Looking for love can be expensive. Between dinners, drinks, clothes, hair and nail appointments, the cost of finding a match can add up quickly. Believe it or not, there are quite a few dating websites and apps that are free to use! Here are 6 of the best free dating apps with tons of looking to match with that special someone. Whether you’re looking for a casual date or something more serious, these websites and apps will help you find that perfect match!
What Are the 6 Best Free Dating Apps?
OkCupid is one of the most popular free dating sites, with over 50 million registered users. What sets OkCupid apart from other dating websites is its mathematical algorithm to match you with potential dates. The algorithm means that you’ll be more likely to find matches compatible with you.
- Use your personal preferences to find & match with other profiles. You start with a questionnaire that helps weed out political, sexual, and lifestyle views different from yours.
- Very inclusive: Select from twelve gender identities and twenty sexual orientations.
The free version of OkCupid is full of features that you would generally expect from paid memberships. The free version includes the ability to:
- Create a profile.
- Browse unlimited profiles.
- See potential matches.
- Exchange likes.
- Message other users on the website/app for free.
Even with all the great free features, OkCupid has some paid options worth the money.
These individually paid features include the ability to:
- Boost your profile to appear in more searches and get more views.
- Receive read receipts to see who has read your messages.
- Use incognito mode to make your profile completely invisible, except for the people you choose to message or like. You can revoke access to view your profile at any time as well.
Then there are a couple of pre-packaged paid options that you can consider as well:
OkCupid Basic: Despite the name, this is not a free option. This paid package includes:
- No outside ads.
- Send unlimited likes.
- Ability to set your deal-breakers to filter out unwanted results.
- Ability to see and respond to all the intros you’ve received. Without paying, you’d have to view each one individually and can only respond to a limited number.
OkCupid Premium: This paid option includes all of the OkCupid Basic features, plus:
- Ability to see everyone who likes you before you decide to like them.
- Ability to see public answers to questions before you answer them.
There are a lot of apps out there, but there’s nothing like a well-built dating app to get the heart fluttering and Tinder is the reigning king of dating apps. You’ve most likely heard of Tinder if you’re out in the dating world. It is a popular dating app that originated on a college campus in 2012. It has over 50 million users and claims to have made 55 Billion matches worldwide.
Tinder’s geolocation-based app makes it quick to find matches near you. You could be working from home or in a crowded bar; Tinder makes it easy to meet your nearest match. The app relies, first and foremost, on physical attraction, allowing you to swipe left or right on photos of potential partners who are geographically situated near you. If you both swipe right, you’ll be able to message each other.
The free version of Tinder includes enough features to find a match, including the ability to:
- Create a profile (Tip: Do some research on choosing the best photographs for your profile. There are entire books dedicated to acing the tinder profile picture and how to make an impression to get potential matches to swipe right.).
- See profiles.
- Receive an unlimited number of left swipes and a limited number of right swipes.
- Chat with your match if you both swipe right.
- If you like someone, you can send 1 ‘Super Like’ per day to let them know.
- Hide your profile and reactivate as you wish.
- Fine-tune the type of profiles you see based on activity, distance, age, etc.
Tinder has a bit of an issue with fake profiles and bots. Verified profiles have a blue checkmark so that you can trust the person is real. You can verify your profile and get your checkmark by following these steps.
In case you want even more options, Tinder has three paid tiers: Tinder Plus, Tinder Gold, and Tinder Platinum. These options give you access to unlimited likes and an app without any ads. You may also find it helpful to have the unlimited ability to redo your swipe if you want to reconsider your choice.
Then there is “Top Picks.” These are potential matches that have been hand-selected by Tinder’s team to match your profile. Tinder Gold & Tinder Platinum also allow you to see who has already swiped right on your profile so that you can match with them immediately. Besides these, tons of other paid features can rev up your swiping. You can read about them all here.
Bumble is another popular dating app with similar features as Tinder, but with some key differences. With over 12 million monthly active users, there is a good chance that you will find the one that’s right for you.
Bumble is different from other dating apps because only women can make the first move, which means that when you match with a potential date on Bumble, the woman will have to message the man first. This way, Bumble tries to address the concern of other free dating apps where women get inundated with messages.
The free version of Bumble has very similar features to Tinder and includes everything you need to find a match, including the following features:
- Create a profile with up to six photos.
- Link your Spotify and Instagram pages for social proof.
- Set specific search preferences.
- Swipe right to match and left to pass, just like Tinder.
- For opposite-sex couples, women have to message first if both of you swiped right.
- For same-sex couples, anyone can initiate contact.
