17 Best Free Dating Sites in the USA

Online Dating

17 Best Free Dating Sites in the USA

Hayley Matthews Hayley Matthews
Updated:

The United States is responsible for numerous life-changing inventions, including the transistor, 3D printing, the atom-smasher, the swivel chair, and online dating. Just think about that. We wouldn’t be able to use particle beam cancer treatments, create surgical implants, turn around to talk to the person behind us without getting up, or find a date on our phones without the help of some American geniuses.

While online dating may not be as high up there as the atom-smasher, it’s still made a significant difference in the lives of millions. That’s why we wanted to take a few minutes to recognize the top free online dating sites in the good ol’ USA. Murica!

Overall | Local | Gay | Lesbian | Black | Christian | Senior | Adult

Best Free Dating Sites in the USA (#1-3)

In America, everything is flashier, louder, bigger, and better, so let’s kick this list off with the cream of the crop. The following three dating sites consistently rank among the best and receive rave reviews from both current and former users.

1. Match

We mentioned above that the United States created online dating, and Gary Kremen and Peng T. Ong were the ones who founded and created the first dating site, Match, in 1993 and 1995, respectively. The site currently has more than 30 million members, sees more than 13.5 million monthly visitors, and is responsible for the most romantic connections of any dating site.

★★★★★
4.9/5.0

Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

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

Our Experts Say: “Match has facilitated the most dates and relationships of any dating site, and its large audience and high success rate make it our top review...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Most importantly, Match is a 100% free USA dating site that allows you to fill out a profile (complete with several photos), search profiles based on your criteria, receive matches in your inbox every day, and communicate via virtual likes and winks, favorites, photo requests, and yes ratings, among others.

2. Elite Singles

The US is home to over 5,300 colleges and universities, including those known as Ivy League schools: Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, and Brown. People come from all over the world to attend these schools. For those who value education and a good deal should take a look at Elite Singles.

★★★★★
4.6/5.0

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “Elite Singles is a leading dating site just for busy, single professionals. More than 80% of members have earned a college degree, and most are looking for a serious commitment...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

This free dating site caters to intelligent, successful, and affluent professionals who are looking for a lifelong partnership with someone of equal standing. More than 80% of users have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, 90% are at least 30 years old, and 2,500 of them find love on the site every month.

3. OkCupid

Since 2004, OkCupid has been totally free, and the team promises they’ll keep the service that way for all eternity. The site is also unique in that it uses a one-of-a-kind algorithm to pair singles. When you sign up, you’ll answer a bunch of questions about yourself and your ideal date or partner. Then you’ll specify how you want other people to answer those same questions on a scale from most important to least important.

Screenshot of the OkCupid homepage

With more than 30 million members and a $0 price tag, OkCupid is one of the most popular dating sites in the United States.

Claudia A. wrote on SiteJabber: “Amazing website if you are looking to settle down or date… I found my soul mate! I met the love of my life three days after signing up, he messaged me, and we starting dating right away. He completes me, and thank you OkCupid for the help!”

Best Free “Local” Dating Sites in the USA (#4-5)

For most people, the point of online dating is to meet someone near them, not across the country. Below, we’ve highlighted the go-to local dating sites in America, where you can browse for matches in your state, city, and even zip code. Plus, it won’t cost you to do so.

4. Zoosk

One of the first dating sites to offer social media integration, Zoosk can pull info and photos from your Facebook or Google+ profile during the registration process. Within a couple of minutes, at the most, you can start looking for compatible people nearby, setting your preferred distance (e.g., as close as 3 miles e or as far as 100 miles).

★★★★★
4.6/5.0

Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search and get match recommendations

Our Experts Say: “Zoosk is integrated with social media sites, like Facebook and Google+, so it's very popular with singles on the go...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

In terms of the price, Zoosk has that going for it as well. No credit card or payment information is needed — unless you want to access advanced features like having your profile highlighted in search results or being able to send virtual gifts. But we don’t think it’s necessary.

5. Tinder

Launched in 2012, Tinder is the mastermind behind matching online daters based on location. Now most dating sites and apps have followed suit. We all know how it works: Tinder will show you a potential match, and you swipe right for yes and left for no. It definitely works, too. Tinder is available in 196 countries, has facilitated 20 billion matches, and leads to 1.6 billion swipes a day and 1 million dates a week.

Photo of Tinder

Tinder pioneered the GPS-based matchmaking process, and all of its most important features, like chat, are absolutely free.

Of course, Tinder is a free dating app (it wouldn’t be on this list if it weren’t), but it does offer a premium account called Tinder Plus. With a Tinder Plus membership, you can see who’s already swiped right on you and take back swipes if you swiped the wrong way.

Best Free “Gay” Dating Sites in the USA (#6-7)

According to The New York Times, about 5% of men in America identify as gay. There are slightly more than 323 million people in the country, so you do the math. For gay singles, trying to find someone who’s also gay and who’s worth dating can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And if they’re not online, it can be like finding a needle in an expensive haystack — what with how expensive singles bars and events can be. That’s where our best American gay dating sites come in handy.

