Best Dating Apps 2021 in the U.S.

Members 3,440,000
Gender proportion

45 %
55 %
  • Flexible dating site for short-term to long-term relationship seekers
  • One of the most popular and preferred dating sites in the world
  • The dating site claims that it has 40 million members
  • A good percentage of the member base is active in the site
  • A paid membership is required to access some essential contacting functions
  • The site offers a lot of unique, special features
  • Mobile app available to download on major app stores

Members 200,000
Gender proportion

32 %
68 %
  • Dating site for singles to quickly find nearby matches and dates
  • There are new members daily
  • You can get live notifications if a member likes your profile and would want to chat
  • Suggested matches are not provided when you become a member
  • Direct messages are not free and will need you to purchase coins

Members 8,065,200
Gender proportion

37 %
63 %
  • Easy swipe feature to like a profile or not
  • Millions of members to checkout
  • Members of LGBTQ+ are welcome to register
  • Connect to other apps like Spotify, Snapchat, etc
  • Lack of security when it comes to the authenticity of a profile
  • Limited profile information available
  • Swipe decisions are based on photos in just a matter of seconds, making Tinder a bit superficial

Best dating apps for free — the cure to your lonely heart?

We often celebrate the power and pleasures that being single brings us best but skip over one harsh reality about it: loneliness. You don't feel it for a while, but after coming home from a movie night with friends or a long day at work, entering your room, the core of your comfort zone, becomes an empty reminder that you are actually alone.

On one side, being single is fun and empowering. You get to live your life on your own terms, build a career, and focus on improving yourself. But you come to a point where you see your friends finally settling down or getting a date of their own on the weekends instead of going to your regular night outs. 

This makes you realize how nice it is to have someone—a romantic partner, a nice date on the weekends, or something quick and easy like a person to have sexual escapades with no strings attached. Something must be done!

Do you want…

  • A nice chat with a friend before you hit the bed
  • A fun night with someone
  • A chance to finally meet your soulmate
  • A hookup escapade

But you…

  • Only have limited time to use for dating
  • Are only available on the weekends
  • Want to date on your own pace
  • Don't know where to look for a hot date

Then online dating apps might just work for you!

Dating apps are so convenient these days that more and more people get hooked to join them. About 40% of heterosexual couples and 65% of same-sex couples nowadays have met their matches through dating apps. This study is conducted by sociologists who quantified how couples meet and stay together by using a survey. The result shows just how much normalized dating apps profile have been in the past years. It has become a popular way for people to meet a romantic partner in modern times.

On top of that, the best dating apps will greatly help in bringing you a relationship. By giving you endless options and choices, you can be sure to find someone who will fit you like two peas in a pod.

This means that you don’t have to be loveless and single for a long time anymore. You can just join other singles who may be looking for the same kind of warmth—or fun—like you, by entering their network inside online dating apps such as Hinge, Bumble, or Facebook Dating.

Woman using her phone

Which dating app is for you? The best dating apps for free!

Getting a date is as easy as getting a pizza delivered to your doorstep thanks to dating apps. However, like the pizza, the if-they-are-delicious-part also only comes after tasting, so you better choose where you get your date and matches, wisely!

There are currently thousands of dating apps like Hinge, Facebook Dating, Bumble, and Happn available right now just waiting to be tried to find matches. Some are free dating apps, some are tailor-fit to a specific group's needs; there's an entire world of dating app out there that's just waiting to be tried. It’s easy to get lost in the endless list of dating apps available now, so the real question is, which one of these dating apps will suit your needs?

If you believe that the best things in life are free, you can try out these frontrunners in the free dating app scene:

These free dating apps are one of the biggest by audience size and profile share in the US according to statistics. Tinder comes in the first place while Badoo and Lovoo come in the third and fourth place, respectively. If you popular and free sounds good to you, you should try Tinder, Badoo, Hinge, Facebook Dating, Bumble, Happn, and Lovoo.

Are dating apps free?

