Reviewing best dating apps - your top picks in 2020

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Lately, it’s not easy to choose the best dating apps. There’s the risk to end up using tools that would leak your profile data, share photos, catfish, and so on. There are a lot of options out there - not all of them are reliable and trustworthy.

To ensure you don’t find trouble while dating online, we tested the most popular dating app picks. Regardless if you’re in for a hookup or a serious relationship - there’s a match on our list. 

Bumble

Bumble is a slightly quirky app that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. On the one hand, it solves two major issues online daters usually face - women struggle with getting freaky messages from weird males, both sexes struggle from ghosting. 

Pros:

  • A straightforward, Twitter-like swiping matching system;
  • Few profile fields to fill in - a picture and a short bio (up to 300 characters);
  • Equal user demographics - men dominate slightly, with 55% of the total user base. 

Cons:

  • Narrow list of search criteria;
  • 24-hour window to answer messages;
  • User profiles don’t provide deep personality insights. 

Bottom Line

Bumble is a no-nonsense dating app that uses a basic set of features, straightforward algorithms, and a minimalistic interface to match you and the love of your life. It’s a space where connections are what matters most - everything else is optional.

Pure.dating

Pure.dating web app for sure is among best dating apps. It combines the minimalism of a dating app with advanced matchmaking algorithms and a handful of features. The platform doesn’t look cheap - on the contrary, it’s well designed and highly appealing for modern-day millennials. Pure.dating web app is your wingman in finding a safe sex date, a friend, or a long-term relationship partner.

The best part is, there’s no risk your co-workers or friends will find out you have a profile on a dating app. An hour after registration, everything will be permanently deleted. 

Pros:

  • Fast sign-in: it takes 2-3 minutes to create a profile;
  • Temporary profiles that self-destruct after an hour;
  • A catchy, minimalistic design;
  • Location-based matchmaking.

Cons:

  • Minimal personality-based data;
  • You have to create an account from scratch every time you are in for a dating experience;
  • Time limit and location filtering restrictions. 

Bottom Line

Pure.dating is an Uber-meets-Snapchat type of platform designed to help coming-of-age adults cut straight to the chase of a relationship - be it a date, a phone call, or sex. Its creative, sleek design, minimalistic interface, and hassle-free signing up system all make testing the app a highly enjoyable experience. It also has an app version, which is considered as one of the best iPhone dating apps.

Tinder

Tinder has an enormous user base. As soon as you download the best dating app in the USA, you’ll see thousands of matches that live in the area. Then, there’s swiping - an iconic navigation system that creates a gamey look. 

Then there are Tinder’s drawbacks. Most of its users are in for a hookup, so don’t go there looking for commitment. To this end, platforms like OkCupid or Bumble show more promise. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight, easy-to-navigate interface;
  • Functional free version;
  • Addictive swiping feature;

Cons:

  • Small match pool for rural areas - statistically, only 7% of users come from the countryside;
  • Users can swipe on up to 100 profiles per day in the free version;
  • Limited info on potential matches. 

Bottom Line

Tinder brings a sack of benefits to its users - it’s fun to explore, there are millions of potential matches to choose from, the app is secure and regularly monitored. However, user profiles lack detail, and matching algorithms don’t pay enough attention to how well your personality fits that of a potential match.

OkCupid

OkCupid is an OG dating platform. While it has been around for a while, the platform positions itself among the best dating apps for Android. It walks the line between a fun, no-commitment dating platform and a tool with deep matching algorithms that might land you a future spouse. 

Pros:

  • A free version allows searching and interacting with matches;
  • Open-minded community with a dedicated blog. 

Cons:

  • Signing up is time-consuming;
  • Geo-based matching limits the option reel in small towns;
  • A high percentage of hookup seekers. 

Bottom Line

OkCupid is a place for chill liberal millennials. On the web, it’s known as a left-wing hipster community - mainly, thanks to the platform’s inclusivity and evident liberalism. It is a safe space for millennials and coming-of-age daters. 

Hinge

If in relationships, you tend to choose quality over quantity, Hinge is on the same page with you. The app doesn’t follow most dating scene trends - swiping, short profile descriptions, and fast matching. Instead, you have to dive into users’ profiles, read the bios and get serious. 

Pros:

  • Low-commitment user interactions;
  • Matches and chat conversations don’t disappear over time;
  • 75% of Hinge users look for a committed relationship. 

Cons:

  • The free membership allows you to browse up to 10 daily matches;
  • Basic free filter options;
  • Potential matches will show up in your feed several times. 

