You can gain a lot of ground in the romance department by using the best free dating apps available. The only tricky part is knowing which are the best and which are best left un-downloaded.

Now, you could always ask your single friends which apps have worked for them, and they may have some good advice. But you may also want to do more research and discover what the online dating scene has to offer. We’ve put together full reviews of our favorite dating apps to introduce singles to the free features, matching systems, and success rates of the biggest names in the business.

The following free dating apps can help singles start flirty conversations and jump into a new relationship with both feet.

Best Overall Free Dating Apps

We like to start with the best dating apps right off the bat, so you don’t have to scroll much to get to the good stuff. Below, we’ve ranked some of our top picks for singles of all ages, orientations, and backgrounds.

Online Dating
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Match.com has come a long way since it launched in April 1995. This well-reputed dating site has honed its (read more)

  • Match is the world's longest running dating site
  • The Discover section has search filters by interests, looks, lifestyle, and more
  • Match is available in 24 countries and 15 languages

As far as free dating apps go, Match is the best of the best. Not only does it have a lot of great free features, but it also has a long history of success in the online dating scene. Since 1995, Match has established a massive singles database that currently stretches across 25 countries.

Match uses a personality-driven algorithm to recommend dating profiles that have a lot in common, and it also has search tools so singles can browse profiles on their own terms.

It’s free to create a Match.com profile, upload photos, search for date prospects, and send likes, and free members have some communication tools on Match.com. You can chat with everyone on the dating site or app if you upgrade to a subscription package for one, six, or 12 months.

Online Dating
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

EliteSingles.com maintains a sophisticated network of young professionals seeking a relationship. Over 80% of (read more)

  • Over 2 million monthly users
  • Premium members receive 20 wildcard matches a day
  • Search features include age, height, education, ethnicity, and lifestyle habits

As you can undoubtedly tell from its name, EliteSingles tempts singles with a top-tier dating experience. The premium dating app appeals to busy professionals who have high standards and don’t want to settle for second-rate dates.

EliteSingles cultivates an exclusive dating community where over 80% of singles have graduated from college (and some have gone beyond to earn higher degrees), and over 90% say they want to get in a relationship.

You can download EliteSingles for free on Google Play or the App Store. The free app gives you the chance to browse your matches and send likes or photo requests, and premium members can view photos and send messages.

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Online Dating
★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Zoosk is a socially savvy dating site known for its diverse membership base and behavioral matchmaking system. (read more)

  • Send messages to premium members for free
  • Over 3 million messages sent a day
  • Premium perks include photo verification and sending virtual gifts

Zoosk has harnessed the power of social media to make the online dating experience more engaging and enjoyable for tech-savvy singles. This innovative dating platform has tons of liking, messaging, and virtual gift giving features to help people connect.

Zoosk is free to join, and it offers smart matches, advanced searches, new connections, and limited messaging features in return for your investment of $0. If you’re liking the vibe of the app or site, you can always upgrade your account and get full access.

The Zoosk app has been downloaded over 30 million times on Google Play, the App Store, and Amazon Apps, and it claims to be the #1 grossing online dating app available.

Online Dating
★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Since its launch in 2000, eharmony has endeavored to find the formula for love. Its 29-dimension questionnaire (read more)

  • Over 10 million active monthly users
  • Users can filter their match recommendations by age or city
  • Relationship Questionnaire identifies key aspects of compatibility

Singles join eharmony when they’re tired of swiping and want to form a deep, genuine connection with somebody. The dating site launched in 2000 as a quality-driven alternative to mainstream online dating. Today, the premium dating app carries on that mission and pairs up couples who show true signs of compatibility.

How does eharmony define relationship compatibility? Very carefully. The original algorithm was painstakingly designed by a team of psychologists, and the dating site’s 29-dimension personality assessment became the foundation of every match rating. When putting together matches, eharmony acknowledges the importance of temperament, lifestyle, and family values in a relationship.

As a result, eharmony has been responsible for countless marriages in the U.S. and beyond.

