The Best Dating Apps For 2023, Based On What You're Looking For
- Best dating app for serious relationships: eHarmony
- Best dating app for over 50: Match
- Best dating app for over 40: OkCupid
- Best dating app for kink: Feeld
- Best dating app for women: Bumble
- Best dating app for young adults: Hinge
- Best for gay men: Grindr
- Best dating app for lesbians: Her
- Best for working professionals:The League
- Best casual dating app: Tinder
- Best dating app for Christians: Christian Mingle
If you're looking for a romantic connection, you don't have to look much further than your phone. Dating apps have become one of the most popular ways to meet a potential partner—all from the comfort of your couch.
While dating apps are still more popular with a younger crowd, they're becoming increasingly common among all age groups. In fact, at least 30% of adults in the United States have used a dating app, per a 2020 report by Pew Research.
Unfortunately, the online dating experience differs drastically by app. By sticking to our list of the best dating apps, you're only getting vetted options that meet our strict standards. (So it's easier to start building the healthy relationships that are key to your longevity1.)
- Active users: For a dating app to connect you with potential matches, it needs to have an active user baser. We stuck with services that have at least 1,000 ratings on the App store to better gauge how active the app is.
- Easy to use: All of the dating sites and apps selected have simple interfaces, so you can navigate the platform easily without enlisting help.
- Recommendations: We took into account recommendations from experts and real-life users to curate our selection of apps.
- Variety: Research shows about 44% of people in the U.S. use dating apps hoping to find something serious, while at least 40% of people want to keep things casual. Whichever bucket you fall into, you'll find a dating app catered just to you in the lineup below.
Comparing the best dating apps
|App||Main age demographic||Known for||Premium membership||App Store Rating||Unique feature|
|eHarmony||30-49 years old||Serious relationships||From $60/month||4.0/5.0||Compatibility scores|
|Match||30-49 years old||Serious relationships||From $46/month||3.8/5.0||Mutual & reverse matching|
|Feeld||18-30 years old||Hookups||From $12/month||4.4/5.0||Judgement-free exploration|
|OkCupid||30-49 years old||Serious relationships & hookups||From $45/month||4.3/5.0||Compatibility questions|
|Bumble||18-30 years old||Serious relationships & hookups||From $20/week||4.3/5.0||Women always starts chat|
|Hinge||18-30 years old||Serious relationships||From $30/month||4.5/5.0||Limited likes per day|
|Tinder||18-30 years old||Hookups||From $20/month||38/5.0||Superswipe|
|Her||18-30 years old||Serious relationships & hookups||From $15/month||4.4/5.0||Dating & community app for LGBTQ+|
|Grindr||18-30 years old||Hookups||From $20/month||4.6/5.0||Location-based connections|
|The League||30-49 years old||Serious relationships||From $300/month||4.1/5.0||Video speed dating|
|Christian Mingle||30-49 years old||Serious relationships||From $43/month||3.6/5.0||Highest % of Christian users|
The best dating apps of 2023:
Best for serious relationships: eHarmony
- Compatibility scores for every potential match
- Ability to see who viewed your profile and vice versa
- Many people still don't have detailed profiles
- Takes a long time to set up
- Almost no capability with free membership
- Not inclusive of different gender & sexual identities
eHarmony is great for serious daters looking to connect with others similarly interested in a long-term relationship, according to marriage therapist Omar Ruiz, LMFT. The app requires you to take an 80-question compatibility quiz when signing up, which includes queries about your personality type and communication style, as well as choosing between two photos (which our tester compared to a Rorschach Inkblot Test).
Once the quiz is completed, you fill out your profile with prompts, photos, and icons to indicate your hobbies and interest. Our tester says the profile took at least 20 minutes to complete, although not all users include the same level of detail on their profiles.
Luckily, putting extra effort into your profile pays off; you'll receive a compatibility score for all potential suitors before you even connect. This score was an extra intriguing feature to our tester, who reported they'd never seen something similar on a dating app.
Per our expert, this is key to make eHarmony one of the the best dating sites for serious relationships. "The profile list is limited since it's for [the people] who don't want to deal with the ups and downs of dating app culture and want to settle down," Ruiz explains.
Just be warned the best way to experience eHarmony is with a paid membership. Our tester found that certain features (like photos) are blurred in the free version, and chat functions are limited.
