Between 2012 and 2018, the amount of time people spent on their smartphones jumped from 88 to 203 minutes a day. The top dating apps took advantage of this trend and created fast-working features to entice users to swipe, match, and chat as they went about their days.
Today, the average single millennial spends about 10 hours a week on dating apps hoping to get lucky and land a catch. Dating apps have taken hold of our time and attention like never before, and that has been largely good news for the hopeless romantics of the world. Modern singles can always take action to meet new people and find someone special — without leaving home — and we’ve ranked the top apps to help them get started.
You may see some familiar names on this list, but we have also thrown in a good number of lesser-known niche apps that have proven effective for certain types of daters. Here we go!
Top Overall Dating Apps
It takes a lot for us to rank a platform among the best dating apps around. The app has to be an established name in the industry (meaning it didn’t just launch this year), and it has to have a proven track record for success. We also look at the features to ensure they make sense and are easy to use — even for non-tech-savvy singles.
The following dating apps have passed every test we could throw at them and set high standards for competitors in the online dating scene.
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
In our book, Match is the undisputed best dating site and app for singles of all ages, locations, and backgrounds. Not only has it been around longer than any other dating site or app (established in April 1995), but it has also connected more relationships and marriages than any of its competitors.
Match.com has taken a personality-driven approach to the online dating scene. It doesn’t just throw singles together at random — the match algorithm actually curates a list of compatible profiles and provides guidance in a potentially overwhelming online dating scene.
As a free Match.com member, you can spend as much time as you like searching for local dates and sending likes to profiles that meet your standards. You’ll get limited communication options if you upgrade your account to a paid monthly subscription.
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
From the beginning, EliteSingles has made a name for itself as a quality-driven dating platform designed to connect like-minded professionals on the web.
This upscale dating app, which is free to download, offers a exclusive pass to the upper class of the dating world. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and other successful singles have created an EliteSingles profile because they’re ready to take their love lives up a notch, and that’s what EliteSingles does.
Over 80% of EliteSingles members have graduated from college, and over 90% are seeking a real relationship.
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 first got our attention in 2007 when it combined social-media-like features with a more traditional online dating interface. This resulted in an engaging and one-of-a-kind mingling experience.
Over 40 million singles have given Zoosk a test spin and enjoyed its free matching and communication features. While its competitors focus on profile information, Zoosk uses a boutique behavioral matchmaking system to arrange dates online. That means it identifies a user’s dating preferences based primarily on that person’s like history and browsing patterns. Basically, if you tend to send messages to a certain type of single, you’ll find more people like that in your match recommendations.
Zoosk was also among the first dating companies to launch a companion app to go with its dating site. The Zoosk app is currently available on iPhones and Android devices, and it has earned top ratings in the App Store where it has 4.4 stars. “I like many things about Zoosk,” said Rancho Cowboy in a 2018 review. “It’s one of the best dating sites.”
Since its launch in 2000, eharmony has endeavored to find the formula for love. Its 32-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
When it comes to building relationships online, it doesn’t get much better than eharmony. This premium dating site and app have turned heads in the dating scene by using in-depth psychological evaluations to identify which singles belong together.
The 29-dimension matchmaking system is eharmony’s signature feature, and it forms the basis of every compatibility rating and match suggestion. While eharmony’s search filters are limited, the app makes up for it by delivering high-quality matches straight to your inbox and providing plenty of details on every dating profile to help you get your bearings.
If you want to see how your personality compares to another person’s, simply click on the Compatibility section, and you’ll see a breakdown of how you fit in terms of athleticism, agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, emotional intimacy, intellect, and other important characteristics.
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 has been a blessing in the lives of many Christian singles around the world, and it has become the leading Christian dating site and app in the space.
ChristianMingle isn’t a Christian-only site — it keeps the door open to believers and non-believers alike — but it does instill a strong moral code on members and encourages authentic relationships with its matching tools.
In the words of the ChristianMingle team, “As the site responsible for more Christian marriages than all other dating sites combined, your Christian dating happiness means everything to us.”
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
Even though it’s a niche site, BlackPeopleMeet has amassed a huge following in the U.S. and Canada. The dating platform appeals to black, biracial, and multiracial singles, and it also leaves the door open to anyone who wants to find a dark-skinned date.
