These are the only online dating sites worth your time

If you’re new to internet dating, we’ll let you in on a little tip: the best online dating sites are the ones you already know about. Turns out that when we talk about the top dating sites, brand recognition really does play a role in just how successful a service is. But just because you’re familiar with the website’s name doesn’t mean you know everything about it.

We plan to change all of that by detailing the exclusive features and Premium membership pricing of the best online dating sites according to users. So before you go downloading all of the dating apps, do yourself a favor and read the reviews below. 

Best online dating sites in the USA

1) eHarmony

best online dating sites eHarmony

Since its launch in 2000, eHarmony has continued to top best online dating site lists. Founded by a former marriage counselor and clinical psychologist, eHarmony practically forefronted compatibility testing. After sifting through years of data on what makes a long-term relationship successful, eHarmony introduced its patented Compatibility Matching System which uses your responses to a specific series of questions (I.E. Do you have kids? Are you religious? Are you good at building romance in a relationship? etc.) to match you with someone who meets your criteria. The test is regularly updated to ensure quality matching, and if you feel like you need a bit of coaching to get back into the game, eHarmony even offers dating advice to all of its members through its eHarmony Advice blog. 

eHarmony reviewers say that its biggest flaw is the fact that the site doesn’t delete or hide inactive accounts. So instead of only suggesting people actively chatting on or using the site, users have found they’ll be “matched” with old/expired accounts that will likely never respond. Additionally, users complain that the site is rather expensive to use (more on that below)–especially since you can’t pause your account. So if you sign up for six months and meet a great partner within the first four you’re still stuck paying for those two months that you (probably) aren’t even using. 

Joining eHarmony is free but in order to access all the site’s benefits, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid subscription. Standard subscriptions allow you to see who’s viewed your profile, unlimited messages and photos, and access to more matches. The Premium plan includes all of that plus the ability to browse anonymously, see when people read your messages and get featured with Spotlight. 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Standard Subscription rates

Premium Subscription rates

Join eHarmony


2) Match

best online dating sites Match.com

Match.com has been another top online dating website since its debut in 1995. Instead of running capability tests, Match requires its worldwide users to express themselves in free writing sections and by selecting partner preferences. Profiles can also include up to 26 photos, but the site’s most notable feature by far is its heightened level of privacy. It allows members to message each other anonymously while keeping all names and contact information confidential until you decide to share it. 

People who have used Match.com offer mixed reviews on SiteJabber, with most saying it really only caters to an older crowd (60+) as many of the profiles of people in their 20s seem to be fake. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that Match.com isn’t responsible for a bad date–there’s only so much potential chemistry it can predict. So if you choose to read more reviews, do it with a grain of salt. 

Joining Match.com is free, but a premium subscription gains you access to all the site’s perks. As a paid Standard member, you’ll be able to chat with local singles, send and receive messages, see who’s viewed you, attend live events and more. Premium members even get notifications when someone reads your email, one profile review per year, and monthly boosts. Plus, for a limited time, all Match.com memberships are up to 67% off–so if you’re looking to try it out, there’s never been a better time! 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Standard Subscription rates

Premium Subscription rates

Join Match.com


3) Passion

best online dating sites Passion

Unlike other online dating sites, Passion.com is a sex-focused website. In addition to the dating service aspect, it also offers private chatrooms and adult movies

According to online dating reviews, Passions.com is a solid site for enjoying explicit content but it lacks key features (like a mobile app) and hides its best content behind a paywall. But once you get past that (and the overall corniness of the site’s design) you’ll find that Passions.com has all the fun you’re looking for. 

Passions.com is free to join but in order to view explicit photos, private cams, and profile summaries, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid membership. The service currently offers a monthly Gold membership which gives you unlimited access to everything, a Private Chatroom membership that gives you access to just the cam section of the site, an Adult Movie membership for all your pornographic movie needs, and a points/credits based system that you can use to send tips and gifts to models.

Membership payment options (payable by credit card, electronic check, or money order):

Gold Membership rates

Private Chatroom Membership rates

Adult Movie Membership

Points

Join Passion.com


4) EliteSingles

best online dating sites EliteSingles

EliteSingles.com has one of the cleanest interfaces of all the online dating services. It’s intended to help users find long-term relationships, not just flings–which is why it developed the 5 Factor Personality Questionnaire for its users to take prior to registering. This quick quiz uses your answers to match you with other users that offer compatible responses. 

If you’re looking to hear from reviewers, SiteJabber users had mixed things to say about this service. It worked for some, while others say the service doesn’t screen profiles well enough–leading to incompatible matches and lots of fake profiles. So is it worth the risk? We’ll leave that up to you to decide.  

