Best Dating Apps ranked and reviewed for you

Last Updated:
Most Popular Choice
9.9
eharmony
  • Easy to use mobile app
  • Leader for serious dating apps
  • Match with local partners or by city
  • Perfect for finding love on the go
9.7
Academic Singles
  • Caters to matching academics and professionals for serious dating
  • Match and meet with singles locally or by city
  • Flexible for mobile users
9.3
Elite Singles
  • Meet matches who fit your schedule
  • Enjoy dating to find a serious, lasting romance
  • Active members across the UK
9.0
Ourtime
  • Ideal for serious relationships with over 50 seniors
  • User-friendly and simple to use
  • Match up with locals
  • Chat, message, share video and more
8.8
C-Date
  • Simple, discreet hookups on the go
  • Perfect for local matching
  • Match based on special interests and more
  • Share pics and videos

Being on the best apps is a sure-fire way to get great matches and dates. Understanding what makes some apps stand head and shoulders above the rest is what allows us to find the best apps for you.

While some of the top apps started out as casual dating platforms, several have effectively evolved to provide compelling features and attract an audience that’s open to commitment and serious dating

Take a look at our rankings and reviews to choose the best app for you. Once you’ve found your pick, sign up for free to start getting great matches on your phone.

Best dating apps reviewed

Have a look at the reviews below to see what makes these dating services worth trying out.

eharmony

eharmony best dating apps screenshot

If you are looking for a reliable and safe app for dating, then you should sign up for the eharmony app. This app has advanced search features to help you get great matches from the get-go.

Not only does eharmony have an appealing profile design but it also gives you powerful insights, such as Compatibility Analysis, to make dating more successful. No wonder eHarmony gets glowing reviews from mobile app users.

Zoosk

zoosk features screenshot

With millions of users and innovative video chat features, not only is Zoosk one of the best apps – it’s super fun. Zoosk features a streamlined sign-up process as well as multiple ways to get matches with Smart Picks and Carousel features. 

One of our favourite features is being able to scroll back and check a profile again – one more reason why this app is a keeper. Zoosk isn’t just fun and games. Safety is another big plus here with robust safety features such as photo verification. Users agree overall giving Zoosk top ratings.

EliteSingles

By helping its users “date smarter, not harder” through a powerful personality matching feature, EliteSingles deserves to be called one of the best apps for dating available today. Each match you see on the EliteSingles app has a compatibility score, in addition to a well-designed layout.

Additionally, EliteSingles is a great place to get expert dating tips thanks to their updated blog. If you are looking for a serious relationship, EliteSingles is definitely worthy of a closer look.

SilverSingles

While apps let you filter matches by age, a strong contender when it comes to the best app for 50+ singles is SilverSingles. Thoughtful design, convenient features, and the possibility for great matches are all things we noticed when testing out this app. 

Strong mobile app review scores back up what we saw during our full SilverSingles review. If you’re looking for 50+ singles, SilverSingles is worth checking out.

Christian Mingle

Everyone has different priorities when it comes to dating. For faithful Christian singles, most dating apps do not meet their faith-based priorities and values. Christian Mingle strives to be the best app to “Meet Christian singles near you”.

The strong verification systems on this app make it one of the best for Christian singles. Believing in God does not mean you have to meet your future husband or wife the old-fashioned way. Christian Mingle balances faith, tradition, and modern features to help you find a match who shares your values.

JDate

For Jewish singles, JDate brings together the convenience of all the best online dating app features with a focus on devout and appropriate matches. By signing up for JDate, you also get the possibility of attending online and offline singles events.

If your Jewish heritage is important to you then you’ll be sure to appreciate the in-depth profile design. This will help you decide on the best potential matches for you, while staying true to your Jewish values.

How do we pick great apps for dating? 

Our criteria for recommending the best apps for dating are the following:

  • Smooth sign-up process for users
  • Convenient dating profile creation features and flow
  • Practical search features that result in better matches
  • Balanced design which makes features easily accessible
  • Positive user reviews and feedback
  • Strong security features that tie into clear safe dating policies and resources

The apps that we review have to offer extra value on top of what online daters have come to expect from a regular free dating app. It is also not enough for companies to just offer a mobile version of their dating sites. Great apps must be purpose-built for mobile.