Online Dating
★★★★ 4.3/5.0

ChristianMingle is a faith-based dating site for singles who want a relationship grounded in Christian values. (read more)

  • For singles interested in God-centered relationships
  • Over 3.5 million monthly users around the world
  • Available as an app on Google Play and the App Store

Devout singles naturally want to find partners who share similar values and beliefs, and that can be difficult in the general dating scene. Fortunately, ChristianMingle has emerged as a savior for singles seeking a promising romantic connection.

In 2001, the Spark Networks dating company launched ChristianMingle to cater to Christians of all denominations — as well as anyone interested in dating a Christian. That’s right, you don’t have to be a fully baptized believer to find yourself at home here. The app welcomes anyone who wants to grow closer to God while growing closer to someone special.

Online Dating
★★★★ 4.2/5.0

Since its launch in 2002, BlackPeopleMeet has created an African-American singles network that stretches (read more)

  • One of the largest black singles networks in existence
  • Straightforward search and matching features
  • Use Tokens to appear higher in search results

When it launched in 2002, BlackPeopleMeet became one of the first dating sites to focus on aiding the black community. Today, its dating app supports the largest black singles network in the U.S. and Canada.

Singles of all races have created profiles here in hopes of diversifying their date prospects and meeting someone who shares similar views and experiences. Many couples have fallen in love on BlackPeopleMeet, and their positive testimonials encourage newcomers to take a chance on this unique network.

“I found someone very special on this site, and we are pursuing a relationship,” said a Texas single who found love on BlackPeopleMeet. “We would never have met if it was not for [BlackPeopleMeet], and to think he was right here in Arlington, Texas, all along. My goodness.”

Online Dating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

PlentyOfFish prides itself on being one of the best dating site for conversations. It supports 100% free and (read more)

  • Free registration, searches, and messaging
  • The Chemistry Test creates a compatibility framework
  • Over 1 billion messages sent per month

PlentyOfFish is yet another dating platform offering totally free and unlimited communication, and it claims to be the #1 place for flirtatious conversations.

In a single month, POF users send over 1 billion messages to one another, and the platform creates over 200 million connections through its science-backed Chemistry Test.

Beyond the statistics, PlentyOfFish has a lot of love to give. Its success stories speak to the impact it can have on couples who may never have met each other otherwise. “We had our first kiss in the parking lot between our cars,” said Andrea in a testimonial. “A kiss that I will always remember because, at that moment, I knew that David and I had something special.”

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Online Dating
★★★★ 4.0/5.0

In 2012, Tinder pioneered a swiping-based match system that empowered singles to connect with dates who liked (read more)

  • Supports active daters in 190+ countries
  • The swiping system creates over 12 million matches per day
  • Tinder Plus members have unlimited likes and 5 Super Likes

Tinder is a popular dating app that needs no introduction. It invented swiping, for crying out loud. In 2012, Tinder took the dating world by storm when it gave singles the tools they needed to spark a connection.

Since then, Tinder’s fast-working mutual matching system has set the standard for other dating platforms. The dating app offers singles a virtually endless pile of dating profiles to swipe through until they find the perfect match.

While it’s free to join Tinder, swipe on profiles, and message matches, you can always upgrade to Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold to receive some extra fun features. As of 2018, Tinder had over 4.1 million paid subscribers, and it saw over 2 billion views per day. If you want to chat with a ton of people for free, then Tinder is the app for you.

Best Free Senior Dating Apps

Seniors can often struggle to meet new dateworthy people. Some just don’t get out very much, and others have been part of couple groups for so long that they just plumb don’t know any singles. Senior dating sites can help with that.

Online Dating
★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

SilverSingles is serious about helping singles over 50 meet one another, and the site doesn't allow anyone (read more)

  • An exclusively senior membership base
  • Over 800,000 monthly users worldwide
  • App available for free on Google Play

SilverSingles is one of the few senior dating apps that requires all users to be over 50 if they want to become full-fledged members. Rather than fostering sugar dating or age-gap romances, the platform focuses on facilitating genuine relationships between people in the same age bracket.