You don’t have to have a certain skin tone, heritage, or racial identity to join BlackPeopleMeet. Singles from all walks of life can create a dating profile in less than two minutes and start browsing immediately.
“I just want to say I have found true love and the most beautiful, amazing, and wonderful woman, thanks to this site,” said a former BlackPeopleMeet member from Sacramento, California. “I am terminating my membership on here since I found the woman I am to share the rest of my life with.”
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
The OkCupid dating site got started in 2004 with four Harvard math nerds attempting to create a formula for love. In 2012, OkCupid adapted to the times by launching a dating app that made its vast network and powerful matching tools available to a mobile audience.
Today, OkCupid creates over 91 million love connections each year and inspires somewhere around 50,000 first dates in the average week.
OkCupid sets pretty clear guidelines for its members — “We don’t like jerks, so please don’t be a jerk” — and offers unlimited free messaging to allow singles to follow their hearts and pursue friendships, dates, and relationships on their terms.
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
PlentyOfFish is a free dating app where singles can unleash their chatty sides and build genuine connections online.
Over 150 million people have joined the POF community, and something like 65,000 more people join every day. Those are some pretty impressive stats, and here’s one more: over 4 million daily active users seek romance on PlentyOfFish, and you could be one of them.
When all is said and done, PlentyOfFish offers one of the largest dating communities around, and messaging is free, so you don’t have to limit yourself to a small dating pool of singles.
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 obviously one of the best dating apps around. It invented swiping, for crying out loud. Since its launch in 2012, Tinder has been responsible for over 30 billion (yes, billion with B) matches all over the world.
While the fast-paced swiping system may get criticized as superficial, the fact is that it puts singles in the driver’s seat and allows them to decide who shows up in their inboxes. That makes it a powerful tool for anyone looking to narrow a broad dating scene down to a few likely date candidates.
The Tinder dating field is what you make of it. Tinder arranges over 1 million dates per week. Some of those are hookups and one-night stands, but some lead to relationships based on mutual attraction and shared interest.
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
Finally, we had to put Bumble among the top 10 dating apps of all time. If only for pushing a feminist agenda. We love the dating app’s empowering message to women and how it encourages its female users to make the first move and message the guys they’ve already liked.
In 2014, Bumble made headlines as the anti-Tinder. Whitney Wolfe-Herd actually left Tinder (even though she was among its co-founders) to launch Bumble and compete against the online dating juggernaut. Whitney believed the dating scene could become instantly more respectable and effective if women were in control of their own inboxes and matches.
So far, her theory seems to be working out. Bumble’s progressive mission and features have attracted a high-caliber crowd of singles, and 85% of members say they’re looking for a relationship on the app.
Top Senior Dating Apps
Once you reach a certain age, the club and bar scene may no longer appeal to you, and it can become difficult to make a mature romantic connection as a senior single. Fortunately, senior-friendly dating apps have arisen to bridge that gap and introduce age-appropriate dates online.
You can sign up for the following dating platforms for free and discover new pen pals, travel buddies, and love interests in just a few clicks.
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
First up, we have SilverSingles, a premier destination for divorcees, widowers, and never-married singles over 50. The site (and its companion app) only allows seniors in its database, so sugar daddies and cougars will have to look elsewhere for young dates.
The mature dating atmosphere on SilverSingles is perfect for men and women who are hesitant to try the mainstream dating scene but want to meet dates in their age bracket.
You can download the SilverSingles app for free on Google Play or the App Store. Over 1 million Americans have joined the SilverSingles network so far, and many have left positive reviews that praise its features, safety policy, and membership base. “I feel more at ease on this site so far,” said a 57-year-old SilverSingles user. “Trusting I will discover a loyal, sincere, and competent female partner.”
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 another excellent option for singles in their 50s and up. The dating site is powered by the good folks at People Media — the same company responsible for SingleParentMeet and BlackPeopleMeet — and it has time-tested features at your disposal.
Over 20,000 new members join this vast network every week, and they don’t have a pay a penny to create their accounts and set up their profiles. OurTime is a free dating site with optional monthly subscriptions offering unlimited communication online. You don’t have to upgrade to explore the site, though.
OurTime can help senior singles feel comfortable mingling online and making special connections with someone their own age.
