Choosing the best dating app for you from the hundreds of apps available can be quite a challenge. It can be really tough to decide because most of the dating app reviews and lists you see look like they were put together by someone who doesn't have the first clue about dating.
If you read a "review" that doesn't even mention the writer's personal experience 99% of the time they have never actually used the app!
Fortunately, we have a different approach. We have taken hundreds of hours to test out and review 100+ different dating apps of all kinds to figure out for ourselves which dating app is the best and can actually get you results. Your time is too valuable to spend swiping away on an app that isn't going to get you what you want. Guys need to be especially careful because it is easy to waste a lot of time on low-quality apps.
Below are the top dating apps from our own personal experiences. We intentionally provide a bit of variety because there isn't a single dating app that works for everyone. Men in their 20's are going to have a different experience on an app than a woman in her 40's for example.
These are the best dating apps we have found for each "category" of dating. These are apps that we have had success with and believe you will as well:
When it comes to finding people who are looking for a commitment, eHarmony is the best dating app around. Let's look at some numbers:
Those are some pretty shocking numbers when you really think about. When 4% of all marriages start on a single app they have to be doing something right. Once you start using eHarmony it isn't hard to figure out why. For starters, you really have to to be motivated to actually go through the signup process. You have to answer a lot of questions about yourself and what you are looking for before you even see any matches. This process weeds out all the attention-seeking people and only leaves people who are serious.
Once you get through the signup you are matched with several people every day that you have a decent chance of being compatible with. You don't have to spend hours every day combing through the users, just a few minutes a day taking a look at your newest matches before starting a conversation. It is a very easy app to use (though you have to invest time up front) but you won't find a better dating app for actually finding someone for a long-term relationship.
If you are not really looking for something long-term but still want to have some no-strings fun there are only two options these days, Tinder and Adult FriendFinder. Tinder is still very good if you are young (18-28ish) and only interested in meeting people in that age range. It has also been slowly morphing into a more general dating app filled with people who are not really looking for casual fun or are only using it for compliments and validation.
On the other hand, Adult FriendFinder has remained really focused on helping men and women connect for short-term sexy fun or a longer-term friend-with-benefits type arrangement. If you are ONLY looking for that, this is the dating app for you. They have been around since the early 2000's and have over 50,000,000 active members (that's a ton) spread out in most English speaking countries. AFF is especially good for people who are 28+ or those interested in meeting people that are 28+.
What we really like about AFF is how easy they make it. You don't have to jump through a ton of hoops to get started and they don't restrict who you talk to. You put together a simple profile and can start looking for other women (or men) interested in the same things. With 50,000,000 members there are a lot of options out there and with dating apps bigger is better.
While Tinder hasn't always really been about "dating" things have really changed over the past few years. Even though this dating app started off as a way to find a quick fling it has morphed more and more into a more typical dating app as it has become more popular. It is now really common to meet couples who "met on Tinder" and formed a long-term relationship. With over 50 million active members they are also one of the largest apps out there.
In our experience, how successful you will be on Tinder is really going to depend on if you are a man or a woman and how attractive you are. If you are either a reasonably attractive woman or a very attractive man (we are talking like the top 10-15% in looks) Tinder is a great option. Attractive women will be bombarded with matches but something interesting tends to happen with guys. Women mostly ignore guys in the bottom 20% and just go after the most attractive guys.
If you don't happen to be a part-time male model it can be EXTREMELY frustrating since Tinder is almost 100% about your pictures. Guys with game can still get results but the odds are not in their favor.
Guys who tend to be a little more passive than the stereotypical "alpha male" have a rough time with even the best dating apps. Women are getting a ton of messages 24/7 and guys who can't break through the noise can get ignored. That is where Bumble turns the typical experience on it's head.
With Bumble, only women are allowed to send the first message which completely changes the dynamics. Instead of spending a ton of time scrolling through all the possible matches and sending out tons of random messages you can sit back, relax, and wait for them to come to you. This assumes that you are a decent looking guy, have a solid profile, and know how to look good in your photos. If you don't pass the "eye test" Bumble may not be the best thing for you since there isn't anything you can do to get a woman's attention.