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

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5) JDate

best online dating sites JDate

JDate differs from other online dating websites in that it caters to the Jewish community. So if finding someone of a similar faith is super important to you, consider JDate your ideal matchmaker. The service uses a profile builder based on your responses to basic questions, selected interests, and description of the type of person you’re looking for to help you meet singles in your area.  

JDate reviewers appreciate its sleek and simple design, multiple messaging options, mobile app, and its slew of other advanced features. However, users do complain about the limited search filters offered and the fact that the site isn’t exclusive to the Jewish community (since it does allow users of other religious backgrounds to use the service). 

Joining JDate is free and offers unlimited messaging (with paid subscribers), read receipts, the ability to control who sees what on your profile, anonymous browsing, and more. But if you want to unlock all the site’s features, you’ll have to upgrade to a Premium membership. Paid subscribers get all the perks found in the basic membership plus the means to message anyone (regardless of membership status), access to other users’ photo albums, plus the ability to see who viewed you and/or liked you. 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Join JDate.com


6) ChristianCafe.com

best online dating sites ChristianCafe.com

For the last 20 years, ChristianCafe.com has been a lead online dating service for people of the Chrisitan faith. Like its Jewish counterpart, JDate, ChristianCafe.com uses a combination of your responses to general biographical questions and selected descriptors for the type of person you’re looking for to find you a suitable match. ChristianCafe also allows users to search with filters (like age/birthday, location, username, whether or not the profile has photos, etc.), see who has viewed their profile, provide lengthy responses to open-ended questions visible on every profile, participate in discussions on the ChrisitanCafe Forum, and much more. 

Users who have reviewed the site were pleased with the abundance of active and new users that are online every day. And when compared to other similar sites, ChristianCafe.com is actually cheaper than most–free communication weekends aside! That said, it is worth noting that unless you’re willing to pay for a subscription you won’t be able to do more than build a profile. 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Join ChristianCafe.com


7) Zoosk

best online dating sites Zoosk

top dating site for singles, Zoosk.com offers members access to both free online dating services and paid subscriptions. Registering is easy and only takes a few minutes, and unlike other dating sites, Zoosk actually walks users through how to access all of the site’s features. So if you’re new to or unsure about online dating, Zoosk is the metaphorical equivalent of “just getting your feet wet.” 

Free users can message members, swipe through profiles, access dating advice, see who viewed their profile, flirt, and favorite members. Paid subscribers can boost their visibility, send gifts, go invisible, and access advanced search filters. 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Join Zoosk


8) FirstMet

best online dating sites FirstMet

After reviewing online dating service reviews of FirstMet.com, it seems like this is the site for people who don’t know what they’re looking for (in terms of relationship style). The service doesn’t offer compatibility matching like other dedicated dating sites, which is part of its appeal–at least for those just looking to date or meet someone they can have fun with. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people looking for committed relationships, either. It just means they may be a part of the site’s minority. 

FirstMet users gain access to a social network style dating service, an “interests” page where users can search for matches with similar hobbies or passions, and icebreaker questions to help with starting conversations. But since the focus is on honing that “first connection,” the site doesn’t offer video calling or instant chat support–just plain ol’ email! 

FirstMet.com is free to join and allows users to read/compose a limited amount of messages to other free members (Premium members are always free to message), browse in their local area, and access basic search features. Premium members unlock unlimited messaging, can see who’s viewed their profile, search around the world, and access advanced search filters. 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Join FirstMet


9) OkCupid

best online dating sites OkCupid

Also in the list of the best online dating sites, OkCupid has seen a lot of successful relationships and even marriages! Since 2004, OkCupid has offered users free messaging, profile building, and access to dating advice through the service’s blog. And just five years ago, the dating app was the first of its kind to introduce gender and sexual orientation options that exceeded the binary–so if diversity was ever a concern, just know that OkCupid embraces it. 

And instead of a more traditional compatibility test, OkCupid has its members fill out a questionnaire that they can use to rank the importance of questions. For example, one question is “How do you feel about gender-neutral passports?” Users can choose to select “I’m in favor of them” or “I’m not in favor of them,” and then either check the box to denote that “this is important to me” or leave it blank if it’s not a dealbreaker. 

