9 Best Free Online Dating Sites (2020)

Online Dating

9 Best Free Online Dating Sites (2020)

Hayley Matthews
Hayley Matthews Updated:
Advertiser Disclosure

Online dating can be exceedingly difficult — what with choosing the perfect profile photo, sending a charming first message, and dealing with ghosted conversations or flaky dates — but it becomes much easier when you maintain an active membership on the best free online dating sites or apps that put your dating interests first.

We firmly believe that online daters deserve to have a first-class dating experience without a crazy-expensive price tag, so we’ve done our homework to find the most effective and affordable options out there for today’s singles.

Many online daters feel like they have to make a choice between quality and affordability when picking an online dating service, but it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing kind of proposition. We’re going to highlight the top free dating sites and apps that can spark a conversation between like-minded people on a budget.

1. eharmony

Founded in 2000, eharmony is where relationship-oriented daters love to go, as it’s one of the most successful online dating websites in the world.

A clinical psychologist named Dr. Neil Clark Warren founded the eharmony dating service to strengthen love and relationships through a deep personality test. He used psychological principles to create what have evolved into a 32-dimension Compatibility Quiz — which asks over 80 questions about who you are and what you’re looking for in a potential partner. For no cost, you can fill out your dating profile, take the relationship questionnaire, and put the site’s matchmaking services to good use.

To date, eharmony has inspired over 2 million long-term relationships in the U.S., and it creates a new love match every 14 minutes.

★★★★★
4.7/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Personality test suggests matches

Our Experts Say: “Accounting for 2% of U.S. marriages, eharmony's compatibility-based system and commitment-minded user base are ideal for those seeking a serious relationship...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Something else worth noting about eharmony, which you can see in the graph above, is that more than 4.1 million singles — and counting — visit the site every month. If a serious commitment is what you want, you’ve got a lot of quality date prospects to choose from on eharmony.

Our dating experts have ranked eharmony as one of the best dating websites for long-term relationships because it has an in-depth personality test, strong matchmaking criteria, and some great free communication options for singles to use.

2. Match

Match.com has been the king of the online dating scene since 1995 when the official website launched. This dating service is reputable, successful, and, of course, very affordable.

Anyone can sign up for a free membership, which lasts forever and allows you do things like create a dating profile, upload several photos, browse singles, receive messages, and send virtual winks.

Our experts have gathered some other key points about Match, which you can see below.

★★★★★
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

For even more features, you’ll want to take advantage of Match’s free three-day trial. With this, you can send messages and get a notification when someone’s read them — as well as have your profile highlighted in search results and emailed to new members.

Match is available as a free dating site and a free dating app, so you can keep in touch with potential dates from your desktop, Android smartphone, or iOS device.

3. Zoosk

Zoosk is a budget-friendly dating site and app with seamless social media integration. This is an especially great option for younger singles who are on their phone all the time. You get all the necessary features with a free account, no in-app purchases needed, and if you use the platform’s Facebook or Google+ signup, your dating profile can be filled out in seconds.

The Zoosk app is available to iOS and Android users, and daters can easily meet like-minded people by sending free likes, winks, and greetings.

★★★★★
4.7/5.0

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

Thanks to its social networking power, Zoosk has fostered an extremely large, active user base (38 million users and 3 million messages sent daily), so you won’t have any trouble finding someone you click with. Then all daters have to do is work up the courage to land a first date.

4. ChristianMingle

The name says it all — ChristianMingle is a Christian dating site dedicated to helping Christian singles meet, get to know each other, and fall in love. Their clutter-free interface makes navigation super easy, and their targeted user base ensures you’re in a harmonious atmosphere. Most importantly, registration, browsing, and certain types of communication don’t require any credit or debit card information.

★★★★
4.4/5.0

Relationships: Dates and Serious Relationships

Match System: Search by gender, age, education, more

Our Experts Say: “ChristianMingle is among the largest dating sites in the industry that only caters to single Christian men and women, and the site has some of the best search filters and safety features...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

ChristianMingle is all about connecting singles through shared beliefs and values, and that creates a strong foundation for potential dates and long-term relationships.

Sharing similar religious beliefs can be a top dating priority for many single men and women, and for Christians, we’d say it probably doesn’t get any better than ChristianMingle.

5. OurTime

With one of the most experienced and esteemed niche matchmaking services, OurTime has to be one of the best free senior dating sites  and apps — hands down. Not only does it cost $0 to join, search profiles, and chat, but OurTime is only meant for those who are 50 or older, so finding the perfect match in your age range should take too much time or effort.

★★★★
4.4/5.0

Relationships: Dates and Relationships

Match System: Search by profiles by zip and more

Our Experts Say: “OurTime is well-known in the over-50 dating crowd, particularly because it has a ton of helpful search features and an easy layout...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

The online dating experience on OurTime is simple yet sophisticated, intuitive yet stimulating, and quality-driven yet totally free to try. You can become a free member on OurTime with nothing more than an email address to verify your identity, and the dating site also offers some free communication tools to get people mixing and mingling.

