The 10 Best Dating Sites and Apps 2021

Morgan Mandriota

Dating has indeed changed in the current era of COVID-19 and social distancing, but your search for a relationship doesn't have to stop. In fact, online dating sites and apps are the perfect solution to dating responsibly and finding someone who you share interests with for a short fling or a long-term, serious relationship. Cuddling up in bed watching Netflix when it’s cold outside is super cozy and all, but that won’t get you any closer to linking up with someone this cuffing season. I looked at a range of dating sites and apps on the market, rating for ease-of-use, features, pricing and the quality of the dating pool. Below, you’ll read my reviews of Top10.com’s top ten best dating sites that are safe, fun, and a great way to meet your next boo or hookup!

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A Closer Look at Our Top 10 Dating Sites and Apps

  • 1
    Organic matchmaking through technology
    Zoosk
    • Pricing$12.50per month for 1-year subscription
    • Free VersionYes
    • Age range25-45

    With over 40 million eligible singles who regularly use the Zoosk app, there is a wide dating pool to choose from. It’s easy to use with a built-in Behavioral Matchmaking™ engine and profile verification feature to prove that users are who they claim to be. 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 40 million users
    • Behavioral matching technology
    • User-friendly app
    Cons
    • Limited features on the free version
    • Some may prefer a more manual approach
  • 2
    Boutique dating for professionals
    EliteSingles
    • Pricing$31.95per month for 1-year subscription
    • Free VersionYes
    • Age range30-45

    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. Its intelligent matchmaking algorithm presents up to 7 potential matches per day based on your location, dating preferences, and profile personality.

    Pros
    • Boutique, curated matches
    • Advanced personality tests
    • Users united by common relationship goals
    Cons
    • Less interactive experience
    • Smaller user base
  • 3
    A science-based approach to love
    eharmony
    • Pricing$29.95per month for 6-month subscription
    • Free VersionYes
    • 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. 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. 

    Pros
    • Detailed compatibility quizzes
    • Helpful conversation starters
    • SecureCall safety feature
    Cons
    • Users can’t search for matches
    • Quizzes demand time and thought
  • 4
    Trusted site with millions of users
    Match
    • Pricing$19.99per month for 1-year subscription
    • Free VersionYes
    • Age range25-55

    Match.com is recognized as one of the more “serious” dating websites you use when you’re ready to settle down. 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
  • 5

    SilverSingles

    Connecting compatible seniors
    SilverSingles
    • Pricing$27.95per month for 1-year subscription
    • Free VersionYes
    • Age range50 and up

    SilverSingles uses a Five Factor personality test to connect compatible seniors over the age of 50. This personality test, which covers more than 100 questions, is worth spending some time on: these answers will play a big role in your suggested matches, which figure more prominently into the user experience than other dating sites.

    Pros
    • Smart compatibility matching tools
    • Strong safety precautions in place
    • Users don’t need to be tech savvy
    Cons
    • Lengthy signup process
    • No manual searching
  • 6
    Digital matchmaking for seniors
    OurTime
    • Pricing$7.49per month
    • Free VersionYes
    • Age range50 and up

    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.

    Pros
    • Large user base
    • Helpful customer support
    • Real-world singles events and outings
    Cons
    • Limited matching technology
    • Need paid membership to send messages
  • 7

    BlackPeopleMeet

    Premier site for black singles
    BlackPeopleMeet
    • Pricing$2.99per month for 6-month subscription
    • Free VersionYes
    • Age range30-50

    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. 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.

    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
  • 8
    Jewish dating with modern flair
    JDate
    • Pricing$19.99 per month for a 6-month subscription
    • Free VersionYes
    • Age range20-30

    JDate has long been the premier dating site for Jewish singles and those looking to meet them. Since the site’s inception in 1997, it’s been responsible for thousands of successful marriages and even more relationships, and it continues to be a destination for Jewish singles looking to make meaningful connections. However, faith is not a necessity, and indeed you’ll find a user base that spans many faiths, beliefs, ages, levels of observance, and lifestyles. JDate is easy to use and well-organized and has plenty of ways to connect with others, including a Secret Admirer feature that allows users to scope out each others’ interest levels before revealing themselves.

    Pros
    • Very active site with a large user base
    • Nice mix of religious, secular, and culturally Jewish singles
    • No need to be Jewish to join
    Cons
    • Not ideal for hookups or NST relationships
    • Limited free membership
  • 9

    BeNaughty

    Ideal dating app for hookups and fun
    BeNaughty
    • Pricing$0.99-$.50 per day
    • Free VersionYes
    • Age range25-45

    If you’re looking for a fast hookup or a wild night out, BeNaughty is the best place to search. It’s an online dating app that lets you find single men and women in your area who are also interested in having fun. While some members are looking for a more serious relationship or a friendship, most people on BeNaughty are just out to have some fun.

    Pros
    • Video and photo sharing
    • Free for females to respond
    • Flexible membership packages
    Cons
    • Not really for serious relationships
    • Smaller dating pool than most
  • 10

    DateMyAge

    A vibrant site for the 40-and-up crowd
    DateMyAge
    • Pricing$49.99 per month
    • Free VersionYes
    • Age range40+

    DateMyAge is an international dating site for middle-aged singles. Its user base spans more than 40 countries across North America, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, meaning the site is full of activity and people from all cultures looking to connect. Though the platform itself is easy to use, DateMyAge uses a non-traditional payment structure that uses “credits” instead of membership fees. Instead of buying a subscription, users pay only for the features they use, on a case to case basis. While pricing is a little difficult to decipher at first, this system does have its benefits: instead of subscribing for a set amount of time, you only pay for the services you use, meaning you can come and go without being locked in to a commitment.