From offering profile advice to making solid matches, SilverSingles gives its members everything they need to succeed in online dating.

The SilverSingles match algorithm relies on a five-factor personality questionnaire that identifies compatibility based on members’ hobbies, interests, beliefs, quirks, and goals. The questionnaire takes about half an hour to complete, but the accurate matches in your inbox are well worth putting in that time.

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Senior Dating
★★★★ 4.4/5.0

OurTime gives singles over 50 a confidence boost by introducing them to age-appropriate dates online. The (read more)

  • Thousands of success stories from all over the world
  • Find senior dates using advanced search filters and match suggestions
  • The Help Center offers quick tips and guidance

OurTime is the faithful companion of seniors in the modern dating scene. The dating app’s support has been instrumental for widows, divorcees, and other singles of a certain age.

Getting back in the dating scene after a long absence can be intimidating, but OurTime makes the journey a lot easier with its tried-and-true features.

OurTime’s free features include unlimited profile browsing and matching, and newcomers can also learn the ropes by reading OurTime’s senior dating tips, which promote online safety and courtesy.

Senior Dating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

SeniorMatch is one of the most trusted names in the senior dating scene. Since 2003, the over-50 dating site (read more)

  • Exclusively for men and women over 45
  • Add a profile to your Hotlist to save it for later
  • Seniors shares dating advice in members-only forums

SeniorMatch is undeniably one of the best dating sites for singles over 50. The niche dating site boasts having over 2.7 million members worldwide, and pretty much all of them are looking for mature dates and relationships.

It’s free to create a dating profile on SeniorMatch and start chatting up folks who stand out to you. The site and app faciliate over 1.6 million conversations a month, and the app has been recognized by Google Play’s editors as one of the top dating apps for seniors. So far, SeniorMatch has been downloaded over 50,000 times.

You can read our article about SeniorMatch for a more detailed explanation of how the dating site works and what it has to offer singles of a certain age.

Senior Dating
★★★★ 4.0/5.0

SeniorFriendsDate is on a mission to connect singles over 50 in a safe and trustworthy online network. This (read more)

  • 100% free online dating for seniors
  • In-depth profiles showcase your personality and lifestyle
  • Members-only groups organized around travel, currents events, and BINGO nights

Every day, thousands of singles make deep connections on SeniorFriendsDate, a senior-friendly dating site in the U.S. and the U.K. You won’t find any underage folks here. The site vets new members and ensures they are over 50 years old.

SeniorFriendsDate.com is a completely free dating site (not yet available as an app) where people can send messages without paying for a subscription. The free dating services can help singles stay within their budgets and save their money for their dates.

“We take pride in being a dating site with a soul,” said the SeniorFriendsDate.com team. “No games. No nonsense. It’s just genuine dating for real singles over 50.”

Best Free LGBT Dating Apps

Online dating has been largely good news for the LGBTQ+ community. It allows both openly gay and closeted individuals to mingle with one another in a private space, and it can help individuals explore their sexuality without facing a stigma. According to studies, LGBTQ+ singles are twice as likely as straight singles to use dating apps to find dates,

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Gay Dating
★★★★ 4.2/5.0

OkCupid is a staunch ally of the LGBTQ+ community. The dating site and app made headlines in 2013 when it (read more)

  • Gay men can express themselves in lengthy profiles
  • Expanded orientation options includes pansexual and demisexual men
  • Match lists only show guys who meet your criteria

As a forever free dating platform, OkCupid has attracted singles of all ages, backgrounds, and orientations. The dating site launched in 2004 seeking to find a formula to love, and in 2012 it adapted to the changing dating scene by launching a companion app.

Today, OkCupid is the only dating app that has thousands of personal questions available to its users, so they can dive deep and make a strong impression on potential matches. These questions (which can be answered publicly or privately) help the app refine its compatibility ratings and recommend dates who have a lot in common with you.

According to its internal stats, OkCupid makes over 91 million connections every year, and the team estimates that it inspires over 50,000 dates a week. Anyone over 18 can send lengthy messages for free on OkCupid and get to know people on a deeper level.

