When it comes to your love life, you deserve the best of the best, the top of the top, and the cream of the crop. That’s what this list is all about. We’ve climbed to the heights of the online dating scene and selected the brightest stars to raise the bar for everyone else.

The following top online dating sites have proven effective time and time again, and we’d trust them to solve the dating woes and romantic frustrations of singles from all walks of life. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight, young or old, serious or casual, there is a dating site out there to help you get exactly where you want to be — in the arms of a cutie!

Top Overall Online Dating Sites

Topping our list are the absolute best dating sites for the mainstream single person. These general platforms allow flirtations and relationships of all kinds to blossom. Every one of these sites offer free registration and browsing, so you can take a look at the network, test out its features, and see if anyone special catches your eye.

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

Match has earned its place as the #1 dating site on lists like these because it has been around longer than any other dating site (founded in 1994) and it has more success stories to its name.

Match.com’s quality-driven approach to the online dating scene has attracted mature singles who are well-educated and serious about meeting someone. About 74% of Match users have attended college, and over half of users are in their 30s or 40s.

As a free member, you can search for good matches using filters or by sending likes in the Discover section, and you’ll also have limited access to your inbox, meaning you can read and respond to some incoming messages. However, only premium members can message anyone they like anytime they like.

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

When it comes to love, EliteSingles is at the top of the class. This premium dating site appeals to high-caliber daters who never settle for second best.

Singles can set their Match Preferences in terms of age, height, religion, ethnicity, desire to have children, and other important factors, and EliteSingles will automatically recommend compatible profiles in the Matches section.

EliteSingles is proud to maintain a highly desirable network of professional singles. Over 85% of its members have a university degree, and over 90% say they want to get in a relationship. Whether you’re a small business owner, a doctor, or a corporate executive, you’ll feel right at home on this dating site.

3
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

Since 2007, Zoosk has distinguished itself as a high-tech, forward-thinking leader in the dating industry. It was one of the first dating sites to adapt to the mobile scene and create user-friendly matching tools that singles could access from any device.

Today, Zoosk continues pushing the boundaries of online dating by pioneering a behavioral matchmaking system that puts greater emphasis on how users behave (who they like and message) on the site.

Zoosk also uses advanced technology to monitor the site, remove fake profiles, and keep sensitive user data out of the hands of cybercriminals. The Zoosk Privacy Center details everything the team does on behalf of its membership base, which encompasses over 40 million people worldwide.

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 2 million people have found love here
  • Users can filter their match recommendations by age or city
  • Compatibility Quiz identifies common interests, lifestyles, and goals

A clinical psychologist launched eharmony in 2000 because he wanted to help singles find their soul mates and build lasting relationships. Decades later, eharmony is still considered the go-to matchmaker for serious daters over 30.

The secret to eharmony’s success lies in its Compatibility Quiz, which analyzes key personality traits, communication habits, and relationship standards and then identifies compatibility along those lines. Members can see how they stack up to someone else by comparing their quiz results and reading profiles thoughtfully. Many long-term relationships have flourished as a result.

Free eharmony members can send likes and Icebreakers to anyone they fancy, but it takes a premium subscription to start a genuine conversation and get the most out of the site.

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

ChristianMingle is famous for supporting a faith-driven community of singles and inspiring Christian relationships and marriages. Since 2001, this dating site has successfully carved a niche in the online dating world and made it possible for Christians to find each other faster than ever before.

The ChristianMingle mantra is “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is here,” and it opens its doors to singles who share similar values, beliefs, and goals. You don’t have to be Christian to create a profile here, but pretty much 99% of members are either Christian or looking to convert.

Due to the nature of this site, couples often hit it off right away and discover they have a lot more than faith in common.

“We met on ChristianMingle, and I knew that she was perfect,” said Nathan about Tommi Jo, who’s now his wife. “We realized our priorities were the same. Later that night, we made it official.”

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

BlackPeopleMeet is the top black dating site for singles living in the U.S. and Canada. This diverse and inclusive community is a breath of fresh air for anyone tired of being in the minority on general dating sites.

