Totally Free Dating Sites

Online Dating

23 Totally Free Dating Sites for 2021

Amber Brooks
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I once thought totally free dating sites were a total myth. It just seems too good to be true. Why would online dating companies give away their goods for free instead of charging for them?

Well, it turns out many dating sites and apps offer free services as a gesture of good faith to singles who are curious about online dating. It’s a way to attract signups and ensure real conversations can take place. In most cases, a forever free dating profile is enough to get a person moving in the online dating scene — you just have to make sure it includes at least some free messaging.

We’ve put together a list of the most cost-effective (aka free) dating sites and apps with which new users do not have to spend a penny to register an account and view matches.

★★★★★
Match.com 4.8/5.0

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

4.8/5.0

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 »

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When Match launched in 1995, it showed the world what a free dating website could do for love-driven singles of all ages and backgrounds. The dating platform remains free to join, and it has more success stories to its name than any of its competitors.

Match.com offers a completely free membership that is so much more than a free trial. It doesn’t expire, for one thing, and it allows free members to message everyone in their Top Picks list for as long as they like.

Free members benefit from Match.com’s matchmaking know-how and can focus on their most compatible date options curated in their Top Picks. This premier dating service unlocks certain conversation windows and does not put a time limit or message count limit on singles getting to know each other online. Pro tip: If you want to refine Match.com’s Top Picks list, add more details to your dating profile and send more likes to other dating profiles to show where your interests lie.

★★★★★
EliteSingles.com 4.7/5.0

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

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 »

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Elite Singles is an upscale dating site that caters to the uppercrust of dating society. Its typical member is a well-educated and successful professional who is serious about finding a potential partner for life. That doesn’t come cheap, but the first steps are totally free.

The free features on Elite Singles include creating a dating profile, taking a personality test, viewing compatibility ratings, and sending icebreaker winks to members that catch your eye. However, Elite Singles members have to upgrade to a monthly membership plan so they can send unlimited messages and view pictures in the photo gallery.

★★★★★
eharmony 4.7/5.0

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

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 »

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A clinical psychologist came up with the idea for eharmony in 2000 out of a desire to bring greater value to the online dating scene and help singles choose the right partner. The dating website’s sophisticated matchmaking features have evolved quite a bit over the last two decades — but their $0 price tag has not changed.

Many experts rank eharmony among the best dating sites for relationships because its algorithm is serious about finding compatibility on a deep personal level. It’s free to create an eharmony account, take its Compatibility Quiz, and review a curated list of potential matches.

The eharmony site and app offer some free chat tools, including exchanging icebreaker quizzes, to spark a romantic connection. However, free members do have limits on how much they can communicate on eharmony, so it may be worth investing in a paid membership to get access to unlimited instant messaging and video chat options.

★★★★★
SilverSingles 4.6/5.0

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

4.6/5.0

Relationships: Friendship, Casual Dates, Serious Relationships

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

Our Experts Say: “SilverSingles is a fast-growing, easy-to-use niche dating site exclusively for active daters over the age of 50...” Full Review »

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SilverSingles is a senior dating site that was created by the same team that launched Elite Singles. So it operates under a similar freemium model that keeps new users engaged and safe.

Mature daters can browse profiles, send a photo request, and initiate matches for free, and they can upgrade to a one-month, three-month, or six-month plan whenever they want to chat with a new friend. SilverSingles has a paywall in place to ensure spammers and fake profiles do not threaten its friendly atmosphere, and it seems to be working well. SilverSingles is a top-rated senior dating site with an abundance of good reviews and success stories to its name.

5. Zoosk

★★★★★
Zoosk 4.5/5.0

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

4.5/5.0

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 »

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Zoosk is a free dating app with over 40 million members to its name. It is free to download the app on Google Play or the App Store, and free singles can also register an account on the website to access the mobile-friendly database and get chatting.

Since 2007, Zoosk has pushed the boundaries of online dating by creating unique tools, including virtual gifting and behavioral matchmaking, that allow users to make the most of their time online. New members do not need a paid plan to pursue matches with local singles.

Zoosk allows its users to send free greetings and free replies to certain dating profiles, and it does not impose any mutual matching requirements. On average, Zoosk members exchange over 3 million messages per day through the dating site and app.

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ChristianMingle 4.4/5.0

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

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 »

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ChristianMingle provides a free online dating site and app to all Christian singles looking for a potential date with similar views and values. The Christian dating network has over 15 million members, and it is responsible for more Christian marriages than any other dating service, according to ChristianMingle.

A single person doesn’t have to take it on faith that ChristianMingle works. They can get a free dating profile and see for themselves what the platform has to offer. The free membership includes the ability to use search filters to explore the dating pool, and free members can send a virtual smile to express interest in another person. Only premium members can send and read messages on ChristianMingle, so a Christian woman doesn’t have to worry about her inbox becoming crammed with impersonal and inappropriate pickup messages.

