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 of top dating websites is all about. We’ve climbed to the heights of the online dating scene and selected the brightest apps and sites that 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!

Overall Top Online Dating Apps & Sites

Topping our list are the absolute best dating websites for the mainstream single person. These general online dating apps and sites allow flirtatious relationships of all kinds to blossom. Every one of these platforms 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.

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★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • 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 50 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 online dating service (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 potential matches by 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.

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★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • 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, Elite Singles is at the top of the class. This premium dating site appeals to high-caliber daters who never settle for second best and want to find the perfect match.

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

Elite Singles 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.

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★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
  • 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 websites to adapt to the mobile scene, integrate with social media platforms like Facebook, and create user-friendly matching tools that singles could access from any device. That makes it one of the top online dating apps in our book.

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

Zoosk offers 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.

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★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
  • 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, the eharmony dating platform is still considered the go-to matchmaker for serious online 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 in a long term relationship thanks to this online dating service.

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★★★★ 4.3/5.0

Christian Mingle 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 Christian Mingle 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 free online dating site, couples often hit it off right away and discover they have a lot more than faith in common.

“We met on Christian Mingle, 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.”

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★★★★ 4.2/5.0

BlackPeopleMeet is the top black dating service 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 online dating websites.

As a People Media dating service, 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 and a long term relationship on the site, and the BPM team offers sage dating advice to guide singles to their own success stories.

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★★★★ 4.1/5.0

Plenty of Fish may not be as flashy as some of its competitors, but this free online 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 the POF dating service since its launch in 2003, and the site and app create 57 million new connections in the average week.

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★★★★ 4.1/5.0
  • 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 based on a personality test.

With an abundance of questions and profile information, OkCupid takes your interests, hobbies, opinions, beliefs, biases, and lifestyle into account when recommending potential matches and determining compatibility. The free site and app’s clever matchmaking system has been remarkably successful at pairing up online daters 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 long term relationship, it won’t cost you a thing to create an OkCupid account and start messaging viable candidates until you find the perfect match.

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★★★★ 4.0/5.0
  • 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 free dating apps 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 the app became a viral sensation. Today, the app sees over 2 billion views per day and arranges over 1.5 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!”

You don’t need a Facebook account to sign up to Tinder — the dating app can verify users through a phone number just as easily as through Facebook or Instragram.

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★★★★ 4.0/5.0
  • 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 Dating Sites & Apps

Singles over 50 can sometimes feel intimidated by apps like Tinder and online dating in general, but there are a lot of senior dating sites where they can get in the groove, make new friends, and find age-appropriate dates.

Our dating experts have ranked some of the most popular dating sites for older singles seeking companionship in their golden years. And they’re all free to join.

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★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

Silver Singles 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 perfect match. 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.

Silver Singles 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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★★★★ 4.4/5.0
  • 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 new friends and date prospects in the same age bracket.

It’s free to create a dating profile and upload photos on OurTime, and you can also use the search filters and potential 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.

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★★★★ 3.7/5.0

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 Websites

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 websites can give singles a safe space to explore their sexuality while retaining their personal privacy.

It’s not just about hooking up, either.In a Human Rights Campaign survey, 65% of same-sex couples said they met online.

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★★★★ 3.8/5.0
  • 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.

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★★★★ 3.5/5.0

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.

16. HER

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★★★★ 3.5/5.0
  • 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 dating 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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★★★ 3.4/5.0
  • 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.

Singles who want even more bang for their buck can sign up to Grindr Xtra and enjoy unlimited swiping and matching all day and all night.

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 free online dating sites to satisfy people’s fetishes, kinks, and sexual appetites.

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★★★★ 4.1/5.0

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 dating profile photo and ask “Cute or Not?” When two members like each other, they’ll receive a notification about the potential match and can send instant messages to turn the online flirtation into something more.

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★★★★ 4.0/5.0

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.

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★★★★ 3.9/5.0

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.

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★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
  • Over 2.3 million messages sent every week
  • Match formula pinpoints compatibility in lifestyle, temperament, and goals
  • Relatively even gender split of men and women

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.

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★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • In-depth matching appeals to women with high standards
  • Video chat tools help online daters establish a rapport
  • An established singles network in 50 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.

In the last few years, Facebook has gotten into the online dating scene in hopes of competing with the likes of Tinder and Match.com. Facebook Dating launched in the U.S. in 2019, but it has so far failed to gain traction among singles who prefer free dating apps and popular dating sites with more experience making love connections.

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. Apps like Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel offer free communication between mutual matches, and that opens up a world of romantic possibilities.

OkCupid is one of our favorite free dating sites and apps. 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.

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★★★★ 4.3/5.0
  • 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 totally free option is Plenty of Fish. This top online 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 with very few caveats and restrictions.

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★★★★ 4.0/5.0
  • 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 (usually for free) before they can access its dating profiles, search filters, and other features. Most of the time the registration process will include connecting to your Facebook account, Instagram account, or email address.

Pretty much all free dating apps keep their databases private and don’t allow anonymous browsing and messaging. This policy protects current members from scammers and frauds, and it encourages singles to take the plunge and become a full 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 local singles safe online.

The Top Online Dating Sites Spark 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!

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