Cost: Memberships are available in 6, 12, or 24 month increments. Prices start at $60/month for the most affordable membership and drop down to $30/month for the biggest bundle.
Want to know more? Read our full eHarmony review to discover why this might be the most intentional dating app.
Best for over 50: Match
- Allows you to effectively filter out those you're not interested in
- One-on-ones with dating experts
- Personalized match recommendations
- Detailed profiles
- Expensive if you want to use the app's best features, like read receipts
- Not as many active users as some other dating apps
- Time-consuming to set up
"If you find yourself on the higher end of the age spectrum and you don't vibe with the current dating apps, Match is a great choice if you're willing to pay a membership fee," according to online dating coach Perri Schneider. "It's a solid choice if you live in a suburb or somewhere remote since the site attracts users from all over."
If you're looking for a long-term relationship, Match is known as a site for serious daters. The more questions you answer, the more targeted your matches will be. The detail-rich site lets you search around the database and check out members with similar preferences as yours. It also displays when members were last active, so it's likelier to match with someone who was recently online. Plus, you can see who's checking out your profile as a paid user.
A top dating site for those over 50, Match stands out for the way it filters potential connections, per our tester. It allows you to partake in reverse matching, which shows people who are specifically looking for your likes, interests, etc. Otherwise you can opt to mutual match, which shows you people who fit your specific criteria—and both are free. We also love that the robust profiles allow up to 26 (!!!) photos with an option to work with a dating expert to better curate your profile. However, many of the apps best features, like read receipts, are blocked behind a membership, and free users can only chat with one person a day.
Cost: Match offers a few subscription plans starting at $19/month when you sign up for a one-year membership. The one-month membership is a commitment option but costs a whopping $46.
Don't miss: We also have a full review of Match.com.
Best kink: Feeld
- Refreshingly sex-positive without being sleazy
- Option to link your profile with partners' profiles
- Choice to go by pseudonym
- Not as many users as some of the bigger apps
- A little buggy
Feeld was created for people looking to approach love with sexual exploration and an adventurous flair. It's inclusive in representing many sexualities and gender identities and those looking to explore threesomes, polyamory, swinging, casual sex, kink, and other alternative steamy encounters.
Because of Feeld's transparency and refreshing openness, it's simpler to have honest conversations about your sexual preferences without it feeling creepy or unsolicited. Feeld also has a powerful matching algorithm that makes it comfortable to connect with like-minded partners for casual sex and fantasy fulfillment.
Cost: Sign up for the premium "Majestic Membership" for $11.99/ month or save with a 3-month membership for $23.99 (~$8/month)
Best for over 40: OKCupid
- Free version works great
- Queer & poly-friendly
- Need to answer a lot of questions to get the most out of it
- Some say there aren't as many active users as other apps
- UX is less intuitive
OKCupid appeals to a diverse demographic for people looking for romantic connections and everything in between—friendships, flings, and alternative relationships. The site has additional gender and sexuality options for users and nonmonogamy options, so it's easier to find people looking for the same thing. "OKCupid does an amazing job at being inclusive for all," says Schneider.
The dating side is widely known for its keyword search options, long-form profiles, and interactive personality quizzes. It's a popular dating site if you want to get away from plain swiping and meet others with a high match percentage and shared interests.
When you join OkCupid, you'll be prompted to add up to six photos, write a bio, and take a 15-question comptability quiz. These initial responses will be used to start gauging your compatibility score with other users—and you'll have the option to see exactly where you align (or disagree). If certain requirements are a dealbreaker, you can inform the app; otherwise you may end up receiving a high compatibility score with someone seeking marriage when you're seeking a hook-up. [Pro tip: OkCupid offers 500+ compatibility questions and answering more will ensure a more accurate match.]
The UX is a little less intuitive than other dating apps; you still swipe left or right to "like" another user, but you'll need to click the bottom of the screen to open their profile. Once in the profile, you can swipe through photos and open the compatibility feature. If you forget to open the profile before attempting to swipe on profile photos, you may accidentally swipe left on a potential match. Thankfully, the reverse button is free, unlike many other popular dating apps.
What's not free? The ability to see who already "likes" your profile (unless they sent an "intro") or view certain match filters, like "new users" or "popular users."
