Much like dating, relationship-finder sites have to meet certain criteria before you commit to them.
To save you time and effort, we listed the safest, most popular and most reasonably-priced, or the best online dating sites in the UK, if you will, so you can just go ahead and take your pick.
Here they are:
- eharmony.co.uk: Best Overall
- uk.match.com: Best for Newbies to Online Dating
- Elitesingles.co.uk: Best for Educated Singles
- Okcupid.com: Best for Open-Minded Millennials
- silversingles.co.uk: Best for Over 50s
- Uk.parship.com: Best for Long-Term Relationships
- originaldating.com: Best for Speed Dating
The Top 7 British Dating Sites Reviewed
1. Eharmony: Best Overall
- Overall Rating: 10/10
- Over five million members from the UK & 60 million globally
- Mobile app for iOS and Android users
- Free plan available
- Paid Plan: from £8.95 to £29.90
eharmony, one of the most popular dating apps in the UK, has helped over 2 million people find love, most of whom married their match within a year of joining the platform.
Being around for 20 years has certainly paid off. eharmony has perfected their Compatibility Matching System, which, as the name suggests, finds the most compatible match for users via a 100-question in-depth personality quiz. So, instead of traditional sites that would have you swiping or sifting through photos, eharmony does all the legwork and delivers your perfect match right to your inbox.
Recently, the site has introduced its Video Date feature, allowing all those in lockdown to stay active on the dating scene. This, however, along with unlimited messaging, detailed personality profile, and a few other features, are for Premium members only.
- All members undergo a verification process
- Over 2 million success stories
- Trustworthy dating site
- 24/7 customer support
- Subscription costs are a bit high
2. Match: Best for Newbies to Online Dating
- Overall Rating: 9.7/10
- 3 million users in the UK & 11 million worldwide
- 1.6 million success stories
- Free membership available (limited)
- Paid Plan from £12.99 to £29.99 a month
If you are nervous at the prospect of online dating or it’s your first time using a dating site, Match is here to put you at ease.
In fact, the main appeal of Match is its simplicity. All you need to do is create a profile, look at your potential matches and get to chatting. Plus, the site puts you completely in control, allowing you to be contacted only by people who match your criteria and letting you block/report a member who makes you feel uncomfortable.
Another great thing about Match is the site’s regular singles events, so you can meet others in a casual and relaxed atmosphere.
Like other sites, the free plan is a bit limited, giving access only to your daily matches and basic profiles. Premium membership, though, will unlock a host of features. For example, you will be able to send and receive unlimited messages, find out who has viewed your profile, and filter searches based on the most important factors for you.
- Android and iOS mobile app available
- Virtual coach to provide advice & assistance
- Filter search for the most important criteria
- Themed events IRL
- It might take longer for your profile to get approved
3. EliteSingles: Best for Educated Singles
- Overall Rating: 9.6/10
- 20 million users across 25 countries
- Basic subscription offered
- Safe & trusted site
- Premium Plan from £24.95 to £44.95 a month
85% of EliteSingles members are professionals over 30 who have obtained a higher education degree. With this in mind, it’s no surprise why EliteSingles is one of the top dating sites for educated singles in the UK.
To start using EliteSingles services, you need to take a lengthy but detailed personality test. It is worth going through this quiz, though, as it generates more accurate matches than other, more impersonal online dating sites. It also makes this site less appealing to young adults looking for casual hookups, leaving only those interested in serious relationships.
Once you have created your profile, EliteSingles will send you daily emails containing three to seven best matches.
This kind of intelligent matchmaking doesn’t come cheap. Paid plans range from £24.95 to £44.95 a month but give you several features such as unlimited messaging, more customisation options on your profile and up to 20 additional match suggestions a day.
- Updated algorithm delivering the most relevant matches
- Profile Verification, SSL Encryption & Fraud Detection Systems enabled
- Smart matching system
- Personalised customer support
- Mobile apps only available with paid subscription
4. OkCupid: Best for Open-Minded Millennials
- Overall Rating: 9.6/10
- Free unlimited messages
- 2.5 million UK members
- 91 million connections every year
- Basic & Premium Plan from £7.95 to £24.90 per month
OkCupid is as close as a service comes to being the best free dating site, as it is one of the few that lets you view entire member profiles and communicate with your matches at no cost.
Like other sites, OkCupid works by giving you matches based on a survey you complete upon signing up. The biggest difference is its inclusive and LGBTQ+ friendly attitude, which is why most of its active user base of 50+ million are aged between 25 and 34.
OkCupid currently offers 22 gender and 20 sexual orientation options as well as a choice between a monogamous and non-monogamous relationship. In short, OkCupid is open to everyone,, from those seeking hookups to long-term dating.
- 4,000 questions to find your perfect match
- Incognito Mode that makes your profile invisible
- Mobile app with a Double Take feature
- 50 million members worldwide
- Free members can’t see who liked them
5. Silver Singles: Best for Over 50s
- Overall Score: 9.5/10
- 25,000 new members every month
- Created exclusively for 50+ singles
- Free membership available
- Paid Plans from £13.95 to £24.95 a month
SilverSingles is one of the best dating sites in the UK for people over 50 on the hunt for a meaningful relationship.
The site has a simple and easy to use interface, suitable for adults who may not be that tech-savvy. There is not much for users to do beyond providing a few personal details and completing a comprehensive personality survey. SilverSingles will then find an average of five matches per day for you based on your personality traits and current location.
