12 Best Free Dating Sites & Best Dating Apps
Free dating sites help people find friends, long-term relationships, lovers, digital connections, and even fleeting flings.
If you’re new to the world of free dating sites and need help figuring out where or how to start, this article is for you.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to the 12 best free dating sites and apps in the world right now.
Each of these online dating sites has excellent ease of use, safety, number of users, and age range, so there is plenty to fit your needs.
Without further ado, these are the 12 best free dating sites in 2023, from e-harmony to match and bumble to tinder and hinge app; we’ve got them all.
Best Dating Site For First-timers
‘What is Bumble?’ is one of the most asked questions in the dating scene.
Compared to other top dating apps, Bumble is a free dating service that lets women make the first move.
You can add up to six photos to your profile and link your Spotify and Instagram pages to show your matches more pics and the kind of music you enjoy.
Setting up your dating profile is simple, intuitive, and shouldn’t take more than 2-3 minutes.
After completing your profile, you’re ready to match with others.
The app allows you to swipe left or right on the profiles on your screen.
If your match doesn’t message back within 24 hours, the app discards the connection automatically.
Bumble is one of the best dating apps for confident women seeking potential partners.
However, the 24h time limit restriction is a bit discouraging, given that confident and successful people tend to be busy and not always online.
If you get busy and forget to pay attention to your match, you lose the chance to know your match better; hence many missed opportunities.
Best Dating App For Singles
Arguably the trendiest mobile dating app right now, Tinder can help, whether it is a casual hookup, a perfect match, or a long-term relationship.
Tinder is ideal for prospective matches and the best dating app for those stepping into the dating world for the first time.
Tinder is a pioneer in the dating app scene, and as a company, it has changed the online dating game.
For example, the app has introduced the idea of a bio that can quickly spark conversations.
Or the radius feature allows you to find a compatible match in your area—and beyond.
However, users have divided opinions since Tinder is the leader of social networking sites – available in over 190 countries.
Some complaint about fake profiles, others about unusual online dating behaviors, while others consider it their favorite dating app.
Of all the dating websites and apps on this list, Tinder could be the source of successful relationships or a date with that single person who creeps you out so much that you’ll decide to delete the app.
Tinder is a gamble at best, so think it through before deploying your profile photos and engage in a complete profile verification.
Best Free Matchmaking Dating Site
OkCupid is another excellent dating app geared towards socially conscious millennials.
The app is trendy right now, particularly among the liberal-minded dater looking for a like-minded partner.
With twelve gender identities and twenty sexual orientations to select from, it is not hard to see why OkCupid is so popular among the LGBTQ+ community.
The online dating website starts with a questionnaire that helps weed out political, sexual, and lifestyle views different from yours.
For example, the app asks potential deal-breaker questions such as “Is contraception morally wrong?”
After filling out the questionnaire, the algorithm takes over to match your relationship goals.
OkCupid also welcomes casual daters; hence it is one of the best hookup sites.
However, OkCupid users can rely on more than just basic features such as a profile picture to find an ideal match.
The only OkCupid critique is the feature allowing people who haven’t matched with you to contact you.
The feature is useless; if you never swipe on that person, you’ll never be able to read their message, which could often translate into a feeling of rejection.
Best Free Chat Dating App
Doulike.com is a new entrant to the dating apps market, gaining popularity fast.
As a dating site dedicated to singles, Doulike allows users to create profiles and browse other users -based on shared interests and hobbies.
If two users find common ground and ‘like’ each other, they can start messaging immediately.
I like the Doulike interface a lot, as one of the most user-friendly dating site interfaces out there.
Doulike is free to join, and users can create a profile in minutes.
Moreover, the site has a blog where you can discover excellent dating tips and advice.
Whether you’re new to online dating or looking for a better way to meet local singles, Doulike is worth checking out.
Best Gender-Inclusive Dating App
XOXO is a unique gamified dating app for open-minded people meant as a safe space for all backgrounds, genders, and appearances, with over 35K active monthly users.
Launched in July 2021, XOXO is growing fast and on track to becoming the platform of choice for a diverse community of inclusive people, free of biases and preconceived ideas.
XOXO relieves the pain of contemporary solitude, often reflected and reinforced by dating fatigue, through its dating tech for the new generation built on diversity, social understanding of gender, and body image.
