When I was 24, I decided that looking for a date the old-fashioned way wasn’t working for me, and it was time to explore the online dating scene for a change. I was fresh out of college and living on a budget, so my first priority was to find a dating app that would let me join and chat for free.
Free dating apps can open the door to a world of romantic possibilities, but, as I learned, not all free apps work like they’re supposed to. Some dating platforms offer a lot of promises and very few real matches. If you’re tired of seeing fake profiles or not getting responses to your messages, maybe it’s time to switch things up and try a free and reputable dating app that has worked for singles like you.
We’ve ranked and reviewed some of the best time-tested dating apps that can make all the difference in your love life. All these apps are free to join, and most have free online flirts or communication features to help you get to know viable dates in the area.
Best Overall Free Single Dating Apps
In 2013, Forbes estimated that there were over 8,000 dating sites worldwide, and we’d be willing to bet that number has only gotten bigger in the last few years. Dating sites and apps have become extremely popular, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest and the greatest. That’s why we’re here.
Our experts have picked out the absolute best dating apps for singles looking to save money and time in the modern 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
Match tops our list of free dating apps because it’s been around longer than any other dating service, and it has led to more relationships and marriages as well.
It’s free to download Match on Google Play or the App Store and browse profiles, send likes, and read and respond to certain messages. There’s no pressure to upgrade to a paid subscription, but doing so will give you full access to your inbox and profile views.
Over the years, many users have given the Match app a positive review. “What a great forum for meeting people, especially when you have a busy schedule,” said Paul Anderson in a five-star review. “Highly recommended!”
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
EliteSingles prioritizes quality over quantity, so singles won’t be overwhelmed with matches and messages here. The premium dating site and app take a more deliberate approach to love and only recommend dates that meet the user’s standards (as expressed in the Preferences section).
As a free EliteSingles member, singles can review a curated match list full of well-educated and like-minded people, and they can send smiles and photo requests without paying anything.
Something new members should note is that only paid subscribers can view photos and send messages on EliteSingles. That paywall is in place to raise the bar for conversations and make sure both individuals are invested in the dating process. Don’t worry, though — you can browse EliteSingles for free for as long as you like, and you don’t have to upgrade if it’s not worth it to you.
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
Since 2007, Zoosk has made a name for itself as the socially savvy dating platform for young people looking to chat. The app has a lot of ways to make a match and get in touch. You can conduct a custom search, swipe through pictures in the Carousel, or view recommended profiles in the SmartPick tab.
Unlike other apps, Zoosk uses behavioral matchmaking to power its date recommendations. Meaning how you act will weigh more heavily than what you say you want. Every time you send a like or message, the dating app learns about your dating preferences and highlights similar dating profiles.
Zoosk is an affordable online dating service with low-priced subscriptions and token-based features. Members can use Zoosk coins to get extra perks on the app, including the ability to see if your crush has read your message.
Since its launch in 2000, eharmony has endeavored to find the formula for love. Its 29-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
Dating is serious business on eharmony, and the dating platform does its best to inspire deep conversations and relationships. Since 2000, the dating site and app has perfected its psychology-driven personality assessment to identify long-term compatibility between members.
It takes about 20 minutes to complete the Compatibility Quiz, which asks thoughtful questions like “how would your friends describe you?” and “which qualities attract you most in a partner?” Your answers will form the basis of the match ratings you’ll see on eharmony dating profiles.
The eharmony matchmaking system is free, and the app also allows limited communication for free. Free members can send likes, Icebreaker questions, and even a few messages via the app, and they can set Match Preferences for age, height, smoking, and the desire to have children to narrow the search for love.
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 is the top dating app for Christians seeking loving relationships. Since 2001, this niche dating site has appealed to church-going, God-fearing, and faith-driven singles around the world.
A ChristianMingle free membership never expires, and it includes unlimited browsing and searching with the option to upgrade when you’re ready to chat. Many touching success stories have sprung from ChristianMingle, and the app currently has a 3.6 star rating in the App Store.
“The best $35 I’ve ever spent is on a month membership,” said Zoe Dunning in 2018. “If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have been able to message or respond to messages, and I wouldn’t have been able to talk to my boyfriend of a little over a year now!”
