Free dating apps are as diverse as the people they serve. Some apps have a broad reach, while others focus on niche audiences. Some are highly sophisticated matchmakers that create loving relationships, and others are more surface-level wingmen facilitating short-term romances and hookups.
The top dating apps typically offer a variety of browsing, searching, and matching features without charging anything, but sometimes a paywall stands between free users and their next crush, and that can be frustrating to singles on a budget.
Fortunately, the free dating apps on this list can offer many affordable ways to meet new people and land a hot date. And you don’t have to pay a cent to join these popular dating networks.
Best Overall Free Dating Apps
A dating application is a fast and fun way to meet someone new, and you don’t always need a paid subscription plan to make the most of it. We’ve ranked the best free dating apps for the general single population, and our reviews include some of the highlights of each platform.
- 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 is one of the longest-running dating sites in existence, and it has powered one of the most successful dating apps as well. The app is free to download on Android or iOS, and you can also access the website from any mobile device.
Match released its mobile app in 2010 to give users the convenience of matching and chatting from their smartphone. Today, more than 25,000 new members download the Match app every day.
Free Match members can search for and swipe on potential matches for as long as they want; however, they will have limited communication options to take things to the next level. Free members can only respond to messages from premium members or send a greeting to the people in their Top Picks list.
- Over 2 million monthly users
- Premium members receive 20 wildcard matches a day
- Search features include age, height, education, ethnicity, and lifestyle habits
EliteSingles is a premier dating platform geared toward helping single professionals find their perfect match. The online dating app has cultivated an elite dating pool of college-educated and commitment-oriented individuals.
This isn’t a typical dating app. Instead of relying on swiping to create matches, EliteSingles uses a personality test to identify areas of compatibility and recommend dating profiles that have a lot in common. Its sophisticated algorithm creates 2,500 love connections every month.
If you want to be part of a power couple, then EliteSingles is the right dating scene for you. Over 90% of EliteSingles users are over the age of 30, and they’re mostly interested in finding a serious relationship, not playing the field.
- Send messages to premium members for free
- Over 3 million messages sent a day
- Premium perks include photo verification and sending virtual gifts
Zoosk began in 2007 with the idea that online dating should imitate some aspects of popular social media sites (like Facebook), and it has since evolved into a highly engaging dating app for chatty men and women.
A free Zoosk membership includes some free communication tools, so it’s possible to pick up a date without spending money on a paid subscription or Zoosk Coins. You can send a free greeting or respond to messages from certain members, but you won’t have unlimited chatting until you upgrade your dating profile.
- 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
When it launched in 2000, eharmony promised to inspire long-lasting relationships and marriages. The dating site and app use a psychological assessment as the basis for its matchmaking formula, and users can view a thorough compatibility breakdown on every dating profile.
It’s free to join eharmony and complete the Compatibility Quiz, which asks 80+ questions about your personal habits, quirks, goals, values, and preferences. The more honestly you answer these multiple-choice questions, the more accurate your match scores will be.
Over the years, the eharmony team has honed its matching process to focus on what matters to singles seeking a serious relationship. So far, it has brought more than 2 million happy couples together, and the app creates a new match every 14 minutes.
- 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
Since 2001, ChristianMingle has become a popular dating website and app for Christian singles who prefer to date within the faith. About 90% of its members identify as Christian, and the other 10% are open to converting to Christianity for the right partner.
ChristianMingle is a unique online dating app because it encourages singles to talk about religion and share their beliefs. Over 15 million men and women have joined the ChristianMingle network, and countless success stories have come out of this faith-driven community.
Bria and Ryon met on ChristianMingle in July 2019 and quickly fell in love. Not even a pandemic could stop them from tying the knot. In July 2020, Bria and Ryon said “I do” in a small ceremony, and they said they’re planning a larger wedding reception in 2021 to celebrate their love.
