Online dating has become an ever-increasing phenomenon in recent years. Many of the most popular social messaging apps have also added dating features, which lets individuals create login accounts to connect with others for romance and relationships. Whether you’re on the hunt for a casual hookup or serious relationship, there is probably some kind of app that can point you towards your soulmate. This list will give you an overview of what’s available and help you decide which one is right for you.
The apps below range from free to paid, so they won’t break the bank. They all use different methods for matching potential dates with each other – ranging from location-based features to algorithms based on interests and personality tests – so read through our guide carefully and decide which is the best for you before committing to a subscription.Here are some of the best ones out there:
1. Tinder (Free)
Tinder has become a household name over the years and with good reason — it’s very effective as a dating platform. It uses your location in order to show you people nearby, allowing you to swipe right if you’re interested or left if want to pass. You can simply chat with those who have liked you too, so it’s pretty casual all round. A downside might be that finding long-term relationships on here tends not to happen as much due to its image-focused platform, but it’s great for more casual flings and-night stands. If nothing else, it’s great for spicing up those love lives.
2. Plenty of Fish (Free)
Plenty of Fish is an app that focuses on giving you as many options as possible. It’ll match you with potential dates based on your location and a variety of different filters, preferences, and interests. As well as the dating element there’s also a forum where users can chat about any number of topics, making it feel far less like Tinder and more like a social network in its own right. There are premium elements to the platform too if you choose to upgrade which unlock certain features but also cost money monthly — it’s free to use otherwise, however.
3. OkCupid (Free)
One of the most popular free dating apps out there, OkCupid is full of different potential matches for you to meet. Its matching algorithms are rather effective and it also allows users to connect their Instagram accounts, giving it more information on what you’re into. It has a variety of questionnaires and features that help narrow down your preferences in order to find you better suited connections so it’s great if things get serious very quickly.
4. Bumble (Free)
Bumble is catered towards women who want the chance to initiate the conversation first with potential dates. You can’t really tell much about others just from photos, but profiles consist of more than just images so expect a short bio too — this part isn’t left entirely up to your match either as bios are pre-written by users. You can swipe left or right depending on whether you’re interested in the other person, and if a match is made then only the woman can initiate things which also includes conversations. This is definitely more of a casual dating app rather than one for finding someone to settle down with since women have all the power here — but it’s great for women who feel intimidated by the prospect of being pursued too aggressively by men, for example.
5. Happn (Free)
Happn focuses on finding matches within your general physical area — essentially giving you matches based on proximity instead of just swiping blindly through profiles as you might do otherwise. It uses GPS tracking to find people near your immediate vicinity so there’s no real distance limit here, allowing you to expand your potential dating pool by quite a way. This can be useful if most of your friends are in relationships already and you’re looking for something more casual too — with this app, it’s just about finding someone who happens to walk past you at that very moment. There are also premium features including the ability to undo an accidental left swipe which can come in handy.
6. Match (Free)
Match is pretty much like every other dating site out there: It has a one-month free trial period and then costs money afterwards. If you’re interested in seeing how its matching algorithm works before committing, you can take advantage of the free trial first and see what kind of people appear as matches for you before paying for the service. It’s pretty pricey, however it does offer some exclusive features like offering verified profiles which means you can quickly and easily spot fake profiles (they’re marked with a ‘V’ next to them) which most other dating platforms don’t provide.
7. Zoosk (Free)
Zoosk is another matchmaking app that has endless amounts of members all looking for different types of relationships. It takes things one step further than others too by asking users about their goals in finding a partner — this allows people’s intentions to be matched more accurately with others who are also on board with what they’re looking for in their lives. The downside might be that it seems overwhelming at first glance since there are so many profiles to browse through, but it’s definitely the place for those looking to cast their net far and wide.
8. Thrill (Free)
Touted as Tinder’s ‘more adventurous’ counterpart, Thrill goes beyond just boring old regular date nights — instead encouraging you to do things like sky diving or attending festivals together. If that sounds rather unappealing to you then this might not be the right platform for finding dates since Thrill is for people who are more open-minded about where relationships can take them so if you’re someone who prefers Netflix and Chinese food every single night of the week then perhaps this isn’t your scene — there aren’t even any profile images here!
9. Pheramor (Free)
This app is an interesting one because it focuses on finding matches based on genetic compatibility. When you submit a saliva swab to the company’s lab, your DNA is then analyzed for 692 genes known to influence smell — Pheramor then links up your profile with that of others who are deemed compatible with your genetic makeup. It might sound strange at first but if you’re looking for something casual and don’t necessarily want to put in much effort into dating, this could be an ideal situation since personality doesn’t matter here at all.
10. Bumble (Free)
One of the biggest issues when using online dating sites is that women often have to wait for men to message them first — thanks to Bumble this doesn’t have to be a problem any longer. Here, women make the first move and guys have 24 hours to reply before being locked out — also ladies can choose when their messages expire so you don’t feel pressured into replying immediately to someone’s message just in case they never contact you again. It’s an effective solution that has helped thousands of women get over the nasty trolls that haunt other platforms since men can no longer initiate conversations so easily.