There are dating apps that can be downloaded and create a profile for free without having to pay. However, there are some that offer interesting premium features to unlock more functionality. Dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, Happn, and Bumble are free, but there has been an increase in people saying that paying for them is worth the money.

There are apps that offer "freemium pricing model." They are free to use and create a profile, but you can add upgrades to your account to get more benefits. These advantages vary from the type of dating app you are using, but these features are mostly about getting your profile featured, allowing more matches, and the like.

Ultimately, it will always depend on your needs if you want to know how much a dating app will be useful to you. It does not matter if the dating app is free or premium, what you are looking for will determine if the dating app can bring what you want. Just bear in mind that it is always up to you to know whether a dating app such as Hinge, Facebook Dating, Bumble, and Happn, for example, is viable or not.

Which dating app best suits your personality? Take the test!

Get a personalized recommendation on which best dating apps will work for you by answering the quick test below:

History of Dating Apps

There was once a time when going on a date with a person you met online was a strange and unexplored concept by many. Today, however, the younger generation has led the transformation of how online dating is perceived.

The concept stemmed from the idea of matchmaking “social equivalents” created by a company based in Newark, New Jersey in the 1940s. The company tried to evaluate the social compatibility of two people by letting them answer a questionnaire. 

This concept of matching people based on their profiles revolutionized dating and with the internet at its peak many years later, online dating sites were introduced.

Dating apps are an offshoot of mobile dating which began to take shape in 2003.  A company called ProxiDating was one of the first to offer dating services using Bluetooth device, by connecting nearby users at a fixed distance. 

Early leaders in mobile dating also include, Webdate, and Lavalife in early 2004 when the internet is fastly becoming a popular commodity for households. However, what truly revolutionized the dating game on the mobile phone was the introduction of Tinder in 2012—a real game changer.

It became the fad together with the popularity of smartphones and when Tinder became available to everyone in 2012, it ushered in a new era in the romantic history of the world bringing swipe-happy singles closer together than ever before. Since then, a lot of tinder-copycats have entered the arena.

The dating apps market is estimated to be worth 2.1 billion dollars having Tinder as a top player gathering at least 750 million dollar-cut of the pie.

Now, the dating app industry continues to grow each year with more than 15% of US adults or around 50 million Americans saying in a survey that they have or continue to use dating apps in their pursuit of romance.

How do dating apps work?

Dating apps are essentially another form of social media. The ones with the greatest number of users are generally considered popular like Tinder, for an instance, which has the lion’s share of the younger user population in the age group 18 to 29. So, how do dating apps work?

  • Most dating apps match based on a"yes or no" functionality
  • Like Tinder, a "yes or no" functionality lets you quickly decide whether you like a person being shown or not
  • Some dating apps are location-based to match you with people nearby
Woman using dating app

There are dating apps that only exist for mobile phones, but many web-based dating sites have also extended their portfolio to mobile users by offering an app that comes with approximately the same functionality as the website.

Dating Apps Algorithm

Dating apps are powered by machine-learning algorithms (a really fancy term for a computer's to-do list) that match people based on their information. Most dating app algorithms match people through their location, which is only logical to make meetups possible.

Generally, most dating app algorithms these days are tasked to match user on the following factors initially:

  • Location
  • Closeness preference
  • Age preference
  • Characteristics
  • Attractiveness

Simply put, the algorithms learn what to do from the users. It is designed not just to gather data but to know about your preferences and actions. For example, it removes people you don’t like and show similar profiles you have liked before.

Dating Apps vs. Dating Sites

Most dating sites offer an app version of their site. These sites will sometimes have free app versions, while others include access to their app in your regular membership.

On the flip side, dating apps are mostly available for free because they make their money based on advertisements or in-app purchases like coins used for additional features.

Here are some of the advantages of using a dating app vs. a dating site:

  • Better accessibility through mobile phone
  • Allows sign in with social media account such as Facebook
  • Photo upload is easier
  • Voice and video function are more convenient to use
  • Find dates anywhere, anytime - on your daily commute or even while sitting in the bathtub

It is good to note, however, that dating sites have the ability to offer more functionalities since you can do a lot more with a desktop computer than a mobile phone.