OkCupid is free to join, but paid members (or A-Listers) do get to enjoy some perks–like seeing who views your profile, read receipts on messages, access to advanced search filters, and no ads. A-List memberships are available in two packages: A-List Basic which offers everything aforementioned, and A-List Premium which gives you everything available in the A-List Basic package plus daily boosts, increased attractiveness, access to other member’s questionnaire answers, and message priority. 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

A-List Basic membership rates

A-List Premium membership rates

Join OkCupid


10) Plenty of Fish

best online dating sites Plenty of Fish

According to online dating service reviews, PlentyOfFish is a mixed bag. Some people say it’s no more than a very basic dating site, while others complain that it’s not worth having to sift through all the ads and fake profiles in order to use the site without a paid subscription. So if you’re thinking of using it, you should proceed with caution. 

The site is free to join but in order to access the best features, you’ll have to upgrade to a Premium account. Paid members receive read receipts, will show up first on the Meet Me page and stand out in searches, see when other members viewed your profile, send up to three gifts per day, be able to upload more photos, and unlock users’ extended profiles. 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Join PlentyOfFish.com


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11) CoffeeMeetsBagel

best online dating sites CoffeeMeetsBagel

CoffeeMeetsBagel is one of many local dating sites that can be used with a web browser or a mobile app. It requires its users to create a profile complete with your education, work, and biographical information. Instead of taking advantage of search filters, users simply swipe right to “Connect” and left to leave that profile in the dust–so it’s similar to Tinder, to say the very least. But that’s where similarities between the services end, CoffeeMeetsBagel allows members to “Give” (suggest) matches to their friends. So if you’re thinking of playing matchmaker, CoffeeMeetsBagel supports that. And instead of constantly refreshing your Discoverable Matches, this online dating service only refreshes that page once per day. So be careful which way you swipe! 

Reviewers claim that CoffeeMeetsBagel has a lot to offer (A/B testing with photos, rematches for people you swiped the wrong way on, tools to help you find potential matches with mutual friends, etc) but it hasn’t perfected the system yet. It may be super easy to use, but CoffeeMeetsBagel doesn’t offer any matchmaking features or compatibility tests beyond asking users for three fun facts which serve as “icebreakers” on their profile. Additionally, users seem to have more run-ins with fake profiles and potential catfishers than on any other app. 

Joining is free and users automatically receive access to the CoffeeMeetsBagel profile builder, unlimited browsing and messaging (once connected with another user), and a few beans (the in-app currency which can be used to purchase specials like “Woos,” which are the app’s equivalent to Tinder’s Super Like feature). Premium members unlock unlimited Woos, 6,000 beans per month, read receipts, and the ability to see any mutual friends (from your Facebook Friends list) you may have with a potential match. 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Premium monthly membership

Just the Beans

Join CoffeeMeetsBagel


12) Bumble

best online dating sites Bumble

Considered one of the top online dating sites for women, Bumble lets ladies lead the way by only giving them the option to message new matches–and they only have 24 hours to do so! Here’s how it works: Bumble grabs all your relevant info (think birthday, job, current city) from Facebook (or you can build it from scratch) and then asks you to create a bio and upload pics. Once you’re all set, it’s time to swipe. If it’s a match, then let the countdown begin! Ladies have 24 hours to say hello, leaving the guys with 24 hours to come up with an eye-catching response. And if one of you fail to respond within the time limit, wave goodbye to that match. </3 However, if you’re looking to swipe on the same sex these rules change a little bit. Instead of one swiper being the “designated ice breaker,” either match can choose to message first. You only have 24 hours before they disappear forever! 

As someone who’s used Bumble (and I know I can’t speak for everyone when I say this), I’ve found that’s its geared more toward finding dates and budding relationships than most other apps that have users swiping for love. Although I haven’t found that special someone, I don’t blame the app for that–they can’t help the fact that I have trash taste in men. That aside, I’d recommend Bumble to anyone looking to test out online dating. And if you’re looking to just meet friends or grow your professional network, Bumble even offers counterparts to that (Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz)–all within the same app, too! 

Bumble is free to use, but paid members unlock perks like Boosts, Match Extensions (gives your match extra time to message you in case their 24 hours are almost up), and being able to see who has already swiped right on you. 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Join Bumble


13) Tinder

best online dating sites Tinder If you haven’t already heard of the online dating service Tinder, just know that it’s the reason “swiping right” and hookup culture have such a prominent place in our society. Users can choose to import information from their Facebook profile (like age, location, education, work, interests/Facebook likes, and people on your friend’s list) or build a profile from scratch using their phone number or email address. They also have the option to add a bio, link their Instagram account, and even pick an “Anthem” or share their most played artists on Spotify. All of these options make it pretty easy to get a good understanding of the person behind that profile. That said, Tinder doesn’t differentiate between those looking for relationships and those looking for fun hookups–which can make matching a bit of a messy process. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find what you’re looking for! It may just take some time (and a whole lot of patience). 