11. Coffee Meets Bagel (Free)
A relative newcomer, CMB aims to give people more meaningful connections with a smaller number of matches per day compared to freestyle apps like Tinder or Bumble where there are a seemingly endless amount of profiles thrown at you all at once. It works by providing you with one match per day at noon (local time) along with a limited number of others who are also looking for dates so you won’t have to wade through an overabundance of profiles.
12. Tastebuds ($0.99/month)
Tastebuds is the place where music enthusiasts can meet up and potentially date if they hit it off. It provides you with a list of concerts happening in your area that you can choose from, although this isn’t necessary since the app will pick them for you randomly, allowing you to get out more often without having to worry about planning things yourself. This ensures that its users are pretty active on the app which helps more connections happen while also encouraging people to chat about their shared interests so you can find a partner who enjoys the same things.
13. Grouper ($3)
Grouper is for those who want to meet up in person but don’t have a lot of time since their services are a bit pricey. Here, two singles go on a blind date that’s been organized by the company where each person pays $3 to be there — this covers your own cost when attending and ensures that people show up because they’re actually interested in going out with you rather than just wanting the price of admission. While it might sound creepy to pay for a date, men aren’t allowed until women have paid which eliminates any fears about having an ulterior motive or taking advantage of someone since everyone wants to go on the date when they see that they’ll be footing the bill themselves.
14. Coffee Meets Bagel (Free)
Another dating app out of San Francisco, CMB is based around a system in which you and another single person get one match per day — with this we mean that solely at noon local time the app will provide you with someone whose profile suits your tastes and preferences so all you have to do is decide if they’re worth getting in touch with or not. It’s an interesting idea that encourages conversation since it’s hard for people to gauge chemistry online rather than in person where there are more opportunities to speak freely without feeling self conscious about what you say.
15. Happn (Free)
This one is similar to Tinder in that it also uses your location and age preferences to locate nearby members who might be worth talking to. However, Happn takes it a step further by letting you know when you’ve walked by someone the app has decided might be yours so there’s no need for awkward missed connections after leaving somewhere crowded like a bar or grocery store — instead these people can get noticed right away via their profile picture which makes things easier than other apps out there where this is concerned. 16. Grouper (Free)
Grouper works similarly to its parent company Coffee Meets Bagel in that singles are matched with one another randomly through a select number of activities going on around them at certain times throughout the week — in this case it’s dinner, drinks or a concert which is meant to help people get out more and meet someone they otherwise might not have by going alone. What’s interesting about Grouper is that both parties need to be on board in order for it to work so there can’t be any playing games with one another when it comes time to go out — you’ll only know if your date likes you back once the time comes so sticking around isn’t a bad idea!
17. The Inner Circle ($9.99 per week)
This app falls under the category of an exclusive dating service that you have to pay for but it claims that during its trial period which lasts from one week up until forever (it will never expire), everyone who joins needs a code to enter since they’re looking for serious relationships among other things. What makes it different from other apps out there is that the service works with your Facebook account which ensures that people are real and eliminates fake profiles that you might be swiping left or right on due to their lack of authenticity — this way everyone has something in common already without even speaking first.
18. Lovoo (Free)
Lovoo works similarly to Tinder by asking for your age, gender, current location and photos so people can start looking for matches nearby who have the same idea in mind about what they want at this point in their lives whether its something long term or just a casual thing where hooking up is concerned. If two interested parties mutually agree then either one can initiate a conversation and according to what others have said, it seems like these people are mostly easy going and great at making connections which is why Lovoo has become popular throughout Europe and is now accessible to us in America where we’re still waiting for something that’s as simple as this.
19. DateHookup (Free)
Available on both iOS and Android devices, this app makes it easy for men and women to meet up with one another based on mutual interests such as favorite music or movies — you can even browse profiles by age so it’s hard not to find someone who catches your eye especially if they share the same likes. This isn’t just a hook up app since there are plenty of single parents out there looking for companionship just like everyone else so if that’s not what you’re looking for then this app might not be worth trying.
20. Skout (Free)
This is another location based dating app where people can meet up with one another around the world wherever they are simply by swiping to the right on profiles which sound interesting enough to risk interacting with them in real life. I mean, it’s better than passing someone over and never knowing who was standing right next to you, right?! There are plenty of people out there who use this app while traveling since it allows them to find other singles nearby without having to wait until they get back home which is why taking vacations alone will soon become a thing of the past once more people come across this app.
21. FashionTap (Free)
Tired of going to the mall or hitting up a discount store like Ross, TJ Maxx or Marshalls in hopes of finding a date with a discounted price tag? FashionTap does all the work for you by allowing people to support local businesses and boutiques while browsing profiles based off pictures only rather than making small talk like most places do — this way you can show off your stylish taste without having to resort to wearing sweatpants since everyone’s doing it these days! If anything, this is what Tinder should have done instead of asking for your Facebook account — who knows, maybe they’ll incorporate this feature into their own app someday.