Plus, OkCupid offers 22 gender options and 13 orientation options on its dating profiles, so LGBTQ+ singles can be who they are and still attract dates.

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HER

Lesbian Dating
★★★★ 4.2/5.0

A lesbian named Robyn Exton founded HER because she recognized that not all dating sites and apps look out for (read more)

  • Free private messaging to all mutual matches
  • Post comments or send likes to connect with local lesbians
  • A safe, friendly, and one-of-a-kind dating app

Lesbian singles often have difficulty matching on general dating apps — at least not without matching with 100 creepy guys first — but they can enjoy a safe, womxn-friendly haven on HER. This all-female dating app was founded by a lesbian who was frustrated by the limited options available for her sisters.

HER welcomes queer womxn who want to mingle in a rainbow community. The app has over 4 million members and has grown largely by word of mouth. The team verifies all new dating profiles and moderates all content with a zero-tolerance policy on bullying, misogyny, hate speech, and other harmful behavior.

According to the Community Guidelines, HER supports healthy interactions, inclusive social experiences, and having a good time online.

Gay Dating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

MenNation boasts having one of the world's largest men-only hookup community, and it has 93 million dating (read more)

  • Free registration and unlimited profile browsing
  • Add online crushes to the Hotlist or My Network
  • Enjoy private conversations in the Message Center

As one of the top gay dating sites, MenNation has a lot to offer guys in the dating scene. Its boys-only club caters to gay, bi, questioning, and curious men of all ages. You can sign up as a gay single or a gay couple on MenNation and start swiping through profiles sorted by location and compatibility.

MenNation has tens of thousands of members, and it excels at arranging steamy encounters between local men. The discreet platform can help guys explore the dating scene, start intimate conversations, and go out on hot dates in no time.

Lesbian Dating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

LesbianPersonals is one of the most popular hookup sites for women because of its fun-loving and sexually (read more)

  • Open to single women, couples, and groups interested in sex
  • Private text and video chats accessible 24/7
  • Women add over 25,000 photos and videos each week

Known as one of the world’s largest lesbian dating sites, LesbianPersonals sets high standards for women in the dating scene. The personals site is open to women, couples, and groups who enjoy the female form.

While it’s possible to find a relationship on LesbianPersonals, the vast majority of its members are looking for something a little more short-term. The site has an Instant Messenger Chat (IMC) that facilitates flirtation 24/7, and you can use a two-way webcam to take things up a notch.

LesbianPersonals offers many free features, including unlimited browsing, profile editing, search features, and viewing photos and videos. This positive, international lesbian community fosters romance both online and offline, and it doesn’t cost a thing to join.

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Lesbian Dating
★★★★ 3.8/5.0

Bumble is a female-friendly dating app made by women for women. The platform encourages women to take (read more)

  • A global network of strong, confident women
  • Conversations expire within 24 hours of a match
  • Less than 1% of Bumble women are looking for hookups

In 2014, Bumble launched as the female-friendly alternative to the typical swipe-happy, male-dominated dating scene. Bumble’s Founder Whitney Wolfe Herd made a splash in the dating scene by launching a unique dating app, suing her former bosses at Tinder, and calling out chauvinistic behavior in the dating world — all before she was 30.

From the get-go, Bumble has been an unapologetically progressive, feminist, and forward-thinking solution made by women for women. The app offers relief to single women who are tired of getting “sup girl” and “hey cutie” messages from randos online. Bumble brings greater quality to the dating scene by empowering single women to choose which matches turn into conversations.

When a man and women match on the app, the woman has to send a message within 24 to 48 hours — or the connection will disappear. When women match on the app, either can send the first message, so it’s pretty easy to get something going.

Bumble has now expanded its reach as a networking tool for professionals and a social tool for friendships. All in all, Bumble’s innovative approach to introducing people has captured attention, made headlines, and led to countless romances.