More great apps and sites for singles

Online dating is a diverse landscape. While the best apps we reviewed and ranked above cover a lot of ground, there are more niche apps and sites we didn’t have space to talk about here. Take a look at the dating categories below for a better match in terms of dating preferences

Some mobile phone applications employ a lengthy online dating application process to ensure that you are matched with someone whose personality and interests are as close to yours as possible.

In many cases, this might mean answering a seemingly endless list of questions but, once your answers have been fed into the app’s matchmaking algorithm, you can be sure of some good results.

However, if you’re looking for an online service that offers fleeting encounters or one-night stands, then the reverse may be true. For casual dating and hookup sites, sheer volume is often more important than whether you both share an interest in chess or pressing wildflowers.

In addition to the standard hookup and dating application, there are also ‘niche’ matchmaking sites. These are often for people with specific interests or needs, like Christian & Muslim dating apps offer, such as coming from a particular believe or with particular views, working in a specific industry or even owning a certain breed of pet.

User-friendliness can also be a deciding factor when it comes to deciding which are the best networks. Hookup applications tend to be driven by photographs, rather than profile content, while apps for singles looking for lasting relationships tend to throw the spotlight on personality, rather than looks.

However, what’s also true is that some of the best applications strive to create a sense of community, in addition to acting as an online dating service. 

Forums, chat rooms and notice boards are a popular way of getting users chatting and flirting. Some users even arrange their own ‘real-life’ meetups and parties.

Ultimately, deciding which is the best app for you might mean trying a few out as a free user, before you decide to commit to a paid subscription. Testing in this way is a great way to see what type of user it attracts and whether it has that comfortable ‘feel’ that makes it easy to use.

For more advice check our tips and guides for single dating apps!

What to consider when using dating apps

Perhaps the biggest mistake people make when working out which platform to use is to just dive in and look for the most popular dating apps in the UK, like eHarmony, Hinge, Tinder etc. A better approach is to ask yourself what you want from your online dating experience.

Why would you use it?

Those looking for long-term relationships will find plenty of traditional platforms available for smartphones, where you can get chatting and flirting in next to no time. However, not everyone is interested in commitment and there are other options available to them.

If you’re interested in sharing emotional connections and physical intimacy with your partners, but without the parameters of a conventional relationship, then you might want to consider a casual dating application.

Apps of this sort are for those who want more than a one-night-stand, but less than a full-blown commitment

Casual daters can include people who are too busy to commit, married people looking for some extramarital involvement, and people who have just come out of a long-term relationship and are not ready to commit to another partnership straight away.

However, if you’re not at all interested in emotional engagement and are solely interested in the sexual side of things, then hookup apps might be better for you. 

With hookup and polyamory apps, UK users are all online for the same reason, so there’s no need to be coy about what you’re after.

It’s worth saying that these ones aren’t for everyone. They are popular with married people who aren’t getting what they need in the bedroom, people who just want to ‘play the field’, and even couples who want to experiment sexually. 

At their most basic, dating mobile phone application services are easy to use. The first step is to download the one you think suits you best. Most are available for smartphones from Apple’s App Store (iOS) and the Google Play Store. 

Typically, most platforms of this sort will require you to supply an email address and a username. If discretion is important to you, then you might want to consider setting up a separate email account for your registration.

In addition, most of them offer free registration, which will give you immediate access to the free services they offer. However, these are often just a ‘taster’ of what the app can offer, and you might find that certain services are only available to users who have taken out a subscription.

Some will require you to fill in an online questionnaire. This often takes the form of a personality test and your input will have a significant impact on the type of person you’re matched with. 

Generally, these are free and can take anywhere between ten minutes and half an hour to complete.

Most applications suggest that you complete your profile by uploading a photograph or two. Some sites offer this as a free part of the service, while others will only offer it to those who have subscribed.

Subscription packages can usually be found within the app itself and require you to enter your payment details and to choose a subscription period. Be aware that some of them will automatically renew your subscription just before it expires unless you cancel it.

What we like and dislike on the best dating apps

The top 10 benefits of dating apps:

  1. You can cast your net as wide as you like. With the best free dating apps in the UK offering international reach and an estimated 600million users on their smartphones, you could find yourself connecting with that special person – even if they’re on the other side of the world.

  2. You get to interact with people you might otherwise never meet. Users of social dating applications come from all walks of life, with interests and backgrounds that might otherwise never appear on your social radar.