- One of the largest Black singles networks in existence
- Straightforward search and matching features
- Use Tokens to appear higher in search results
BlackPeopleMeet (or BPM) offers a straight-up place to meet Black singles and build close friendships and relationships. This dating site and app provide advanced search filters and matching tools to help you find someone who is exactly your type.
BPM supports Black dating as well as interracial dating, and its diverse membership base includes biracial singles and people of color. Anyone who is attracted to dark-skinned dates can join the BlackPeopleMeet network and start browsing profiles for free.
- Free, unlimited communication for everyone
- Singles can swipe or search for a compatible date
- Over 91 million connections every year
OkCupid is a free dating and chat app that welcomes singles of all ages, backgrounds, orientations, and identities. This open-ended platform offers 22 gender options, 12 orientation options, and the ability to share your pronouns and views on monogamy on your dating profile.
Every OkCupid profile is rich with personal information. Users have the option to answer fun prompts about their interests, hobbies, talents, and goals, and they can also respond to over 4,000 user-generated questions regarding their stances on dating, politics, religion, family, and other important topics. All this information gets tabulated into the compatibility ratings you’ll see on other people’s profiles.
Best of all, if you see a new person you want to get to know better, you can send a private message through the OkCupid app or site for free. You can send a greeting to any user, regardless of membership status, but that person has to like your dating profile to unlock the conversation window and appear in your inbox.
- Free registration, searches, and messaging
- The Chemistry Test creates a compatibility framework
- Over 1 billion messages sent per month
PlentyOfFish is a completely free dating site and app where you can chat up your online crushes for free. You understood that right — POF doesn’t put a price tag on its private communication feature or matchmaking algorithm.
Once you’ve completed your POF dating profile, you can start browsing the database and send messages to anyone who strikes your fancy. POF offers free speech, and the only restriction is that users can only send 55 unsolicited messages in a 24-hour period.
If you want to get your flirt on, POF is a popular place to do it. The dating network has over 150 million members, and it sees over 4 million daily active users.
- 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 needs no introduction in the online dating scene. This extremely popular dating app invented swipe-based matching in 2012, and it has created over 43 billion matches to date.
Everything you need to meet a new love interest is free on Tinder. Creating a profile is free. Swiping is free. And, most importantly, chatting with your mutual matches is free. That should be enough to get you going and into the dating world.
However, if you want a little extra help, then you can always upgrade to Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold, which range in price from $10 to $30 depending on your subscription’s duration. With these paid plans, members can swipe on profiles outside their city, send an unlimited number of likes, and send five Super Likes per day.
- 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
Bumble is feminist dating app designed by a forward-thinking woman who is on a mission to stop sexism and toxic dating behaviors in their tracks. Whitney Wolfe Herd left her position as a co-founder and executive at Tinder to stand up on behalf of single women everywhere.
She launched Bumble in 2014 to put women’s needs first and give them a say in their love matches. The Bumble app requires women to send the first message to unlock a mutual match with a man. Women set the tone, and men follow their lead on this mobile dating app. As a result, Bumble fosters a more respectful and substantive matchmaking process.
According to survey data, only 1% of women and 4% of men on Bumble say they are interested in a casual hookup. The vast majority (about 85%) are looking for a serious relationship that leads to marriage.
Best Free Senior Dating Apps
Senior singles often approach the online dating scene with some reservations, fears, and self-doubts. Singles who have been widowed or divorced may not have much experience in the modern dating world, so they need a dating platform that can guide them to dates who have similar experiences and understand where they’re coming from.
Senior dating apps can go a long way to put people’s minds at ease and provide age-appropriate matches that fill newcomers with hope for the future.
- An exclusively senior membership base
- Over 800,000 monthly users worldwide
- App available for free on Google Play
Over the last few years, SilverSingles has established an exclusive over-50 dating network in 24 countries, and it’s free to register an account to see what the website and app have to offer.
SilverSingles uses your profile information and dating preferences to recommend up to seven daily matches that meet your standards and live in your area. If you like what you see, you can send a smile, an icebreaker, or a photo request to get the ball rolling.
