Down App Review

Online Dating

DOWN App Review & 5 Best Alternatives (Apr. 2024)

Mackenzie Buck

Written by: Mackenzie Buck

Mackenzie Buck

Mackenzie Buck is an experienced writer who earned a master's degree with distinction from the University of Manchester. Her relationship advice has been featured on the New York Post, among other publications. She has worn a variety of hats in the digital marketing space over the years and is excited to bring her unique voice and storytelling chops to DatingAdvice.

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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: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is a dating and relationship expert who has penned over 1,800 lifestyle articles in the last decade, and she still never tires of interviewing dating professionals and featuring actionable advice for singles. She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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Advertiser Disclosure

We live in a time when robots are waiting tables, doctors are 3D-printing human tissue, and tech company founders are being blasted into space in rocket ships. Isn’t it about time we had an app other than Tinder to make hooking up easier? Turns out, we do. And it’s been under our noses for the past 11 years. 

This comprehensive review will take a closer look at the popular hookup app DOWN and provide helpful insights on its standout features, pricing structure, and user ratings. And just in case you aren’t down for DOWN (you knew that was coming), we’ve got a list of some satisfying alternatives to help you get that nagging itch scratched. Let’s get down and dirty.

How the App Works: Making Hookups Straightforward

When you’ve got sex on the brain, time is of the essence — and the absolute last thing you want to deal with are apps with a bunch of yellow tape. Luckily, DOWN’s user-friendly interface makes things quick and easy for those who are on the lookout for something, well, quick and easy. 

Users start by creating a dating profile linked to either their Facebook account or phone number. If you choose the latter, don’t fret. The app won’t be posting anything to your Facebook page or really interacting with your account at all.

This is simply the app’s way of verifying that you are, in fact, a real person and not a robot or catfish. Plus, linking to your Facebook could actually save you some time and brain power, as the basic info from your Facebook profile (and even your photos) can be automatically integrated into your DOWN account – with your permission. 

how DOWN works

Once your profile is created, you can get straight *down* to business. The layout is minimalistic, doused in purple and black (very sexy), and easy to navigate. Much like Tinder and many other mainstream dating apps, DOWN incorporates the swiping tool into the search for matches, but with a special touch. 

As users browse hundreds of local singles, they’ll see two buttons below each user’s picture, one reading “Date” and the other reading “DOWN.”

Your choice here is pretty simple: 1) Tap “Date” (or swipe up) if you’re looking for your life-long love, 2) choose “DOWN” (or swipe down) if you’re looking for a freak in the sheets, or 3) swipe left if it’s a no-go.

This way, whether you’re on the search for a date night or a steamy night in, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to find exactly what you desire.

Who Uses DOWN?

Dozens of fantastic dating apps vie for attention, and real success in the dating world often comes down to looking in the right places. Before investing in DOWN, consider the demographics of the singles using the app and decide how (or if) you fit into this particular dating landscape.

Out of this platform’s 13+ million users, approximately 6.5 million (or 50%) of them are Gen Z, and millennials are the next biggest age group.

If you’re a 30-something single on this app, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have some age-appropriate options, it just means you’ll be working with a smaller dating pool. Depending on the type of dater you are, this could be a positive or negative or your list of considerations.

As the number of people identifying as LGBTQ+ in the U.S. and beyond is on the rise, the inclusiveness of dating apps for LGBTQ+ singles has come into question.

DOWN users

We’re excited to report that DOWN is available to queer users — at least those who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. The platform has not released any updates regarding non-binary or trans folks, but hopefully that’s coming in the near future.

Our final note on DOWN demographics will probably not shock you, but it could get you feeling really optimistic (depending on how you identify). According to the recent data, 80% of users are men, while only (yup, you guessed it) 20% are women.

If you’re a straight woman on the lookout for some flirty fun, this means you’ll have lots of options to choose from on DOWN. However, if you’re a straight man, you may just need to be persistent a little longer than your female counterparts. Remember: Slow and steady wins the race! 