Cost: OkCupid premium starts $44.99/month with discounts for a 3-month membership ($29.99/month) or a 6-month membership ($22.49)
Best for young adults: Hinge
- Fresh interface
- Voice-note feature
- Can see matches according to race for free
- The "made to be deleted" tagline assumes monogamy as the goal, which excludes non-monogamous users
Not sure how to start a conversation with someone? When you set up your profile, Hinge eliminates that problem with interesting conversation prompts. The built-in icebreakers give you plenty of opportunities to share specific interests and fun facts about yourself to facilitate better conversations with matches.
Hinge also comes with limited swipes (unless you pay for a premium account), but this feature is a good thing. A smaller number of likes will motivate you to slow down and see each profile as a person, instead of another face in a sea of faces, which helps avoid mindless swiping.
"This is a great option for those who are just entering the dating scene," Schneider says. "It has a lot of great questions to get to know potential matches on the app and a new voice note feature. It's immensely helpful to see if someone's voice piques your interest."
When you do decide to go on a date, be sure to let Hinge know about your interactions. As the app learns more about your preferences, it will adjust your algorithm to recommend better matches. The only downside? A few of these top matches may be located it the "Standouts" section of the app, which requires you to send a rose to match. You only receive one rose per week with an option to pay for additional roses. These curated profiles may occasionally enter the regular batch of potential matches or "Discover" section, but it's rare—so you'll likely need to save your rose or pay to connect with them.
Cost: Premium memberships start at just $15/month when you sign up for six months and increase to $30/month for a one-month membership.
FYI: Don't miss our full rundown of Hinge!
Best for women: Bumble
- Attractive interface
- Free version works great
- Not suited to women who don't want to message first
- You have to send the first message (or answer it) within 24 hours of matching
Made for women, by women, Bumble is a user-friendly app that strives to create a positive experience for its daters with its zero-tolerance policy toward hate speech and body shaming. "I find that Bumble has the most active users on its platform–which is great to increase the chances of matching with someone you really like," Schneider says. "The women must initiate the conversation [when matching with men], but with same-sex matches, either can begin the chat."
Women have to make their first move within 24 hours, which adds urgency to the interaction and minimizes conversations falling to the wayside. We suggest trying these expert-recommended conversation starters on Bumble to make the most of your connection.
You don't have to just look for a romantic match on Bumble either. They have other features for business and BFF connections, too.
Cost: Select features like the "Spotlight" (a bump to the top of others swiping queue) and SuperSwipe (a bold way to show your interest) start around $2. Upgrading to premium will cost $25/ month, but you can also for a cheaper "boost," which unlocks a handful of premium features.
Best for lesbians: Her
- Option to stay in incognito mode (i.e. only those who you "like" see your profile)
- No screenshots to protect privacy
- All members can send messages for free
- Read receipts, rewind button, & unlimited swipes only in premium
Her is a dating and community app for lesbian, queer, bisexual, and straight women; GNC folx; and nonbinary people. It's created for queer people, by queer people, making it one of the most popular lesbian apps on the market.
Her strives to create an inclusive interface that actively bucks against heteronormative narratives, with the app encouraging its users to be open about their intersecting identities and relationship orientations.
The dating experience is relatively uncomplicated—you can view profiles, "like" other users, match with people, and get to know someone via chat. It also comes with an additional social networking segment where you can learn about queer events, local parties, find new friends to meet up with, and spaces to discuss your interests.
Cost: Premium starts at just $7.50/ month with a one-year membership and rises to $15/month with a month-to-month subscription.
Best for gay men: Grindr
- Upfront & straight to the point
- Millions of active users
- Not for the faint of heart
"Grindr is a social networking app with a goal to connect its gay, bi, trans, and queer users," Schneider says. Although any type of relationship can come from the app, one-night stands are typical for the user experience. "It is still very much notorious for being a hook-up-focused app."
Grindr consists primarily of a bio, pictures, and an ability to favorite others to keep track of the people you're interested in. It also has an efficient geo-social location-based feature to connect with others within a close radius.
Cost: Grindr offers two premium membership options: Xtra and Unlimited. Xtra starts at $19.99/month (or $99.99/year), while Unlimited is $39.99 for one month or $239.99 for a full year.
Honorable Mention: Similar to Grindr, Scruff is popular among gay men but offers additional features for those looking for something more than a casual relationship. It has refined features to produce better conversations and offers varying filters to search for unique matches.
