13 Best Free Dating Apps for iPhone (Gay, Lesbian & Local)

Online Dating

13 Best Free Dating Apps for iPhone (Gay, Lesbian & Local)

Hayley Matthews Hayley Matthews • 12/28/17

I got my first cellphone when I was 16. My parents bought it for me because I had just started driving, and they wanted me to have a way to reach someone if I needed help. I could only make and receive calls — I couldn’t text, take photos, go online, or anything else like that. That’s just the way phones were made back then. The kicker is I also had to share the phone with my sister. Smh.

If people had to deal with phones like that these days, there would be riots. But the good news is we don’t have to — every few months we have the opportunity to get a cool new phone that can do all kinds of crap, including find a date. I’m an Apple girl all the way, just like 588 million other people, so today I wanted to recognize the 13 best dating apps for iPhone. Psst… that are also free.

Overall | Gay | Lesbian | Local | Sex

Best Free Dating Apps for iPhone (#1-3)

Instead of making you wait, we thought we’d go ahead and dive head first into the top three iPhone dating apps. These can meet any single’s needs regardless of his or her gender, sexual orientation, location, or dating goals.

1. Zoosk

Zoosk is a true innovator in the dating app space. One of the first to integrate its platform with social networking sites (like Facebook and Google+), Zoosk has a speedy signup and profile creation process. You can start browsing in a matter of seconds.

Zoosk

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
Zoosk

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Casual Dates, Relationships
  • Match System: Search for and receive matches
  • About the App: Zoosk is the number one app for finding dates, and if you sync up your Google+ or Facebook account, you can have a profile in seconds. The app has 38 million members and will deliver matches to your inbox on a daily basis based on your behavior such as who you search for, like or don't like, and message. The Carousel is another section for matching (tap the heart if it's a yes and the X if it's a no).
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Free of charge, Zoosk is beloved among iOS users because of its size (40 million singles), activity (3 million messages sent per day), advanced technology (The Carousel and Behavioral Matchmaking Algorithm), and success rate (thousands of dates and relationships).

2. OkCupid

We like to lovingly refer to OkCupid, which launched in 2004, as the math nerds of the dating industry. The app says it on the About page: “We use math the find you dates,” “Math in the name of love,” and “You should see the work that goes into this bad boy. Algorithms, formulas, heuristics – we do a lot of crazy math stuff to help people connect faster.”

The app is totally free and has always been totally free. There is an option to upgrade to an A-list membership, which will remove the ads on the app and allow you to do things like see who’s liked your profile. OkCupid is also one of the most inclusive dating apps, offering gender and sexual orientation options such as genderfluid and asexual.

3. Tinder

As the inventor of the right swipe, Tinder has set the standard for matching tools for practically every dating app now. Singles love being able to quickly rate potential matches. Tinder also started the whole GPS-matching thing, and we all know that’s not going anywhere.

Photo of Tinder

Available in 196 countries, Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps for iPhones.

You won’t have to pay anything to add Tinder to your phone, and you’ll be joining a community of 50 million people swiping about 1 billion times a day and going on 1 million dates a week.

Best Free “Gay” Dating Apps for iPhone (#5-6)

I’ve known plenty of gay friends who’ve struggled on some dating apps — namely, they still receive straight matches even after specifying that they’re gay. That’s got to be beyond frustrating, so our experts have tested several dozen dating apps to determine which ones cater to the LGBTQ audience the best. Our following selections are the rays of sunshine in a cloudy sky.

4. Match

With the company founded in 1993, Match is the longest-running name in the online dating industry — let alone the gay online dating industry. It’s been the guide for all the other sites and apps you see today. You can download Match for free via the App Store, where it has three stars, and it’s iPad and Apple Watch friendly as well.

Match.com

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
Match.com

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships
  • Match System: Browse by location, age, interest, and more
  • About the App: With millions of gay singles, Match is a great choice whether you're looking for a date or commitment. Once you download Match either from iTunes or Google Play, you can fill out your information, view profiles and photos, get daily match suggestions, and show interest in several ways, including adding members to your Favorites list and sending flirty winks. It won't cost you a cent!
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Once you’ve got the app on your phone, you can fill out information about yourself and your criteria, search through members, receive match notifications, see Missed Connections, and communicate (e.g., like profiles, create a Favorites list, and send winks).

5. Grindr

Grindr launched in 2009 as the gay dating answer to Tinder. It uses your location to find you hookups or dates, and you’ll swipe depending on what you think (left for now and right for yes). Grindr is for gay, bisexual, and curious men only. You won’t have to waste any more time swiping left on straight men or women, and you’ll get to keep your sanity.

While Grindr is free to do all of the important things, the app does have a premium option. With this membership, you’ll be able to favorite or block as many people as you want, use more search filters, and save and send chat phrases, among other things.

Best Free “Lesbian” Dating Apps for iPhone (#7-8)

More than 4.1% of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. With more than 323 million people in the country, you can imagine how hard it can be for single lesbian women to find a match. Dating apps are supposed to help them overcome this hurdle, but often general dating apps lack the right audiences and tools for lesbian singles. Not the apps below, though.

7. Zoosk

Zoosk is a top contender in another category: lesbian iPhone dating apps. We mentioned earlier in the article that with Zoosk you can pull information from an existing social profile to create your dating profile — making registration 100% stress free.