As a Tinder user myself, I could see how some could be shocked the app made it on our list of the best online dating sites. It definitely has its fair share of problems (which you can read more about here), but it also works regardless of what type of relationship you’re looking for. However, since it doesn’t offer any real matchmaking services, finding something involving commitment can be a little sticky but not impossible (one Daily Dot writer met her fiance on it!). 

The Tinder app is free to download and use but if you do choose to go premium with Tinder Plus, you’ll be able to swipe anywhere in the world, hide your age and distance, control who sees you, rewind your last swipe, hide ads, unlock unlimited right swipes and extra Super Likes

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Join Tinder


14) Hinge

best online dating sites Hinge

Hinge is considered one of the more recently launched top dating sites. The service utilizes your Facebook Friend List to match you with singles in your area that also know some of your friends. But that’s not the only difference. Hinge also requires each of its users to build a profile that includes three of its icebreaker/fun-fact prompts. Which I know doesn’t sound like much, but reading people’s responses to questions like “Two truths and a lie” or “Where you can find me on a Friday night…” really gives you a much better sense of the person behind the profile. 

My experience on Hinge was one of the better experiences I’ve had on a dating app. Its interface is clean and the way Hinge presents users’ profiles benefits those looking for something on the more serious side of the relationship realm (hell, the service’s tagline is “Designed to be Deleted”). It also requires users to completely fill out their profile before they get to the fun stuff. The app alternates between sharing users photos, fun facts, and biography so when you’re scrolling through their page, you’re less likely to overlook something. And once you select a person’s page, Hinge won’t let you swipe on them until you scroll to the bottom or exit the profile. Dare we say it’s the least superficial of all dating apps?! The app also allows users to set “Dealbreakers,” which are strict requirements for what you absolutely don’t want (one night stands, a slobby partner, kids, etc.). 

Hinge is free to download and use, but free members receive a limited amount of swipes per day. So if you want to be able to swipe all day, see who has already “liked” you, set advanced preferences, or get expert dating advice, you’ll need to upgrade to a Preferred membership. 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Join Hinge


15) Badoo

best online dating sites Badoo

A lesser-known online dating service, Badoo hosts over 400 million users. Using your current location, Badoo helps you find local singles wherever you may be. But what sets it apart from its rivals is that the app offers a guesstimate of where/when you may have run into a potential match IRL. So let’s say you’re at the mall and so is another Badoo user–the app will notify you of that! Additionally, the site also offers profile verification to ensure its users are who they say they are, so there’s little risk of catfishing. 

Badoo is free to join and use, but many of its best features are reserved for Premium members only. So if you plan on boosting your profile, checking your popularity within the app, browse anonymously, or be the first to contact new users, you’ll need to upgrade (which also requires you download the paid version of the app which will set you back another $3). Badoo also features an in-app currency of credits that can be used to send other members gifts, boost your profile, get to the Popular list and much more!

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

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16) Lavalife

best online dating sites Lavalife

For the last twenty years, Lavalife has provided an online dating service for singles looking to meet people based on interests, passions, and hobbies. The site’s 10-minute profile builder also works as a matchmaker, as the service will only pair you with other users that you have things in common with. Other features include dating tips, an “In Common” feature that details why you and another user would make a great match, and advanced search filters. 

People who have used the site only have good things to say, they just wish the site was free to use. Fortunately, it does offer new subscribers a free 7-day trial so you can figure out any qualms you may have with it before you pay out. 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Join Lavalife


17) Chemistry.com

best online dating sites Chemistry.com

Being the sister site of Match.com, it comes as no surprise that Chemistry.com makes the cut for one of the best online dating sites in the USA. The goal of the site is to connect you with someone so compatible that after only talking, you feel like you’ve already met each other. Users are asked to take a compatibility test (similar to the one hosted on Match.com) that puts your personality on display. This way when Chemistry.com sends you a match suggestion, it’s personalized to your preferences. 

Reviewers claim that the award-winning site doesn’t quite hold up to Match.com’s precedent. That said, it’s still a worthwhile pick for those looking to be matched and introduced to other singles also looking for a more serious relationship. 

Chemistry.com is free to join and browse, but in order to take advantage of all the service’s features, you’ll have to upgrade your account to a paid membership. 

Membership payment options (payable by credit or debit card):

Join Chemistry.com

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Marisa Losciale

Marisa Losciale

Marisa Losciale specializes in NSFW culture, audio gear, and photography. A former editorial and photo director for Spoon University at SUNY New Paltz, her work has been featured in the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, Post-Trash, the New Paltz Oracle, and the Legislative Gazette.