There is no need to worry about security with SilverSingles. Its detailed relationship test filters out fake profiles, while advanced security protection is employed, so your information is 100% safe.
- Mobile app for paying subscribers
- SSL encryption & fraud detection system in place
- User-friendly interface
- 70,000 users in the UK
- Mobile app only available with paid subscription
6. Parship: Best for Long-Term Relationships
- Overall Score: 9.5/10
- 11 million members
- High success rate for premium members
- Basic plan available for free
- Premium plan from £14.90 to £29.90 a month
Geared towards professionals over 25, Parship is one of the best dating sites for singles who want to settle down with a special someone.
Parship doesn’t just randomly put people together. It actually employs a scientific principle that analyses 32 personality traits based on a matching algorithm of 136 rules. So each profile you visit on the site will have a chart indicating how compatible you are with each other.
In addition, the site has a lot of neat features, including the option to filter matches based on your preference and sending icebreakers and likes to initiate communication. Most of these, however, are only available to Premium members.
What’s more, Parship has an impressive 38% success rate for premium members—yet another reason to subscribe to their paid plan.
- Over 23.000 new members weekly
- Scientific compatibility test
- Mobile app for Android and iOS
- Profile verification & data encryption emplyed
- Not suitable to those looking for casual relationships
7. Original Dating: Best for Speed Dating
- Overall Score: 8.7/10
- Events starting from £10
- 250,000+ members
- Guaranteed success
- Virtual speed dating available
Unlike the other online dating sites in the UK, Original Dating focuses on getting people to meet in real life. The site organises speed dating events, where you can meet between 15 to 20 people in one night. After that, you tick the person you liked on the site, and provided they like you back, you can connect via the website.
Locations, themes and prices vary for each event, but you can filter them on the home page and find an age range and type of event best suited to you. All the meet-ups follow Covid-19 protocols, but if you still feel the need for social distancing, you can give virtual speed dating a try.
Original Dating is the leading speed dating site in the UK. In fact, they are so confident this method works they will let you attend the next event for free if you don’t meet anyone you like the first time.
- Gift vouchers for friends available
- Filter events by age, location and interest
- Payments processed through Stripe and PayPal
- Industry leader in speed dating
- Speed dating can be a bit stressful
A Quick Guide to Choosing the Best Dating Site for You
Whether you are looking for the best casual dating sites or your next long term relationship, online dating requires a lot more than Tinder-style left and right swipes.
While there is no definitive rulebook on how to find love online, here are a couple of tips that will help you navigate the online dating scene much more successfully.
Do Your Research
There are so many online dating sites right now that it is essential to do your research before signing up. For instance, make sure to check the site’s terms and conditions thoroughly and see whether it guarantees the complete privacy of your photos and messages.
Beware of free dating websites, as they are most likely to attract scammers and fake profiles.
Also, each dating site caters to a different crowd of people, so make sure you opt for the one where you will most likely find like-minded individuals with the same end goal as you.
Decide on your Commitment Level
Today, most dating sites have limited free versions and paid memberships that offer a smoother online dating experience. But, you may be wondering, is it worth paying for a premium membership to find love? In our opinion, yes, very much so.
Free versions of online dating apps usually have fewer members who are genuinely committed to finding someone to date and are limited in features. A free version can come in handy if you want to test a particular app and see it’s right for you, but beyond that, it won’t be of much use.
Going premium will not only provide a much more enjoyable online dating experience but also increase the likelihood of finding a suitable match.
Look Into the Inner Wrokings of the Site
The majority of dating sites require you to complete an online questionnaire to determine your likes, dislikes and general romantic preferences. These surveys may seem boring and time-comsuing, but it is time well spent as it makes sure you will get more meaningful matches than just a single in your area.
It’s also a good idea to read up on how the site finds your perfect match, what kind of algorithm it uses and how it uses your personal info to find the one for you.
What is the best dating site for a serious relationship?
Match, eHarmony, Parship, and Silver Singles are all excellent options if you are looking for a long-term relationship and someone to settle down with.
What is the most trusted dating site?
All of our top picks are trustworthy and safe, with a very low percentage of fake profiles and scammers as they all use verification methods to ensure members are who they say they are.
Which are the best free dating sites in the UK?
While none of the dating sites we’ve mentioned is entirely free, OkCupid offers one of the most generous free plans. It gives members the chance to send unlimited messages and search and view entire member profiles completely free.
What is the best dating site for seniors?
Silver Singles is an online dating site dedicated exclusively to singles over 50. The site provides daily matches based on an in-depth relationship questionnaire. In addition, premium members get the chance to send and receive unlimited messages, see who has visited their profile, and view entire member profiles.
Even with restrictions easing, locking eyes with someone across the pub is becoming as rare as a swearing-free Gordon Ramsay show. In fact, dating apps and sites have long been one of the most popular ways for UK singles to get out there—in 2020 alone, there were more than 1,400 different sites across Britain.
While most of them are safe and secure, there is always a chance of scams and online fraud, so be careful before signing up and sharing personal information. Luckily for you, all the companies on our list of the best online dating sites in the UK are completely safe, and all of them (except Original Dating that relies on IRL romance) use smart algorithms to find the perfect match for you. The only downside—the basic plans are somewhat limited, so you would have to sign up for the premium membership to get the most out of their services.