It seems like finding attractive, and single, women over 35 is incredibly difficult to do these days (especially if you are a younger guy). Women in this age bracket as extremely busy and seem to have given up on most of the typical singles spots. Instead, many have been giving dating apps a try and getting fantastic results.
Cougar Life is the only dating app that is completely focused on connecting men with eligible women 35+. There are some other apps out there that try but none of them even come close in terms of quality and actual number of women on the app. With over 7 million users Cougar Life is definitely doing something right.
Older guys can do very well on Cougar Life but it might be even more valuable to guys 35 and under. The reason is that Cougar Life is specifically for women who are interested in both older AND younger guys. There is still a stigma attached to women dating younger guys which can prevent women from acting on their desires. When everything happens online it is much easier to connect.
When you see an attractive woman without a wedding ring at the grocery store or in a bar you never know if they are interested in a younger guy. With Cougar Life, they are almost certainly open to dating a younger guy who they connect with.
Hinge tries to be somewhat between the endless swiping of dating apps like Tinder and the in-depth profile and analytics of eHarmony. The app itself has a nice look and feel and requires you to go a bit deeper about who you are and what you are looking for. The profile creation process is still pretty fast but it isn't going to happen in a couple of minutes like Tinder where you slap up a few selfies and talk about how much you love hiking and The Office.
By actually requiring you to be a bit more reflective on what you want the matches also tend to be better and less surface level than an app like Tinder. Don't get me wrong, your pictures are still what is going to drive the number of matches you get but at least you have a chance to show a little personality as well.
One of the unique things about Hinge is that all of your matches are connected to you or your friends in some way on Facebook. Now, this can either be a good thing or a terrible thing depending on how attractive your friends are! If you are looking to date above your circle of friends you could be in for a challenge.
Anyone who has interests in the bedroom that run beyond vanilla knows it can be a gamble when looking for like-minded people. You never know how your potential partner will react if you raise the subject and how that might impact your relationship. Fortunately, Alt can provide a solution to that problem.
With over 600,000 Alt is the largest community of its size and is especially popular in English speaking countries. If you are looking for a partner interested in various types of fetishes, kinks, and fantasies there is a very good chance you can find someone on Alt.
One word of warning though for anyone who isn't familiar with apps of this kind. They do tend to attract more fake profiles than more traditional dating apps. It is, unfortunately, the same for all apps of this type but is pretty easy to work around and spot the fakes.
Coffee Meets Bagel is an interesting app and one that we liked using. If you are a busy person that doesn't have a lot of time to spend on dating it is definitely one of the better choices. From what we have seen, it tends to attract younger professionals that are trying to fit in a little dating but not looking for just a quick fling.
We like that you get a set number of matches per day (21 for guys and 6 for girls) and once you go through them you have to wait 24 hours. For people who could waste hours and hours scrolling through endless profiles, this can be a great way to get your life back.
Women only receive matches for guys who have already "liked" them so they are not getting constantly bombarded by dozens of messages a day. With only six matches a day they can actually take their time to read through their profiles instead of just doing a quick "face check" and only matching based on appearances.
For singles in larger cities with their life together Coffee Meets Bagel is a solid choice.
OkCupid is the largest "free" dating app out there and has been around for a long time. If you have played around at all with dating apps you have probably made a profile on OKC. It can be a great option to get acquainted with how dating apps work but it requires a pretty big time investment to see real results.
Where OKC is strongest is also what leads to its flaws. Having a huge number of users is great but when there isn't any filter in place or specific audience the site is going for you get a little bit of everything. The filtering options are pretty basic so you really do have to spend a lot of time going through profiles to find people that you might be interested in. We hate to say it, but OkCupid also tends to have a lot more people that really are not very attractive. There are a lot of profiles with people who just don't put a lot of effort into themselves or their profiles.