“I think it’s great that there is a place where mature-minded people can find what they’re looking for and not give up at this time in our lives,” said Barbara M. in a review.
- 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
As a People Media dating platform, OurTime has time-tested matching features and a broad selection of dating profiles to review. The senior dating app connects people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and older through a safe and private chat portal.
The App Store recently named OurTime the #1 app for senior dating, and iOS users have given it an overall rating of 3.7 stars.
A free OurTime subscription allows users to explore the senior dating terrain and get in touch with premium members, and they can use the search filters to find someone within their desired age range and distance radius.
- Doesn't allow members under 45
- Available as a dating app in Google Play
- Dating advice and safety tips shared by senior daters
SeniorMatch is a friendly dating platform that operates under the motto “You don’t have to be alone.” It has over 1 million members worldwide, and it sees thousands of daily active users.
Every month, SeniorMatch members engage in 1.6 million conversations, and a good chunk of those lead to life-long friendships, relationships, and other success stories.
One senior woman said she had been on SeniorMatch for about three days when a gentleman messaged her and asked her on a date. They ended up literally running into each other outside a closed restaurant. “We have been laughing ever since,” she said in her testimonial. “There is nothing permanent in life, but what we are doing now is great.”
Best Free LGBT Dating Apps
Online dating has become particularly popular in the LGBTQ+ community. Approximately 55% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual singles reported in a 2019 survey that they have used a dating platform to meet people, and 21% said they have gotten into a relationship as a result.
If you’re looking for a queer date or same-sex partner, you can rely on the following gay dating apps to hook you up.
- 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
MenNation is a hookup site with no women and no pretense. Gay, bisexual, and bi-curious men can go online and look for sex partners in this footloose and fancy-free network.
The free and anonymous registration process appeals to gay singles and couples who want to date on the down-low, and you don’t have to download, subscribe, or pay anything to explore this sex-positive scene. MenNation has millions of active dating personals in its database, and it sees over 73,000 visitors every day.
- Free membership includes viewing profiles and sending likes
- Exchange revealing photos and videos privately online
- Simple search filters by interests and appearance
LesbianPersonals is an adult dating site where women can explore their sexuality, post revealing photos, and arrange steamy encounters with local singles and couples. The female-friendly site is open to anyone who fantasizes about taking a lesbian lover to bed, and it’s completely free to set up an account.
You won’t find Lesbian Personals on the App Store or Google Play. Instead, you can go into your web browser to access the mobile-friendly hookup site and search for a hot woman by age, location, or appearance.
- A quirky and unapologetic womxn-only dating community
- Queer events get users connecting IRL
- The constantly updated Feed facilitates social networking
The HER dating app fosters a women-only social scene where real relationships and friendships can blossom. Its newsfeed and events calendar give users plenty of opportunities to engage with lesbian, bisexual, and queer women in their community, and they can send private messages to their mutual matches for free.
HER has over 4 million members worldwide, and every one of them has been verified as authentic. The moderators remove profiles created by cisgender men to ensure creeps can’t disrupt the harmony of its girl-powered network.
Many #WeMetOnHER stories have been shared by women who fell in love on a dating app and have since gotten engaged, gotten married, or started a family.
- 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
Grindr is a well-known gay dating app that uses location-based matching to help men up their flirting game. Since 2009, Grindr has been downloaded by over 29 million users around the world, and it continually expands its reach by adding new features and filters.
Free members have the run of the Grindr app. They can swipe on profiles, chat with matches, and arrange dates without paying a cent. However, some users decide it’s worth upgrading to Grindr Xtra to get bonus features, including an ad-free experience, message read receipts, and a discreet app icon.
Grindr organizes your potential matches based on their proximity to you, and that makes it easy to find a guy who is right around the corner from you.
Best Free Hookup Apps
Finally, let’s be honest, not every online match is destined to lead to love and marriage. Some are more suited for casual hookups and one-night stands. A hookup app can do wonders for your love life by introducing you to sexually active singles and swingers who have similar dating intentions.
