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A few years ago, I re-entered the online dating scene weighing the pros and cons of Hinge vs. Bumble. I’d met my last boyfriend on Hinge, but I knew a lot of friends who enjoyed the female-friendly atmosphere of Bumble.
I wanted to know which dating app was better, but no article, review, or expert analysis really helped me figure it out. Instead of picking a favorite, I joined both Hinge and Bumble and decided to put them to the test that way. As it turned out, one of these apps introduced me to several pretty OK dates, and the other led me to the love of my life — so I see a clear winner in the battle of Bumble versus Hinge.
In this article, I’ll break down the various features, costs, and success rates of Bumble and Hinge to help other singles who, like me, wonder how these two similar dating apps stack up against each other.
All right, full disclosure, I’m totally and completely biased here because Hinge changed my life and introduced me to the man of my dreams. Sorry, not sorry! I know for certain Hinge works because it worked for me. That doesn’t mean Bumble doesn’t work — it’s actually a really fantastic and popular dating app that we gave 4.3 stars in our full review.
But Bumble doesn’t hold a candle to Hinge in my book.
Hinge is a personality-driven app full of conversation starters and match opportunities that translate to real-life dates.
We dove into the upsides of Hinge in our full review, but the short version is that this app has more engaging profiles, offers more unique icebreakers, and leads to more successful dates than the average dating app, including Bumble. The Hinge team prides itself on cultivating an atmosphere where singles get off the app into relationships as soon as possible. Hence, Hinge is the dating app that’s designed to be deleted.
Hinge and Bumble are tied in terms of cost — because they’re both free. It’s free to download either (or both) of these apps, set up a dating profile, and start matching and chatting with people right away. You don’t have to pay a single cent to send messages to your mutual matches.
Free dating sites are great for getting the ball rolling and keeping your dating costs light, but they can require some extra effort because you typically don’t have a lot of matchmaking features at your disposal.
However, Hinge and Bumble both offer upgrade membership plans for singles who want a helping hand and a little more freedom to explore everything the app has to offer.
Hinge Preferred offers a one-month subscription for less than $20.00, and a six-month subscription costs only $9.99 per month. The plan includes the ability to see who’s liked your profile, and you’ll also have unlimited likes and advanced filters in your settings.
According to Hinge experts, Preferred Members go on twice as many dates as the app’s free members. Clearly, the subscription plan is working and leading to a lot of great matches.
The Bumble Boost plan is similar to Hinge Preferred in that it allows you to see who’s liked your profile in the Beeline section. It also gives you a chance to rematch with expired connections and extend the 24-hour time limit before a new match disappears. Bumble Boost costs $4.99 per week for a weekly subscription and $9.99 for a one-month subscription, so you won’t break the bank by trying it out.
Bumble has grown by leaps and bounds since its launch in 2014. Within its first three years, it had attracted over 22 million users. The company is currently valued at over $1 billion and is one of the most successful independent dating apps in the history of online dating.
Today, Bumble has over 81 million users in 150 countries, and it adds over 94,000 users per day and creates over 23 million matches a week, according to the app.
Hinge doesn’t have as many impressive numbers — even though it has been around for a few years longer than Bumble. Hinge has over 4 million active users in the U.S., and it arranges over 200,000 first dates a week. Hinge is more about quality than quantity, and sometimes having fewer options is actually a good thing because it encourages singles to pay greater attention to each dating profile.
Hinge is currently ranked #7 in Lifestyle in the App Store, and it is among the fastest-growing apps in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia.
Both Hinge and Bumble appeal to the same type of relationship-minded daters. These users don’t like Tinder’s fast-paced swiping style and would prefer to take things a bit more seriously. Bumble is a go-to option among 20-somethings — about 72% are under 35 — while Hinge is more successful among 30-somethings in the dating scene.
Hinge and Bumble both feature, shall we say, non-traditional messaging systems. They both use the standard swipe-right interface to create mutual matches, but they have different rules when it comes to sending that initial greeting.
Bumble is famous for its women-message-first mandate. If you’re a chick, you’ve got to “man up” and make the first move after matching with a guy on the app. Bumble gives women 24 hours to send a message, and if they don’t, the chat window will disappear forever. Important to note: Bumble is gay-friendly, and its women-first chat system does not apply to same-sex matches.
We applaud Bumble for overturning traditional gender stereotypes and empowering women, but it’s system is far from perfect, and it has received criticism for holding men back and putting undue pressure on women. One woman said only 60% of her opening lines received responses, and she had a dismal 9% success rate at turning matches into dates.
Hinge, on the other hand, doesn’t put up barriers or institute rules about who can message and when they can message — it only asks that you do more than send a generic like.
If you want to create a match on Hinge, you have to like or comment on something specific on the profile. You can ask a question about one of six photos someone has posted, or you can respond to one of their three personal prompts. Hinge offers 80 prompts that range from serious questions like “What are your dealbreakers?” to fun games like “Two truths and a lie.”
This system is designed to give you something more to say than “Hi,” and it’s great for sparking connections based on something real and tangible.
To summarize: Hinge supports a personality-driven match system that encourages people to start conversations based on shared interests and values. Bumble requires women to send the first message to men, and it uses a time limit that pressures you to just say any old thing to keep the conversation from disappearing.
Like I’ve said before, I’m biased, and I obviously think Hinge is the most successful and brilliant dating app ever — simply because I met my match there. But, if you look at the data, I think it’s also obvious that Hinge has something special going on.
