The Best Dating Apps of 2021

best dating app badgeFor dating apps, our top pick is Match. Its comprehensive matchmaking algorithm that improves over time is a big winner. Most singles looking for long-term relationships benefit from this app. But if Match doesn't meet your needs, we've reviewed nine additional dating apps with a variety of features and methods to support your online dating goals.

Top 10 Dating Apps to Try

How We Chose the Best Dating Apps

When selecting our list of the best dating apps, we primarily looked for apps with inclusivity settings for LGBTQ+ connections as well as in-app video chatting. But if you’re truly ready to give online dating a shot, it’s important for you to consider the features that matter most to you.

Choose the dating app that’s right for you

Since the majority of the dating apps on our list have excellent free versions, the pressure to choose the perfect app is minimal. You can easily delete one and move onto the next. But time is also an important factor, and no one wants to keep trying several dating apps to find the right one. To narrow your focus, consider an app’s upgrade cost, user reviews, target demographics, and whether its focus aligns with your dating goals.

Follow online dating safety tips

No matter which dating app you choose, it’s important that you take some crucial steps to minimize potential dangers by adhering to certain safety measures. To learn more about how to date safely online, read this resource from RAINN.org.

Our Dating App Reviews

Match – Top Pick

Download: Android | iOS 

Match is geared toward finding lasting, serious relationships for its members, and 35 million monthly visitors help make this goal a success. Launched in 1995, Match has a long history of helping people find one another. There is a “Missed Connections” feature that uses your phone’s geolocation to identify other users in your area. Matches improve over time as you use the app — it analyzes your choices and reveals your preferences. Most users are in the 25 to 55 year-old age group. 

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In app purchases: $2.99 – $129.99
  • Customer support: Help center, FAQ
Match.com Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
6-month guarantee to find a match Limited features in free version
Advanced search filters Expensive paid version
Optional profile posting on sister sites  

eharmony – Best for Long-Term Relationships

Download: Android | iOS 

With eharmony, you’re in for a lengthy sign-up process to create your profile and gauge compatibility with other members. But once you complete the surveys and questionnaires, eharmony’s matchmaking algorithm takes over, doing most of the work to find you suitable matches. For premium members, eharmony guarantees that if you’re not happy with your matches over a three-month window, the next three months are free. With more than 35 million members, this app is a good choice for relationship-minded singles looking for love.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In app purchases: $94.99 – $399.99
  • Customer support: Help center
eHarmony Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
In-depth compatibility surveys Limited free features
Flexible filtering options Paid memberships still include ads
Strong security and privacy measures  

Plenty of Fish – Best Free Version

Download: Android | iOS 

Plenty of Fish lets you create a robust user profile, search for other users, and message who you want as often as you like, all for free. The paid version allows you to post more photos, see extended profiles, and perform various other advanced functions. Same-sex connections are available but not bisexual pairings, since users must choose whether they’re interested in males or females. POF is a good “starter” dating app for singles new to the world of online dating.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In app purchases: $0.99 – $399.99
  • Customer support: Help center
Plenty of Fish Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Extensive personality matching features Ads in the free version
Vast user pool and great variety  
Versatile advanced search option  

Bumble – Best for Women

Download: Android | iOS 

Bumble’s standout feature is allowing only the woman to make the first move in heterosexual matches. In same-sex matches, either party can send an icebreaker. Most of the users are between 18 and 29 years of age. If you’re looking for something long term and you’re a woman who’s comfortable initiating interest or a man who likes a confident woman, Bumble may be the dating app for you.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In app purchases: $0.99 – $149.99
  • Customer support: Help center
Bumble Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Safety reporting feature with unmatch backup Rematch feature only available with upgrade
Fewer unwelcome messages for female users Additional fees for some special features

Hinge – Best User Profiles

Download: Android | iOS

With its standout slogan, “the dating app designed to be deleted,” Hinge lets you know right away it’s focused on helping you find a long-term relationship. This is also evident when you complete the sign-up process. You must provide basic identifying information as well as gender preferences, your height, your stance on religion and politics, any vices, and six pictures. A compulsory writing prompt requires some introspection and creativity, hopefully making your profile fun and interesting. Even likes take some thought, since Hinge requires you to choose what it is in the other person’s profile that you like most.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In app purchases: $0.99 – $119.99
  • Customer support: Help center
Hinge Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Dealbreakers option Video calls not available in app
Fun icebreaker questions Premium features don’t add much value
Feature-rich free version  