  3. You’re not face to face. Although that’s the ultimate aim, remaining almost anonymous gives you the freedom to express yourself in ways that you might otherwise find challenging.


    From the safety of your keyboard, you can probe potential partners and find out if they really are for you.

  4. Meeting like-minded people. If you’re on hookup networks to find casual dates or one-night stands, you know that everyone else on the app is looking for the same. With no awkward conversations to worry about, you can get straight to the heart of the matter.

  5. Taking your time. Rather than having to present your best side over the course of an hour in a noisy bar, you can stretch out conversations as long as you need to. Unlike face-to-face encounters, online chatting doesn’t require an immediate response.

  6. Learning about your partners. When it comes to regular dating sites, most members use social networking sites. You can do a little research at home and learn a bit more about them and see just how they interact with friends and family.
  7. Taking the pressure off. Taking the time to get to know someone before you meet them ensures that your date will go that much more smoothly. You can pick up old threads of conversation and you’ll already know more about their likes and dislikes.

  8. That special person might be out there. While online dating applications might not be as conventional as meeting in a restaurant, there’s always the possibility that the person you’re flirting with could be The One.

  9. Privacy. There are few other places where you can enjoy a truly private conversation. Chatting online doesn’t have to be a public event.

  10. Dating on the go and from home. Mobile apps give you the facility to meet new people, wherever you happen to be. This is ideal for those who travel frequently for work and feel they don’t want to waste time trying to catch someone’s eye in a pub or club.

    Also the sheer variety of services like sex dating apps, free black dating apps, muslim dating apps, and many more, gives you a convenient selection to choose from.

Downsides of dating apps:

  1. The agony of choice. If you have many alternatives every day, you can and must hardly choose a partner. There could always be an even better version of the match just a click away.

  2. Even the best UK dating apps like Plenty of Fish, Hinge, Tinder & Bumble and all others are data-kraken, as our study on data protection in online dating has shown, all online dating services without exception collect and store a lot of data from your smartphone.

  3. Discriminatory pricing models for men. Men usually have to pay for all important functions, while women can create and use 100% free dating app profiles with many providers.

  4. The swiping-principle hurry the choice of partner and makes it a speed dating experience. Often it’s only the appearance that counts and characteristics such as character or interests are sometimes neglected in matches.

  5. Sometimes you may encounter fake profiles and catfishing at some services. However, app providers are actively working against this by authentication via Facebook and the like.

Tips on using dating apps

Whether you’re using social networks, classic dating or hookup services, there are a few things you can do to maximise your experience and let other users know you exist.

  • Don’t be afraid to upload photos. Whether you’re after something meaningful or overnight, a sizable chunk of attraction is based on first impressions and how you look.

    Choose pictures that reflect who you are, as opposed to who you think people want you to be.
  • Fill in your profile. While a picture might speak a thousand words, a good profile will do nothing but support it. Let people know as much about you as you’re comfortable with but retain a little mystery.
  • Respect other users. While hookup networks are for one thing only, don’t send unsolicited or offensive content or pictures; wait until you’re asked.

    The tendency for men to send inappropriate pictures has resulted in many female users only using apps that restrict this.
  • Engage with other users. Mature dating apps and chat rooms are a great place for users to start chatting and flirting on their smartphones.

    Many applications offer these services for free, so they can be a great way of testing the waters before you commit to a subscription. Some offer conversation starters to get things going.
  • Be honest. There’s no point in lying about the way you look or what your interests are in a good dating app. If there’s any chance that you’re going to meet your partners, any falsehoods are going to severely diminish your chances of a second date.
  • Get help. Ask a friend of the sex that you’re trying to attract to give your profile a once-over. Listen to their feedback and criticisms. While they’re at it, ask them if they can spot any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors that might put another user off making contact.
  • Curate your profile. Once your profile is up and running, don’t let it stagnate. Post updates when you can, change your profile pictures and keep an eye on your message inbox.

    A profile that’s been left to grow stale will soon become part of the furniture for users, so you might as well try and keep it fresh.

Why are dating apps such a success?

Hookup apps and their more-traditional counterparts serve a variety of people, from those who don’t have the time to get and about, to those who feel they want something beyond the confines of their marriage. 

