The Best Dating Sites of 2019

Morgan MandriotaByMorgan Mandriota
Sep 02, 2019

If you’re single and trying to mingle in 2019, then you’re already well aware that it’s hard to find love in the digital era. We did the research and tried the apps to give you this list of the best online dating sites for professionals, women, men, seniors, and everyone in between. You’re welcome.

How We Rated The Best Dating Websites

There are a million dating websites to choose from, and the “best dating websites” can vary based on what you’re looking for in a potential partner, and how invested you are in finding that person. Whereas apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge are for people usually looking for something casual, there are other sites for serious relationships like eharmony and Match. As a sex and relationships writer and a perpetually single woman, I’ve tested plenty of different dating sites over the years, and I’m STILL left wondering: What is the best dating site? 

I rated each online dating service on this list based on select important factors, including, but not limited to, how easy it is to use, how many features are available, how well those features work, subscription pricing and affordability, and how the available dating pool actually stacks up once you start swiping or scrolling.

A fresh approach to online dating
Finding a meaningful relationship
Professionals looking for life partners
Hookups and late-night swiping
Seniors looking for companionship
Finding your soulmate
Finding an adventurous or artsy partner
Meeting black singles
Meeting young professionals
First-timers to online dating
$12.50per month for 1-year subscription
$19.99per month for 1-year subscription
$33.95per month for 1-year subscription
Free
$7.49per month
$29.95per month for 6-month subscription
Free
$2.99per month for 6-month subscription
Free
$10.68per month for 8 month subscription
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
35 million +
30million +
13million +
50 million +
1.5million +
10million +
10 million +
1million +
25 million +
80million +
25-45
25-55
30-45
20-30
50 and up
30-50
25-45
30-50
25-45
30-55
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Message, smile, or like
Email, IM, wink, superlike
Messenger
Chat
Emails, winks
Message, “SecureCall”
Like, message
Message, video and audio greetings, chat
Chat
Message, Quick Message, gifts

Top Online Dating Sites: In-Depth Reviews

  • 1

    Zoosk

    Organic matchmaking through technology
    Zoosk
    • Recommended age range25-45
    • Pricing$12.50per month for 1-year subscription
    • Best forA fresh approach to online dating

    Zoosk is a great dating site with over 40,000,000 eligible singles who regularly use the app. It’s easy to use with a built-in Behavioral Matchmaking™ engine and profile verification feature (via Twitter, Facebook, US military service, phone number, or photo) to prove that users are who they claim to be.

    Either use the Search option and browse through different profiles, or “swipe” on the Carousel feature. Feeling risky? Chat with anyone who’s “Online Now.” Other features include the ability to edit your searches, send a gift, and buy coins to unlock premium features, like a profile boost to score visibility and see when someone left you on Read.

    Subscriptions range in price from a 1-month plan at $29.95 to a 6-month subscription at $74.95 ($12.49/month).

    Pros
    • More than 35 million users
    • Behavioral matching technology
    • User-friendly app
    Cons
    • Limited features on the free version
    • Some may prefer a more manual approach
    Read Zoosk Full Review
  • 2

    Match

    Trusted site with millions of users
    Match
    • Recommended age range25-55
    • Best forFinding a meaningful relationship
    • Pricing$19.99per month for 1-year subscription

    Match.com is recognized as one of the more “serious” dating websites you use when you’re ready to settle down. That’s actually one of the first questions they ask you when signing up: “What type of relationship are you looking for?” You can choose from a sliding scale of “just browsing singles” to a “long-term relationship.”

    Your completed profile will showcase all of the information you input upon signup, including your location, ethnicity, height, and dating preferences, as well as your interests, a personal essay (if you’re feeling wordy), and what you’re seeking in a match.

    At the top of Match.com, there are tabs to find previous matches, discover new people, see who’s liked you, check your inbox, and attend local events. You’ll receive notifications to let you know when people like you and send you smiles and messages. Free accounts give you up to 33 “Daily Matches,” but you can increase this amount by becoming a subscriber.

    Pricing is a bit expensive with Standard or Premium plans ranging up to $36.99/month for 3 months or 1 full month for $62.65. As a fully subscribed member, you can email and chat with people, check profile visitors, get an annual profile review, receive monthly boosts, and attend in-person Match Events.