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
SeniorMatch has supported senior singles since 2003, making it one of the old-timers in the online dating industry. All those years have given the SeniorMatch team the wisdom and experience it needs to make the dating experience as senior-friendly as possible.
Today, SeniorMatch has become one of the leading dating sites and apps for people over 50, and it has won millions of hearts with the message, “You don’t have to be alone.”
Still feeling hesitant? Check out SeniorMatch’s success stories on the site — it has over 36,600 of them — to hear seniors say in their own words what the dating platform has meant to them. “Clearly found the love of my life,” said one user. “Thank you, SeniorMatch, for this wonderful adventure.”
Top LGBT Dating Apps
The mainstream dating scene isn’t always vibrant or diverse enough to suit LGBTQ+ daters, so niche communities have arisen to provide a safe rainbow haven for these singles.
Online dating has a lot of value to offer LGBTQ+ people. Today, about 70% of gay couples meet online, and the following gay-friendly dating apps have been instrumental in making those love connections.
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
As a hookup site, MenNation doesn’t fool around or waste time. The platform’s prime purpose is to help guys meet guys in an anonymous, judgment-free setting, and that has led to many steamy encounters online and offline.
MenNation caters to a sexually active crowd and has established itself as a reliable place to pick up a hot date or arrange a no-strings attached hookup.
When you register free account on MenNation, you can enjoy a stimulating dating experience and express your desires, fetishes, and kinks in a sex-positive environment.
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
HER has our vote as the top dating app for lesbian, bisexual, and queer womxn. The app was designed by Robyn Exton, a powerhouse lesbian woman who saw a need for a female-only — not just female-friendly — dating space.
Over the last several years, HER has built up an all-womxn community that’s currently 4 million strong, and it’s still growing. It’s free to create a dating profile, send likes and comments, and get to know intelligent and dynamic people on this platform. As long as you’re authentic and respectful of others, you’ll always be welcome here.
“It felt crazy to me that no one had truly made a dating product for women,” Robyn said in a HuffPost interview. “So I decided to quit my job and start making it.”
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
LesbianPersonals invites women to find love and lust by using free search filters and live messaging tools. The dating platform boasts being one of the largest lesbian hookup sites in the world, and it puts new members right in the middle of the action.
Single women, lesbian couples, straight couples, and groups can join LesbianPersonals to spice up their love lives and meet potential sex partners all over the world.
Whether you’re interested in a hookup, a threesome, an orgy, or just sexting, LesbianPersonals aims to satisfy a variety of desires and give women the satisfaction they crave.
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 launching in 2009, Grindr has become a staple in the gay dating scene. The all-male network includes gay, bisexual, and bi-curious singles seeking a nighttime adventure.
Grindr’s location-based match settings make it a natural wingman for singles on the town, and it is widely known as a hookup-friendly space, but some guys have found loving relationships here, too.
If you’re looking to bring some excitement to your love life, downloading Grindr is a good first step. In an online survey, over 74% of gay men said they have tried Grindr, and 31% of Grindr users said they go on a date at least once a month.
Top Hookup Apps
Not everyone was cut out for the steady relationship life. Maybe you’re too young, too hot, or too adventurous to settle down just yet — and that’s perfectly all right. There are hookup sites for that.
These top-rated hookup apps give singles (and swingers) the freedom to explore their sensual sides and meet playmates who share similar goals and interests.
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 has got to be one of the most outrageously sexy dating platforms around with tons of revealing photos and romantic opportunities on every page.
Naughty singles jump on board this platform whenever they want to mix things up, and the live chat features make it easy to make something happen.
The Like Gallery is a particularly popular place to assess your options. BeNaughty will highlight a dating profile (based on your stated dating preferences), and you can like the profile to show interest, or click the X to move onto another sexy profile in your area.
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
With over 97 million profiles, AdultFriendFinder has earned the right to call itself “the world’s largest sex and swinger community.” Since the 1990s, this hookup platform has built its naughty reputation and attracted adults seeking a sexual release.
The site is open to singles, couples, groups, and all types of daters, and you don’t have to give your real name to create a profile. All you need is a valid email address and a ZIP code, and you’re good to go. This flirtatious zone includes erotic blogs, private chats, and dating forums, all designed to get you in the mood.
The AFF community has hosted over 14 million group discussions and launched nearly 5 million romantic connections between local hotties.