Best casual: Tinder
- Lots of users
- App is easy to navigate
- Free version is excellent
- Can be superficial
- May encounter lots of time-wasters
While you can meet people for casual dates or casual sex on any of these apps, Tinder reigns supreme in this category. The app is extremely straightforward to use, though that does mean people make quicker snap judgments, which can devolve into focusing more on someone's photos instead of their bio and interests. To match the pace, try to pay attention to your pictures and how they can best represent your dynamic personality and what you're all about.
Tinder also still has some viable dating prospects on the app; you may just have to weed through a lot of matches to find them. Although plenty of people these days have met their forever partners on Tinder, Schneider says it generally may not be the best app for serious dating due to its oversaturation. But its strong reputation is also its strong suit: "I find with my clients that it's still widely used, which can be helpful if you're not in a city and live in a more remote area," she says.
Cost: Tinder Plus, Gold, & Platinum are available starting at $20 per month.
Best for working professionals: The League
- Option to connect LinkedIn to prevent matching with boss
- Limited curation of profiles prevents overwhelming users
- For love & professional networking
- Wait list required to join app (can pay to skip line)
- Connections tend to be slower
- Membership is pricey
"The League is an exclusive dating app for the modern-day working professional. It's [considered] the LinkedIn of dating," Ruiz says. It has a waiting list, and once you're in, the matches are set up similarly to an IRL networking event. Every day at "happy hour," you're given a limited list of profiles to review. The success of the app may come down to your age and location, meaning you'll probably have better chances in a metropolitan city.
He notes there's a paid membership that can be much pricier than other dating apps, so it's probably better suited for those who can financially afford the ongoing cost of a premium experience. For both free and paid users, it comes with a live feature where you can go on video speed dates.
Cost: The League offers three membership tiers: a Member subscription for $299.99/month, an Owner subscription for $399.99/month, and an Investor subscription for $999.99/month.
Best for Christians: Christian Mingle
- Users share religious beliefs
- Larger dating app for Christian
- 60,000 signups per month
- Takes safety seriously
- Smaller user base than apps that are not faith based
- Requires photos
Although other apps filter for religious preferences, it's not their primary focus. If religion is important to you, we recommend finding the app that aligns with your views. For examples, we recommend, JSwipe for Jewish singles and Salams for Muslim single.). If your Christinas, we think think your best bet is Christian Mingle.
The app collects information about user's upbringing, education, interests, and relationship to spirituality, which ensures you're not only connect by your hobbies but your relationship to God.
Other important features include the ability to sort matches based on age and location, as well as enhanced privacy features. Christian Mingle takes fake profiles and harassment seriously, which makes it a solid pick for those who are worried about safety.
Cost: Christian Mingle memberships start at $42.99 per month but can be as cheap as $19.99 per month (based on membership packaging).
How do dating apps work?
All dating apps share a basic premise: to help you match with a potential suitor. However, the process for finding your match differs by app.
Most apps operate on a swipe system, which allows you to either swipe left (no) or right (yes) on a profile. Some apps offer minimal information before the swipe, such as Tinder, which makes vetting your potential suitors all about looks. Others incorporate fun features like profile prompts, videos, and audio to help you get a better sense of the person on the other side of the screen.
If you're really picky about the way you vet potential suitors, you might want to opt for apps that offers a compatibility score based on your profile; while it's an algorithmic guess, these scores often reflect interests and values instead of physical appearance.
When you swipe right on a potential match, the app will let you know if it's a match. If you don't get a match right away, don't stress. Your profile may not have appeared in another person's line-up just yet, especially if your profile is new. Once two people both swipe right or express interest in each other, the app typically will send a prompt notifying you of the match.
Typically matches are filtered into a separate section of the app, where you're able to chat and interact. Some apps, like Bumble, require the women to make the first month. Otherwise either party can drop an opening line to kickstart a conversation.
Just be sure to check how long an app keeps you connected; apps like the League and Coffee Meets Bagel will end your connection after a set period of time, unless either party extends or reconnects the match (often for a small fee).
RELATED: 8 Best Dating Sites For Seniors In 2023, According To Experts
How do dating apps match you with people?
Similar to the UX design of different dating apps, the actual matching algorithm varies. Profiles can appears based on your location, algorithm-based compatibility, or at complete random. For this reason, you'll often hear about people attempting to "hack" the algorithm to find the best matches.
The general rule of thumb? The more you use an app, the quicker it will learn your preferences and understand your type—which is ideal for apps that promote profiles based on compatibility.