The uniqueness of the XOXO dating app comes from its ability to avoid using gender identities as people’s labels instead of using a gamified experience of getting to know others.
The platform features an onboarding quiz – a personality placement test highlighting differences and similarities between users, and Totems, allowing personality types to be visualized as cute “living” virtual companions, group chats, tasks, XP, badges, and so on.
Best Free Site For Long-term Dating
Somehow similar to OkCupid, the Hinge dating app requires more than just a profile pic to find your ideal match.
In the same vein as OkCupid, Hinge has a questionnaire and profile descriptions called prompts, designed to replicate real-life experiences.
Prompts like “What is the first thing you do when you wake up?” are great icebreakers and can spark interesting conversations.
The free version of this app works just as well as the paid subscription; however, the paid profile comes with additional features designed to help find a more meaningful connection.
Of all the other best dating apps in this article, I like Hinge’s open motto: “Designed to be deleted.”
People on the Hinge online dating app have had more success stories – finding genuine connections and life-long partners here – than anywhere else.
In that sense, Hinge is one of the best free dating sites/apps for serious relationship seekers.
So, if you want to be far away from the hookup culture, the Hinge online dating app is the place to be.
COFFEE MEETS BAGEL
Best Free Dating Site For Teenagers
The idea behind this dating app was to set up a casual online dating experience.
The online dating app is compared to getting a coffee with someone, but online.
The low-key vibe of the app ensures that the dating pressure doesn’t get in the way of connecting and interacting with potential matches.
The app sends girls seven matches a day, and each match is carefully chosen based on strict compatibility matching powered by its dedicated matching algorithm.
In line with the dating app’s name, these matches are called “bagels.”
The bagels will last a week to encourage engagement and activity on the website.
So, if you like someone, you have to reach out and begin the relationship initiation.
The number one critique of the CMB online dating site is the pushy notifications.
The so-called “gentle” reminders aren’t gentle at all.
Moreover, messages like “Text him today to show him who’s the boss!” feel very odd.
Yet, the app’s success rates are high, as many people have found their match on CMB, so check this online dating site out if ‘unorthodox’ notifications don’t put you off.
Best Free Dating App To Reconnect
Missed a connection and want it back? Of all the free dating apps on this list, only Happn can make it…happen again.
Happn is one of the best free dating sites that allows you to match with people who have already crossed paths with you in real life.
The dating app’s unique and exciting concept is helpful for people who want to meet someone they already know and like, in a more organic and unforced way.
Happn is a great dating app for users who live in large metropolitan cities or people who travel regularly or commute.
However, the app does not go without criticism.
People working from home or living in small towns might not get any matches.
Even worse, some users complain that the app feels a little bit dishonest.
For example, it’ll sometimes show that you have crossed paths with 50 people even if you haven’t stepped outside your house all day.
Nevertheless, Happn is the best online dating site if you want to date your immediate neighbor.
But, if you want to date the cute girl you saw at the coffee shop, you’re better off approaching her than trying to find her on Happn.
Best USA Free Dating App
The League is an “elite” dating app in the USA because your bio must contain your college, job title, and LinkedIn profile.
Bigger cities have mile-long waiting lists, so you might be idling away as you wait for your application to be reviewed and hosted on the app.
You can pay to hasten this process and join the app’s exclusive membership base.
The question is, should you buy basic memberships at ‘The League’ online dating app?
That’s debatable as most users with profiles on The League can also be found on other online dating apps.
However, if you have high standards and think that education, job, and social status are a dealbreaker, ‘The League’ online dating site is worth the investment.
Overall this app provides a significant change of pace from the randomness of generic dating apps like Tinder and Bumble.
The one thing that makes many users cringe is the feature that lets you filter matches by race.
It’s a bit stomach-turning and unnecessary, especially now in the global pro-inclusivity context.
Best Lesbian Dating App
The uniqueness of HER online dating website is the founder’s decision to cater only to lesbian, bisexual and queer women.
Although most apps are LGBTQ+ inclusive, HER online dating app provides a dedicated space for anyone identifying as a woman.
As an app for women, HER is packed with safety features, and according to members, the app is very efficient and fun at the same time.