Of course, if you want the best shot to meet like-minded people, you’re better off upgrading your OurTime membership and getting premium features, including the ability to send the first message to anyone online.

6. Elite Singles

For those who place a heavy emphasis on education when looking for a potential date or partner, we’d highly recommend Elite Singles, a dating service that caters to the best and brightest in the online dating scene.

According to the site and app’s membership numbers, 80% of its members hold either a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree, and over 90% are hoping to fall in love.

A free Elite Singles subscription never expires and comes with all the basic features you’d expect, and Elite Singles offers intelligent matchmaking services that will do most, if not all, of the work for you — delivering you three to seven compatible matches every day.

★★★★★
4.7/5.0

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “EliteSingles 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

Elite Singles has all the bells and whistles you need to find the perfect match in your area or in another part of the country or globe. The site fosters a global network of well-educated and successful singles, so don’t feel you have to stick to your city to meet like-minded people and potential dates here.

Each month, over 2,500 members find love on Elite Singles, and you could be the next success story if you sign up for free and explore your matches with an open mind and an open heart.

7. BlackPeopleMeet

BlackPeopleMeet has over 1.4 million monthly visitors from all over the world, making it one of the most popular and effective dating apps for black and biracial singles.

In addition to the BlackPeopleMeet’s impressive reach, the dating site and app has a lot of great free features to spark romances and conversations. It’s 100% free to make a new dating account, view profiles, and flirt with compatible singles who are actively looking for dates.

★★★★
4.0/5.0

Relationships: Deep Relationships or Just Casual Dates

Match System: Search by location, age, more

Our Experts Say: “BlackPeopleMeet.com is the one of the largest and most popular dating sites for black and biracial singles, and the site is used by more than 5 million people a month...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Some other quick facts about BlackPeopleMeet are that the gender ratio is pretty evenly split (53% female, 47% male), and they’re great for finding a fun first date or long-term relationship — whatever your heart fancies.

This mobile dating site has dedicated its matchmaking power to connecting singles who share a similar heritage, culture, perspective, and life experiences, and that has greatly benefited thousands of people of color in the U.S. and Canada.

8. SilverSingles

A popular dating destination for singles 50+, SilverSingles provides free registration, profile creation, browsing, matchmaking and limited communication, so you can put your credit or debit card away.

This senior dating site has what it takes to create friendships and relationships between singles in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and older, and its services won’t cut into someone’s retirement fund, social security check, or lifetime savings.

★★★★★
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

Other than SilverSingles being a bargain, we’d say the biggest takeaway about the dating service is that it’s safe (customer service is available 24/7) and straightforward when connecting singles of a certain age.

A free membership can open men and women up to a world of senior dating possibilities, and help them make new friends and meet like-minded people who are over 50 and ready to date again.

9. AdultFriendFinder

Online dating websites aren’t just about finding love and relationships — it can also be about finding a casual hookup or a flirty conversation. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

If you’re drawn to the casual dating scene, then AdultFriendFinder is the best free hookup site for you. Created in 1996, AFF has mastered the art of connecting singles who are actively seeking one-night stands, threesomes, and other sexual experiences.

★★★★
3.5/5.0

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 short-term "hookups" and affairs only. Note that a basic account costs $14.95/month, but it's well worth it if casual sex is your goal...”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

In terms of price, AdultFriendFinder holds its own there as well. The hookup site doesn’t charge you to do things like register, add your information, photos, and videos, browse through profiles, receive match suggestions, and communicate in certain ways.

Sex-minded singles can meet potential dates on Adult Friend Finder without worrying about in-app purchases or paid membership plans.

Which Dating Apps Are Free for Android Users?

We have to call out Tinder as one of the top free dating apps available on all Android devices (not to mention iOS). This dating app is great at delivering a ton of date options in a very short amount of time, so singles seeking casual dates, new friends, and serious relationships can see what’s out there as soon as they sign up.

Tinder’s motto is “single is a terrible thing to waste,” and the free dating app encourages online daters to embrace the romantic possibilities in their immediate vicinity.

Screenshot from Tinder's website

Tinder supports a straightforward online dating service where singles are in charge.

It doesn’t cost anything to join Tinder and send messages to your mutual matches, and you can swipe for free as well. The only downside is that singles with a free membership only have a limited number of likes and super likes they can send in one sitting.

Not to worry though — Tinder has created over 43 billion matches since its launch in 2012, and it is currently responsible for facilitating over 1.5 million dates every week, so we’re pretty confident you can start a conversation with a hottie with only a free membership and an Android smartphone.

Which Dating Sites & Apps Offer Free Messaging?