6. Zoosk

Zoosk claims another spot on our list because of its large LGBT audience, particularly those who are on the go all the time. The app is available for free on iTunes and Google Play (where it’s been downloaded over 30 million times), but there’s also a free desktop version if you prefer.

★★★★★
4.6/5.0

Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search and get match recommendations

Our Experts Say: “Gay, bisexual, and curious single men love Zoosk because it's quick, easy, and really successful...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Zoosk also has a very active user base, sending over 3 million messages a day. To join them, sync up your Facebook or Google+ account, and then head to the Carousel section to browse through profiles of like-minded gay men.

7. Grindr

Often called the gay Tinder, Grindr works in almost the same way except everyone on the app is either gay or bisexual. If you’re interested in hookups, Grindr is a great choice for you because that’s mostly what its members are interested in as well.

Screenshot of the Grindr homepage

Founded in 2009, Grindr is similar to Tinder in that it pairs singles by location, and they swipe right if it’s a yes and left if it’s a no. However, it’s just for gay and bisexual men.

When you sign up for Grindr, you’re looking at a cost of $0, so edit your profile as much as you want, swipe through men as much as you want, and flirt with them as much as you want. Grindr XTRA is what the upgraded account is called, and with it, you can enjoy an ad-free experience as well as block and favorite as many users as you want.

Best Free “Lesbian” Dating Sites in the USA (#8-9)

A recent Gallup poll found about 4% of the US population identifies as LGBT. Unfortunately for lesbian singles, that number gets smaller once you factor out the gay, bisexual, and transgender men as well as the lesbian women who are already in a relationship. Don’t let that get to you, though, because there’s a solution, and that solution is the two dating sites featured in this section.

8. Zoosk

Yes, we’re talking about Zoosk, but it really is a premier dating site for singles of all ages, sexual orientations, genders, locations, ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds. Single lesbians will enjoy a streamlined and fun online dating process, and they won’t have to worry about receiving extremely incompatible matches (e.g., straight women or gay men), which can happen on some other dating sites.

★★★★★
4.6/5.0

Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search and get match recommendations

Our Experts Say: “Zoosk is a go-to for busy lesbian women because the site will do all the work for them. All they have to do is upload some information and photos...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

And, as we talked about earlier in the article, Zoosk doesn’t require you to input a credit card number or any kind of payment information if you want to create and edit a profile, use the Carousel, see who’s viewed your profile and who’s currently online, receive SmartPick™ matches, receive messages, and send a limited number of messages.

9. GirlFriendsMeet

GirlFriendsMeet, or GRM for short, creates “real lesbian connections,” and the site does that by matching lesbian daters based on their interests — whether it’s movies, TV shows, music, books, or anything else. Sign up for a free membership, and you can test everything out for yourself.

Screenshot of the GirlFriendsMeet homepage

GirlFriendsMeet has millions of members, all of whom are lesbian, and a basic membership that won’t cost you a cent.

One happy user named Trish raved about her experience on GirlFriendsMeet: “I had a string of short relationships, and finding another women serious about a real relationship was difficult. GirlFriendsMeet helped me get out of that spiral.” You could be the next success story!

Best Free “Black” Dating Sites in the USA (#10-11)

Research by BlackDemographics.com found that 50% of African Americans have never been married, 12% are divorced, 4% are separated, and 6% are widowed. That’s a lot of potentially single black men and women out there. If dating within your same race is important to you, we recommend turning to the two sites below.

10. BlackPeopleMeet

A sister site of Match, BlackPeopleMeet is just as reputable and successful. More than 1.4 million black and biracial singles visit the site every month, and it’s led to thousands of friendships, dates, relationships, and marriages.

★★★★
4.0/5.0

Relationships: Deep Relationships or Just Casual Dates

Match System: Search by location, age, more

Our Experts Say: “BlackPeopleMeet is a large dating site, and its user base is growing every day. If you're only interested in black or biracial daters, you've come to the right place...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

All of the most important features are 100% free, including registering, uploading photos, viewing profiles, receiving daily matches, and communicating in a variety of ways. Enjoy your dating journey without worrying if you’re breaking the bank!

11. BlackCupid

BlackCupid touts itself as a “premium service designed to bring black singles together.” Provide a few pieces of information, such as your first name, gender, age, email address, and password, and then you’re on your way. The site is also offering a free three-month trial for a limited time, so you’ll want to sign up for that soon.

Screenshot of the BlackCupid homepage

You can find success on BlackCupid in just three steps: 1) Fill out a profile. 2) Browse others’ profiles. 3) Start showing interest.

Android users can download the BlackCupid app on Google Play, and an iOS version should be coming soon. Lydia is just one of many people who’ve met that special someone on BlackCupid. “Thank you so much. I found someone here on this site. He’s GREAT, and I’m very lucky to have found him. We are in LOVE!” she told the site.

