23 Most Popular Dating Sites (That Are Free to Try)

Online Dating

23 Most Popular Dating Sites (That Are Free to Try)

Hayley Matthews Hayley Matthews
Updated:

In the Broadway musical “Wicked,” Galinda (before she became Glinda the Good Witch) says popularity isn’t “about aptitude — it’s the way you’re viewed,” and people who are popular “hang with the right cohorts,” are “good at sports,” and “know the slang” they’ve got to know to fit in.

Popular kids become popular for a reason, and the same is true for popular dating sites. They’ve got something going on that wins people over, and we’re here to put our finger on what that magic ingredient is.

Whether they have great success stories, advanced search filters, large membership bases, or a just plain impressive interface, the following popular (and free) dating sites have a lot to offer the singles of the world, and we recommend jumping on the bandwagon and giving them a try.

1

Match

BEST
OF

Starting with the best of the best, Match has had more than 42 million signups since 1995, and it still sees more than 39 million visitors a month. Not only is it active — it’s successful, too. The dating site has facilitated more dates, relationships, and marriages than any of its competitors. A standard Match account is free and includes a variety of searching, matching, and communication features. Within minutes, you can create a profile and start searching for compatible dates in your area.

2

EliteSingles

BEST
OF

EliteSingles, which launched around 2001, has some incredible numbers that are definitely worth mentioning. For example, more than 165,000 people sign up for the site every month, and it creates more than 2,500 love connections every month as well. Quality outweighs quantity on EliteSingles. More than 82% of members have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, at least 90% are 30 or older, and pretty much everyone is looking for a long-term relationship.

3

Zoosk

BEST
OF

Not only is Zoosk one of the most popular dating sites, but it’s also one of the most popular dating apps — having been one of the first to offer singles both options. Over 30 million people have downloaded the app on iTunes and Google Play, and in total the platform has over 40 million users who send and receive over 3 million messages a day. Zoosk’s unique matching feature is called the Carousel, and it recommends matches based on your profile’s content and on-site behavior.

4

eharmony

BEST
OF

Thanks to its free membership, cheerful spokesperson (Dr. Neil Clark Warren), one-of-a-kind matching questionnaire (29 Dimensions of Compatibility), and success rate (countless relationships, marriages, and families created), eharmony is a household name. A majority of eharmony’s members are busy professionals, Christian, and commitment-oriented, so if that sounds like you, then you’re going to enjoy mingling on this site.

5

OurTime

BEST
OF

“Now is the time” is OurTime‘s motto, the site is specifically speaking to singles over 50. You can download OurTime for free via the App Store and Google Play Store, and you can view profiles and photos, see who’s viewed your profile and photos, receive matches and search for matches on your own, and send and receive flirts and messages, among other things.

Nearly 6 million black and biracial singles visit BlackPeopleMeet a month, and that number doesn’t even include singles who’ve already signed up for the site (which is free). BlackPeopleMeet is also more than welcoming of those who are interested in interracial relationships. People Media, a leading niche dating site network, operates BlackPeopleMeet as well as other trusted sites like SeniorPeopleMeet and SingleParentMeet, so you should have confidence in BlackPeopleMeet’s ability to work.

It’s pretty obvious that ChristianMingle is where single Christians go to mingle, but the site does so much more than that. Take it from Josh and Carlee, who shared their love story in a testimonial: “There are a million reasons why he is ‘The One’, but our individual faith and our spiritual connection is the strongest reason why we were able to happily commit to one another for a lifetime. I appreciate ChristianMingle for bringing us together,” she said.

8

SilverSingles

BEST
OF

SilverSingles, a sister site of EliteSingles, caters to mature daters who want to find that one special person they can spend the rest of their life with. Here, you’re given a handful of highly compatible matches a day, and you won’t find any flakes or hookup-minded people. To become a member, simply fill out your personality assessment and upload a few photos. It won’t cost you anything to do so.

9

JDate

BEST
OF

The J in JDate stands for Jewish, so obviously the site is dedicated to Jewish singles — it doesn’t matter if you’re Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, or culturally Jewish. It’s also totally cool to join the site if you’re not Jewish but are interested in dating someone who is (even if you don’t want to convert). JDate doesn’t charge for registering, uploading photos, browsing, and liking profiles, and you can always upgrade your account if you’re ready for more.

10

BeNaughty

BEST
OF

When it’s hookups that you’re after, BeNaughty always comes to mind. It’s been a premier casual dating site for years and has gained a following of more than 13.3 million monthly visitors and counting. BeNaughty isn’t just about the numbers, though. Your safety is always top of mind, as the site uses SSL and profile verification tools to keep scammers away and protect your personal information.

With a parent company that’s been around since 1996, Adult Friend Finder is one of the longest running hookup sites and apps in the industry. It’s also one of the largest with more than 77 million users from across the globe. Users also vary greatly in age, sexual orientation, appearance, ethnicity, and interests. Once someone catches your eye, send a flirt, photo, video, live chat, or private message, or get to know a bunch of people at once in the group forums.

12

FriendFinder-X

BEST
OF

FriendFinder-X says it’s the world’s largest casual personals site, and you can join the community within a matter of minutes. Just provide your gender, relationship status, sexual orientation, age, location, email address, and username. You can fill out more information after that, or you can start browsing and come back to it later. You won’t have to provide a credit card number or anything. Just look around and see if this sex-positive environment is your style.