Pricing Breakdown

Regardless of if you’re looking for a hookup, a casual date, or a lifelong partner, some level of time commitment is necessary to achieve desired results.

Sometimes, however, your search requires a different kind of investment — one of the financial variety. Depending on how serious you are about your search, this could be a potential dealbreaker. So, let’s get straight down to brass tacks. 

Can you use DOWN for free? Absolutely. Anyone who identifies as a man or woman can download the app, create a profile, and start swiping at no cost. However, your search for a FWB may not go as quickly as you’d like, as free users can only view a limited batch of potential matches per day. 

If you’re hoping to kick your sex life into high gear, you may want to consider upgrading to a paid membership. DOWN paid options are as follows:

  • 1 Month Membership – $19.99
  • 3 Month Membership  – $29.99 (or $9.99 per month)
  • 12 Month Membership – $79.99 (or $95.99 per month)

In addition to its paid membership, the app offers singles the option to use paid features that optimize their chances of finding their perfect hookup match. For example, you can pay $4.99 for Supercharge Boosts, which will use the platform’s algorithm to make your profile standout to swipers for a one-week period. 

DOWN app users and homescreen

You could also pay a one-time fee of $1.99 to utilize the More Picks feature, which pretty much does exactly what it sounds like: Present you with more compatible matches than would otherwise be available. 

To sum it all up: If you’re committed to the no-strings-attached life for the foreseeable future and have some money to spare, DOWN may just be the perfect choice for your dating needs.

If you’ve got some doubts that FBWs are your thing and you’re working with a tight budget already, it may not. You could always try the paid membership for a month and go from there. Dating is all about exploring and finding what works for you! 

User Ratings & Reviews 

DOWN’s whole schtick is centered around honesty and empowering users to be upfront with matches about what they want out of their digital experience. On that same note, we want to provide our readers with accurate information that they can use to make empowered decisions in their dating life.

So, let’s take a look at what DOWN account holders are saying, shall we?

As far as app reviews go, DOWN has earned a 3.9-star rating on Google Play and a 4.2 stars on the Apple Store, with hundreds of thousands of downloads between the two. Based on the reviews, users particularly seem to appreciate that the app is straightforward and easy to understand. 

Despite the uneven distribution of male versus female singles, many users are still finding success on DOWN: 

“It’s quick and easy to meet women,” one reviewer writes. “There’s no need for dating or long conversations. It’s just right for all those people who are looking for anonymous encounters with sex in the end. It’s all about what we want.” 

down app features

The app has even given some singles a boost of confidence in their dating game: 

“I’m a very shy guy, and I hardly approach girls I like. But this app really helped me to skip this awkward start because I feel more confident online,” said another user. 

However, the app does have room for improvement. Many users don’t love how the platform doesn’t allow singles to sort incoming matches based on distance. The interface will show that a match is nearby, but it could end up being 100 or more miles away.

There are also a number of complaints about the messaging and photo verification features being glitchy, as well as frustration with the limited number of free features. One user claimed: “Needs to be a lot more free services if this app is to match/rival other dating apps.” 

Looks like DOWN has a few *kinks* to work out (wink wink), but, nevertheless, plenty of users have walked away satisfied and happy! 

5 Alternative Hookup Sites That Could Work for You

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: There’s no “one size fits all” in the world of dating (online or not). If you’ve got some hesitations about investing in DOWN, you have plenty of other options to consider. Here are five that stick out to us at the moment.

★★★★
AFF.com 4.2/5.0

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

4.2/5.0

Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “Make no mistake: this site isn’t about making friends, it’s about finding hookups and casual encounters. No adult site has a larger or more active user base of those seeking discreet fun…”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

AdultFriendFinder is a website for lovers of all things playdates (the sexy kind, of course). Touting a user base of over 100 million, this sexually liberal digital landscape was built to help consenting adults explore their bedroom fantasies in a fun and, more importantly, safe space. 