Profiles can get pretty elaborate with the ability to put your diet choices (like vegan) on your profile, along with your pronouns and astrological sign.
A robust online community supports HER and operates as a social media platform where you are shown the latest queer events happening in your area.
Yet, this app isn’t perfect, as experienced users often turn to other apps because of crashes, bugs, and glitches.
We’ve approached HER, and the team is working hard to fix these bugs fast.
PLENTY OF FISH (POF)
World’s Largest Interracial Free Dating Site
Plenty of Fish is one of the oldest free dating websites on this list and one of the oldest dating websites ever.
Hailed as the OG of free dating sites, PoF has been around since 2003.
Popular and free to use, the site has been the central dating platform for daily matches, serious relationship seekers, honest relationships, married people seeking discrete connections, and more.
Above all, the PoF dating site is credited with helping millions of people find their loved ones, rumored to have helped even celebrities to find potential dates and love.
The sheer amount of users means your pool is vast; that is, plenty of fish in the sea.
In comparison to most online dating apps that fail to pick up matches in rural areas, PoF solves the problem effortlessly.
The only criticism of this online dating site is its age – here since 2003, and it shows, so the site needs a massive redesign.
Another recent issue PoF is facing is the rising of fake profiles and sugar babies that can be avoided only with a premium membership.
Alongside genuine users, you will encounter a plethora of scams and bots.
However, if you can navigate the bots, you might find your ideal partner here.
The takeaway here is: “don’t give up.”
Best Free App For Virtual Dates
Clover is another excellent free dating site in 2023, especially if matching based on compatibility is critical.
The site lets you go live, find singles, set up virtual dates, and make friends.
Of all online matching services on this list, Clover is unique thanks to its wide cluster of special features.
For example, Clover provides numeric match predictions based on interest and compatibility, though it isn’t apparent how those numbers are computed.
Clover also tries to be a Tinder and OkCupid hybrid; however, I feel it has a long way to go before reaching those standards.
The user base is small, and even if you live in a thriving urban area, you won’t find enough matches, let alone suitable matches.
On the other hand, the app is excellent for those living in large cities, as the proximity feature allows you to discover parties organized by singles around you.
Free Dating Sites FAQs
Which Dating Sites Are Completely Free?
The top five completely free dating websites right now are OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, Bumble, Tinder, and Hinge.
Is Our Time Dating Site Free?
Our Time dating site is not completely free. While you can download OurTime for free, you’ll have to pay to use the online dating premium features.
What is the Best Dating Site for Free?
According to a survey by LARA Media Group in 2023, Plenty of Fish is the best free dating site of 2023, followed by Bumble and Tinder in second and third place, respectively.
While there are hundreds of online dating sites, not all are equal.
Some online dating sites are free, and some are paid – quite a few good bucks.
Some online dating sites are popular with single people, others with married folks and couples.
Some online dating sites are safer than others, while others are easier to use, engage, and communicate with.
But one thing is for sure, online dating sites have become the most stylish way of finding suitable friends and partners on the internet.
Online dating via free hookup sites is no longer scoffed at but is the norm.
Dating is complex; free dating sites can simplify or complicate the process, depending on how well you choose the site you’re about to use.
When the dating site is suitable, online dating is fast, safe, and cheap – thanks to some of the best dating sites as those presented on this list.
It is the most practical way to find new friends, romantic partners, and lovers because…it works.
Explore, try out, and spread your net wide to catch what you’re looking for.
Above all, refer to this article to discover the 12 best free online dating sites for you, your needs, and your personality.
Now it’s your turn…
Which one of these dating sites and apps is your favorite and why?
If you had to choose between Badoo free chat and the dating app PoF, which one would you say is the best free dating app and why?
Can you recommend other free dating and hookup sites you’ve tried and found helpful?
Are there any other 100 percent free dating sites you’ve tried and want to add to this list?
Comments below, please!
Driven by a deep passion for the environment and a desperate need to do something to save it, Rebecca's true love lies in environmental justice, currently studying for a Master's degree in 'Conservation and Biodiversity' at The University of Exeter. With years of expertise in the worlds of advertising, PR, events, and movie publicity, Rebecca's lifestyle, sustainability, and wildlife content intrigue, inspire, and mobilize.