Here’s a list of the top online dating platforms for sex seekers in the mood to make something happen.
- A uniquely open-minded dating network
- Privacy-conscious features
- Over 1.4 million matches per month
Ashley Madison ranks as the top dating app for hookups because of its anonymous and judgment-free atmosphere. This dating platform facilitates casual relationships and extramarital affairs between individuals who prefer to keep things on the down-low.
The slogan at Ashley Madison is “Life is short. Have an affair.” So you don’t have to be shy about approaching men and women here. Even though not everyone in the membership base is single, they are all open to dating and having sex with a stranger. In fact, over 60% of surveyed Ashley Madison members said they joined the affairs site to have sex.
More than 54 million people have joined the Ashley Madison network over the last 20 years, and the dating site and app make 1.4 million introductions per month.
- Sexually active adults in 10 countries
- Browse the Like Gallery for hot singles
- Stimulate conversation in intimate private messages
BeNaughty is a mobile-friendly hookup site that encourages singles to pursue their passions and embrace their fetishes. Anyone over 18 is welcome to join the fun and use the free communication features to attract dates.
BeNaughty has a Like Gallery where singles can swipe on one dating profile at a time, but it also has search filters by age, location, orientation, body type, and physical characteristics, so singles can quickly find someone who turns them on. Users can then send a like or a greeting for free — no subscriptions or mutual matching required.
The BeNaughty app is available for Android users only. You don’t need to download anything to access BeNaughty on your iOS device. Simply open a web browser and go to the BeNaughty website on your smartphone.
- Among the largest online sex and swinger communities
- Completely free no-obligation registration
- Live chat rooms and discussion forums open 24/7
Since its launch in 1996, Adult Friend Finder has amassed over 102 million members and created the world’s largest sex and swinger community.
This adult dating site can help individuals search the dating scene for a potential partner who is up for sexting, strip teases, hookups, threesomes, and other sexual encounters. It’s free to create an account and identify as a single man, single woman, straight couple, or trans person; however, you’ll have to pay a subscription fee to access the X-rated videos and chat forums on the site.
The Adult Friend Finder app was a little too raunchy for Google Play, so Android users must follow the steps on the Adult Friend Finder website to download the app directly to their phone.
- Over 70 million registered users
- Naked photos, videos, and private messaging available
- Send a Flirtcast to get in touch with all potential matches
Flirt.com promotes a free flirting zone where anonymous sex seekers can message each other without handing over their credit card details.
In fact, Flirt.com doesn’t ask for many personal details when signing up new members. All it requires is a valid email address, gender, orientation, and user name. Adding a profile picture isn’t required, but only members with an approved photo can send messages via the Flirt network.
Over 70 million men and women have joined Flirt.com in hopes of upping their flirtation game and finding someone to take home.
- 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
FriendFinder-X is an adult dating platform where sex is always on people’s minds. The local search tools provide instant access to viable date prospects near you, and the free matchmaking system ensures you can get in touch and gauge their interest.
In addition to its live chatting feature, FriendFinder-X gives premium users the ability to safely exchange pictures and videos, and they can also communicate by using their webcam at home.
FriendFinder-X is a discreet dating platform that doesn’t require much information to get started. You don’t have to link to a Facebook account or even provide your real name — as long as you have a valid email address, you’re good to go.
What Does “Free” Mean on Dating Apps?
“Free” can be a misleading term in the online dating world because it can apply to many different types of apps and sites. Some so-called free dating sites are merely free to join, but they have a paid membership plan for premium features like viewing photos and sending messages.
A “free dating app” is most certainly free to download, but it could limit how many swipes, likes, or matches a single person can make for free. A free membership can also have restrictions on chat features, video features, or search features.
That’s why it’s important to do your research online and figure out which completely free dating sites and apps can actually live up to the promise of being free from start to finish.
How Do Free Dating Apps Work?