Free users create profiles where they can share as little or as much information as they’d like, including information regarding location, physical attributes, sexual preferences, dating goals, and more factors.

Based on the preferences listed — and a combination of geolocation technology and a behavior-based algorithm — AdultFriendFinder presents singles with potentially compatible matches. 

The platform stands out amongst other apps of its kind, thanks to its emphasis on community. AdultFriendFinder has evolved from a basic hookup site into a one-stop-shop for all things sexual exploration.

The interface now provides users with blogs, groups, and forums through which the sexually curious can learn and explore the wondrous world of kinks, adult relationships, adult entertainment, and the like. 

★★★★
BeNaughty 4.2/5.0

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

4.2/5.0

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

What better way to get the pulses racing than with a name like BeNaughty? This bold and bodacious platform, launched in 2007, helps singles get connected with like-minded matches who are looking for a little flirtatious fun — whether that’s a late-night booty call, a casual summer fling, or anything in between.

The signup process is fairly simple. Users are prompted to create a profile with a handful of pictures and input basic personal information (age, location, and interests). BeNaughty stands because of its advanced search filters.

In addition to being able to set preferences for age range and location, BeNaughty singles can search for matches based on ethnicity, body type, and physical attributes. There have been some conflicting feelings about this feature, so just take it for what you will. 

Users on this platform also appreciate the “Flirtcast” feature, which allows singles to send pre-written messages to multiple members at once.

With regular dating apps, we’d say this is a no-go because we always recommend you take the time to send personalized messages to each individual match.

However, since the end goal of this app is to get down and dirty as quickly as possible, it may come in handy in speeding up the process.

★★★★
AshleyMadison.com 4/5.0

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

4.0/5.0

Relationships: Hookups, Casual Dates, Affairs

Match System: Search by age, location, appearance, and more

Our Experts Say: “With its massive user base and advanced privacy features, Ashley Madison is the #1 site for discreet hookups, dates, or relationships…” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

What started as an app exclusively for extramarital affairs has now evolved into a hub for all types of discreet relationships. This could mean finding a third person to invite into the bedroom, connecting with singles who want to play around with sexual fantasies, or exploring your sexuality on the low as a still-closeted individual.

Whichever discreet relationship you may be looking for, Ashley Madison is the perfect digital space to help you find it.

To protect user identity and privacy, account holders can create profiles using only an email address — yup, this means no full names necessary. The app offers data encryption, photo blurring, and discreet billing.

This way, members can search for their next Netflix-and-chill buddy or the third piece to their throuple without having to worry about being outed. 

AshleyMadison is a great tool for those who spend a lot of time on the road — whether for work or leisure — thanks to their Traveling Man or Traveling Woman feature.

By switching on the travel mode, members beep bopping around to other countries can connect with sexy foreign singles and get a taste of the local cuisine, if you know what I mean. 

★★★★
OneNightFriend 4/5.0

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

4.0/5.0

Relationships: Hookups, Casual Dating, Chats

Match System: Search by location, age, and appearance.

Our Experts Say: “OneNightFriend is a dating website that provides a fast track to a one-night stand with a flirty partner. The network has chat rooms, search filters, and safety features to help spark real connections…” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Hear us out: Just because you’re not familiar with the name, doesn’t mean it’s not worth giving a shot. OneNightFriend, a USA-based dating app, currently holds a user base of just over 1.5 million people.

This is relatively modest compared to other hookup apps of its kind, but for singles who get overwhelmed and burnt out from endless swiping, this smaller dating pool could end up winning greater favor. 

OneNightFriend members say in reviews that the interface is user-friendly, secure, and discreet, and they particularly appreciate the platform’s advanced search filters. The hookup website allows singles to search for potential matches based on age, location, interests, dating goals, and physical attributes.