Bottom Line

Hinge is set out to give daters what most struggle to get online - commitment. That’s why the app allows you to publish content over time and answer detailed questions to create a deeper connection with others that would slowly flow into a stable relationship.

Coffee Meets Bagel

Most users describe Coffee Meets Bagel as a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s a transparent, safe dating environment, with almost no shady users and transparent matching algorithms.

Coffee Meets Bagel has a time-limited matching feature. You have up to 24 hours to ‘like-or-pass’ a potential partner. It’s the app’s priority to ensure that by the end of your first week of active matching you have either swapped phone numbers or set a date.

Pros:

  • Using an app doesn’t require a considerable time investment;
  • The app limits unwanted messages and exposure;
  • Transparent social media-based searching algorithms. 

Cons:

  • A limited number of matches per day;
  • Simple matching algorithms that filters profiles by five criteria only;
  • Narrow dating pool that consists of the friends of your social media friends;
  • The relatively small dating pool. 

Bottom Line

Coffee Meets Bagel is an app that aims to strip online dating of its main issues - ghosting and lack of deep connections. The platform is a safe lighthearted environment, well-suited to both test the waters of online dating and start a relationship that can last for months and years. 

Happn

You don’t get many best new dating apps like Happn. The platform has a creative matching algorithm that revives the potential of chance encounters. Happn will match with people you have passed by. With its 250-meter GPS radar, the app catches the profiles of users you met during the day. 

Pros:

  • An easy-to-set-up profile - all your data is pulled from Facebook;
  • Integration with Spotify - you can find the next partner based on an excellent music taste;
  • Arranging a date is more comfortable due to the area proximity.

Cons:

  • You will have a narrow pool of matches unless you move around town a lot;
  • Llimited information on app users - you’ll have to connect on a whim; 
  • Narrow search criteria. 

Bottom Line

There are over 50 million active Happn users worldwide. Living in a small town, you can hardly expect a line of potential matches - yet, running into an app user anywhere in the world is not all that improbable. 

With Happn, you can turn a random meeting into a chance encounter. As they say, it all could happen. 

The League

The League has a broad match pool up to 60 cities all over the US and Canada. Its users are high-profile - CEOs, executives, or top-notch field experts. Using the League, you can be confident that your partner is intelligent, ambitious, and serious about romantic involved. Granted, you have to fit the bill, too. 

Pros:

  • Time-saving dating: The League sends an email with a batch of potential matches;
  • Moderators carefully vet all members - the app lives up to its promise of matching top-notch individuals;
  • The algorithms prioritize regular users over on-off visitors;

Cons:

  • Smaller user base compared to that of best free dating apps;
  • Limited number of daily matches;
  • Penalties for unresponsive or inactive users. 

Bottom Line

The interface of the app is minimalistic and not one bit annoying. There’s enough transparency to know how the app uses data, the match pool is relatively vast. However, The League has been labeled a misogynistic environment where, as one of the app users put it online, ‘men of color can be counted on one hand.

Her

Her is famous online as one of the best dating apps for women and the ‘biggest platform for women-only dating.’ The app walks a fine line between a place for in-depth relationships and a hookup playground. By the interface, Her is a mix of Tinder, Tumblr, and Pinterest. 

Pros:

  • Unlimited messaging is available for free;
  • Fast sign-in in under a minute;
  • Built-in feed that allows you to follow potential matches. 

Cons:

  • Unstable performance;
  • No account verification;
  • You can only message matches and friends.

Bottom Line

Her’ is a women-only platform that has space for all of it - hookup search, playful chatter, self-expression, and community building. In just a few weeks of using the app, you’ll practice to make first moves, take to women with all backgrounds possible, and have genuine fun. 

Clover

Clover is an app for the type of love-seekers who don’t have the commitment, the time, or enthusiasm for foreplay and lengthy conversations. Here, you can set a date in a few clicks. It’s as simple as ordering takeaway. 

Pros:

  • There’s a section with users actively looking for a real-life date;
  • Different ways to connect with potential matches: ‘20 Questions’, direct messages, requesting a date;
  • In-depth matching algorithms backed up by data science. 

Cons:

  • Most features are available for Premium users only;
  • A high number of fake accounts according to online reviews;
  • Users can’t see who liked their profiles. 

Bottom Line

Clover is an app that doesn’t lack innovative features or a vision. Even seasoned dating app users might be surprised by how many new perks the platform has to offer. It’s also fair that Clover is usually flying under the radar - that affects the app’s user base. The number of fake accounts is staggering - you’ll have to sort through dozens of inactive accounts. 

Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish is a dark horse on the modern dating scene. The app is impressively popular, with over 10,000 000 users. It is not exactly a big deal like OkCupid or Tinder. Instead, Plenty of Fish has a mixed reputation - let’s examine it’s to see if the app walks the walk and talks the talk as one of the biggest online dating platforms. 

Pros:

  • A detailed personality test;
  • Each user is asked to identify specific expectations from the website;
  • Anti-robot account verification process;

Cons:

  • Dated user interface;
  • No way to upload personal data from a social media account;
  • A free messaging feature lowers the quality bar for the app’s users. 

Bottom Line

Plenty of Fish is a classic hit-or-miss dating app. Setting up a profile takes no time as well as reaching out to a potential match. Plenty of Fish is easy to use, there are more than enough users to choose from. The downsides of the platform include ad-heavy interests and the lack of detail during matchmaking. 

Match

Experienced online dating enthusiasts, as well as complete newcomers, have at least once heard of Match.com. It’s the biggest online dating platform out there - in theory, there has to be a match for everybody on the website.

Let’s take an in-depth look at Match.com and find out what makes it such a popular dating platform. 

Pros:

  • Profile builder for a faster profile creation;
  • Track in-app user activity;
  • Extensive search filters;
  • Like-based connection system.

Cons:

  • Messaging is unavailable in the free version;
  • No account verification system;
  • The gender preference field automatically targets straight users.

Bottom Line

This service might not have all the trendy features millennials enjoy exploring these days. Regardless, it’s still a force to be reckoned with. Match has a superior community quality compared to other best apps to meet singles - here, most users are genuinely interested in a committed relationship. 

RAYA

RAYA is an ‘extra’ dating app that oozes LA vibes. It’s marketed as a platform for top-notch creatives to date like-minded people and just as successful ones. RAYA has quickly become a poster child for elite dating platforms. As the popularity of the app grows, it’s getting increasingly harder to get into.

At the moment, only one in 10,000 candidates can join the platform - the rate of getting in is lower than that at Harvard Law School. 

Pros:

  • Strict user selection;
  • Ad-free, minimalistic interface;
  • Advanced filter systems. 

Cons:

  • Narrow match pools outside of LA or NYC;
  • Long waitlisting;
  • No free version. 

Bottom Line

RAYA users claim the rigorous profile moderation to be worth it. The app provides creatives with networking opportunities - even if nothing plays out on the dating scene, you’ll undoubtedly expand the contact list and are likely to stay friends with many of your matches

Chappy

Chappy is an ambitious app for gay dating that strives for active change-making on the LGBTQ+ scene. The platform has signed a partnership with GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). Developers will donate a fraction of Chappy’s profits to the NGO. At the moment, there are over 650,000 registered users that look for a discrimination-free way to build healthy gay relationships.

Pros:

  • Its partnership with Bumble and Tinder proves the credibility of the app;
  • The high number of DAUs;
  • One-click registration;
  • High level of commitment among the app’s members.

Cons:

  • Incompatible with low-end devices;
  • Small user base outside of the US and the UK;
  • Available as app-only. 

Bottom Line

App users and media have repeatedly praised the platform’s developers for its open-mindedness and inclusivity. Some say it's the best dating app on the LGBTQ+ scene because it creates a safe space for same-sex dating that’s usually so rare in the modern market.

Wrapping Up

Despite a common misconception that online dating is rarely pleasant, choosing the right dating apps can turn the experience into a fun, memorable time. Even if some of your matches don’t convert into a stable partner for life, you’ll be able to connect to creative, open-minded people, explore new fascinating features, showcase your hobbies, tastes, and personality.

What is the best dating app? Hopefully, this analysis of the 14 most popular dating apps helped choose your top pick. Define what you’re after, get adventurous, and enjoy exploring the thrills of online dating. 

author

Katherine Awkley

Journalist

#KatherineAwkley

Katherine Awkley is a journalist and a dating anthropologist, researching both theoretical and practical aspects of romantic relationships, psychology, and sex. Awkley is an NYU graduate with an M.A. degree in journalism. Her primary goal is popularizing the dating culture, educating people to get rid of their fears, prejudices, and complexes.

Most of the time, Awkley spends on consulting and researching the hidden aspects of human sexuality. Her masterminds are Betony Vernon, Guillaume Apollinaire, Dita von Teese, Robert Green, Belle de Jour, Andrew Blake, and many more. Currently, Katherine Awkley is a leading columnist at Pure.dating.