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
FriendFinder-X is the go-to hookup site for millions of singles around the world, and it characterizes itself as a place “where good girls do bad things.”
You can get a sneak peek at the FriendFinder-X database as you fill out your profile, and these teasing nude-cam videos can get your gears turning before you’ve even become a full-fledged member. Once you’re on board, you can explore a sexual playground full of adults seeking pleasure and excitement on their own terms.
What is the Most Popular Dating App?
A lot of dating apps are free to use, and that alone can make them pretty popular, but it takes more than free membership and messaging to keep singles satisfied in the long run. Dating apps with a little extra pizzazz have become popular among singles forever on the prowl for the next big thing.
Tinder is a strong contender for the most popular dating app. It sees over 2 billion views per day and has been a driving force behind #SwipeLife in 190 countries. What’s more, 27% of millennial singles say they have used Tinder to find dates.
However, Match has been in the online dating game longer and has helped more singles get in relationships and marriages than any other dating service.
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
A PCMag survey found that Match is the most popular dating site in 17 states, and it was by far the preferred site for singles over 45 years old.
What is the Best International Dating Site?
International dating sites prove that love knows no bounds and can happen anytime and anywhere. Singles no longer have to stick to their own backyards to find romance, and we find that quite inspiring. Many dating apps tend to have location-based matching features, but some dating sites allow singles to broaden their horizons and pick up an international pen pal.
PlentyOfFish maintains an active singles network in 20+ countries, and it has been translated into 11 languages, making it one of the best options for worldly daters.
Plenty of Fish is great for single men who are ready to get off the sidelines and into the action. The dating (read more)
- Send unlimited messages to single women online
- Membership includes a free Relationship Chemistry Predictor
- Dating forums offer guidance along the way
PlentyOfFish offers a large, international dating pool for singles who want to explore romantic possibilities all around the world.
What is the Best Dating Site for a Serious Relationship?
Without question, the best dating site for serious relationship is eharmony. This site has been honing its matchmaking system since the early 2000s, and its offers great insights into compatibility to help singles choose the right partners and forge deep relationships.
It may take some time to fill out eharmony's 32-dimension personality profile, but the results are well worth (read more)
- Designed to satisfy marriage-minded single women
- In-depth questionnaire generates high-quality matches
- Personalized Match Preferences on gender, age, income, religion, education, and more
You can take a look at eharmony’s success stories to get a sense of how life-changing a membership on eharmony can be. The site was designed to inspire loving marriages, and that’s exactly what it’s done.
What is the Best and Safest Dating Site?
It’s important to look out for your safety while looking for a date online because you never know who you’ll meet. It could be the person of your dreams, or it could be the catfisher of your nightmares. A few precautionary measures can help you avoid unsavory folks, and it never hurts to have a trustworthy dating site watching out for you as well.
EliteSingles is a totally safe dating site with a paywall protecting full members from scammers and cybercriminals. Free members can’t send messages nor see photos on the platform, and that ensures singles only mingle with dates who have invested in the online dating process.
EliteSingles appeals to the cream of the dating crop with its smart, personality-driven matching system. Over (read more)
- More than 2 million monthly users
- A growing network of female professionals in 25 countries
- Elite Singles offers daily match recommendations and expert profile advice
EliteSingles has a profile verification system in place to ensure everyone is who they say they are. Every month, over 2,000 couples fall in love thanks to this site’s good work.
Is Bumble a Hookup App?
No, Bumble is definitely not a hookup app. Bumble appeals to discerning singles with strong moral values, and only 3% of its users are looking for a hookup. Conversely, over 85% of Bumble users say they want to find a committed relationship or marriage.
Bottom line: casual daters should avoid this app and seek meaningless sex elsewhere.
Check Out the Top Apps to Find a Local Date
In today’s technology-driven age, smartphones are essential, all-purpose solutions for life. Over 90% of smartphone users say they keep their phones with them 24/7, and it’s easy to understand why.
Apps can offer handy ways to deal with everything from waking yourself up in the morning to ordering pizza for dinner, and some apps can even help you get a date or create a relationship. The top dating apps have led to countless romances, some lasting a single night and others continuing for a lifetime.
The right dating app can prompt singles to go outside their comfort zones and explore dating prospects they may never have met otherwise. That’s a pretty powerful tool to carry around in your pocket!