Best Free “Christian” Dating Sites in the USA (#12-13)

More than 70% of Americans are Christian, according to PewForum.org. Religion is usually among the top dating must-haves, and single Christians within every denomination will do well on eHarmony and Fusion 101. Here’s what you need to know about them:

12. eHarmony

Christian singles would be remiss if they didn’t give eHarmony a try. The site was founded by Christian theologian Dr. Neil Clark Warren, who’s also a clinical psychologist and seminary professor. So a significant number of the members are in search of commitment-minded someone who also has Christian values and beliefs and who leads a Christian lifestyle.

★★★★★
4.5/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Personality test suggests matches

Our Experts Say: “eharmony's unique matching system is based on what it calls "Christian-based principles" and leads to 2% of all U.S. marriages annually...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

You can join eHarmony for free and take the site’s very own 29 Dimensions of Compatibility Questionnaire. Not to mention the site will do all of the searching for you, deliver date recommendations to your email, and guide you through the messaging process.

13. Fusion 101

“The world’s best-loved Christian-owned 100% free dating service” is what Fusion 101 has to say about itself. Here, you can meet Christian daters in the United States as well as across the globe if you want. No matter what you do on the site, Fusion 101 says it won’t charge you… ever.

Screenshot of the Fusion 101 homepage

Fusion 101 is a large Christian-only dating site that promises every component is 100% free.

Safety is also a top priority for Fusion 101, which has been in the online dating industry for 15+ years. The team works hard to verify every member and keep scammers away, and customer support is available 24/7 via phone and email.

Best Free “Senior” Dating Sites in the USA (#14-15)

Seniors make up 13% of the US population, and that number is expected to grow to 20% by 2060. A lot of single seniors come to us asking about online dating — typically it’s their first time trying it. They’re not sure which site to choose, how to fill out their profile, or message someone they like, so we want to give all the seniors out there some extra attention in this section and take the pressure off their shoulders.

14. OurTime

OurTime, another sister site of Match, launched around 1999 and soon became a leader in the senior dating niche. Similar to Match, OurTime offers all of the necessary features and tools for free. In addition, it has one of the simplest interfaces so anyone can get the hang it — no matter their tech knowledge.

★★★★
4.4/5.0

Relationships: Dates and Relationships

Match System: Search by profiles by zip and more

Our Experts Say: “OurTime is just for men and women who are 50 or older, and it's one of the most popular dating sites in this niche because of its size...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Celina from Ohio shared her experience on OurTime, saying, “You did your part and brought me the man I was looking for. Your site is the best by far! Thank you from the bottom of our HEARTS!” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

15. SilverSingles

It doesn’t matter what your interests are — you can find someone who feels the same way on SilverSingles. SilverSingles is one of the number one senior dating sites for singles over 50, it helps facilitate all forms of companionship — which means you can ease into the romance at your own pace.

★★★★★
4.5/5.0

Relationships: Friendship, Casual Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search by age, location, height, education, ethnicity, and religion

Our Experts Say: “SilverSingles caters to relationship-minded singles over 50 with simple, safe, and effective online dating tools...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Register by providing your email, which is free, and then you’ll select your gender, the gender you’re looking for, and age, among other things. Then you’ll upload some photos and fill out the other sections of your profile.

Best Free “Adult” Dating Sites in the USA (#16-17)

Marriage or even a relationship isn’t the be-all, end-all for some people — they’re happier playing the field and being with “The One for Now.” Hookup-oriented singles have come to the right place. The next two sites are strictly for finding adult fun, whether it be a one-night stand, NSA relationship, threesome or orgy, swinging partners, or affair.

16. BeNaughty

BeNaughty says it all in the name — this is where horny singles and couples can go to be naughty without fear of judgment. They also don’t have to think about money while they’re using the site — as it’s free.

★★★★
3.5/5.0

Relationships: Hookups, Chats

Match System: Search by encounter, location, and more

Our Experts Say: “BeNaughty is a premier hookup app where you can feel comfortable expressing your desires. Plus, it's free to join, browse, and flirt...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

BeNaughty isn’t like some other casual sex sites that can seem sketchy — it has a hard-working team behind it that confirms every member is who they say they are. And the site uses SSL encryption to protect every member’s personal information.

17. Down

Down is “the secret way to get down with people nearby.” While you have to join through Facebook, the app will never show your friends that you’re a member, and it’ll never post on your behalf. Down uses your Facebook friends and friends of friends to find matches — then you can choose whether you want to “get down” or “get dates.” The other person won’t know what you chose unless they chose the same.

Screenshot of the Down homepage

Down is a discreet and free hookup and/or dating app that’ll show you Facebook friends of friends you might be interested in.

Now, getting to the money part, we’ve got good news for you. Down is free to download, add your info and photos, see nearby picks, yay or nay them, chat, and secretly invite friends or crushes.

When It Comes to Online Dating, the USA Has Your Back!

Thomas Jefferson may have been laughed at when he first told people about his idea for the swivel chair, but it’s a good thing he didn’t listen. Can you imagine not being able to turn your chair during your workday? I couldn’t. Our lives have come so far thanks to American ingenuity like this, and thanks to American dating sites like the ones above, our love lives have only gotten better!