    Pros
    • Experienced, well-trusted dating site
    • High-percentage of success stories
    • Allows up to 26 profile photos
    Cons
    • 30-minute sign-up process
    • More traditional than other sites
    Read Match Full Review
  • 3

    EliteSingles

    Boutique dating for professionals
    EliteSingles
    • Recommended age range30-45
    • Pricing$33.95per month for 1-year subscription
    • Best forProfessionals looking for life partners

    If you’re a smart, single professional who’s looking for love, then EliteSingles is the dating app for you. EliteSingles claims that 85% of users are “highly educated,” which is perfect for sapiosexuals. 

    Two of the first questions you’re asked when signing up is your job title and how important your partner’s education and intelligence is to you. Prior to browsing profiles, you’re required to take 100+ brain exercises and personality tests.

    Most people on EliteSingles are between the ages of 30-35 with successful careers seeking a relationship with someone who shares similar values. Its intelligent matchmaking algorithm presents up to 7 potential matches per day based on your location, dating preferences, and profile personality.

    Premium memberships grant you the ability to have unlimited communications, view your personality test results, know who visited your profile, view read receipts, and score up to 20 extra matches per day. Plans include Light (3-month plan), Classic (6-month plan), and Comfort (12-month plan), with prices ranging from $12.95/month to $24.95/month.

    Pros
    • Boutique, curated matches
    • Advanced personality tests
    • Users united by common relationship goals
    Cons
    • Less interactive experience
    • Smaller user base
    Read EliteSingles Full Review
  • 4

    Tinder

    The hookup app that went mainstream
    Tinder
    • Recommended age range20-30
    • PricingFree
    • Best forHookups and late-night swiping

    Tinder is the app that turned “swiping” into a household verb. Originally used primarily for hookups, the once-late-night-only app has become one of the premier dating platforms, period. 

    Many still use Tinder for late-night hookups, but its growth has brought singles with all types of relationship goals to sign up and swipe away. Speaking of signing up: Tinder offers one of the simplest, quickest sign-up processes available (not to mention free). 

    You can sign up with your Facebook account or phone number. Once you’re in, simply upload photos and write a little intro—unlike other dating apps, Tinder leaves little room for words, so make sure to choose photos that will do the talking for you. 

    There’s no searching on Tinder. The app simply presents those who are closest to you. You can tweak your search distance and your preferred age range, but other than that, your matches will depend on your location. When someone pops up that you like, either swipe right or left. If they swiped right on you as well, you’ll be able to send them a message. 

    Tinder is still free, but it offers subscriptions that include additional benefits. Interestingly, the prices differ for people either over or under 30. Tinder Plus, which costs between $10-$20 per month, includes unlimited likes, one ‘rewind,’ and a passport feature that lets you swipe anywhere in the world. Tinder Gold, which runs around $30 per month, includes these features plus the ability to see who liked you. 

    Pros
    • Millions of users every day
    • Simple and easy to use
    • Free
    Cons
    • Known as a hookup app
    • Can’t search matches
    Read Tinder Full Review
  • 5

    OurTime

    Digital matchmaking for seniors
    OurTime
    • Recommended age range50 and up
    • Best forSeniors looking for companionship
    • Pricing$7.49per month

    OurTime is one of the best dating sites for women and men over 50. This dating service can be used for singles over 50 looking to find other singles over 50, or by someone younger seeking a mature partner with more life experience and wisdom to share.

    Search for singles by “Who’s Viewed Me,” “Online Now,” or even by a keyword on their profile. Advanced search options enable you to set a specific age range, location, ethnicity, or zodiac sign. The dashboard displays different features as you scroll down, like an online chat option, notification center, and a section to explore new members who live nearby. OurTime also offers an Events tab with local live meetups for singles interested in meeting in real life.

    Purchasing tokens lets users show interest in other users through likes, flirts, and gifts. Paid memberships cost up to $8 per week and are billed on a monthly basis. Six-month memberships offer the most benefits, including profile and message highlights and message read notifications.