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
As a free black dating site and app, BlackPeopleMeet caters to black and biracial singles in the U.S. and Canada.
The app’s free features include completing a dating profile, swiping through photos, rating Daily Matches, and seeing who’s viewed your profile. Messaging is a premium feature on BlackPeopleMeet, but a subscription won’t put a big dent in your budget — it starts at as low as $18.99 per month.
BlackPeopleMeet subscriptions will auto-renew at the end of each cycle, so be sure to go into your settings if you want to end your membership.
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 launched in 2004 as a completely free online matchmaker, and it was an instant success. In 2012, the team created the OkCupid dating app to make its singles network reach even more singles.
OkCupid offers 100% free communication, and you can send an initial message to anyone you like on the app. However, only mutual matches can send unlimited messages to each other. OkCupid’s conversations never expire, so there’s no time pressure, no price tag, and no strings attached to online flirting here.
Every week, OkCupid is responsible for more than 50,000 dates, and it has made over 91 million love connections since its launch.
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
Plenty of Fish is another completely free dating app where messaging doesn’t cost a thing. The POF community is a flirtatious free-for-all where over 150 million profiles await you.
The Plenty of Fish Community Rules are pretty straightforward. As long as you are kind and respectful, you can stay free member on POF forever. Harassment, hate speech, and bullying will not be tolerated. POF moderators keep watch on the site and app to ensure singles have a safe and positive experience from start to finish.
Every day, 65,000 new users join Plenty of Fish and use its free search, matching, and chat features to make a genuine connection.
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
For several years now, Tinder has opened singles up to a world of romantic possibilities. The dating app’s motto is “single is a terrible thing to waste,” and it uses location-based swiping to power mutual matches.
Since 2012, Tinder has created over 30 billion matches in 190 countries. These matches don’t just stay on the app, either. Every week, over 1 million Tinder dates take place in coffee shops, bars, and restaurants around the world.
Tinder is free to use (free swiping, free matching, and free chatting), and that means #SwipeLife is available to anyone looking for a date on Saturday night.
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
In many ways, Bumble is the feminist response to today’s looks-driven swiping culture. The dating app does feature swiping, but its dating profiles carry a lot of good information and several photos. That way, matches aren’t the result of snap judgment but careful consideration.
Plus, women set the tone on Bumble. Once a mutual match is formed between singles of the opposite sex, the woman must send the first message within 24 hours, or the conversation will disappear. Straight men have to take the backseat on this app. As a result, Bumble is populated by relationship-minded folks who are serious about meeting someone.
As the team says, “Bumble is more than an app. It’s a movement. We encourage integrity, kindness, equality, confidence, and respect during all stages of any relationship.”
Best Free LGBT Single Dating Apps
The gay dating scene can seem intimidating to folks who are newly single or just came out of the closet. But, as long as you’re not a jerk, you should have a good time wooing folks in the LGBTQ+ community, and online dating can make it easy to identify the most attractive prospects out there.
Gay dating apps aren’t just for short-term dating and hookups. In a 2017 survey, 60% of same-sex couples said they met online. The following top-rated apps can help LGBTQ+ singles find friendships, romances, and relationships for free.
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
MenNation is a hookup platform with millions of dating profiles in its database. It is open to gay singles and gay couples, but all members must be over 18 years old.
The all-male dating network can be a safe space for men who are questioning their sexuality or want to explore the sex scene anonymously. MenNation is a popular tool for gay couples in open relationships. The nonjudgmental space encourages men to go wild and seek adventure in their daily lives.
MenNation is a straightforward, sex-driven platform where men don’t have to hide their desires and fantasies.
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
Lusting after women? Then LesbianPersonals is the dating platform for you. This ladies-friendly venue is full of flirtation, excitement, and sexually charged chats.
Free members don’t need to upload a photo or use their real name on LesbianPersonals, so there’s no need to be shy about pursuing hot sex, threesomes, and orgies here. The site is open to lesbian women, lesbian couples, straight couples, and groups, but all straight single men who try to create profiles will be removed and banned.