- If there is no message after 24 hours, the match expires. With the free version, you can choose to extend the wait time by an additional 24 hours for one match per day.
- Audio/video chat options.
- Icebreaker games.
Bumble’s paid options are very similar to Tinder.
- Bumble Boost gives you unlimited swipes, the ability to backtrack on your swipe choice, and extend time on matches.
- Bumble Premium gives you additional features such as advanced filters, seeing who has liked you, incognito mode, etc.
4. Plenty of Fish
Singles used Plenty of Fish to get dates long before Tinder, Bumble, and many others were even conceptualized. POF is still one of the largest free dating sites, with over 150 million registered users. The website/app uses a personality test to match you with potential dates.
The sheer number of registered users! It means that POF has more choices for you than some other apps combined, especially if you are located in smaller cities.
The free version of Plenty of Fish has features you may associate with paid memberships elsewhere, but the site/app is ad-supported, so you would need to put up with them.
Here’s everything you can do for free on POF:
- Create a profile.
- Take a personality test and see potential matches.
- Unlimited messaging with other users.
- Set advanced search filters.
- See who has viewed your profile.
As you can see, you don’t need to upgrade and pay anything to get the most out of POF. Being a popular free site though, POF has issues with fake profiles and scammers. Be careful, always arrange first meetings in public places and never transfer any money to your matches.
In general, apps like Tinder and Bumble are more popular with the younger age groups (below 30). If you are over 30 or 40, you are likely to find more options on POF.
The premium version of Plenty of Fish gives you access to features not available in the free version. These features include highlighting your profile, getting read receipts, seeing when a user visited your profile, viewing people who have liked you, etc. You can also purchase tokens that give your message ‘priority’ over other users’ messages and the ability to send a like+ and see who is nearby. In our opinion, POF’s free version is more than enough to find your mate, so the paid options are optional.
Match is one of the oldest and most popular dating sites. The website/app was founded in 1995 and is a traditional dating site where you create a profile, fill out a personality questionnaire, and search for your potential matches. Recently, they’ve rolled out Tinder-like swiping features to appeal to the more casual daters.
Match knows how to get people together with 25 years of history in the matchmaking business. The site can appeal to a wide range of daters, whether you are looking for casual dating or a serious relationship.
Match does not have a truly free version. All tiers are paid, with the lowest being a 1-month membership. Why is it on this list, then? Because Match has a free trial period for you to decide whether you want to invest in the paid version or not. You can:
- Create a profile and search for singles by age, interests, and demographics for free.
- Sign up for a 3-day trial option, which allows you to message other members during the trial period. You do not need a credit card to sign up for the free trial.
- Once the trial expires, you will not be able to send or read messages unless you upgrade to premium tiers.
While this isn’t the most fantastic free version of a dating app on this list, Match has a large user base and a history of success for us to recommend checking it out. Three days aren’t enough, but it gives you the chance to assess the choices available in your area and test the site’s features.
Match has several subscription tiers, with 1-month, 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month options split into Basic and Premium membership packages. Features include basic things like sending a message to read receipts and monthly profile boosts.
Hinge is a dating app that calls itself the only dating app designed to be deleted. The app aims to easily send you on your last first date and find true love. Unlike Tinder, Bumble, and other apps where you swipe on photos, Hinge lets you like profiles of people when you want to find a match.
Hinge claims to base their matchmaking results on a Nobel prize-winning algorithm and scientific methods like behavioral analysis to optimize compatibility.
Hinge is different because it requires users to create their ‘story’ for a deeper level of connection. You must upload at least six pictures and write answers to icebreaker questions that other users can ‘like.’ This takes the focus away from just the photos to specific parts of user profiles that may get neglected in other apps.
Like all of the apps on this list, Hinge gives you the ability to use a free version to:
- Download the app and create an account.
- Create your story.
- Browse profiles.
- Set limited filters and preferences.
- Give out up to 8 likes per day.
As you can see, Hinge is a different type of app that encourages you to learn more about your potential matches. The free version is powerful enough to send you on your last first date.
Hinge’s premium version, Hinge Preferred, gives you access to features not available in the free version. These features include seeing who has liked you on the app, accessing advanced search options, and setting advanced dealbreakers like smoking, children, drugs, etc.
So, there you have it. Our top six picks for the best free dating apps. All of these options will allow you to find love without spending any money, but it’s important to pick the app that’s right for you. Some have a user base that is looking for serious relationships, while others are decidedly suited for casual dating. The best way to find which one suits your style is to download and try them out. Time to go work on your profile!