    Pros
    • Large user base
    • Helpful customer support
    • Real-world singles events and outings
    Cons
    • Limited matching technology
    • Need paid membership to send messages
    Read OurTime Full Review
  • 6

    eharmony

    A science-based approach to love
    eharmony
    • Pricing$29.95per month for 6-month subscription
    • Best forFinding your soulmate
    • Recommended age range30-50

    Someone finds love every 14 minutes using eharmony, the #1 trusted dating app for serious relationships. Signup takes 3 steps: Profile Set Up, Match Preferences, and Compatibility Quiz. 

    Before accessing the dashboard, you’ll answer thought-provoking questions, like what you’re thankful for, what your ideal day off from work looks like, and how often you’re sexually active. Answering honestly will deliver more personalized matches every morning, curated just for you.

    User profiles are extremely detailed and offer insights into how compatible you are with that person based on your Compatibility Quiz results. Match details include how well you align in terms of intellect, accommodation, and physical intimacy. Clicking “See More” displays an in-depth chart that reveals further details of your compatibility. Get to know matches by asking questions to break the ice, marking that person as a Favorite, or clicking the Smiley face. 

    eharmony is not only one of the most popular online dating apps, but it’s also one of the most affordable websites with 6-, 12-, or 24-month plans for as low as $6.97/month. There are Standard Lite, Premium Plus, and Premium Extra plans, each with its own perks like unlimited messaging, anonymous browsing, and access to more matches.

    Pros
    • Detailed compatibility quizzes
    • Helpful conversation starters
    • SecureCall safety feature
    Cons
    • Users can’t search for matches
    • Quizzes demand time and thought
    Read eharmony Full Review
  • 7

    OkCupid.com

    A quirky dating site with heart
    OkCupid.com
    • Recommended age range25-45
    • PricingFree
    • Best forFinding an adventurous or artsy partner

    Millions of singles have flocked to OkCupid for its quirky yet accessible approach to online dating. Free to use, OkCupid sets itself apart with a matchmaking system that’s fueled by fun, offbeat questions that may not be as far-fetched as they first appear. 

    While other algorithmic sites might ask you where your ideal first date would be, OkCupid’s questions run the gamut from “Is climate change real?” to “If you saw someone shoplifting, would you turn them in?” Silly as they seem, the questions (and your answers to them) fuel a neat matching system that suggests compatible partners and provides a match percentage between you and whoever’s profile you view. 

    Building a profile on OkCupid takes time, but for good reason. The profile template includes questions and prompts to help you express your personality. There’s definitely more space for written expression than on other sites, and OkCupid’s an especially great site for those who are expressive or witty. 

    Even on its free version, OkCupid offers a lot of customization options. You can set your match and search filters by age, gender, orientation, interests, and keywords. A-listers (OkCupid’s term for paid subscribers) can also search by body type, attractiveness, and how a person answered their match questions.

    Pros
    • Entirely functional with free account
    • Millions of users
    • Fun, offbeat matching tools
    Cons
    • Takes long to set up a profile
    • May be too quirky for some
    Read OkCupid.com Full Review
  • 8

    BlackPeopleMeet

    Premier site for black singles
    BlackPeopleMeet
    • Pricing$2.99per month for 6-month subscription
    • Recommended age range30-50
    • Best forMeeting black singles

    BlackPeopleMeet is the go-to dating site to find single black men and women in your area. Singles of any age looking for a serious relationship, travel partner, or friendship can use this app with ease. 

    The “Are You Interested?” feature works like Tinder in that you can swipe right for “Yes” or left for “No.” You can also use the Search feature to browse lists of profiles, filter results according to age, physical build, and what they’re looking for in a partner, or sort by distance, activity, who’s online, and more. 

    User profiles are populated with information regarding your hair color, age, income, height, where you grew up, etc. Other sections let you share “a little about [you],” “about the one [you’re] looking for,” and answers to personality questions, like “do you enjoy going to the movies?”, “how patient you are?”, and “do you enjoy cooking?”.

    All members can view profiles and swipe to meet people in their area, flirt, send messages, track profile visitors, and rate daily matches. Subscribing to a paid membership unlocks additional features like email accessibility, read receipts, view who’s interested in you, and highlight your profile in Search and Inbox locations. Plans start at $18.99/month and range up to $69.99 for 6 months.