They offer a broad spectrum of users from all ethnic groups and an even broader range of opportunities. More singles are on the lookout for dates and don’t have the time to go to events and meet new people to look for their soulmate.

The variety grows more and more, mature dating apps like Tagged and dating apps for teens, black dating apps, video dating apps, gay dating apps, also for bisexuals, like Grindr and many more variations are yet to come. 

It’s estimated that there are around 600 million singles, worldwide. Of these, around 50% are thought to use dating services at least once a month. Given that there are around 8,000 networks on the internet, that means there are always plenty of users.

However, the 600 million figure doesn’t take into account the numbers of users who are already in long-term relationships or are married. Figures suggest that over 60% of those using hookup apps are used by people who already have a significant other.

In terms of male-to-female ratios, men outweigh women. Around 62% of those who use these networks are male, with the remaining 38% being women.

However, what might give romantics some heart is that according to statistics by businessinsider.com, of those who do use dating sites around 80% are looking for a meaningful relationship.

It also seems that couples who meet through mobile application are likely to get married quicker than those who meet in more traditional circumstances.

Michael Rosenfield, a researcher at Stanmore University, attributes this to users being able to set criteria for potential matches, as part of the online application process. 

In addition, it seems that most of these couples used profile-centric applications, rather than those that were photo-focused.

Dating apps compared

Best dating apps FAQ

Get answers to common questions to help you choose the best app for you.

What are the best apps for dating?

The best apps are the ones that help you achieve your dating goals. The qualities these apps have are as follows:
– Convenient features like video chat
– Practical design
– Great potential matches
– Safe and reliable to use
– Well-rated by users

What is the most popular dating app?

Out of the best available, eHarmony is the most popular dating app with the highest number of monthly app downloads.

Which app is the safest for dating?

The best apps on this page all have robust safety features such as email and profile picture verification to reduce the risk of fake profiles and catfishing, as much as possible. The safest app from our top dating picks is eHarmony since it adopts most best practices for safe online dating.

Which app is best for a serious relationship?

Based on popularity and app features, the app to choose for serious relationships is also eHarmony. Its compatibility analysis on matches is a key feature that sets it apart from other dating apps that appeal to a broader audience.

Which dating apps actually work?

Out of the best apps we reviewed and ranked, eHarmony has the strongest track record of success stories for serious relationships and marriage. This makes sense considering the glowing eHarmony reviews and high ratings from dating app users .

For casual dating, Zoosk is the best app thanks to its fun and dynamic features, such as video chat. The fact that Zoosk has a whole section on its site highlighting couples that met through the app is proof that it actually works. Reading these success stories is not only romantic but also inspiring since you get to find out more about dating app experiences.

What is the best app for real dating?

The top dating app that is most suited to real dating is eHarmony since it has a well-documented high success rate. For those users who are after more of a flirty and fun dating scene, Zoosk is a great option to meet new people quickly.

Are any dating apps worth paying for?

The best apps are worth paying for because they offer excellent design, great matches, and enhanced safety. This doesn’t mean that you can’t try free dating apps. The best mobile apps also have a free version available when you sign up, some also have free trials and free features.

What are the best free apps?

There are several solid options in the free category. You can give OkCupid, Plenty of Fish or even Facebook Dating a try. Both OkCupid and Plenty of Fish are well established and have good reputations. 

Facebook Dating is newer but it does leverage all the features the social media giant has to offer, such as finding mutual friends.

What is the best free gay dating app?

The top free dating service for gay singles is Grindr. It is in fact more than just a dating platform. Users report having found friends, jobs, and even housing on Grindr!

What is the best app for over 50 singles?

The best app for singles over 50 is SilverSingles. The app is specifically designed for older users and the dating pool will be perfect for anyone over 50. Not only that but it also has a fully featured desktop version which can be accessed through your preferred browser and internet device, such as an Amazon Kindle tablet.  

How old do I have to be to use a dating app?

Depending on the service and where you live, you will need to be a minimum age for the age of consent. In most places this is about 18 years of age, but it can be lower or higher in other countries. Read the terms of service when you sign up for an app.

Can my phone use the app I want?

That depends on your phone. Most smartphones are able to use dating apps, so long as they aren’t more than a decade old or so. Even then it’s probably still possible. If you can’t use the app after downloading it, uninstall it and try a different device.

We also have reviews of all these dating pages