Hinge is actually one of the few dating companies to ask for post-date feedback from its users. The We Met feature recognizes when two users have exchanged contact information, and it follows up to ask if you went on a first date, if you liked the first date, and if you’d want to go out again. Your match will never see your responses — this is strictly between the Hinge team and you.
The Hinge team has discovered the app is working as intended for its most active users. Over 72% of Hinge users who went on a first date said they’d be willing to go on a second date. Hinge has led to many touching love stories, and it’s even how presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg met his husband!
So, yes, Hinge is a remarkably successful app for relationship seekers, but Bumble isn’t too bad either. I have some friends who use Bumble for all their dating needs. I don’t know any real-life couples who met there, but the Hive blog has featured some couples testimonials that give hope to commitment-oriented singles.
Bumble does not collect data on whether and when its users go on real-life dates, but it has found that users with six or more photos tend to receive more matches, and single women make about 10 love connections every month, while men make eight connections.
That depends on what you’re looking for in the dating scene. Hinge is by no means the most popular dating app out there, so it’s not the best option for singles who want to meet a lot of people very quickly. You’re better off on Tinder, Plenty of Fish, or Badoo, all of which have hundreds of millions of users.
However, Hinge is a quality-driven app. “Designed to be deleted” is its catchphrase. That bodes well for singles who are tired of the swiping game and want to make a solid connection.
Hinge is better than other dating apps at facilitating conversations between genuine daters, and it has a 4.4-star rating on Google Play after receiving nearly 100,000 reviews.
Nope. Hinge is a relationship app. Sure, some casual daters try it out and look for hookups here, but they’re few and far between. The vast majority of Hinge users are interested in building something that lasts.
If you’re interested in straight-up, no-strings-attached sex, you can find plenty of dating sites for hookups — Hinge just isn’t one of them.
Bumble is definitely not a hookup app. It’s geared more toward inspiring authentic relationships, fulfilling friendships, and equal partnerships.
According to a survey of Bumble users, fewer than 1% of women on Bumble are looking to hook up with someone, and over 85% of all users described themselves as looking for either marriage or a boyfriend/girlfriend.
I don’t think it’s necessary to pay for a Hinge subscription to meet people on the app (I didn’t), but it can be a good way to up your odds of success if you’re not getting fast enough results with the free membership. At the very least, you’ll be able to see your incoming likes and create more matches by liking more profiles per day.
The Hinge Preferred plan can be worth it to singles who just needed that extra push, but a lot of singles say they could live without it. “I don’t see the point,” said a Reddit user. “It doesn’t offer much more.”
Hinge and Bumble aren’t the only big names in the online dating scene. A lot of dating sites have risen in popularity as singles get burnt out on Tinder and start seeking out more quality-driven and relationship-focused spaces.
We’ve highlighted a few good alternatives for anyone tired of traditional dating apps. These platforms have been around for a good long way, and they’ve proven effective at making good matches.
Friends, Dates, and Relationships
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Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships
Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more
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Match is the longest-running dating site in the entire freaking dating industry, and that didn’t happen by accident. Since 1995, the Match algorithm has been honed to perfection to identify compatibility and help singles find common ground.
One of my favorite things about Match is that it caters to a more mature and educated dating crowd. According to the site, over 75% of its members are over 30, and most of them are interested in finding someone to come home to — not go out partying with.
Relationships: Serious Relationships
Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions
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|User Base||Gender Ratio||Popularity (Visits/Mo.)||
|2 Million*||Browse Profiles Free|
EliteSingles is a high-caliber dating platform for singles who don’t want to settle for anything less than the best. Over 80% of EliteSingles members have graduated from college, and over 90% say they’re searching for a true-blue long-term relationship.
Although EliteSingles is pricier than Bumble or Hinge, some users prefer to put down some cash and prove that they’re invested in the dating process. The paywall effectively weeds out non-serious daters, and that could lead you to smarter matches and fewer ghosted conversations.
Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships
Match System: Search and get match recommendations
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|User Base||Gender Ratio||Popularity (Visits/Mo.)||
|28.9 Million*||Start Zoosk for FREE|
Last but not least, Zoosk is a popular dating site and app that has a lot of street cred in the dating industry. Since 2007, Zoosk has expanded its network into 80 countries and seen over 40 million signups.
Zoosk has a good combination of free and paid communication features, and it uses behavioral matchmaking to recommend dates based on who you’ve liked, viewed, and messaged. This intuitive system can help singles quickly make sense of the dating scene and focus on the most viable date candidates in their area.
I used to think Hinge and Bumble were basically interchangeable alternatives to Tinder, and then I gave them both a try and realized one fit my dating style a lot better than the other. Maybe if I were more take-charge, I’d enjoy Bumble’s messaging system a bit more. Or maybe if I were running short of date prospects on Hinge, I’d appreciate Bumble’s larger and younger dating pool.
But the fact is that Hinge offered the slow-and-steady, quality-first, and relationship-focused approach to online dating I wanted, and it led me to create solid relationships in a way that felt natural to me. I had an undeniably successful dating experience on Hinge, and I had a relatively all right one on Bumble, so these apps really are neck-and-neck in my mind. However, I’d say Hinge is the overall better option for singles, especially if you’re looking for something serious.
Hinge and Bumble both have a lot to offer in the online dating scene, and if you still can’t decide between the two, then do what I did and join both. Let these two apps duke it out and try to win you over with smart matches — and you’re sure to come out ahead. Good luck!