Best Free Dating Sites and Apps

Couple Love

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By 2024, it’s estimated that 70% of all couples will be meeting through online dating sites. It makes sense, considering most of us have little downtime between work, side hustles and commute time. Fortunately, free dating sites allow people to meet millions of potential dates with a few clicks, taps or swipes.

But which free dating sites and apps are best? Our list of the best free dating websites and the best free dating apps will take the guesswork out of choosing.

Top Free Dating Websites

5.00 (12512 votes)

OkCupid wins the Best Overall Dating Website for its unique, non-traditional algorithm and its easy-to-use platform. The site is designed by Harvard math majors who use numbers and targeted questions to calculate the best matches for its users. OkCupid has been matching people since 2004 and has more than 50 million members.

Rated 5 stars *****

  • LGBTQ friendly with 22 gender and 13 orientation options to choose from.
  • Choose from short- and long-term relationships, dating, hook-ups and new friends
  • Matches show immediately with compatibility %
  • Only get messages from mutual likes
  • See a ton of profile information before swiping

4.93 (12234 votes)

POF grabs the Top Totally Free Dating Website honor for giving its users perks that other dating sites charge big bucks for. POF has more than 90 million members across the world and has been matching people since 2003.

Rated 5 stars ****

  • Free unlimited messaging and voice messaging
  • No face filters allowed so what you see is what you get
  • In depth profiles that show family connections
  • No social media linking required for user privacy
  • Keep your favorites organized with the list feature

4.96 (11004 votes)

The Best New Free Dating Site award goes to Facebook Dating. The world’s largest social media site takes everything it already knows about its users and creates matches on the Facebook Dating site. So, if you are already a Facebook user, signing up for Facebook Dating is simple with nothing to download and very little to fill out.

Rated ***** 5 stars

  • Separate profile and messenger box via the Facebook mobile app
  • LGBTQ friendly with non-binary and sexual orientation options
  • Geared toward more long-term relationships with deeper questionnaires
  • Syncs with you Facebook and Instagram photos
  • Allows preemptive blocking so you never see an ex

4.49 (10303 votes)

This dating site wins the Best Free Dating Personals for Privacy because you aren’t required to have a profile, everything is free and responses are anonymous via the Craigslist email system. And if you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, writing your own personal ad is fun.

Rated *** 3 Stars

  • Anything goes from casual hook-ups to marriage proposals
  • Option of allowing direct emails and access to your phone number
  • Place an ad in any major city across the United States
  • Ads are listed by date posted
  • Unlimited messages and ads

4.42 (10004 votes) wins the Best Site for People Who Enjoy Mingling. Since 1995 this free dating website has been making matches and coming up with new ways to introduce people. They offer sponsored events in major cities, where users can meet in person and enjoy cocktail hours and bucket list activities like skydiving.

Rated *** 3 Stars

  • A 45% to 55% male to female ratio for more matches
  • Easy sign-up and immediate access to user profiles
  • Detailed search option
  • Send free likes to potential matches
  • Offers a free mobile app

4.23 (9768 votes)

Our pick for Best International Dating Website goes to Zoosk for its millions of users spread out over 80 countries. This free dating website uses a smart match system that monitors your activity and adjusts your data to give you better matches the longer you use it.

Rated **** 4 Stars

  • Easy sign-up using Facebook or Google
  • 2 step verification, report and block features for security
  • Send free smiles and hearts to users
  • Choose from Carousel or Smart Pick matchmaking options
  • “Super-Send” prewritten messages to several users at once

4.28 (9615 votes)

The top pick for Best for Professionals Seeking Serious Relationships goes to Elite Singles. This free dating site is for focused, career-driven professionals who don’t have a lot of free time to meet potential partners in social situations. With over 82% of its users having college degrees, Elite Singles is the best site for meeting educated people.

Rated *** 3 Stars

  • Psychologist developed personality survey for high compatibility matches
  • 50-50 male and female ratio
  • Click the X or wink rather than swiping
  • Matches education and financial levels
  • 90% of members are ages 30 and above

4.33 (9322 votes)

The top pick for Best Free Dating Sites for Seniors goes to Silver Singles for its easy to use website and matchmaking for people over 50. The site is available in 20 countries and boasts 2000 matches a month.