★★★★
OurTime.com 4.3/5.0

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

4.3/5.0

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 »

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OurTime welcomes senior singles hoping to make new friends, pick up a date, or get in a serious relationship by using free online matchmaking. This senior dating site and app has a free registration process that is simple and easy to understand so nothing stops newcomers from joining in the fun.

Free members can expect OurTime to give them plenty of room to mix and mingle. The dating website and app provide advanced search tools, potential match recommendations, and free message replies to everyone at no cost. Plus, a premium OurTime membership offers even more exclusive goodies to help a senior relationship blossom.

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BlackPeopleMeet 4.1/5.0

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

4.1/5.0

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 »

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Since launching in 2002, BlackPeopleMeet has made a name for itself as the most popular online dating website for African-American singles. Its diverse dating network includes people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, and a person of color will feel at home here.

BlackPeopleMeet keeps its basic services 100% free so local singles can get the lay of the land without breaking open their piggy bank. A free membership gives men and women the ability to search for a potential match and even send initial messages to get something going. The only catch is that only a premium member can send unlimited instant messages through the niche dating platform.

★★★★
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 »

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Here’s the thing, not all online daters are technically single, and Ashley Madison embraces the idea that married or attached men and women need to let off steam sometimes. As an affair dating site, AshleyMadison keeps the secrets of more than 65 million users and facilitates romantic connections that sometimes stay online and sometimes lead to the bedroom.

AshleyMadison tempts women with its free messaging features. All female users can search, match, and chat on the married dating site as a forever free member. Men, on the other hand, can only send a limited number of instant messages, and then they have to upgrade to premium membership if they want to continue their steamy conversations with a new person.

10. BeNaughty

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BeNaughty 3.9/5.0

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

3.9/5.0

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 »

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BeNaughty is a hookup site that does not mess around when it comes to free features. Every single woman who completes a BeNaughty dating profile has immediate access to the instant messaging options, and it’s basically a flirtatious free-for-all from then on.

The BeNaughty platform keeps things light and doesn’t require members to jump through hoops or form mutual matches just to start a conversation. BeNaughty verifies members through an email address, photo, and fraud detection tools, so it doesn’t need a paywall to keep users safe from scammers.

All women enjoy free messaging on BeNaughty, but men have fewer chat options. Single men can send a mass greeting to all their potential matches (i.e. those who meet their search criteria), and then can send a limited number of replies with a free membership plan. The BeNaughty paid membership costs less than a dollar a day, so a lot of guys skip ahead to that option to give themselves more freedom to flirt at will.

★★★★
AFF.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 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...”

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Adult Friend Finder has proudly maintained a sex chat room since the mid-1990s, and it is responsible for countless flirtatious, sexy, and anonymous encounters online. The hookup website currently has over 104 million members in its database.

It is free to join the AFF network and explore its X-rated forums, photo galleries, blog posts, and groups. The only thing free members cannot do is send private messages to one another or view more than a snippet of video livestreams. The AFF free trial will only get a person so far in the dating scene, but they can always upgrade to a Gold Membership to get more bang for their buck.

★★★
FriendFinder-X 3.4/5.0

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

3.4/5.0

Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “A hookup site specializing in casual encounters, secret affairs, live chats, and member videos, FriendFinder-X skips the awkward "dating" stage of a relationship and fast-forwards straight to the sex...”

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FriendFinder-X is a local hookup site geared toward adult singles seeking no-strings-attached sex. Its members like to move fast and keep things anonymous. The free membership allows them to satisfy their craving for connection without getting too invested.

All it takes is an email address to get a FriendFinder-X profile up and running. Once you’ve finished your online dating profile (also known as a personal ad), you can use the search filters by age, appearance, and mile radius to locate viable date options. Free members can express interest in each other with the click of a button, and they can also browse half-naked photos and read erotic posts without paying anything.

13. Flirt.com

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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...”

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As a free hookup site, Flirt.com has given horny adults the freedom to flirt anytime they please, and millions of people have gotten into the action. Flirt.com is one of the best totally free dating sites in our book because it gets maximum results with minimum effort.

Flirt.com is completely free for female users and mostly free for male users. All single women can send as many messages to as many members as they like on the dating platform. Single men have a cap on the number of messages they can send on Flirt.com, but they can always upgrade to a low-cost paid plan to put themselves on an even playing field with the ladies.

The Flirt network currently extends to North America, Europe, and Australia, and its biggest following is in major U.S. cities.