So, all the dating sites and apps on this list are free to join and have some sort of free communication options, but not all of them provide online daters with unlimited free messaging, so we thought it was worth taking a moment to salute one of the free online dating apps that never charges users for messaging privileges.

OkCupid provides a completely free dating experience from start to finish. You sign up for free. You complete your dating profile and personality test for free. You send likes for free. And you message your matches for free. No strings attached. No hidden fees. No in-app purchases. Ever.

Screenshot of OkCupid

OkCupid facilitates over 91 million love connections in the average year.

A free OkCupid membership gives singles access to a quirky dating scene where personality drives matches and interesting conversations lead to stellar first dates.

The OkCupid platform does have a paid subscription option — but that’s just what it is: an option. You do not have to upgrade to the A-List subscription to chat with like-minded people through this dating service. As long as you don’t violate the OkCupid community guidelines, you can continue chatting with potential dates for as long as you like on this dating site and app.

Best Online Dating Apps for Gay Dating?

Grindr is definitely the best dating app for gay men seeking compatible dates and hookups on the fly. Since its launch in 2009, the Grindr universe has expanded to include over 27 million dating profiles, and it currently sees over 4 million daily active users swiping, matching, and messaging.

The app (available for iOS and Android users) has a location-based matchmaking system that’s proven effective and fun to use. How it works is simple: Grindr delivers hot date recommendations based on their real-time proximity to you. The app uses a smartphone’s GPS data to encourage singles to meet up and see where the connection takes them.

It’s completely free to download Grindr on your iPhone or Android device, but you can always upgrade to Grindr Xtra to receive more privacy features, liking options, and messaging hacks (including message-read notifications) to make the online dating experience more enjoyable.

What’s the Most Popular Dating Site for Single Moms?

Single moms face unique challenges in the dating scene because they are often looking for a potential partner and a potential parent, so they can have rigorous dating standards and some reservations about engaging in casual dating.

If you’re serious about settling down with the right person, then Match.com is your best ally. This dating site and app provides great matchmaking recommendations based on your interests, values, lifestyle, and dealbreakers, so it’s much easier to find the perfect match here.

No matter what your relationship goals or sexual orientation is, Match.com can make room for you and provide you with the support you need to get in a long-term relationship. Here’s our breakdown of how it works as a lesbian dating site for single moms:

★★★★★
4.9/5.0

Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

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

Our Experts Say: “More than a million lesbian women in the US are looking for dates and relationships on Match, making it the best site for this audience...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Single parents should feel in their element on the Match dating site because of its premium features and mature audience. According to Match.com’s demographics information, over 75% of its users are over 30 years old, and 54% have children from a previous relationship. Plus about 74% of Match users have completed college, so you won’t meet any dummies.

As the best free dating site for serious relationships, Match has helped countless couples meet and fall in love.

Is There a Free Dating App With No Facebook Signup?

Most dating apps and sites have the option to sign up through Facebook, Instagram, or another social media account because it lends more credibility and personality to the average dating profile — and it’s quicker, too. However, if you don’t want to mess with any of that, you can always find a dating app without a social networking requirement.

Bumble is one of the top mobile apps that gives users the option to sign up with their phone number or Facebook, and it doesn’t pry into your personal information when setting up an account. The Bumble app also has rigorous security measures and high-integrity profile standards to make sure users are honest, respectful, and thoughtful as they search for the perfect match.

You can join dating apps without Facebook to keep things casual and anonymous as you browse for local dates online.

Which Casual Dating Sites Actually Work?

We’ve covered some great hookup platforms already in this list, but it’s worth highlighting one more for your attention. BeNaughty offers 100% free communication to all users at all times, and that makes it a great deal for locals seeking a no-strings-attached hookup.

All you need to do is complete your profile and upload a picture of yourself, and you can start sending messages to anyone you like on BeNaughty. The site doesn’t require you to form a mutual match before saying hello, and it also has a mass texting feature to get singles into the game that much faster!

★★★★
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

There’s no doubt about it — BeNaughty is one of the most effective dating sites for finding hookups in your neighborhood, and it’s constantly updating its membership base to inclue the most sexually active and attractive people in the online dating scene.

A free membership on this hookup site is all you need to start a conversation, pick up a date, and spice up your sex life with a kinky partner by your side.

Free Online Dating Websites — Fun & Economical!

Free doesn’t necessarily mean cheap, low quality, or bad service, and the top-rated dating sites and apps can prove it. Every single dating service on this list has a 100% free membership package that allows single men and women to test everything out before committing to a paid subscription.

If you want to upgrade your dating profile and get some premium features, you can use your credit or debit card as your dating wingman, but you definitely don’t have to do that to enjoy browsing and chatting on popular apps and websites full of date options.

You can stay on your budget and meet compatible folks online with the right dating service at hand. As soon as you sign up for the best free online dating sites on this list, you’ll be equipped with all the tools you need to build casual connections or long-term relationships with like-minded people in your area. Good luck!

Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.