LesbianPersonals has a ton of fantastic flirting tools, including instant messaging and two-way video chats, to entertain and entice women in the mood to fool around.
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
Unlike hookup apps, HER seeks to build real, lasting relationships with its online community. The lesbian dating app operates under a strict no-boys-allowed code, and all newly created profiles must be verified as authentic before going live.
HER has over 4 million members, all of whom are womxn seeking womxn. Whether you’re lesbian, queer, bi, or trans, you can find a place where you belong thanks to HER. The app offers queer events and a newsfeed to help singles connect with womxn in the local LGBTQ+ network.
“I met this gorgeous creature on HER in 2014,” posted Sabrina P. on Twitter. “I fall more and more in love with her every day #WeMetOnHER.”
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 its launch in 2009, Grindr has amassed a huge global following of over 27 million men, and it’s still growing. The free gay dating app has a reputation of being for hookups, but we’ve heard stories of relationships blossoming on Grindr as well.
In fact, 84% of Grindr users said they’ve fallen in love with someone they met on the app, and 56.5% said they think they’ll find their soul mate here.
Grindr has been the top gay dating app for many years now, and we’d recommend it to men looking for local dates and hoping to find romance online and offline.
Best Free Senior Single Dating Apps
Between retirement, families, and other responsibilities, seniors typically have a lot on their minds, and they don’t always have the time or energy to keep up with today’s fast-paced dating scene. Fortunately, senior dating apps give them the chance to date on their terms and meet people who share similar values and sensibilities.
An AARP study found that 45% of Americans over 65 are divorced, widowed, or separated, and they deserve a second shot at love. That’s exactly what the following senior apps are designed to provide.
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
SilverSingles is our top choice for singles of a certain age. It offers a respectful, safe, and friendly environment where newcomers feel welcomed.
It’s free to register an account on SilverSingles and give the platform a whirl. You can turn to the Help Center with any questions you have about the site’s matchmaking and signup process. As a free member, you’ll be able to view compatible profiles in the Matches and Have You Met? sections, but you won’t be able to read or respond to any messages unless you subscribe.
Only genuine and serious singles can communicate on the SilverSingles platform. You can get a SilverSingles subscription for one month, three months, or six months depending on your budget and dating goals.
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
As a People Media dating site and app, OurTime has an extensive database to back its smart matchmaking system.
Singles can choose to navigate with searches based on age, location, ethnicity, religion, and other important dealbreakers, or they can trust the OurTime algorithm to recommend compatible profiles with its Daily Matches. OurTime members also receive exclusive invites to local events and meetups for singles over 50.
“Wow, this site is my new number one,” said James S. in a Google Play review. “If you want to get more than the average person would expect…then this is the time to act.”
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 is an over-50 dating site that has been a friend to seniors since 2003, and it currently has over 36,600 testimonials to its name. The dating site supports over 1.6 million monthly conversations, and it welcomes thousands of unique users every day.
“SeniorMatch’s growth rate in the United States is accelerating, and its ranking is gradually rising,” a SeniorMatch spokesperson told us.
Whether you’re looking for companionship, activity partners, travel buddies, or a long-term relationship, the SeniorMatch dating site can empower you to meet people who fit the bill.
Best Free Single Hookup Apps
If you want to explore your sensuality, work on your moves, and make the most of the single lifestyle, then a hookup app could be just the thing for you. There’s no need for foreplay or preamble on a casual sex app. Everyone is game for getting intimate right away, and that takes a lot of pressure off the dating experience.
The following apps are low in commitment and high on fun, and they can help sexually active people find local dates who are just their speed.
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
As soon as you sign up, BeNaughty puts you in the middle of a diverse and playful dating pool. The platform features the dating profiles of members who meet your dating preferences, and you can also filter the list to show only members who are online now or who are within a certain mile radius.
The BeNaughty platform puts singles in control of their love lives, and it can work like a charm for men and women who know exactly what they want.
Whether you’re swiping through photos in the Like Gallery or sending a mass text to your matches, you can come out of your shell thanks to the flirtatious features on BeNaughty.
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 dating profiles, AdultFriendFinder has claimed the title of the world’s largest sex and swinger community.
