Whether you want a casual fling or you're searching for your soulmate, finding the right app to use is overwhelming. Here’s our guide on the best dating apps.

By Hannah Norling
Updated February 07, 2018
Guido Mieth/Getty Images

It's a great time to be single: There are an endless stream of free dating apps. It's a tough time to be single: It can feel impossibly hard to weed through all of them, to find exactly what—and whom—you are looking for. That's where we come in. We broke down the seven best dating apps on the market right now, to give you the scoop on what you’re going to find on each of them. After all, not all dating apps are created equal. Some are more geared toward developing meaningful relationships, while others are designed for more casual flings. Whatever you might be looking for, this guide to the best free dating apps will help you find it.


Best dating app for: When You Don’t Know What You’re Looking For

Quite possibly one of the most popular dating apps right now, Tinder puts your photos front and center. There’s a small space to write your dating elevator pitch, where you can come up with something clever or heartfelt. Want to increase your odds of finding someone right for you? If you connect through Facebook, all your liked pages help you link up, so you can spot others who have the same interests as you. Swipe right if you like someone, swipe left if you don’t.


Best dating app for: If You’re Looking for a Relationship

Hinge allows you to answer more personal questions about yourself so possible matches get to know you better. Some examples include: “If you had breakfast with someone dead or alive, who would it be?” The concept is simple: like them and that can either decide to like you back in response. And with this dating app, you know who’s said yes to you without having to swipe on them.


Best dating app for: Women Who Want More Control

The concept here is quite similar to Tinder except the women have all the control over who they talk to. When a couple matches, women have 24 hours to reach out or their matches disappear. This just might be the best dating app for women who like to make the first move.


Best dating app for: LGBTQ+ Identifying Women

This app is specifically for LGBTQ+ women. The concept is similar in terms of swiping to match, but you can also find out about local events happening in your area. If you’re looking to get better connected to the LGBTQ+ community, this is the best dating app for you.


Best dating app for: Die-hard Romantics

One of the more customizable apps on the market, OkCupid asks you specific questions related to lifestyle, relationships, and beyond—all to better match you with a partner. Compatibility is rated by percentages, so you can see just how much you have in common. OkCupid also allows you to see when others have already messaged you, meaning you don’t have to wait for a mutual "like" to connect.

The League

Best dating app for: If You Want to be Part of a Power Couple

It’s not easy to get accepted into The League. First you need to “apply”—and hopefully get approved. Clear, crisp photos are very important to the app, as is as connecting your Facebook and LinkedIn profile. But the choosiness works both ways: If you have to go through all these hoops, so do the potential partners you're looking at. Fair warning, though: If you don’t use the app often enough, you could even lose your spot.

Coffee Meets Bagel

Best dating app for: The Picky Dater

Coffee Meets Bagel is super customizable, in terms of preferences. So if you’re a picky dater and know what you like, this is the best dating app for finding that very specific someone. Your matches are curated for you everyday, so you’re also seeing a lower volume of matches. If you and someone mutually "like," you have seven days to chat.