    Pros
    • Prioritizes people over algorithms
    • Easy to sign up and use
    • Reach out through message, chat, or flirt
    Cons
    • Limited compatibility matches
    • Only paying users can communicate
    Read BlackPeopleMeet Full Review
  • 9

    Bumble

    The app that lets women make the first move
    Bumble
    • Recommended age range25-45
    • PricingFree
    • Best forMeeting young professionals

    Billed as a site where women have more control, Bumble turns the tables on the dynamics of online dating. Using a similar swipe process as Tinder, Bumble gives women the power to make the first move. 

    The app is smart and sleek down to the eye-catching bee motif. To use it, simply connect to Facebook and create a profile with photos and some choice words about yourself. You can also set some additional parameters, for example desired age range, gender, and vicinity. 

    Anyone familiar with Tinder will have no problem acquainting themselves with Bumble, though even those who’ve never used a dating app will figure it out pretty quickly. 

    Matches are presented on your screen one at a time. You either swipe them left or right and move on. If there’s a match, you’ll be notified on the screen. If you’re a woman, you can choose to send a message. If you’re a man, you have to wait for them to make a move. Matches expire after 24 hours. That means if a message isn’t sent and responded to in that time, the connection will disappear from the app. Don’t worry about forgetting though—there are plenty of reminders that pop up telling you to either message or respond to your match before it disappears.   

    Bumble is free to download and use. One-time payments and BumbleBoost subscriptions offer additional benefits. You can extend a particular match or renew an expired one, or view people who have liked you.

    Pros
    • Gives women more control over their experience
    • Free to join, use, and message
    • Smart, sleek app with intuitive interface
    Cons
    • Can’t search on your own
    • Matches expire after 24 hours
    Read Bumble Full Review
  • 10

    POF

    80 million singles to choose from
    POF
    • Pricing$10.68per month for 8 month subscription
    • Best forFirst-timers to online dating
    • Recommended age range30-55

    One of the pioneers of online dating, Plenty of Fish hasn’t stopped growing. Since its founding in 2003, the site has grown to more than 80 million members. Its diverse user base features singles from all walks of life looking to connect for serious relationships, casual dating, and everything in between. 

    The sheer abundance of users is by far POF’s most alluring feature, but not its only one. For one thing, the site offers more options for free users than the competition, making it an ideal place to begin for anyone looking to try out online dating. The site features an intuitive interface, well-honed matching algorithms, and search features that can narrow the almost-overwhelming abundance of profiles into a more manageable, personalized selection. You can scroll through profiles at your own pace, or take POF’s chemistry test which will in turn fine-tune your match suggestions even further. 

    Plenty of Fish also offers unique communication features. These include Spark, a tool that uses a fragment of your match’s profile as a springboard for conversation, and Meet Me, a photo-spotlight game that lets you click and pick while pressed for time. POF’s app is also widely celebrated for its sleek design and usability, meaning you can easily access all the features, and all the users, from your phone.

    Pros
    • More than 80 million users
    • Manual searching and match technology
    • Speed-dating games and tool
    Cons
    • Amount of profiles can be overwhelming
    • Free account includes ads
    Read POF Full Review

How to Choose the Right Dating Site for You: 4 Questions to Guide Your Decision

1 - What Type of Relationship Are You Looking For?

Before deciding which dating site to sign up for, consider your desired outcome. Whether you’re looking to meet interesting people, start dating again after a heartbreak, or searching for that person to start a family with, dating sites aren’t a “one size fits all” deal.

EliteSingles, for example, is best suited to daters seeking a serious relationship. While signing up is a lengthy process involving a thorough questionnaire, the result is quality matches with the potential for long-term commitment.

Another site for people looking for a serious relationship, is OurTime, which is dedicated to singles over the age of 50 looking for companionship, love, and romance.

No matter what type of relationship you’re looking for, there’s a dating site—or multiple sites—to meet your needs. Compare some of the best sites to help guide your decision.

2 - Do You Prefer Being Matched or Searching Independently?

Personal preferences matter with online dating—just as they do with offline dating. Some people want to search through profiles before deciding who to chat with, while others feel more comfortable being set up. Luckily, the world of online dating has answers for both.