For singles looking to hit-it-and-quit-it, features like this can really streamline the process and optimize the chances that both partners get what they want. 

★★★★
Flirt.com 3.5/5.0

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

3.5/5.0

Relationships: Hookups, Casual Dating, Chats

Match System: Search by age, location, gender, orientation, and other factors

Our Experts Say: “Flirt.com frees singles to chat with attractive locals and pick up dates on the spot. This hookup site is always open to horny and sexy people seeking one-night stands, casual dating, threesomes, and other sexual encounters…”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

According to Flirt.com, “The first step to love is always flirt.” We’ll be honest, the grammar of this sentence is a little questionable, but the site itself is great at what it does.

Flirt.com launched onto the scene in 1997. It is a dating site designed to help the shy or otherwise rizz-less connect with like-minded singles in their area. 

Once users create a profile and list their preferences on age, location, interests, and dating goals, the platform employs an intelligent algorithm to create matches based on a combination of these preferences and user behavior. Free members can send winks or virtual gifts to those who catch their eye. 

What makes Flirt.com unique is its relatively large user base (over 100 million), its user-friendly interface, and its commitment to the platform’s community.

Members navigating the site can polish their flirting game with tips and tricks provided by the Flirt.com blog, stay updated with dating news, and even connect with other members over common interests in the chat rooms. “Game of Thrones,” “Hairy Women,” and “Agoraphobia” are just a couple of topics listed on the site. 

FAQs: What is the Top Hookup Site?

Tinder is arguably the world’s most successful dating and hookup app. It’s certainly the most popular with 530 million downloads. The app is user-friendly, offers great accessibility for free members, and has revolutionized the swiping feature.

However, popularity isn’t everything. We say that the best hookup app will be the one that best meets your needs — and those needs will look completely different based on who you are and what you want.

That said, our advice to you is to jump right in and start exploring multiple dating apps. With a little time, effort, and dedication, you’ll find the app that works best for you.

Which Hookup App is 100% Free?

Almost all of the household names in the online dating world come with free trials and basic memberships. This list includes Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and HER. In fact, most apps you’ll encounter in this space — whether you’ve heard of them or not — offer some free services. Hookup sites like BeNaughty and Flirt.com start out free, and you can utilize them throughout your dating journey without ever once needing to upgrade. 

Is There a Better Hookup App Than DOWN?

When it comes to hookups, our dating experts prefer AdultFriendFinder over DOWN — and even over the more popular Tinder. Why? Because AdultFriendFinder was originally built to facilitate casual hookups, while Tinder (contrary to popular belief) was not. 

★★★★
AFF.com 4.2/5.0

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

4.2/5.0

Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “Make no mistake: this site isn’t about making friends, it’s about finding hookups and casual encounters. No adult site has a larger or more active user base of those seeking discreet fun…”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

AFF has features designed specifically to cater to the needs of the hookup buddy — not the long-term dater — and that means sex-seeking users are more likely to find what they’re looking for.

What is the Three-Day Rule After a Hookup?

The three-day rule is generally for dates, not hookups, and suggests that singles wait three days after a date to reach out to someone. I personally think this is old news – if you like a person, text them as soon as you want. As for a three-day rule for hookups, there isn’t one. When it comes to a casual hookup, there aren’t a whole lot of rules, period. 

Can an Age Gap Be Too Big for a Hookup?

The answer to this will be completely up to the adults involved in a hookup. As long as everyone is comfortable and everything is consensual, no age gap is too big. 

DOWN Helps Users Get Down to Business

So, what did we learn from all of this? That we love options. If you’re tired or overwhelmed by Tinder and are open to something new, you can always get down with DOWN. It may be more of a financial investment, but it’s also designed specifically with hookups in mind. 

Or, if you’re not into DOWN’s proposition, you can try any of the alternatives listed in this article — and plenty more not listed. At the end of the day, the digital dating world is your oyster. The only question now is: Are you ready to take a bite?

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