14. MenNation

★★★★
MenNation 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: Daters & Hookups

Match System: Search by age, zip code, more

Our Experts Say: “MenNation is a well-established gay dating and hookup brand, having been founded in 1996. It's totally free to join, view profiles, receive matches, and flirt...”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Gay guys have free rein on MenNation to explore their sexuality and pursue dating opportunities. This gay hookup app sees approximately 75,000 daily active users, and it features sexy photos, videos, and personal ads to get guys in the mood to flirt.

MenNation is a free-to-join, men-only dating platform geared toward stimulating sexual activity. As such, it takes online privacy seriously and keeps men from messaging each other willy-nilly. Men can use a free membership to get acclimated to this sex-driven dating scene, but only premium members have the privilege of exchanging messages and viewing live model shows.

★★★★
LesbianPersonals 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 Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “LesbianPersonals provides a fun, quick, and easy experience for gay and bisexual women looking for sex online. Join for free, and you'll be able to search and communicate immediately...”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

LesbianPersonals has what it takes to get a lesbian single off the bench and into the dating game. This free hookup website provides search, matching, and communication tools geared toward attractive women seeking a sexual adventure.

Whether they’re after same-sex partners, sexting buddies, or threesomes, single women can start their journey with a free membership on LesbianPersonals. The free plan does not expire and includes some communication options.

LesbianPersonals has given lesbian, bisexual, and queer women the space to consider their options, follow their hearts, and be a little naughty online. That’s why we rank it as one of the best lesbian hookup sites that just so happens to be available for free.

16. OkCupid

OkCupid is 100% free for everyone, always. Period. Seriously, the match questions are free, the swiping tools are free, and all chatting between mutual matches is — you guessed it — free. Members can even send an icebreaker message to their online crushes to express interest in a more dynamic way than an impersonal like.

Every year, OkCupid sees about 91 million matches made online and leads to over 2.5 million first dates at coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and other public places.

Screenshot of OkCupid

OkCupid is the ultimate free dating site because it doesn’t charge a fee for unlimited chatting.

All messaging is free on OkCupid, so there is really no need to upgrade to the A-List membership unless you’re just dying to see who has viewed and liked your dating profile. A-List members also rank higher in swiping lists and search results on the dating platform.

17. Tinder

We have to mention Tinder on this list of free dating apps. It invented swipe-based matching. It’s been downloaded over 400 million times. And it’s got a lot to offer today’s young singles.

Tinder started out offering free memberships to only singles under 30, but that became an issue under age discrimination laws, so now it’s just free to everyone. Though young singles make up around 80% of the user base, so it’s still not exactly welcoming to the senior crowd.

Screenshot from Tinder's website

Since its launch in 2012, Tinder has created over 55 billion matches.

Tinder has the reputation of a free hookup app, but it’s actually so much more than that. Many Tinder success stories include couples who have moved in together, gotten married, and started families.

“Thank you for making it possible to meet my soulmate,” said Victoria and Bayleigh, a Tinder couple who are now married. “Five minutes into our first conversation, my now-wife mentioned how we would have an amazing wedding.”

18. Hinge

As a dating app that’s “designed to be deleted,” Hinge aims to cut through the nonsense and allow relationship-oriented singles to find what they’re looking for — without paying anything.

The Hinge free membership can help a savvy online dater meet new people in a jiffy. The free plan includes sending up to eight likes per day and messaging all mutual matches for as long as it takes to get the digits.

The Hinge logo

Hinge is a free mobile app that allows local singles to get to know one another.

Hinge can offer a lot of value and potential dating opportunities to its free members. Hinge boasts being the online dating app with the best first date success rate. According to user feedback, over 70% of Hinge members say they enjoyed their first date and would go on a second date with the same person.

19. Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish is completely free from start to finish. Since 2003, this free dating site and app has allowed matches, conversations, and relationships to flourish without charging its members a single cent. All messaging is free on POF, and the only restriction is members can only send 55 unsolicited messages in a 24-hour period. This limitation cuts down on spam mail sent via POF.

Screenshot of POF

Plenty of Fish offers absolutely free chatting to all its members.

The POF community is massive because — surprise, surprise — a lot of people like free stuff. Over 140 million singles have registered an account on Plenty of Fish, and the online dating site sees over 4 million actively browsing members per day.

Singles will find no shortage of date options on POF, and they don’t have to pay to strike up a conversation with a promising new match.

20. Bumble

In 2014, Bumble created a buzz in the online dating industry as the world’s first feminist dating app. Its unique messaging system puts single women first in conversations with men, and the app doesn’t charge female or male users for the pleasure of sending messages.

Screenshot of Bumble

Bumble is a networking app where women can take the lead and make the first move.