Dating App / Hook Up Culture

People use dating apps for a variety of reasons. Some users look for a serious, romantic relationship, but you will also find people who like to keep it casual—those people who like to cut straight to the chase.

Online dating has made it easier for everybody to meet new people than ever before. This has led to people finding romantic partners, having serious relationships, and even marriage. But not every single person is trying to tie the knot.

Sometimes, people just want to get laid—and that is okay. Hooking up is nothing new. Having one-night stands is not a Millennial invention but has been around since time immemorial. 

Man and woman dating

The prevalence of dating apps made it easier for hookups to happen by giving it a more refined venue. Dating apps served as the fuel to the fire that is hookup culture and it’s burning like hell. For the uninitiated, hookup culture means:

  • Accepting and encouraging casual sex encounters
  • These activities include but are not limited to one-night stands
  • No emotional bonding or long-term commitment

Dating apps for singles looking to hookup exist because they cater to different needs, audiences, and purposes—all the more reason for you to carefully choose which dating app to join. 

Research about a particular dating app and know about its nature, the members, the price, and all the important details before jumping right into it.

Types / Kinds of dating apps

There are different types of dating apps that offer specific services for every need. This variety of options makes it easier for you to find exactly what you are looking for.

One of the advantages of online dating is that they put you in control. You can have a look around different types of apps and then see which ones work for you. You can use the following as a guide:

Dating Apps for Dates, Fun, and maybe more

A lot of popular dating apps are used by members for general purposes such as finding a date, getting a hookup, or finding a serious relationship. It just depends on what you and your match want. Here are some options if you want to try out a more neutral dating app.

Dating Apps to Find Love

Ultimately, there are dating apps that can help you find something more serious and long-term. These were created in the first place to help you find "the one" like Hinge dating app.

  • Once
  • Bumble
  • Coffee Meets Bagel

Dating Apps for Hookups

Then there are the popular hookup dating apps. These types of apps are for people who are out and about, looking for a quick, no-strings-attached kind of fun. The extent of “wild” you get depends on the nature of the dating app you choose.

  • Feeld
  • C-Date
  • Pure

Dating Apps for Professionals

These dating apps cater to young (and young at heart) professionals who could be too busy in their careers at the moment to find a partner.

Gay Dating Apps

While there is no shortage of dating apps that cater to every audience and interest, some have been created particularly for the LQBTQ+ community specifically gay dating apps and lesbian dating apps. Traditionally, the community has been ignored or just added as an afterthought with the "Gay" option hidden deep in the settings.

  • Chappy (gay)
  • Wapa (lesbian)
  • Her (lesbian)
  • Grindr (gay)

Things to Consider when Deciding which App to Join

Most apps can be installed for free and that includes free registration. So it's a matter of very little time to just try out a few and find the one that works best for you. Here are some of the factors you should consider when deciding which app to join:

  • What kind of relationship are you looking for?

Before you even consider being on a dating app, you should first make sure you're aware of what you want. The key to being successful in finding your mate in this platform is to get on the right dating app that can give you your expected results.

  • What are the app’s limitations?

You need to check out the features of the app and everything it has to offer. Make sure that it gives you what you need and that it satisfies your requirement.

  • How easy or difficult is it to register?

Some dating apps are easy to join, while others require tons of requirement and verification before you can fully become a member. Check the terms and conditions, and how long it will take to finish setting up your profile.

  • How safe is the dating site? Will your privacy be protected?

This is one of the major checks that you should do. Safety should be your number one priority when joining dating sites. Make sure that the dating site has security features that will protect you against all forms of harm possible.

  • What’s the dating app community’s orientation?

Doing this check will let you know immediately if you will find a suitable mate among the membership population. You will find out about this on reliable review sites that test out the apps and recommend whether they are worth your time or not.

Are dating apps worth it?

