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You might think the best online dating sites are the ones with the most users. After all, with more people comes the greater chance of finding matches and going on dates. However, that’s not entirely how this list of dating sites is formatted.

For one of these to be called the best online dating app, it should have features that set it apart from the rest (and there are lots). A good dating service should have a diverse selection of users with features that will help you find dates that match your personality, while also including safety measures to help prevent spam and find real people.

Table of Contents
    The 5 Best Free Online Dating Apps image

    Below is a list of the best online dating apps that takes into account user base, ease of functionality, my personal success with matches, and how thorough the app tries to find deep matches.

    Take a shot at these free dating apps, and even install all of them if you wish, so that you get the best of every platform.


    Bumble is a unique online dating app for multiple reasons, but the primary difference is how it treats matches between a man and a woman. If you’re a woman who matches with a man, you have a full 24 hours to respond before the match expires. In the meantime, he can’t communicate with you at all, which should help with spam.

    Bumble image

    There’s also a handy snooze mode you can enable if you want to stop getting matches. It hides you from Bumble for as long as it’s enabled. Your matches will remain accessible but you won’t get new matches until you turn off snooze mode.

    When you run across someone you’re interested in, just swipe up to move their image down and reveal more information about them. Following Bumble’s other smooth features is a nice list of details about the person presented in badge-like icons. This provides an easy way for you to scan their details to see how tall they are, how often they work out, if they’ve ever smoked, if they have kids, what they’re looking for, their religious views, etc.

    The Bumble app is super clean and easy to use, works on Android and iOS, and is also fully accessible from their website. You can pay if you want to access features like Beeline to see a list of who’s already swiped right with you, or Spotlight to be put at the top of people’s lists.

    Plenty of Fish

    There are plenty of fish in the sea, they say…and that might really be true if you use Plenty of Fish (POF). It has a massive number of daily users and is unique in that it asks lots of really specific questions to help find you the perfect match.

    Plenty of Fish image

    Right after signing up, you’re immediately asked what you’re looking for (dating, long term, friends, or hanging out) and if you’d date someone who smokes, has kids, or who has an extra few pounds. You’re then asked general questions like what you do for work, education level, income range, religion, etc.

    These are followed by your relationship status, eye and hair color, height, and body type. Then it’s facts about you, like your personality type, drinking and smoking habits, whether you have a car, whether you want kids, etc. 

    Before you can start finding dates, you also have to verify your account, which is what POF does to help stop spam. Once you’re in, you can even take the chemistry test which asks detailed questions about your personality and preferences to dig deep into who they think you might be interested in.


    Tinder is a classic that should be included in any list of the best online dating apps. It’s super easy to understand and absolutely free if you’re willing to give up some of its neat features.

    Tinder image

    This is the app that made swiping to find dates popular. Just swipe to the right to attempt at a match, or swipe left if you’re not interested.

    Due to Tinder’s popularity, there’s no doubt that you’ll find a huge variety of people here. Unfortunately, though, there weren’t any tests you can take to find better matches. It’s really just a location-based matching app.

    Be aware that Tinder seems to be one of the biggest apps for hookups, so if you’re not interested in that, be sure to make it clear in your profile.


    The takeaway with the Hily online dating app is the compatibility meter shown on most profiles as you swipe through potential dates. So long as you complete your profile by answering all the questions, you’ll see a percentage of compatibility on every profile where the person also completed the answers. This is a great way to see how well you might match with someone should you pursue them.

    Hily image

    You use this app like most – swipe left to dismiss the person or right to let them know that you want to match. All your conversations are just a tap away, users can post stories like on Snapchat, and you can review all the people you’ve liked and matched with.

    There are questions you can answer if you want, but if you’re more interested in swiping to find your matches, you can jump right into it without hesitation.

    Boosting your profile and subscribing to Elixir are two ways you can find more matches and get more features out of Hily.


    This dating app is super unique because its primary focus is matching you up with people that you’ve literally crossed paths with. If you make your account and then visit a large city or bar, you might very well find people right there in that building or down the street who use the app, too.

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    Finding dates with Happn is neat because you can rest assured that you don’t have to travel too far to find people to date. You may even have luck getting a date at school, down the block, or in your office building. Just fire up the app at the end of the day to see everyone you came across, or use it in the moment to match with other users who are also looking at the app right now.

    You can find nearby people, too, even if you haven’t actually been in close proximity.

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