That being said, there are a few ways to filter who pops into your swiping feed. Almost all apps allow you to set a preferred age and location range with the basic or free version of the app.
Additionally, most apps will give you a chance to place filters on height, politics, and education, but these metrics are not as strict (so you will find a few people that make it into your feed).
Of course, you'll often have to pay up to get the most curated selection of potential suitors. These advanced features will typically create a more intense vetting process with the ability to mark filters like race and religion as "dealbreakers" to ensure every match that makes its way into your feed meets these basic requirements.
If you're on an app, you should general expect your profile to be public to all users with a few exceptions. Dating apps like Bumble and Lex allow you to swipe in incognito mode, which only shows your profile to potential matches that you've already liked.
This can be helpful for those with privacy concerns, especially if you're concerned about matching on the app with people you know IRL. Of course, this also allows room for sketchy online behavior from those who are cheating on their current partner(s).
Online dating tips
We've got a whole rundown of the best online dating tips — but here are a few of our favorites:
1. Use dating apps with a clear goal (and write your profile accordingly). It's important to know whether you want to find "the one" or simply want a casual fling before trying the apps. Otherwise you might end up falling for another person who doesn't have the same romantic goals. Be sure your profile reflects what you're looking for!
2. Be honest and transparent. Authenticity and vulnerability help you build authentic relationships. Be upfront about who you are and what you hope to get from the dating apps—otherwise you might become the person who is leading someone on!
3. Make your first date as quickly as possible. Experts say the best way to know if you're attracted to someone is by meeting them in person. You don't want to waste weeks talking to someone only to discover there's no chemistry when things go offline.
How to stay safe on dating apps:
As you enter the world of online dating, be sure to keep these red flags in mind. These users might be scammers trying to steal your information—or push online daters who don't have our best interest at heart.
- Asks you to send money
- Asking for personal information like your address or banking info
- Makes excuses to avoid meeting up in person
- Refuses to do video calls
- Becomes too affection early on (especially before meeting)
- Has profiles on different sites with different names
- Message you constantly & demands answers back immediately
Some of our other favorite dating apps
Still unsure about the best dating app for you? Check out our additional dating guides, which are catered to specific demographics:
Which dating site is best for serious relationships?
eHarmony is our top pick for serious daters due to the long, robust profiles, which allow for better compatibility between matches. Plus it's expert-approved by marriage therapist Omar Ruiz, LMFT.
Which dating app is best for beginners?
The best dating app for you will correlate with your dating goals. However the lower lift required to start a profile on Tinder, Bumble, or Hinge makes them great options for people just beginning to explore the world of online dating. Plus, their popularity means you're likely to find more potential matches regardless of your location.
What is the best free dating app?
The best free dating app for you depends heavily on what you’re looking for from your connections. Many popular apps are free, such as Hinge, Bumble, Tinder, and even OKCupid. However many of these offer added features, whether it be unlimited likes or reconnections, for a small fee. However, a few apps we'd avoid trying for free are eHarmony and Match, which are best with paid features.
What is the #1 used dating app?
Tinder has historically dominated the app space with more than 500 million users (and it’s no. 2 on the list for the top free lifestyle apps on the Apple App Store). If you’re looking for the to paid subscribers, Bumble takes the lead. And if you find neither of these swipe-based algorithms is quite for you, Hinge comes in as the third most popular dating app.
Is Tinder or Bumble better?
When deciding between Tinder and Bumble, the best dating app for you will come down to your intentions. Bumble puts the power to start the connection in women’s hands by having them making the first move in 24 hours. Our relationship experts say this creates a smaller chance of conversation fading out. Tinder is great for those seeking a more casual encounter. Online dating coach Perri Schneider also considers it a good recommendation for those in more remote areas due to its widespread usage.
How hard is it to get accepted into Raya?
Raya is a celebrity networking and dating app that famously accepts only 8% of applicants. Your chance of getting accepted into Raya is fairly low—but it’s not impossible. If you have the right job (or connections), you might make it through Raya’s strict vetting process.
You’ll notice Raya is not included in our list of the best dating apps. We felt the low acceptance rate would not make it the best option for most people seeking a dating app.
Ready to ask someone out on a date? These online-dating rules form experts will help prepare you for your first interactions—and when you're there, be sure to ask some of these first date questions.