Rated *** 3 Stars

  • Larger typeface on the site for easier viewing
  • Over 80% of users have college degrees
  • In-depth profiles with written answers
  • See profiles and send smiles for free
  • Your compatibility % shows on all matches

Top Free Dating Apps

4.11 (9223 votes)

Named the Best Free Online Dating for People Under 25, Hinge bills itself as a “made to be deleted” app that focuses on finding long term matches for its users. Hinge encourages users to delete their app as soon as they find that right person.

Rated **** 4 Stars

  • Requires 6 photos upon registration so you see who you’re matching with
  • Send free messages to matches
  • Clean, easy-to-use app with all tabs on main page
  • We Met” feature allows anonymous date rating
  • Sign up through Facebook or phone number

4.14 (9071 votes)

The Best Free Dating App for Hook-Ups goes to Tinder for its simple swipe format and one-page profile layouts. Tinder runs on the concept of instant physical attraction with its smart photo feature to help users choose the most attractive pics.

Rated **** 4 Stars

  • LGBTQ friendly
  • Unlimited left swipes to get rid of unwanted profiles
  • Syncs with Spotify to add music to profiles
  • Users can “unmatch”, report and block users for security
  • Users choose how much information goes on their bio

4.14 (9004 votes)

The top pick for Best Free Dating App for Women goes to Bumble for allowing women to be the ones to make the first move. With a 50-50 male and female ratio, it shows that plenty of men enjoy having the pressure taken off of their backs.

Rated **** 4 Stars

  • Simple, easy-to-use app for those who aren’t tech savvy
  • Includes a free print magazine on dating and relationships
  • Free messaging and chat-room feature
  • Easy sign-up via phone number or Facebook
  • Users are only shown matches

3.87 (8872 votes)

The Best Free Dating App for Queer Women is Her. Made for queer women, by queer women, Her boasts over 1 million members. This app offers a Facebook-style set-up that’s easy to use and automatically uploads pics from Facebook and Instagram.

Rated **** 4 Stars

  • Users can create friends and favorite lists
  • Unlimited free messaging to any user on your friends list
  • Features in person events like cook-outs and cocktail parties
  • Live feed allows for free online mingling
  • Shows users that are in close proximity

3.96 (8438 votes)

The choice for Best Free Dating App for LGBTQ is Grindr for its 100% free app meaning there are no paid memberships required to access all available features in your country. With an estimated 228 million messages sent daily, Grindr is one of the most used free dating apps.

Rated ***** 5 Stars

  • Bio includes sexual preference, tribe and optional HIV status
  • Ability to set your preferred pronouns
  • Free Gaymoji keyboard download with more than 50 LGBTQ stickers
  • The more complete the profile, the more matches users get
  • Easy tap icons for looking, interested and hot

3.99 (8192 votes)

This free dating app takes the award for Best Free Dating App for Haters for its unique algorithm that matches users based on the things that they hate. This Shark Tank funded totally free dating app is also entertaining allowing users to build their lists of loves and hates by swiping.

Rated **** 4 Stars

  • Completely ad-free app
  • Facebook sign-up populates user info automatically
  • Match with people locally or worldwide
  • Shows matches with % of compatibility
  • Send free cards to learn more about your matches

4.06 (7806 votes)

This dating app was chosen as Best Free Dating App for Big City Dwellers for its ability to match people who pass one another on the street. Users will never ponder whether their soul mate is in their neighborhood, using the same gym or working in the same office building. The easy-to-use app matches users up to 250 meters.

Rated *** 3 Stars

  • Matches users by proximity and places they frequent
  • App keeps tracking and sending matches even when closed
  • Sign up with phone or Facebook and get immediate accessibility
  • Free messages and voice messages for matched users
  • “I’m Up For” feature let’s users know you’re available for activities for 6 hours

Free Dating Site and App User Guide

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Free Dating Sites

Take Your Pick: The first step you need to take in online dating is to decide which free online dating website or dating app is right for you. You can do this by thinking about the type of relationship you’re looking for and which dating site or app fits those needs. In addition, think about what features are important to you like free messaging or making international matches.