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match:

One of the major benefits of using a dating site is the ability to filter potential matches according to the values and characteristics that matter most to you. This immediate screening saves time and energy by ruling out people who aren’t compatible.

For singles who want to be set up, sites like Zoosk bring matches straight to your inbox on a daily basis. With Zoosk’s patented Behavioral Matchmaking technology, the site studies your likes, interests and disinterests to provide the most compatible matches.

The search:

Another benefit of online dating is the options. Dating sites bring together enormous numbers of singles, who may have otherwise never met. Using the search filters, you can explore your options based on specific preferences.

Match offers extensive search filters and sorting functionality. Basic filters include parameters such as gender, age, and location, along with more specific fields such as background, interests, and lifestyle.

3 - Which Features Matter Most?

While dating sites all provide singles with the same essential service—a platform to meet new people and find a potential partner—each site does it in a different way.

Compare the features available on the best dating sites to choose the right one for you. Differentiating features include online chat or video chat, safety features like photo verification, and dating games. Choose a dating site that offers the features which are most important to you.

For people with safety concerns, Zoosk offers a photo verification feature to ensure that users are honest, and Match offers offline events where singles can meet up in a group setting. 

As you begin your online dating journey, explore the features available on different sites. Use the comparison table above, reviews, and relevant articles to guide your decision.

4 - How Much Will it Cost Me?

Many of the best dating sites offer free sign up or a free trial period. However, to unlock all features and communication tools, you’ll need to subscribe. Consider the features, matchmaking and search capabilities, and overall quality of the sites as you compare prices. As with most things, you get what you pay for.

Joining a dating site is a smart investment. If you put yourself out there, you won’t need to subscribe for long. After all, it’s worth it — this is your future and happiness at stake.

Expert Tips

I’m a freelance sex and relationships writer, which means that it’s my job to research, try, and report back on all things… wait for it... sex and relationships! I also have a lot of dating experience as somebody who’s been single for most of her adult life. I’ve basically used all of the new, the tried-and-true, the worst, and the best online dating websites. 

From one serial dater to you, dear reader, here are 3 expert tips on how to navigate this wild world of online and IRL dating in 2019: 

1. Know What You’re Looking For Before Signing Up For A Dating App

Think about what you want out of a dating app. Do you want to hookup with someone new? Are you looking for something serious? Maybe you don’t need anything specific and you’re simply wondering who’s out there. 

Knowing what you’re looking for prior to downloading the most popular dating sites will help you decide which services are best for YOU. You should think about how much money you’ll pay to access premium features and how committed you really are to the dating game right now.

2. Be Honest And Clear About Your Intentions With Potential Matches

Start your relationship on the right foot by communicating your wants, needs, and fears before planning to meet someone off a dating app. Honesty also includes featuring recent photos on your profile that actually look like you. 

Be true to yourself. Don’t catfish anybody. Convey your intentions. Respect people’s boundaries. Don’t waste anybody’s time. We’re all just trying to find love out here.

3. You Can’t Rush Love

If the timing isn’t right or if a match isn’t your ideal partner, don’t give up. Be patient. As badly as you may want to be with somebody, you can’t rush the process. 

When you swipe right on someone who makes your heart skip a beat, and they right swipe you too, it’ll be worth all of the stress and heartache that led you to that point. Have faith and put in the time and effort involved in dating to give yourself a fair chance at finding a genuine connection.

Summary 

The days of blind dates and meeting on the street are over. Dating apps are the easiest way to find a relationship in 2019. They’ve worked for thousands of couples around the world, and they can work for you too! Whether you’re seeking Mr. Right or Mrs. Right Now, online dating is a process, and it can get tiring after a while. Test out different websites until you find one that works for you and scores you the type of relationship you’ve been seeking for so long. We wish you the best of luck in your dating journey.

Morgan MandriotaByMorgan MandriotaSep. 09, 2019
Morgan Mandriota is a freelance sex and wellness writer with bylines at Betches, Health.com, and BuzzFeed. Her insight has been quoted in Cosmopolitan, Tinder, The New York Times, and more. When Morgan isn't writing about orgasms, dating struggles, or CBD, she loves traveling, eating tacos, and training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.