AdultFriendFinder is an X-rated site where singles can always find someone to flirt with them. This casual dating service has created over 4 million connections and supported over 14 million sexually explicit discussions in its members-only forum.
Thanks to the fast-working platform, AFF members can be upfront about their kinkiness, engage in cybersex, and arrange steamy encounters from the safety of their laptops or smartphones.
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
You can tell just from the name FriendFinder-X that you’re in for a wild dating experience on this fun-loving site. The platform boasts being a place “where good girls do bad things,” and that includes soliciting singles and swingers for sex.
FriendFinder-X is a local site where singles, couples, and groups of all backgrounds and orientations can come together. Even inexperienced daters will quickly get the hang of the platform’s simple matching and search features. All it takes is a valid email address to join the X-rated community and make something happen in the casual dating scene.
How Can I Meet Local Singles for Free?
The biggest question facing singles today is “Where do I go to meet people?” Online dating has become the go-to solution for many daters who are tired of scouring bars, clubs, gym classes, and meetups for dates.
Many local dating sites and apps have supported singles seeking dates in the area, and some of them even offer dating services for free. OkCupid is one of the most popular free apps you’ll find, and it has proven successful time and time again.
Since 2004, OkCupid has set itself apart by turning online matchmaking into a numbers game. The dating site (read more)
- Only messages from mutual matches appear in your inbox
- Insightful profile questions help singles get to know one another
- A-List members receive additional perks such as seeing who liked them
OkCupid has a global membership base, but singles can set a desire distance radius to ensure their matches live and work in the same area.
What is the Best Free Hookup App?
BeNaughty is our favorite hookup platform because it offers free chatting and advanced searches to help singles get some action. It’s easy to get the hang of this hookup site and use it to flirt with locals who are sexually active and looking for some fun.
BeNaughty is among the top casual dating sites available to frisky singles in the U.S. and abroad. This site (read more)
- Over 13.3 million monthly users worldwide
- Cute or Not swiping game introduces you to hot women
- Switch to Full Safe Mode to limit contact to verified members
With BeNaughty as your wingman, you can explore the dating scene and send flirtatious and explicit messages to anyone you like.
Are There Dating Sites You Can Browse Without Signing Up?
Most dating sites will require users to provide at least an email address and birth date before diving into its membership base — but that’s not always the case. Dating personals sites tend to be a little more lax when it comes to registration, and singles can often view profiles and even send messages with an anonymous account.
I’d recommend looking around on AdultFriendFinder if you’re hesitant to create a dating profile. You don’t need to give up many personal details to join the fun here.
Adult Friend Finder is a dating site where adults can find sexual partners quickly and easily. Singles and (read more)
- 65% of AFF members are men seeking a hot date
- Stay anonymous as you flirt in dating forums
- Mobile-friendly platform keeps you connected while on the go
AFF allows people to take a sneak peak behind the curtains and view profiles, read erotic posts, and even view live video broadcasts as an unregistered guest.
Is There a Dating App That Actually Works?
Yes, many dating apps actually work like a charm whether you’re looking for a date or a relationship. The top dating apps share success stories from couples who met online, and you can also read customer reviews to see what the dating experience is like and how satisfied people are by their matches.
As far as we’re concerned, Match is one of the most effective online dating services on the market, and it’s worth registering for free to see what it’s all about.
Since 1995, Match has made a name for itself as one of the most successful dating platforms in the world. The (read more)
- Find quality women with advanced search filters
- Daily Matches highlight profiles that meet your date standards
- Add up to 26 photos to your profile
Match uses personality-driven tools to introduce singles who share similar values, lifestyles, backgrounds, and goals. That can lead to some great conversations and long-term relationships if you play your cards right.
The Best Dating Apps Can Help Singles Mingle Freely
Whether you’re a college student, a working professional, or a retiree, it’s a smart move to check out free dating apps before exploring the paid options. You can try your luck with a basic membership package and see if you like the experience enough to upgrade.
The free dating apps on this list don’t require new members to pay anything upon signup, so you have time to consider your options online.
Our dating experts recommend downloading multiple dating apps (the average online dater uses three at once) to give yourself the best odds of meeting someone special and making a genuine connection. Choose wisely!