As a People Media dating site, BlackPeopleMeet has an abundance of match and search functions to bring singles together and inspire real-time connections.

BlackPeopleMeet has received many testimonials from people who found love on the site, and its team offers sage dating advice to guide singles to their own success stories.

Online Dating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

Plenty of Fish 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

Plenty of Fish may not be as flashy as some of its competitors, but this dating site has one very important thing going for it — free communication.

It’s completely free to join the POF community, browse profiles, send likes, and exchange messages online. You don’t need a subscription or a mutual match to contact anyone. The Plenty of Fish dating site is basically a flirtatious free-for-all where singles can explore their options without restraint.

Over 150 million people have joined POF since its launch in 2003, and the site creates 57 million new connections in the average week.

Online Dating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

In 2004, OkCupid's founders decided to create a fool-proof formula for love, and they launched a free dating (read more)

  • Free, unlimited communication for everyone
  • Singles can swipe or search for a compatible date
  • Over 91 million connections every year

Four self-described math nerds from Harvard developed the original OkCupid dating site in 2004 because they wanted to create a formula for love that could be applied to any human relationship.

With an abundance of questions and profile information, OkCupid takes your interests, hobbies, opinions, beliefs, biases, and lifestyle into account when recommending matches and determining compatibility. The free site and app’s clever matchmaking system has been remarkably successful at pairing up couples over the years.

Every week, over 50,000 dates are made on OkCupid, and nearly 2 million love connections are made. Whether you’re looking for a hot date or a real relationship, it won’t cost you a thing to create an OkCupid account and start messaging viable candidates.

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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

We couldn’t very well make a list of the top dating platforms and not include Tinder. It’s the dating app that invented swiping, for crying out loud.

In 2012, Tinder shook up the dating scene by giving singles the power to decide who they wanted (and who they didn’t want) showing up in their inboxes, and it became a viral sensation. Today, the app sees over 2 billion views per day and arranges over 1 million dates per week.

Tinder has a reputation as a hookup app, but we’ve actually heard of a lot of couples who got together and stayed together because of this app. “I love the chance to brag about my handsome Tinder love,” said one user on Reddit. “We’ve been together for almost two years and have been engaged for just shy of a year. Tinder is awesome!”

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Online Dating
★★★★ 4.0/5.0

Since its launch in 2014, Bumble has positioned itself as one of the queens of the online dating world. The (read more)

  • A feminist dating app puts singles on equal footing
  • 60% of Bumble matches turn into dates
  • Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF spark non-romantic connections

Since 2014, Bumble has made headlines by upholding a woman’s right to choose who to talk to online. Bumble is a dating app made by women on behalf of women, and its goal is to civilize conversations between online daters.

The feminist dating app has a familiar swiping setup, but it takes a progressive twist once a mutual match is formed between a man and a woman. Only women can send the first message in an opposite-sex pairing, so men have to take more of a backseat role in the conversation.

Anyone can message first in a same-sex match, and Bumble also has networking features available for people seeking new friends and business colleagues.

Top Senior Online Dating Sites

Singles over 50 can sometimes feel intimidated by online dating, but there are a lot of senior-friendly dating sites where they can get in the groove and find age-appropriate dates. We’ve ranked some of the most popular options for singles seeking companionship in their golden years.

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 supports a seniors-only dating community full of genuine, relationship-minded folks. The dating site has streamlined the matchmaking process by asking users to be upfront about their dating preferences.

Singles can go into the Preferences section to pinpoint the ideal age range, height, ethnicity, religion, education, income, and other features of their dream dates. They can also note on a sliding scale how important each of these factors is to them. For example, maybe there’s some wiggle room on a partner’s height, but smoking habits are a dealbreaker.

SilverSingles relies on these stated preferences as well as on a personality test to generate a compatibility score and recommend potential matches who can measure up.