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Online Dating
★★★ 3.4/5.0

Grindr became the world's first gay geosocial app in 2009, and it continues growing its all-male user base (read more)

  • Social networking for gay, bi, trans, and queer men
  • Location-based matches spark instant chemistry
  • Grindr Equality advocates for LGBTQ+ interests on the global stage

Since its launch in 2009, Grindr has become a staple in the gay dating scene. The app caters to single men who want to find a fast date in the area. It has the reputation of a hookup app, but it has also fostered short-term and long-term relationships.

Grindr is a staunch supporter of LGBTQ+ rights around the world. Its efforts to embolden and empower gay men have made a difference in the dating scene and beyond.

While the traditional Grindr app is free, the team recently launched Grindr Unlimited to offer users even more exciting features, including browsing incognito and the ability to unsend messages or photos. These discreet tools appeal to gay men who want to fly under the radar as they hunt for dates.

Best Free Hookup Apps

We all enter the dating scene with different expectations, standards, and desires. Some singles want to do the whole happily-ever-after partner for life thing and others, well, they’re looking for a little more immediate satisfaction. Sexually active singles can be frustrated by the slow pace of general dating apps, so that’s why we recommend trying the following hookup apps.

Hookups & Sex
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

When it comes to arranging hookups, BeNaughty is fast, easy, fun, and safe. This dating site has built a (read more)

  • A global network of naughty singles over 18
  • Ability to blur nude and explicit content, if desired
  • Advanced search filters and one-on-one messaging

Now, unlike the other apps on this list, BeNaughty isn’t about building relationships or even friendships — it’s about straight-up sex. Casual daters love to mix things up on this adult-friendly app and site.

The BeNaughty app is currently available for Android users, and the site is mobile-friendly so you can enjoy a seamless online experience on any device.

With the help of BeNaughty’s location-driven matches, singles can quickly swipe through the dating scene and find local dates who want to hook up immediately.

Hookups & Sex
★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Registering for an account on Adult Friend Finder (AFF) is like speeding into the fast lane of the online (read more)

  • One of the largest adults-only sex communities
  • Free and fast registration process
  • Dating forums and live chats foster live flirtation

When it comes to hookups, AdultFriendFinder has a long track record of success. The mobile-friendly site has over 95 million users in its database, and it facilitates connections between horny singles and swingers.

AdultFriendFinder was a little too adult for the Google Play Store or iTunes, but it does have a non-market app available for Android users.

If you want to get into the fast lane of the online dating scene, give AdultFriendFinder’s chat rooms, erotic blogs, and dating services a try. You’ll get all the perks as a full-fledged member, and it’s easy to see why AdultFriendFinder has been around for decades.

Hookups & Sex
★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

FriendFinder-X offers sexy singles the gratifying experience of meeting hot dates within a few clicks. This (read more)

  • A casuals personals site for singles, couples, and groups
  • Profiles have suggestive photos and strip tease videos
  • Chat live via a two-way webcam or private messaging

Known as the site where “good girls do bad things,” FriendFinder-X is an undeniably sexy place to make a date. You can search by looks, age, location, and other factors to find hot singles who are just your type.

FriendFinder-X has millions of active dating profiles, and it is always adding more to its ever-growing list of hotties. Members of the site can exchange photos, videos, or messages here and get into the action within a few easy steps.

Singles who live on the go and want to find local dates while prowling the bar scene should check out the mobile version of FriendFinder-X to get the best possible experience.

Is It Worth Paying for a Dating Site or App?

If you’re serious about finding someone online, it may be worth paying for a legit dating site and app (like EliteSingles or eharmony) to make sure you give yourself the best possible chance at success.

Paying for a subscription plan on a dating site or app can signal to your matches that you aren’t just screwing around online — pun intended. As a paying member, you’ve invested in the process and paid for the privilege of sending messages, viewing likes or photos, showing up in search results, and other premium features. That can yield great results.

Of course, it’s possible to find a romantic connection on a free site or app — but it may take more time and effort than you’re willing to give.

Which Dating App is Best for Serious Relationships?