Her – Best for Queer, Lesbian, and Bisexual Womxn

Download: Android | iOS

“Created for queer womxn by queer womxn” is the rallying cry of the Her dating app. The designers’ strategy was tailoring the app to the particular ways that womxn connect with and date other womxn. They use social media connections and communication methods to help users create profiles and interact with each other. The app encourages involvement in the LGBTQ+ community and promotes friendships, casual conversation, and hookups, along with serious dating for a committed relationship.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In app purchases: $0.99 – $179.99
  • Customer support: Help center
Her Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Free, unlimited messaging Paid membership needed for unlimited swiping
Many gender and sexual orientation options No manual search
Informative LGBTQ+ news feed  

OkCupid – Lowest Monthly Subscription Fee

Download: Android | iOS 

OkCupid has been matching people since 2004. The free version includes messaging features, mutual likes, and viewing potential matches. OkCupid’s paid memberships start at $7.95 per month for Basic, $6.35 per month for a three-month subscription, and only $3.95 per month for a six-month membership. You can also purchase boosts individually and in bulk to get more profile visibility. All age groups are represented, but most users are in their thirties and forties.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In app purchases: $0.99 – $179.99
  • Customer support: Help center
OkCupid Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Very flexible gender and sexual identity choices No in-app video calling feature
Huge number of worldwide users Mutual likes required for messaging
Comprehensive matchmaking functions  

Coffee Meets Bagel – Best Curated Matches

Download: Android | iOS

According to Coffee Meets Bagel, its app attracts highly educated users with bachelor’s degrees for 98% of its base and master’s degrees for more than a third. Most of the people on CMB state they’re looking for a long-term relationship. The app tries to help them find that with a set number of daily curated potential matches at noon. Once you match, you have seven days to meet off-platform before your messaging channel closes. About 60% of CMB users are in their 30s and 40s.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In app purchases: $0.99 – $179.99
  • Customer support: Help center
Coffee Meets Bagel Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Discover tab search feature Limited matching criteria
Robust free features  Unliked matches expire in 24 hours
You can earn beans with tasks  

Tinder – Best for Casual Dating

Download: Android | iOS 

As the original “swipe right” dating app, Tinder encourages users to make initial matching decisions based on first impressions. People use the app for both casual hookups and serious dating. A safety feature lets users post identifying details before first dates and contact emergency services if things go badly. Free members only get 100 right swipes every 12 hours. Busy singles in their 20s and 30s appreciate the ease of connecting with others on this app.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In app purchases: $0.99 – $299.99
  • Customer support: Email, Phone
Tinder Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Supports app integrations like Snapchat and Instagram Search limited to matched profiles
Matched users can message free  
Massive number of users  

Happn – Best Nearby Connections

Download: Android | iOS

Happn helps in-person meetups happen by only matching you with other users that you’ve encountered or passed by in real life. The app shows you profiles of other Happn users who you’ve been near recently, and you can heart them if you like what you see. If you get a reciprocal heart, you have a crush, letting you message each other. People living in highly populated areas who are out and about frequently are best suited for this app.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In app purchases: $0.99 – $144.99
  • Customer support: Help center, FAQ
Happn Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
One free 5-minute video chat per match Proximity is the sole matching criteria
Available Spotify, Facebook, and Instagram integrations No search option
No real-time locations shown for safety  

Dating Apps: Features Summary Table

Summary Table
App In-App Purchases Features
Match – Top Pick $2.99 – $129.99 per item ✓ In-app video calls
✓ Same-sex matching
✓ Safety features
eharmony – Best for Long-Term Relationships $94.99 – $399.99 per item ✓ In-app video calls
✓ Same-sex matching
✓ Safety features
Plenty of Fish – Best Free Version $0.99 – $399.99 per item ✓ In-app video calls
✓ Same-sex matching
✓ Safety features
Bumble – Best for Women $0.99 – $149.99 per item ✓ In-app video calls
✓ Same-sex matching
✓ Safety features
Hinge – Best User Profiles $0.99 – $119.99 per item ✓ In-app video calls
✓ Same-sex matching
✓ Safety features
Her – Best for Queer, Lesbian, and Bisexual Womxn $0.99 – $179.99 per item X In-app video calls
✓ Same-sex matching
✓ Safety features
OkCupid – Lowest Monthly Subscription Fee $0.99 – $179.99 per item X In-app video calls
✓ Same-sex matching
✓ Safety features
Coffee Meets Bagel – Best Curated Matches $0.99 – $179.99 per item ✓ In-app video calls
✓ Same-sex matching
✓ Safety features
Tinder – Best for Casual Dating $0.99 – $299.99 per item ✓ In-app video calls
✓ Same-sex matching
✓ Safety features
Happn – Best Nearby Connections $0.99 – $144.99 per item ✓ In-app video calls
✓ Same-sex matching
✓ Safety features