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Online Dating
★★★★ 4.4/5.0

OurTime is an over-50 dating site with a lot of helpful features to facilitate friendships and relationships. (read more)

  • Open to straight, gay, and lesbian singles over 50
  • Free match recommendations and conversation starters
  • Use Tokens to promote your profile and send virtual gifts

OurTime is a time-tested dating site geared toward a more mature dating crowd. Anyone over 50 is welcome to join the site and send photo likes, flirts, favorites, and messages to date prospects in the same age bracket.

It’s free to create a profile and upload photos on OurTime, and you can also use the search filters and match recommendations to find agreeable dates online.

OurTime makes it easy to meet people who have similar life experiences and perspectives, and that creates a terrific foundation for a promising new friendship or relationship.

Online Dating
★★★★ 3.7/5.0

Since 2003, SeniorMatch has built its reputation as one of the world's leading senior dating sites. The site (read more)

  • Doesn't allow members under 45
  • Available as a dating app in Google Play
  • Dating advice and safety tips shared by senior daters

Since launching in 2003, SeniorMatch has become one of the most popular dating sites for seniors. Its membership base has surpassed 1 million people, and it has received over 36,600 success stories from couples who met on the site.

SeniorMatch has the typical private messaging features, but it also has a public forum where members can give advice, share their opinions, and speak their minds freely. Every month, SeniorMatch fosters over 1.6 million conversations between singles hoping to make a deep connection.

“I met someone very nice on SeniorMatch,” said a former user. “I’m moving to Michigan to be with him. Thank you to SeniorMatch for helping [me] meet the man of my dreams.”

Top LGBT Online Dating Sites

The LGBTQ+ dating scene used be extremely difficult to navigate because so many people were closeted and isolated from the larger rainbow community. Fortunately, times have changed, and now online dating gives singles a safe space to explore their sexuality while retaining their personal privacy.

In a Human Rights Campaign survey, 73% of LGBTQ+ youth said they are more honest about themselves online than they are offline. What’s more, 65% of same-sex couples said they met online.

Online Dating
★★★★ 3.8/5.0

Since 1996, MenNation has connected over 93 million men around the globe. This men-only dating site measures (read more)

  • One of the largest gay hookup sites in the world
  • Search filters for age, location, physical attributes, and more
  • Available in 12 languages and counting

By registering a dating profile on MenNation, you can surround yourself with eligible gay men and gay couples. The dating site provides a discreet hookup spot for guys looking for romance.

Every day, nearly 60,000 men head to MenNation to pursue sexual encounters online and offline. There’s no need to browse under your real name, so you don’t have to come out of the closet to arrange a hot date or hookup.

MenNation is an anything-goes type of site, and men typically don’t hesitate to exchange sexy messages and photos on this platform.

Online Dating
★★★★ 3.5/5.0

LesbianPersonals.com is powered by Friend Finder Networks, so it encompasses a vast network of sexually active (read more)

  • Free membership includes viewing profiles and sending likes
  • Exchange revealing photos and videos privately online
  • Simple search filters by interests and appearance

Now here’s one for the girls. LesbianPersonals is a women-friendly dating site geared toward facilitating lesbian hookups, threesomes, and orgies.

When you create your LesbianPersonals profile, you’ll identify as a woman, a lesbian couple, a straight couple, or a group (there are no options for straight or gay men) seeking a woman, couple, or group. These preferences are not set in stone, and you can always go into your settings if you change your mind about what you want.

LesbianPersonals is the go-to hookup site for women seeking women, and it has millions of active profiles to its name.

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HER

Online Dating
★★★★ 3.5/5.0

HER is a women-only (or "womxn" as the team says) dating app that helps cis, trans, and non-binary identified (read more)

  • A quirky and unapologetic womxn-only dating community
  • Queer events get users connecting IRL
  • The constantly updated Feed facilitates social networking

A lesbian entrepreneur created HER, a free lesbian dating app, because she felt that too many LGBTQ+ sites were all G and left little room for the other letters.