13

MenNation

BEST
OF

MenNation is where gay, bisexual, and sexually curious men go to let loose. You don’t have to worry about people judging you on MenNation. You can say what you’re really thinking and express what you really want — everyone here is honest, hot, and horny. The site isn’t hard on your wallet either — a standard membership is 100% free and includes all the necessary features.

For frisky women interested in other frisky women, LesbianPersonals is a go-to choice. Whatever your sexual fantasy is (a one-night stand, threesome, NSA relationship, swinging relationship, affair, etc.), you can find someone who’s eager to participate in it. Once you create your free profile, you can browse through the site as often or as little as you want. You’ll also be notified when LesbianPersonals sees someone who meets your standards.

15

OkCupid

BEST
OF

Founded in 2004 by Harvard students Chris Coyne, Christian Rudder, Sam Yagan, and Max Krohn, OkCupid has been listed among the top dating sites for a good reason. Since its launch, OkCupid has been completely free to everyone forever. The site (and app) has some premium features that singles can pay for (being able to see who liked you and ranking higher in searches), but they totally aren’t necessary to find an ideal match. OkCupid is responsible for creating over 91 million love connections a year and 50,000 first dates a week, and we expect it to only grow with time.

URL: https://okcupid.com/

16

PlentyOfFish

BEST
OF

PlentyOfFish is another dating site that hasn’t charged a penny (not even for messaging) since its inception. The site also says it has more conversations than any other dating site, with users exchanging over 1 billion messages a month. The first step is to take PlentyOfFish’s chemistry test. Then the site will pinpoint your specific relationship needs and get to work finding that special someone for you. Recently, PlentyOfFish was acquired by IAC, which also owns dating sites like Match, OkCupid, and Tinder, so you’re in good hands.

URL: https://pof.com/

17

Tinder

BEST
OF

Over 190 countries, 1 million dates a week, over 2 billion swipes a day, 30 billion total matches — these are just some things Tinder has been able to accomplish since launching in 2012. And we have to give credit where credit is due because Tinder also started the whole swiping craze that every other dating site and app uses now. Tinder doesn’t come with a big price tag (it’s free to match and message), and that’s something we really love about it.

URL: https://tinder.com/

18

Bumble

BEST
OF

Bumble is a female-led dating app that puts women in the front seat. After a match is made (both people swipe right), only the women can initiate the conversation. If you’re gay, lesbian, or bi, either person can initiate. Bumble has more than 22 million users, so you should never really run out of people to talk to. You can also snooze your account whenever you want to take a break. Or you can switch to Bumble BFF, if want to make new friends, or Bumble Bizz for networking opportunities.

URL: https://bumble.com/

19

Grindr

BEST
OF

Grindr is hands down one of the top gay dating apps out there. It was founded by a gay man specifically for gay men, but bisexual, trans, and sexually curious men are welcome to join for free, too. The team doesn’t just focus on facilitating hookups and dates, though. Grindr for Equality is a movement by the company to keep the LGBTQ community informed about the issues affecting them, and you can participate in numerous campaigns to fight against discrimination and harassment.

URL: https://grindr.com/

20

Hinge

BEST
OF

Hinge is the relationship app, or the anti-Tinder, and it was “designed to be deleted.” Meaningful connections are the main goal here, and that starts with the way the matching works. People can only start conversations by liking or commenting on another person’s photos or sections of their profile. Hinge encourages showing personal interest in someone and finding commonality right from the start. It’s not about superficial matches and hookups. It’s about getting to know someone on a deeper level and seeing if he or she is relationship material. Hinge is free, fun, and effective, so we really can’t think of any good reason not to download it.

URL: https://hinge.co/

21

Happn

BEST
OF

Happn is a free dating app that’s on a mission to recreate offline those feelings you get when you lock eyes with someone across the room at a bar, cafe, park, or anywhere else. After you sign up, Happn will show you singles who you’ve crossed paths with in real life. Don’t worry, though, because your actual location is always kept private. Happn makes it easy to see who shares hobbies and lifestyle habits with you.

URL: https://happn.com/

22

Badoo

BEST
OF

More than 400 million people have joined Badoo, and that number is growing by the minute. You can see for yourself thanks to the counter on the homepage. Whether you’re looking for friends, dates, or lifelong partners, Badoo can help you. In addition to providing your gender, name, birthday, city, email address, and password, Badoo asks during the registration process what you want to get out of the app. IOS and Android users can get the app for free by visiting iTunes or Google Play, respectively.

URL: https://badoo.com/

23

HER

BEST
OF

HER, formerly known as Daatch, is a socially driven dating network made by a lesbian who wasn’t satisfied with the LGBTQ+ dating sites for single women. She decided to do right by her sisters by building an app where they felt welcome and loved. HER is a community 4 million women who love women. You can chat online with other members, attend fun events, read LGBTQ-related articles, set up dates, and do so many other things. Jess Southam is one satisfied member who wrote on Google Play: “Very happy with this app. User-friendly. Best dating app to use for women!”

URL: https://weareher.com/

You’ll Be Popular On These Popular Dating Sites!

As we mentioned above, popular means something different to everyone. However, in regards to dating sites, we’re basing popularity on numbers, cold-hard facts, and online daters’ testimonials. Now it’s time for you to get into the driver’s seat and determine which popular dating site(s) speaks to you and your definition of popular. Have fun!