Zoosk

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
Zoosk

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Casual Dates, Relationships
  • Match System: Search for and receive matches
  • About the App: Founded in 2007, Zoosk is the most well-known dating app out there. If you're constantly running from place to place and have less and less time to meet people, give Zoosk a try. The app can be downloaded for free from Google Play and the App Store, and you don't have to start from scratch on your profile either. Just create a login through Facebook or Google+.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Kristen and Sammy are two lesbian singles who couldn’t be happier with their experience on Zoosk. “The love that Sammy and I found is a gift like nothing either of us have ever experienced! We feel blessed every single day to have found each other. Thank you, Zoosk,” Kristen said.

8. HER

Formerly known as Dattch, HER is “your lesbian, bisexual, and queer community all in one place.” Built for lesbian women by lesbian women, the app doesn’t just connect you with new friends, dates, and partners. It also connects you to meetups, festivals, and other events in your area, so you can take your dating life offline.

If you’re ever in need of some advice, HER has your back there, too. The blog covers everything from new app features, dating horror stories, LGBTQ+ issues, and community polls.

Best Free “Local” Dating Apps for iPhone (#9-11)

International dating has grown over the years. But if you’re not a constant jet setter or don’t want to travel or move for a date or relationship, local dating apps are where it’s at. In particular, the two apps we’ve highlighted in this section know what they’re doing.

9. Elite Singles

Location and education are usually among the top dating preferences, and Elite Singles has both bases covered. Over 80% of its members have earned a bachelor’s, master’s, and/or doctorate degree, and members can take advantage a variety of ways to search for high-quality people nearby. Select your preferred country, zip code, and/or city, set your preferred mile range (starting at 50 and going up to 300), and rate how important distance is to you (not at all, somewhat, or very).

Elite Singles

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
Elite Singles

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Deep Relationships
  • Match System: Search by education, lifestyle habits, age
  • About the App: Commitment-minded, professional daters will feel at home with Elite Singles, which can be downloaded for free in the App Store or Google Play. Not only is everyone looking for a long-term partner, but 80% of members hold a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree. Elite Singles sees 210,000 visitors and 2,500 users finding love every month, so it's one of the fastest growing and most reputable apps.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Over 165,000 people join Elite Singles every month, so you’ll never run out singles to chat up. Plus, the site is responsible for more than 2,500 love stories every month, and you could be next if you sign up today.

10. Coffee Meets Bagel

“Connect authentically,” “share the real you,” “see the real them” are the words that Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) lives by. This free iPhone app focuses on quality instead of quantity. Every day, men receive up to 21 bagels (aka matches) who they like or pass on. Women are only shown bagels who’ve liked them, streamlining the search process.

CMB was founded in 2012 by three sisters who wanted to improve the online dating experience for women, which is the reason behind the unique matching system. The app provides numerous unique communication features as well, including icebreaker templates and Video Q&A.

11. Hinge

Dating apps are often associated with hookups, but Hinge is here to change that. Called the anti-Tinder, Hinge is meant for those who want long-term, monogamous relationships. The app’s motto is “when you’re real, you find something real.”

Photo of Hinge

Hinge is all about connecting you with commitment-minded daters in your area — and it’ll do that for free and in no time.

In addition to setting your search parameters by location, age, and other important identifiers, Hinge has added more depth to the way singles start conversations. When you see someone you like, comment on a picture or status and ask them a specific, personalized question about it. It’s way less nerve-wracking than starting a message from scratch!

Best Free “Sex” Dating Apps for iPhone (#12-13)

We’ve already showcased the go-to apps for dates and relationships, but if something a little more naughty is up your alley, we’ve got two iPhone sex apps for you.

12. BeNaughty

On BeNaughty, you’re encouraged to be yourself and unleash your frisky side. You won’t face any judgment, receive any mean comments, or get any weird looks about it. Go ahead and confidently look for that one-night stand, threesome, group sex or swinging party, or affair.

BeNaughty

★★★★★
4.5/5.0
BeNaughty

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Casual Encounters
  • Match System: Sort profiles by zip code, appearance, more
  • About the App: "Try more new delights. Feel no limits!" is BeNaughty's promise to naughty singles. After you download BeNaughty, you're automatically given a free account. There aren't any limits on how many profiles you view, matches you receive, and chat rooms you participate in. On the app, you can be as racy as you want because your info and conversations are protected by SSL and 24/7 customer service.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Yes, BeNaughty has a whopping $0 price tag, but you should also know that the app is among the safest adult networks around. The customer service team is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, verifies every profile, and uses SSL encryption to protect your information and prevent scammers from creating false profiles.

13. Wild

Wild boasts being “the fastest way to meet and date hot singles nearby,” and that definitely seems to be the case. It’ll only take you a minute or so to download the app and fill out a profile. Then you can browse by appearance, type of encounter, photos, and so much more. All of that is free to do as well as chat and share private photos.

More than 65% of Wild’s members have had their photos verified by the team, so you can feel safe while talking with your matches. Singles from all over the world have chosen Wild as their favorite hookup app, and you just might feel the same way after you test it out.

iPhones Dominate the Phone Industry & These Apps Dominate the Mobile Dating Industry!

I laugh when I think about how limiting my first phone was and that I pretty much had to be with my sister all the time if I ever wanted to use it. I’m happy to say I haven’t had to share a phone in a long time and that my mobile experiences have definitely changed since then. iPhones have drastically improved our lives, and the same goes for the 13 dating apps above.