A majority of online daters agree that it’s easy to meet attractive people on free dating apps, even if you’re not all that tech-savvy. You start by downloading the dating app on your Android or iPhone, and then follow the steps to set up your dating profile. You’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself and upload a picture, but you can speed things up by linking to your Instagram or Facebook account.
Once your free dating profile is complete and approved, you can start browsing profiles based on your match preferences. If the app has a swipe-based matching system, you’ll see one profile at a time and swipe right on the ones you like to initiate a mutual match. Only users who like each other’s profiles can chat with each other.
Dating apps have the advantage of using your real-time location (via your smartphone’s GPS data) to connect you with date prospects who are close by. You can usually go into your settings to broaden your search radius or change cities if you anticipate traveling or moving to another place.
In the last decade, mobile dating apps have overtaken traditional dating sites in terms of popularity because users like the convenience of being able to swipe, like, and match from their phones.
Which Free Dating App Should I Choose?
We’ve listed a lot of good options in the online dating scene, and they’re all free to try, so there is really no need to choose just one. You can create a dating profile on multiple platforms to compare how they stack up and see which one is best for you. A dating app exists for every type of single person, and they all offer a free registration process so you cant see what they’re all about.
Are Free Dating Apps Safe?
Some people worry that online dating is overrun with stalkers, scammers, and sexual predators, but it’s actually safe to meet people online as long as you use good judgment and vet them through conversations and social media searches.
The average online dater is a single person like you, but it never hurts to double-check their dating profile information. If you have the person’s full name, you should be able to find an online footprint to verify what he or she says about their career, their accomplishments, or their home life. You don’t have to go full private detective — just conduct a Google search to make sure things line up.
As you look for a love interest, you should always keep an eye out for common red flags such as an incomplete dating profile, stock photos, poor English skills, and a sob story about needing money. These things are typically signs of an online romance scam. Under no circumstances should you wire money, give favors, or send gifts to a person you have never met IRL.
Be sure to trust your instincts and report anyone making you feel uncomfortable. Online dating apps tend to take swift action to remove troublemakers and unsavory characters, so you don’t have to worry about online harassment.
Why Should I Use a Free Dating App?
I mean, this should be pretty obvious, but a free dating app can save you quite a chunk of change. A paid membership on an online dating site can cost as much as $57 a month, and online daters don’t even have a guarantee that their financial investment will lead to a real-life date or relationship.
Paying for a dating app or site is a bit of a gamble, especially if you haven’t already tried the free version and identified some promising matches. A free dating app can help singles meet people without blowing their budget on a more exclusive and high-risk dating pool.
Is Coffee Meets Bagel Free?
Yes, Coffee Meets Bagel is totally free to use, and it’s actually one of the best dating apps for relationship seekers in the U.S.
Coffee Meets Bagel is the passion project of three women who want to civilize the dating scene by putting a cap on how many dating profiles a person can view and like per day.
The Coffee Meets Bagel app provides a curated list of compatible profiles every day at noon, and it keeps the dating pool small so new users, and women in particular, aren’t overwhelmed with too many matches and messages.
What’s the Difference Between Free Dating Apps and Paid Dating Apps?
A free dating app differs from a paid dating app because it doesn’t have any hidden fees, token systems, or premium features. It’s just free for everyone and for always. That can come with some security concerns because unsavory characters could theoretically create fake profiles and use the free communication features for their own ends. However, most of the major dating apps have figured out ways to vet members and stop scammers from gaining traction.
Free Dating Apps Offer Stress-Free & Cost-Free Matchmaking
As you can see, free dating apps come in all different shapes and sizes, but they share a common goal to connect singles without burdening their pocketbooks. Some apps provide more free services than others, and some put more limits on communication, but it never costs anything to create a dating profile and browse personal ads on these apps.
We’ve ranked and reviewed the most popular free dating sites and apps to help modern singles take control of their love lives and find someone who meets their standards.
Whether you’re looking for a casual fling or a long-term relationship, you can download a dating app to find potential partners in your area.