Online Site vs App: Next, ask yourself which dating platform is the easiest and most convenient for you. Do you prefer using a computer to access an online dating website? Perhaps you’d prefer the ease and on-the-go platform of a dating app you can access on your phone. Either way, many of the websites listed above offer both computer-based websites and free apps for android and iPhone.

Put Yourself Out There: Once you have chosen the best free dating app or site that gives you the features you want, it’s time to set up your account. Take your time filling out your bio and answering questions with honesty. Be yourself, show your sense of humor or your love of sports or animals. As a result of sharing your interests and likes, you’ll increase your chances of finding the best match for you.

Say Cheese: Additionally, be sure you upload a nice, clear profile picture that shows the true you. Your photo will be the first thing a potential match will see so make sure you make a great first impression. Make sure the background is uncluttered and the lighting is good or consider taking a photo outdoors.

Find Your Person: Finally, once you’re satisfied with your profile and bio, it’s time to start looking for that special person. Take your time sorting through matches and swiping. In the beginning, it’s easy to accidentally send a potential soulmate to the No pile. And most importantly, have fun searching for potential partners!

What is the Average Success Rate of Free Dating Sites?

Every dating site and dating app boasts about how many matches they’ve made. However, they are trying to convince you to sign up for their service and want to look as attractive as possible. Therefore, it’s better to take a look at some outside data.

For example, the popular wedding site, The Knot, did a survey and found that 22% of brides-to-be met their significant others on an online dating site .In comparison, eHarmony says that number is closer to 20%.

As far as online dating site users coupling, Dating News says that 84% of online dating app users find relationships. To further break that down, Bustle compiled a list of dating site success rates showing Match at a 33% success rate and OkCupid at 32%.

10 Ways to Stay Safe When Using Online Dating Sites

  1. Be wary of profiles with 1 image and little to know bio information. They could be fake.
  2. When you match with someone, never click outside links that are sent to you.
  3. Feel like you’re talking to a bot and not a person? Move on.
  4. Don’t give out your address or phone number until you’re sure you can trust the match.
  5. Take your time getting to know a user before meeting face to face.
  6. When preparing to meet a match in person, screencap their profile
  7. Tell a trusted friend or relative the place and time of your date and give them the screenshot.
  8. Meet all new matches in a well-lit, public place
  9. Don’t be afraid to use the report and block feature if you’re being harassed.
  10. Always follow your gut instinct. If you feel uncomfortable, there’s likely a good reason.

How Many Free Dating Sites and Apps are Out There?

With nearly 50 million people having tried online dating, the number of dating sites are growing at a rate of 1,000 per year. Currently, there are 8,000 online dating sites worldwide with 2,500 being based in the United States. It’s no wonder finding the top free dating sites can be difficult!

Is Paying for a Membership Worth it?

Many free online dating sites offer paid memberships. And with those memberships, come perks. For instance, a paid membership at POF lets users see extended profiles, be first in line to meet new users and send gifts. Other dating site perks for paying members include anonymous browsing, unlimited messaging and the ability to hide personal information.

Match offers paying members a free 6-month membership if they don’t find a match within 6 months. And unfortunately, Elite Singles doesn’t allow free users to see any profile photographs without a membership. So, does it pay to shell out cash for a membership?

The answer is simple, if the free version isn’t giving you everything you want, then yes, paying for a membership would be worthwhile. This is especially true if you are seeking a more serious, long-term relationship.

Friendship, Lust and Love, it’s Out There for The Taking!

When you’re looking for a new relationship, Facebook Dating takes top honors. Most of us are already on Facebook regularly so it makes sense to combine dating with social media. There’s no need to download another app and your profile is already filled out saving you time a precious phone space.

Coming in at a close second is Grindr. The app has the most users, the most free features and is the best dating app overall for the LGBTQ user. Unlike nearly every dating app on the market, Grindr only has a membership fee for international dating and nothing more.

Finally, rounding out the top 3 is POF, an OG dating site that lets you message as many matches as you want as often as you want. And with POF, you’ll actually recognize your matches when you meet in person as POF is the only site that doesn’t allow filtered photos.

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