The Best Dating Apps To Try In 2022, Based On What You're Looking For
If you're looking for a romantic connection, you don't have to look much further than your phone these days. In today's hyper-connected world, it's never been easier to meet lots of potential partners from the comfort of your couch. But the convenience of the dating apps presents a slew of other unique dating challenges: analysis paralysis, dating fatigue, ambiguous intentions, one-sided conversations that go nowhere, etc.
Although dating apps can be overwhelming, they're one of the most popular approaches out there and for good reason—we're all on them now. If you're looking to optimize your time, it might be a smart idea to approach the apps with a sense of intentionality, which means, signing up for the apps that will give you the best chance to meet your kind of people. After all, you're not looking to meet everybody—you want to meet the right ones. (Here are all our best online dating tips, btw.)
So, without further ado, we've rounded up the best dating apps for 2022, depending on what you're looking for.
- Best for serious relationships: eHarmony
- Best for those looking for something specific: OKCupid
- Best for quality interactions: Hinge
- Best for mature daters: Match
- Best for meetups and hookups: Tinder
- Best for kink: Feeld
- Best for women: Bumble
- Best for queer women: Her
- Best for queer people: Lex
- Best for gay men: Grindr
- Best for Black people: Blk
- Best for busy daters: Coffee Meets Bagel
- Best for professionals: The League
- Best for meeting up right away: Clover
- Best for traveling: Happn
- Best for religious people: See below.
Best for serious relationships: eHarmony
According to marriage therapist Omar Ruiz, LMFT, eHarmony is great for serious daters looking to connect with others similarly interested in a long-term relationship. The app requires you to fill out an extensive profile and complete various questions to help produce matches with a higher compatibility.
With eHarmony, you'll learn a lot about someone before even beginning the first conversation. "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," he says. It's also a great option for singles over 50 who are looking for something serious.
Best for those looking for something specific: OKCupid
It's been around for 18 years for good reason. 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 is widely known for its keyword search options, long-form profiles, and interactive personality quizzes to help find compatible matches. 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. "OKCupid does an amazing job at being inclusive for all," Schneider says. However, the downside is that some basic functions are locked behind a paywall.
Best for quality interactions: Hinge
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," online dating coach Perri 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."
Best for mature daters: Match
"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," Schneider says. "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. Bonus: As a paid user, you can see who's checking out your profile. (Read our full match.com review here.)
Best for meetups and hookups: Tinder
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.
Best for kink: Feeld
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.
Best for women: Bumble
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."
Because women have to make their first move within 24 hours, it adds urgency to the interaction, which minimizes conversations falling to the wayside. You don't have to just look for a romantic match on Bumble either. They have other features for business and BFF connections, too.
Best for queer women: Her
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.
Best for queer people: Lex
Lex is a text-centered format inspired by old newspaper personals where users can post an ad about who they are and what they are looking for. There isn't a huge emphasis on photos, and it's mainly about connecting with others in a casual manner.
For that reason, Schneider agrees it's one of the best LGBTQ+ social and dating sites out there. The open-ended possibilities help foster different connections of all types: a friend, new hookup, or someone to obsess over your favorite new TV show with.
Best for gay men: Grindr
"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.
Honorable mention: Scruff
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 for Black people: Blk
"Blk is a culturally niche dating app catered and designed specifically to support and connect the Black community," Ruiz says. It's easy to use the app with a simple setup process, photo verification, and straightforward matching to help singles look for meaningful connections and friendships.
Blk offers many of its options for free. Every day, you receive a personalized group of profiles to vet and chat with other users who have liked your profile. If you do decide to pay for a premium account, you can briefly boost your profile to be a top profile in your area, send an unlimited amount of likes, and rewind on people to give them a second chance.
Best for busy daters: Coffee Meets Bagel
Exhausted by swiping? Coffee Meets Bagel can help you with that. "Unlike other dating apps where you can scroll through a listing of photos, Coffee Meets Bagel sends a list of suggested profiles (called bagels) every day," Ruiz tells mbg. The suggestions are tailored to you based on your preferences. Once the connection is made, the app has an eight-day feature where you'll both have to opt into the conversation again, which might encourage you to set up that coffee date sooner rather than later.
Once in a while, the app will periodically give you a few free likes for when you want to take your matches into your own hands. "Coffee Meets Bagel is best for those who have specific preferences in what they want from their match," Ruiz says. It is a solid option for those who are looking for a relationship without wanting to spend a lot of time on the apps.
Best for professionals: The League
"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 short 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.
Best for meeting up right away: Clover
As one of the highest-rated apps on the Apple app store, Clover has rapidly proven itself as a robust dating app due to its many features and hybrid focus on both swiping and compatibility. If you're looking to meet someone right away, it has an on-demand feature for when you're looking for a date on a specific night.
Ruiz points out there's also a special feature to create a mixer, similar to a social event, and meet other singles that are part of the group. The interface resembles a social media website with icebreakers for easier conversations.
Best for traveling: Happn
If you're crushing on someone at your local bookstore but you don't know how to make the first move, this is the app for you. "Happn is the Google Maps of dating," Ruiz says. "The app tracks users based on their physical location and matches users to those that are around them. This app can be best used for hookups or possible dates due to the ability to match with someone within close proximity."
Happn has an element of kismet to it since it tallies how many times you and your potential matches cross paths with each other. Since you're hanging around the same areas, it makes it exponentially easier to set up a date or grab a quick coffee at your favorite neighborhood coffee shop. Ruiz recommends Happn for consistent travelers or those who live in highly populated cities, so you're not running into the same people repeatedly.
Best options for religious daters:
Although other apps filter for religious preferences, you'll have to wade through a lot of conversations to understand the role religion plays in their life. If sharing similar beliefs is an important consideration, consider looking into religion-specific apps like Christian Mingle (for Christian singles), JSwipe (for Jewish singles), or Salams (for Muslim singles). These types of apps attract a database of faith-driven people who center their religious beliefs in their dating experience.
Christian Mingle, for example, asks for and culls information about someone's upbringing, education, interests, and their relationship to spirituality, so it appeals to serious daters. It also has enhanced privacy features and the ability to sort through matches by age and location.
JSwipe is a leading dating app for Jewish millennial singles. The app boasts a strong database of users in their 20s and 30s, with many free basic features. One of the big negatives is that you'll need a Facebook account to join.
Salams was originally created to matchmake single Muslims, but it's since expanded into connecting others for friendships and networking. Per the matchmaking angle, Salams prioritizes your cultural background, family upbringing, core beliefs, and overall personality over looks—so much so that in certain countries, photos are blurred until you're ready to reveal it to your match.
Which dating site is best for serious relationships?
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.