If you’re dating for keeps, you probably don’t want to waste time on unreliable dates and flaky conversations, but where do you go to find better quality? To a relationship-focused dating site or app, of course. Certain apps specifically cater to relationship seekers in the dating scene.

In the last few years, Hinge has endeavored to make a name for itself as the relationship app — designed to be deleted — and its in-depth profiles encourage singles to get to know one another and start conversations about specific interests, ideas, and memories.

The Hinge logo

Hinge is a dynamic dating app where singles can forge serious relationships.

Experts estimate that there are over 8,000 dating sites in existence, and each of these has its own niche audience. Some cater to casual daters with #SwipeLife, while others try to go below the surface and facilitate authentic connections. Not all dating apps are the same, so it pays to do your research and know what you’re getting into when you create a profile.

You can find a dating platform for serious relationships by paying attention to the communication features, match algorithm, and membership demographics on well-known dating sites and apps.

What is the Most Successful Dating App?

There are a lot of different measures for success in the online dating scene. The app with the most matches is probably Tinder, with an astounding 30 billion matches made since 2012. However, there’s no way to tell if those matches turned into conversations, dates, and relationships — or if they just matched and never went anywhere.

If we’re talking about real, measurable success in building relationships, then Match.com could very well be the most successful dating platform of all time. It’s been around the longest (founded in 1995) and boasts facilitating more relationships and marriages than its competitors.

For Women
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Match has become a trusted name in the online dating industry by catering to quality singles looking for love (read more)

  • In-depth matching appeals to women with high standards
  • Only premium members can send private messages to one another
  • An established singles network in 24 countries worldwide

According to a survey, about 1 in 3 Match members end up in a relationship thanks to this quality-driven dating platform. We’d say that’s incredibly successful for a dating site with millions of diverse members.

Is Bumble Better Than Tinder?

Bumble and Tinder have a famous rivalry that dates back to when Bumble’s founder left an executive position at Tinder and sued the startup company for sexual harassment, among other things.

In 2014, Bumble launched as a female-friendly alternative to Tinder, and its women-driven matching features quickly earned it an international reputation. To date, Bumble is one of the most successful dating apps around, and it’s become a real thorn in Tinder’s side. But is Bumble better? That depends on what you want.

Photo from Bumble

Bumble is a quality-driven dating app that opposes Tinder’s swiping culture.

While Bumble doesn’t have as large a user base as Tinder does, the app has a more relationship-focused platform that encourages singles to get to know one another. The quality-driven community satisfies progressive feminists.

Tinder’s approach to online dating is definitely more about quantity than quality. The app has a vast reach in over 190 countries and territories, and no one can deny that its swiping feature has inspired many romances and first dates.

If you look at the numbers, Tinder may have an edge over Bumble. Bumble has made 850 million matches since its launch in 2014, and Tinder has made over 30 billion matches since 2012.

What’s the Best App for Sexting

Sexting can be a great way for couples who are physically distant to create a sense of intimacy and closeness. It can be an exciting and stimulating experience, but it’s also a very private one, so you’ll want to ensure those X-rated messages stay between you and the object of your desire.

The best apps for sexting can help you keep your communications on the DL. Apps like Snapchat automatically erase messages and photos after you leave the app, while apps like Signal and Cyphr offer end-to-end encryption to keep your communications from falling into the wrong hands on the web.

Mashable urges daters to be cautious when sexting, even when they have sexting apps watching their backs. “No app can completely protect your privacy for you,” the article says. “That’s your job.”

Give It Your All on the Best Free Dating Apps

Online dating can be a game changer for singles seeking new romantic connections. Whether they’re hoping to find a date on Saturday night or a partner to go through life with, many dating platforms have proven effective at pairing like-minded singles.

Based on years of experience and research, we’ve ranked and reviewed the best-known free dating apps to help singles get a jump-start in the dating scene and choose cost-effective dating platforms that can work wonders.

“Online dating sites inherently attract singles who are seeking relationships,” according to HuffPost Contributor Beverly Jiang. “With the expansive number of users, even on the basis of chance, these sites will see a large number of successful relationship formations.”