Scruff Versus Grindr

Gay Dating

SCRUFF vs. Grindr: Dating App Reviews and 3 Alternatives

Amber Brooks

Written by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is the Editor-in-Chief at When she was growing up, her family teased her for being "boy crazy," but she preferred to think of herself as a budding dating and relationship expert. As an English major in college, Amber honed her communication skills to write clearly, knowledgeably, and passionately about a variety of subjects. Now with over 1,800 lifestyle articles to her name, Amber brings her tireless wit and relatable experiences to She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Reviewed by: Jon McCallister

Jon McCallister

Jon came to DatingAdvice in 2016 with more than 15 years of editorial experience behind him. He has experience editing, writing, and designing at numerous publications, including the Gainesville Sun. Jon enjoys researching emerging trends and seeking out the companies, organizations, and individuals making an impact in the modern world of dating. He excels at working closely with writers and editors to improve the quality of online content.

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Members of the LGBTQ+ community use dating apps at a much higher rate than their straight counterparts, so it should come as no surprise that more and more apps cater to queer singles. But among queer men, there are two major contenders for the most popular dating app: SCRUFF and Grindr. 

How do you choose the right app for your dating, hookup, and relationship needs? The best dating app depends on your lifestyle, what you’re looking for, and what kind of app experience you want to have. Fortunately, our dating experts can help you make the call. This article explains all the details on what to expect from SCRUFF, Grindr, and popular alternatives. Read on to find out which app is right for you!

Overall Comparison | Cost | Features | Alternatives | FAQs

SCRUFF vs. Grindr: The Overall Experience

On the surface, Grindr and SCRUFF are fairly similar. Both apps cater to men only, and you don’t have to explicitly be gay to join. Both platforms attract a member base of LGBTQ+ men who primarily want hookups rather than something more serious. 

A lot of similarities exist between the two apps in terms of their user base and mission, but there are some key differences. For once thing, Grindr has a massive following in the U.S. and abroad. SCRUFF has fewer members overall, but the community spans the globe, and its users can communicate across time zones and geography.

user base scruff and grindr

If you want access to the most potential matches possible, Grindr is a good choice because it has a large user base of over 13.5 million active monthly users and an overall user base of over 27 million profiles in 200+ countries. It’s an extremely well-known app and a go-to tool for gay men to find local hookups. 

If you’re looking for a more tight-knit community, Grindr may not be the place for you. The very nature of the app tends to attract people who want to remain anonymous and not necessarily make deep connections.

SCRUFF has a somewhat smaller user base of 15 million users in 180 countries, but the features and tools on the app encourage a more robust connection. The app’s most prominent feature supports arranging companionship while traveling, and so the community tends to be more open, upfront, and international when building relationships.

SCRUFF vs. Grindr Cost

Both Grindr and SCRUFF offer premium membership packages with a variety of perks and extra tools to help users get the most out of the online dating experience. Our dating experts agree that SCRUFF comes out on top when it comes to the specific add-ons offered for PRO users.

Grindr XTRA is the name of Grindr’s premium membership program. The subscription is available at a range of prices. One month of XTRA costs $19.99, while three months costs $39.99 and one year costs $99.99. That comes out to a little over $8 a month for a one-year subscription, which overall isn’t terrible. 

memberships scruff and grindr

Grindr also offers a higher level of premium subscription, Grindr Unlimited, starting at $39.99 for one month. Both XTRA and Unlimited provide an ad-free experience and include saved chat phrases and read receipts. A paid subscription will also allow users to browse and connect with profiles all around the world. 

Grindr Unlimited provides extra perks to go with the extra price, including unlimited expiring photos, unlimited profiles in the grid, expanded incognito mode, and premium access to see who’s looking at your profile.

SCRUFF PRO offers more than 30 premium features, including unlimited chat history, private album sharing, an ad-free experience, Stealth mode, video sharing, and advanced search filters – to name a few. The premium plan also comes with access to enhanced security features such as password protection and Touch ID or Face ID to keep your account secure from prying eyes. 

SCRUFF offers its premium features at a competitive price starting at $14.99 per month for one month. This makes SCRUFF PRO the better value proposition overall, since you get more features for a lower monthly price.

SCRUFF vs. Grindr Features

In terms of match features, Grindr and SCRUFF both use location-based matching to bring members together. But there are some key differences between the two, and this is one area in which Grindr edges SCRUFF out.

Grindr’s claim to fame is that the app functions a lot like Tinder, serving up potential matches in your area for an easy swiping experience. Premium users have the ability to swipe on profiles outside of their current area, which can be helpful for finding matches in another city you might plan to visit. But for the most part, Grindr focuses on finding dates who are “zero feet away,” and it has become a mainstay in the gay bar and club scene.

location based features scruff and grindr

SCRUFF, on the other hand, provides customizable filters for swiping matches, including the ability to check out profiles in a city outside your own state or country. These customizable filters are useful for finding exactly the type of person you’re into, no matter how far away, but they can also be limiting, especially if you’re more interested in finding people nearby rather than in a distant city.

Grindr’s use of geolocation data to serve up matches makes it easy to find local date options and make something happen immediately. Dating success is all about location, after all. Grindr’s location-based matching means that you’re more likely to get a more exact match in a particular area, so you don’t have to wait to meet up in person.