HER was designed as an all-womxn space, and it currently supports over 4 million members. By using a Facebook login and live moderators, HER verifies that each new profile is genuine, and the moderators don’t hesitate to remove male users, fake profiles, or anyone violating the Community Guidelines.

Thanks to HER, single womxn can access a calendar of queer events in their area and form close personal connections with lesbian, bisexual, and queer ladies from all walks of life.

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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

If you’re a single gay man, you’ve probably heard of Grindr before. It’s been the most popular gay dating app since it went live in 2009.

Grindr’s popularity stems from being at the right place at the right time. The app pioneered location-based matching. And it made a name for itself as a gay dating app at a critical moment when American public opinion was shifting to become more accepting about homosexuality, online dating, and mobile technology.

By 2017, Grindr had reached 27 million users, and its network spanned 192 countries. Gay singles often take Grindr with them as they prowl the clubs and bars, and they use it to identify hot dates who are within arm’s reach.

Top Online Hookup Sites

Not everyone is seeking a partner for life. Some singles would be happy with finding a partner for the night. That’s where hookup sites come in handy. Casual dating sites don’t ask people to make a big commitment or invest a lot of time in the search for romance. We’ve picked out a few trustworthy, discreet, and fast-paced sites to satisfy people’s fetishes, kinks, and sexual appetites.

Online Dating
★★★★ 4.1/5.0

BeNaughty invites singles to walk on the wild side and explore their sexuality in a fun, free-wheeling (read more)

  • Sexually active adults in 10 countries
  • Browse the Like Gallery for hot singles
  • Stimulate conversation in intimate private messages

BeNaughty is a great resource for singles and swingers who are dating on the down low. The hookup site puts its members in the center of the action with straightforward search tools and live messaging options.

It’s 100% free to browse profiles and send quick chats to anyone you find attractive. BeNaughty offers search parameters for age, location, orientation, ethnicity, and body type, and it also allows you to sort by popularity, proximity, or last activity. If you’re looking to get into something right away, click Online Now to find other members prowling for dates here.

Not sure what you want? Then go to the Like Gallery. In this section, BeNaughty will show you a profile photo and ask “Cute or Not?” When two members like each other, they’ll receive a notification about the match and can send instant messages to turn the online flirtation into something more.

Online Dating
★★★★ 4.0/5.0

In 1996, Friend Finder Networks began harnessing the power of online networking to help adults meet sexually (read more)

  • Among the largest online sex and swinger communities
  • Completely free no-obligation registration
  • Live chat rooms and discussion forums open 24/7

AdultFriendFinder has a lot to offer the casual dating scene. Just look at the numbers: over 98 million sexy photos, over 14 million group discussions, over 4 million online connections, and over 20 years serving horny singles and couples.

People can join the AFF community for free and find sexual partners who are up for just about anything. AFF gives its members the freedom to explore their sexuality and enjoy sexting, strip teases, and erotic stories. The online content is arousing, but it’s the real-life connections with sexy singles that keep people coming back for more.

Online Dating
★★★★ 3.9/5.0

FriendFinder-X specializes in delivering hot dates to your inbox. For the last 20+ years, this hookup site has (read more)

  • Open to casual daters in the U.S. and abroad
  • Free members can browse profiles and watch sexy videos
  • Chat anonymously in the forum or private messages

Finally, FriendFinder-X has won people over with its flirtatious, sex-positive atmosphere. The hookup site characterizes itself as a place “where good girls do bad things,” and that pretty clearly summarizes the attitudes of its users.

Don’t let its name fool you — singles, couples, and groups don’t come to FriendFinder-X seeking friendship. To put it bluntly, they’re looking for straight-up sex.

You don’t have to play it coy on FriendFinder-X. Everyone here is open to sexual encounters, including threesomes and orgies, and they’re looking for playmates like you.

What is the Best Dating Site for Serious Relationships?

If you’re dating with the intention of settling down and building a life with someone special, then you probably don’t want to waste time on casual dating sites where singles say things like “let’s just see what happens” or “I want to keep my options open.”