Bumble allows all users to take advantage of its free chat tools. The process starts when two users like each other’s profiles and thereby spark a mutual match. If it’s a same-sex match, either person can send the first message to unlock the conversation. If it’s an opposite-sex match, the woman is the only one who can send that all-important first message and set the tone for the new relationship.

As of 2020, Bumble has surpassed 100 million members and become widely known as a safe and values-driven place to pick up a date.

21. HER

HER is an all-female dating app driven by a founding mission to make the dating scene more chick-friendly. The HER app is free to download and provides free messaging tools to all verified members. In total, the HER community has over 5 million women who come from all walks of life and identify across the sexuality spectrum.

Screenshot from HER

The HER dating app welcomes single people who identify as female.

If you want proof that HER is a dating app that works, you can read tons of touching and remarkable #WeMetOnHER stories posted by real women on Twitter and Instagram.

HER is available for free download in 55 countries around the world, but it is by far most popular in the U.S. and the U.K.

22. Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel is a free dating app where singles can build a friendship or relationship based on common interests. The app provides a limited number of daily match options, so users have an incentive to take their time and weigh each dating profile carefully.

All matching and messaging is free on Coffee Meets Bagel, but the app does have some paid features, including activity reports and read receipts, for single people who want more support online.

Screenshot of CoffeeMeetsBagel

Coffee Meets Bagel began as the passion project of three Asian sisters in Silicon Valley.

Three single women in San Francisco founded Coffee Meets Bagel in 2012 because they wanted to support relationship seekers in the dating scene. The CMB app puts quality before quantity and ensures singles have the information they need to make a smart match.

23. Grindr

Last but not least, Grindr is a free gay dating app where guys can really let loose. The app provides free swiping, free matching, and free messaging to get men where they want to be in the dating world.

Grindr has over 27 million members around the globe, and it sees over 4 million swipes every day.

Screenshot of Grindr's homepage

Gay, bisexual, and queer men can use Grindr to arrange a hot date.

One of the most value free features Grindr offers is the location-based search tools. The curated algorithm scours a man’s city for his most viable date options. The potential match list prioritizes men who are nearby and actively seeking a partner. So you never know what will happen when you log in and start swiping.

A free Grindr membership is all you need to pick up a local date, but some ambitious guys like to upgrade to Grindr Xtra to get more liking options, read receipts, advanced search filters, and other premium features at their fingertips.

How Do Totally Free Dating Sites Work?

The matchmaking process on free dating sites is pretty simple — not to mention cheap. A person starts with a free account and then uses the search or swiping tools to find the perfect match. Then they can send a like, a wink, a greeting, or even an instant message to make a new connection. The chat options will vary from platform to platform, so definitely read the fine print to know what you’re getting.

Free dating sites typically generate a profit through ads or through optional payment plans that offer perks such as more search filters, more match options, or greater visibility on the platform.

How Do I Choose the Best Totally Free Dating Site?

The best dating site will vary based on who you are and what you want. For example, a man in his 60s may thrive on certain senior dating sites, but he may not have the best luck on dating sites for young people. When choosing a dating site or app, you have to think about what you’re looking for in a partner and what your dating strengths are. Do your research to find out what the online dating experience is like and what it typically costs, and then choose two or three free dating sites that appeal to you the most.

Are Totally Free Dating Sites Safe?

Free dating sites sometimes have a sketchy reputation because they basically open the floodgates to anonymous conversations between people with all sorts of intentions. Most are genuinely seeking real-life dating opportunities, but some unsavory characters can ruin a person’s online dating experience.

Fortunately, as long as singles use good judgment and look out for the warning signs of a romance scam, they should be able to avoid unsafe situations on a dating site or mobile app.

Photo of a safe button

Stay safe online by vetting potential date prospects and keeping personal data off your profile.

It’s important for online dating companies and online daters to work together to spot the fake profiles, scammers, and other bad apples undermining an otherwise respectable dating platform. Members can report anyone they find suspicious, threatening, or inappropriate, and the dating service will ban repeat offenders that break the community guidelines.

Singles should follow some basic online dating safety tips such as never giving money to a stranger and always conducting a background search on a new love interest. A quick search through Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms can verify that a person is who he or she says.

Skip the Fees & Have Fun Browsing Free Dating Sites

After doing some research, I discovered that totally free dating sites do, in fact, exist. And they can be a game changer for singles seeking fast connections. The best online dating services pair affordability with efficiency and safety to create an invaluable dating experience.

Every dating website and app on this list is completely free to join and has enough matchmaking features to help online daters meet one another. There is no pressure to upgrade, no hidden fees, and no reason not to give it a try.

Since it’s free to create a dating profile anyway, many singles join multiple sites and apps to give themselves the best shot at meeting someone new. Choose your favorite platforms on this list, put your wallet away, and have fun browsing the online dating world. Good luck!

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