3 Best Alternatives to SCRUFF and Grindr

SCRUFF and Grindr are the biggest names in gay dating apps, but they’re not the only apps for queer folks to try. The following apps can help gay and bisexual men who want to expand their love lives outside of stereotypical hookups.

1. Match

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.


Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more

Our Experts Say: “Match has a massive and extremely active gay user base, as over 1 million gay, bisexual, and curious men use the site to find dates and partners…” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Match doesn’t cater specifically to the LGBTQ+ community, but the long-term dating site provides a warm welcome to just about all singles who want to find a lasting relationship. Match brings people together based on an algorithm that takes personality traits and shared interest into account. The algorithm takes note of your likes as well, so every match you accept or reject improves your future matches.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect husband or just want to have a civil G-rated conversation, Match is ready to help you find the right partner. Just keep in mind that basic membership comes with some restrictions on communication. 

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.


Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “Not only is EliteSingles exclusively for educated professionals, but it also has a diverse user base made up of millions of gay and bisexual men…” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

EliteSingles offers high-value daters a pool of singles who share similar experiences and values, making it the dating site of choice for busy, career-minded people. Instead of swiping endless potential matches, EliteSingles provides daily curated profiles that match your personality and date preferences. The dating website’s smart approach helps single people save time and focus on quality rather than volume.

If you do want to strike out on your own and see what’s out there, you can visit the Have You Met section. This offers recommended profiles in addition to the daily matches in your inbox. You’ll need a premium subscription to get the most out of EliteSingles, since basic membership is fairly restrictive and doesn’t include unlimited messaging. 

4.0 4/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.


Relationships: Daters & Hookups

Match System: Search by age, zip code, more

Our Experts Say: “With more than 79 million users, MenNation is among the largest gay and bisexual dating and hookup sites in the world. A basic membership is 100% free, and it allows you to upload info and photos, browse, and chat…”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

MenNation has a lot to offer for queer men who want to keep things simple and sexual. Although it began as a gay hookup site, MenNation now functions as an online community with plenty of adult forums and chats dedicated to helping men explore their desires in privacy. 

MenNation doesn’t shy away from sexual content, and it’s X-rated photos and videos are available for all users. The forums and chats play host to plenty of men looking for connection, excitement, and perhaps some XXX content. The site and app both cater heavily to men seeking other men for hookups, and there’s no need to beat around the bush here. 

Premium users even get access to features like Buzzmode, which allows you to remotely control another user’s sex toy during a live cam show. 

FAQs: What is SCRUFF Known For?

SCRUFF is known for being a Grindr alternative in the gay dating scene. The user base on SCRUFF tends to be more stereotypically masculine, as the name indicates. The app found its niche among queer men who travel a lot for business, and the features specific to SCRUFF evolved accordingly.

Users can announce travel plans in advance on SCRUFF. One button will send announcements to other SCRUFF members in the cities on the user’s travel itinerary, so they can get a date before they even hit the road. 

scruff gay dating app features

In addition, SCRUFF users can act as city ambassadors by offering their expertise and knowledge of their hometowns to visiting gay men. SCRUFF also offers travel advisories, since queer men still face safety issues and discrimination on a regular basis. 

All in all, SCRUFF has evolved into the go-to dating app for traveling gay men who want to ensure they have companionship in every city they visit.

Which Gay Dating App is Better for Hookups?

Both SCRUFF and Grindr are great for finding hookups, but there is a key difference between the two. Grindr is best for finding hookups in your local area because the app serves up local matches for swiping, as well as local profiles  in forums and other public areas. Premium users do have the option to swipe outside of their location at any given moment, but Grindr emphasizes making local connections.

SCRUFF is better at setting up hookups when you’re traveling. Although you can definitely find partners in your own area, the features the app offers operate best for men who travel often for business or personal reasons. 

What’s the Equivalent of Grindr for Straight People?

Tinder is the most obvious choice for a Grindr alternative for straight people. Although Tinder doesn’t only cater to straight singles, the majority of the app’s membership is straight people, so you’re more likely to find success on the app if you’re straight. 

Some solid contenders compete for recognition as Tinder alternatives, but the swiping app remains king. Tinder is overall the closest thing to Grindr for straight singles, with similar features and functions, as well as a similar user base.

Is Gay Dating Safe Online?

Online dating is extremely popular in the gay community because it allows users to maintain their safety in ways that are impossible in conventional dating. While acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community continues to steadily increase, a lot of risks still come with being an openly queer person. Gay singles are more likely to encounter harassment and discrimination online.

online dating safety

Gay dating apps and sites can provide a safe space for members of the community to connect, chat, and find companionship. Of course, you still have to be vigilant and take steps to avoid online dating scams, but many members of the queer community feel that online dating is significantly safer than meeting in bars or clubs. 

Verdict: SCRUFF Users Find More Meaningful Connections

Grindr makes a lot of sense for gay daters who want to find hookups in their local area. The app provides all the tools men need to find potential dates in the LGBTQ+ community. But Grindr is widely known as a hookup app so it may not be the best app for more meaningful connections. SCRUFF is a better pick for building friendships and relationships – or even finding a place to stay when you’re out of town. 

The SCRUFF app fosters a deeper connection between users, and the sense of solidarity and community on SCRUFF is strong. 

If you’re looking for a tool to help you connect as you jetset your way around the world, SCRUFF is the best dating platform for you!

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