Playing the field can be exhausting and time-consuming, so it’s only natural to want to escape the swipe-happy scene and get serious on a relationship-oriented dating site like eharmony.

From the beginning, eharmony has been all about strengthening relationships and identifying deep compatibility.

For Men
★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

When it comes to relationships, eharmony doesn't mess around. This dating site has crafted a time-tested (read more)

  • Over 2.3 million messages sent every week
  • Match formula pinpoints compatibility in lifestyle, temperament, and goals
  • Relatively even gender split

With its Compatibility Quiz and matchmaking system, eharmony gets right down to business and identifies how you line up with someone in terms of temperament, lifestyle, motivations, and communication styles.

What is the Most Successful Dating Site?

This is a tricky question. We could go for the dating platform with the most online matches — Tinder has made over 30 billion connections — or the dating site with the most trusted reputation — everyone knows and loves eharmony thanks to its cute commercials. But, ultimately, we’ve decided the most successful dating site is the one with the most real-life relationships and marriages to its name.

And that’s Match.com. Since 1995, Match has inspired more love connections than any of its competitors, and that’s something to be proud of.

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

As of 2015, Match.com claimed responsibility for more than 1 million births, nearly 100,000 marriages, and over 500,000 relationships. We’d say that’s pretty darn successful.

What are the Best Completely Free Dating Sites?

If you’re on a tight budget, you can’t afford to waste time and energy on a pay-to-chat dating site. You’re better off on a free dating site that will let you pick up dates without paying anything.

OkCupid is one of our favorite free dating sites. It offers a lot of bang for no bucks, and singles can chat here for as long as they like without ever upgrading to A-List membership.

For Men
★★★★ 4.3/5.0

OkCupid inspires dates and relationships by identifying specific areas of compatibility. The dating site and (read more)

  • Men can leave a message to anyone they fancy
  • A sophisticated match algorithm developed by Harvard math majors
  • The site and app facilitate over 50,000 dates every week

Another great option is Plenty of Fish. This free dating site has over 4 million active users, and it adds 65,000 newcomers to the database every day. You can talk to anyone here without paying a cent or forming a mutual match. The dating site offers free open communication for everyone forever.

For Women
★★★★ 4.0/5.0

Plenty of Fish offers free messaging and profile browsing. No caveats. No trial periods. No catches. The (read more)

  • Prompts more conversations than any other dating site
  • 30% of members get in a relationship within a month
  • Success stories include engagement and wedding announcements

Ultimately, a free dating site can be great for singles with little cash but lots of love to give. The only downside is that free dating sites can be overrun with flaky date prospects.

Some free members aren’t really interested in meeting up or building a relationship — they’re just bored or curious and use free dating sites as a convenient distraction. That can be frustrating, so we recommend carefully vetting dating profiles before getting too emotionally invested.

Can I Browse Dating Sites Without Joining?

The top dating sites will require newcomers to join before they can access its dating profiles, search filters, and other features. Pretty much all dating sites keep their databases private and don’t allow anonymous browsing by anyone who happens upon the site. This policy protects the privacy of current members, and it encourages singles to take the plunge and become a member.

If you want to mix things up without registering for anything, you should look into dating personal sites like Mingle2 or Locanto. Both of these sites offer classifieds for casual daters who’d rather hook up without signing up. However, the trade-off is that there are fewer safeguards and verification tools to keep singles safe online.

The Top Dating Sites Spark Online Connections 24/7

At the end of the day, the best dating site is the one that makes you feel comfortable putting yourself out there and meeting new people. You have a lot of options — there are over 8,000 dating sites available — so take your time and choose the one that suits your needs and expectations.

We’ve recommended several of our top picks in the online dating scene, and any of these dating and hookup sites would make an excellent wingman for today’s singles.

Online dating has the power to change people’s lives by introducing them to a world of romantic possibilities. With a free membership, some killer photos, and a great byline, you can attract a lot of attention and set up dates with people who make you feel alive. Good luck!