve rankings.
If you don't have the patience to weed out matches that are explicitly looking for a no strings attached hookup, a quick search on FriendFinder-X will probably make you pretty happy. You can search for potential matches using filters that range from proximity, sexual preferences and even cup size. Too lazy to search? The app has a list of compatible profiles sent to you for your consideration.
On Feeld, you can ask someone what they’re into, and they’ll tell you. It’s an honest relief to not go through the charade of getting drinks with someone, only to have them say they’re “not looking for anything serious” before trying to kiss you. And because some people are into very specific things, they’re good at articulating what those things are. Which allows everyone to enter into an arrangement with a clearer understanding of what each party wants. Communication is the first step in consent.
Why? I met my now-fiancé on Bumble. I liked that I had the power to choose who I talked to. I was tired of getting cornered by creepy men at bars who wouldn't take a hint, but I was too nice to just walk away. (In hindsight, I should have!) Bumble allowed me to never feel obligated to talk to anyone just because they initiated a conversation with me.
At EliteSingles, we focus on matching singles who are truly compatible in all elements of their lives. Our Canadian memberbase is made up predominantly of 30-55 year olds, 91% of which have at least a Bachelor's Degree. This focus on education is echoed across our international dating platforms and creates an understanding within our user base that people shouldn't have to compromise their careers or ambitions to find love. Instead we facilitate a means for singles to focus on both. Our professional dating site enables you to find the right balance between love, work and play.
Subscription upgrades: You can pay extra to unlock premium features, like Premium Messaging (which allows people with free membership to reply to your messages without subscribing), Hide & Seek (allows visibility control, including hiding your profile) and Instant Crush (lets another member know that you don't just like them; you have a crush on them).
Why? I personally like Coffee Meets Bagel because it’s not an endless cycle of swiping through uninterested prospects. It’s very casual [in tone], but catered more to individuals looking for actual dates/relationships rather than just a hookup. In comparison to the other apps/sites, I think there is a better quality of men on CMB. Only issue I have: Their messaging app is extremely subpar, doesn’t load correctly and messages don’t send.
Why it's awesome: Plenty of Fish, sometime styled as POF, boasts 4 million daily active users, with 65,000 new users each day, apparently, and claims users send 1 billion messages per month. After registering for POF, hopeful daters take a personality test that then helps POF determine what they call, "Your Relationship Needs." Basically, it's a way to make sure users know what they want from their love lives, and to ensure that it serves users other profiles that meet that criteria. One unusual quirk: The site recently launched a feature that allows users to message others through Google Home. Says Spira: "They have a large user base, are a free site, and are very popular."
Why? I pretty much only use Hinge now. I have tried almost all of them: Tinder at one point in college, Bumble, OKCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel .... I found that Tinder was mainly for hook-ups and while I liked that guys were less grimy on Bumble, I’m pretty shy so I didn’t like that I had to be the one to initiate conversation. (Editor's Note: Women seeking men must message first on Bumble; for women seeking women, that rule goes away.)
Within the first three hours of signing up, Happn welcomed me with 68 users it said I had crossed paths with, even though I hadn't left my apartment all day. It might be helpful if you're looking to date your immediate neighbors (or Uber drivers), but I struggle to see why this is much of a draw when competitors like Tinder already show the distance between you and other users. Frankly, if I saw a cute guy in a coffee shop, I'd rather just approach him than check if he's on Happn. The app seems designed for people who don't want to use online dating but who also don't want to approach people in real life. Pick a lane.
Bumble looks eerily similar to Tinder, but functions a tad differently. The big catch with Bumble is that when opposite genders match, the woman must message the guy first — and she has 24 hours to do so. Guys can extend matches for 24 hours, if they’re really hoping to hear from a woman, as can ladies, if they want to initiate something with a match but just haven’t had the time during the first day. For same-gender matches, either person can initiate the conversation first.