Is banking your dream of true love on an online dating app worth it? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide:


  • Large dating pool
  • Increases in privacy
  • Anonymity
  • Quickly connecting with lots of potential dates
  • Convenient to use
  • Faster communication
  • Get dates in your area
  • Find non-binding adventures


  • People with bad intentions
  • It’s easy to get deceived
  • Having so many options can get overwhelming
  • There can be fake profiles

Tips: What to Remember when Joining Dating Apps

  • Be transparent

You should be ready to create a real representation of yourself and avoid getting caught in the pitfalls of creating a fake account. Doing this spoils the whole point of joining a dating app, which is to find someone whom you can meet and have a connection to in real life.

  • Watch out for fake accounts

The internet, in general, can be a scary place, and dating apps are no exception. Some people do this for some reasons. You should be aware that scammers and harassers lurk on dating apps too. 

  • Just be yourself

It may sound like a cliché, but the only way you will ever find a genuine date is by being yourself. Everyone wants to look nice on their profile pictures, but only by being you can you find someone who truly complements your personality.

Final Words: Just imagine the possibilities!

Online dating is what you make it. It can be terrible, or it can be good. Prepare to be disappointed, but don’t be discouraged. Swipe until you find the “one”—and enjoy every moment the experience may bring you.

It’s about time that you have fun, meet new people, and try things you haven’t done before. Through dating apps, you will find and build relationships that can last for a lifetime, or just a short, fun, while.

It makes it so much easier if you know which the top dating apps are, and how you can use them to your advantage.

You are the people of the 21st century so the possibilities are endless right at your fingertips. Are you ready to try out your luck in the dating app arena? You can check out our recommendations to help you decide!


What are the best dating apps today?

We've reviewed the most popular dating apps today and we've come up with the top three. You can check them out on the comparison table above. 

Is there a dating app for under 18?

Yes, there are dating apps which allow members thirteen years olds and up to join. Some of which are Skout and MeetMe.

Do dating apps work?

Most dating apps today serve their purpose well. However, the members themselves are the most significant factors in whether or not dating apps work for them.

Does Facebook have a dating app?

Facebook has launched a new feature, Facebook Dating, where members can meet and date. It is not a separate app, and it can be accessed on your main Facebook app.

How to start a conversation on dating apps?

Starting a conversation on dating apps depends on the features of the app. Some have the wink/flirt features. Some offer free messaging/chatting. Many apps require two members to match first before they get to communicate with the other members. Premium membership gives you access to all the communication features.

Do dating apps really work?

Most of the time, dating apps work. There are tons of testimonials from first-hand users who share their experience in using the apps. The situation varies all the time, but if you have patience and use it properly, you'll most likely make it work.

Are dating apps free?

Most apps are free to download from the application stores like Apple App Store, and Google Play Store. However, additional features (in-app purchases) might require a premium membership package.

Are dating apps healthy for people?

The effects of dating app on people greatly vary. But for people who are alone and looking for some company, it can help a lot to remove stress, to feel being liked or loved.

How to choose a dating app?

In choosing the dating app for you, you have to identify first what your intentions are. If you are looking for a short-term or long-term relationship. Then, you can browse through the different Dating Apps that we have reviewed and find the best one that suits you.

What's the dating app where you swipe?

There are tons of dating apps that use the swiping feature, but it all started with Tinder, Bumble, and Badoo. Tinder actually connected to the promotional phrase, "The Swipe Life".

Which dating app is good for hooking up?

You can check out the top Dating Apps from the comparison table above and check which one fits your taste most. Some apps are free, while others have paid membership. But don't be deceived by the free apps, since you also have to consider safety and security.

Are dating apps dangerous?

Any dating app and sites have risks. You have to be extra careful and vigilant when you are using the app, sharing information about yourself, and meeting other members.

Should I get a dating app?

If you want to meet someone, either for a short-term or long-term relationship, getting a dating app could help a lot. Using an app is convenient especially if you are always on-the-go.

What dating apps are free?

You can download most Dating Apps for free. Usually, registration is free of charge too. You can browse some dating apps on this page too.