    Pros
    • Geared towards older, more mature singles
    • International user base
    • No memberships or obligations
    Cons
    • Pricing structure is difficult to grasp at first
    • Limited filter and search options
Breaking Down Our Top 10 Choices: Which Is Best For Your Needs?
text
Zoosk-Best for behavioral matchmaking
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EliteSingles-Best for professionals
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eharmony-Best for finding your soulmate
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Match-Best for meaningful relationship
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SilverSingles-Best for seniors over 50
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OurTime-Best for companionship for seniors
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BlackPeopleMeet-Best for black singles
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JDate-Best for Jewish singles looking for love
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BeNaughty- Best for hookups
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DateMyAge-Best for middle-aged men and women
$12.50per month for 1-year subscription
$31.95per month for 1-year subscription
$29.95per month for 6-month subscription
$19.99per month for 1-year subscription
$27.95per month for 1-year subscription
$7.49per month
$2.99per month for 6-month subscription
$19.99 per month for a 6-month subscription
$0.99-$.50 per day
$49.99 per month
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
35 million +
13million +
10million +
30million +
25,000 new members each month
1.5million +
1million +
1 million +
500000
N/A
25-45
30-45
30-50
25-55
50 and up
50 and up
30-50
20-30
25-45
40+
Message, smile, or like
Messenger
Message, “SecureCall”
Email, IM, wink, superlike
Messenger, likes, comments, photo sharing
Emails, winks
Message, video and audio greetings, chat
Message, Secret Admirer
Chat rooms, private messaging, photos, videos
Message, chat, video, stickers
Frequently Asked Questions
Which dating apps actually work?
-
+
All legitimate dating apps work. The question is: which one works for you? Pay attention to the age, interests, and locations of users to see if a site is right for you. If you're interested in general success, however, larger sites like Zoosk and Match.com offer the best chances of making real-life connections.
What is the best dating site for serious relationships?
-
+
Most dating sites let you filter your matches by relationship goals, so it's easy to find serious singles on any site you're on. That said, Elite Singles is known for its concentration of professionals looking for long-term relationships. Match.com also boasts a high success rate of marriages amongst its users.
Are paid dating sites better?
-
+
Yes, paid dating sites are a better choice for a few reasons. For one thing, they offer more features and options to find, message, chat, and connect with real matches. For another, paid dating services typically attract more serious users than free sites, so you're likely to find less spammers and fake profiles.

Reviewing the Top Dating Sites and Apps: Our Methodology

Top10.com dating site reviews are based on objective facts. Our reviews are based on research via the dating site, trusted 3rd party sites, customer reviews, and use of the product through free trials, or through paid use in some cases.

It is not always possible to use the product through its entire lifecycle. However, reviewers will try the signup process, make customer service queries to check response times and perform any other possible function within the review period. For the rest of the information, we rely on what the brand says about its own product offering, customer reviews, and complaints, ratings from independent agencies like the BBB, and trusted journalistic publications.

Some of the key features we compared when looking at the dating sites and apps on our list were: 

  • Price
  • Free version options
  • Number of members
  • Age range of users
  • Communication options

What You Need to Know Before Choosing a Dating Site

Before subscribing to an online dating site, ask yourself these questions to determine the best fit for you:

What type of relationship are you looking for? As we all know, some dating sites are famous for hookups, while others are more geared towards long-term relationships. Deciding which type of relationship you’re looking for is a good first step in choosing the site that will yield you the most success.  

Which features are important to you? Are you more concerned with showing off your smile or your personality? Do you want to scroll through pages of user profiles, or have matches chosen for you? Some sites put the emphasis on photos, while others offer questionnaires to highlight your personality. Some leave it up to you to find your match, while others deliver matches straight to your inbox. Choosing how you want to highlight yourself and be introduced to others is a great way to whittle down the choices. 

How much money are you willing to spend on a subscription? Dating sites run the gamut of prices from free to upwards of $30 per month. Setting a limit on how much you want to spend and then exploring the sites that fall within your price range will give you the best shot of choosing one that meets both your budget and your preferences. 

What Types of Dating Sites and Apps Are There?

Great question! There’s basically an online dating app available for people of all genders, sexual orientations, religions, races, interests, etc. 

Here are just a few types of online dating websites:

  • General dating: Many of the above dating sites fall under this category. Users of all ages, sexual orientations, religions, and lifestyles can be found on the same platform.  
  • Senior dating: These sites are typically dedicated to users aged 60 and up or those looking for partners in that age range. 
  • Lesbian, gay, and LGBTQ+ dating: These platforms are for those who identify as gay, lesbian, bi, queer, or trans.  
  • Christian dating: These sites are for those who live a Christian life and are looking for partners who share their faith. 


How Has COVID-19 Affected the Dating Game?

There’s no doubt that COVID has made things harder for singles, but singles have proven to be nothing if not resourceful. Online dating sites have flourished during the pandemic, with couples setting up romantic Zoom dates or flirting through their masks during socially-distanced rendezvous in the park. Of course not everyone may share the same commitment to safety, so it’s important to communicate your expectations clearly so that you and your date are on the same page.  

How to Avoiding Dating Site Scams

Unfortunately there are plenty of bad actors in the online dating world. Here's are some tips for avoiding scams or abuse:

  • It’s best to choose a dating platform with strong security measures. 
  • A dating site that costs money is less prone to having scammers than a free one.
  • Ask to see social media accounts before agreeing to meet in person, and listen to your gut when something doesn’t feel right.
  • Don’t forget that a good dating site will have services in place to assist you when you encounter abusive or suspicious users online.

First Date Tips

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

2. Be safe. Take some precautions before meeting a date in person. Ask to see their social media account or other proof that they’re who they say they are. Meet in a public place and share the time, location, and details of your date with a trusted friend. 

3. Be true to yourself. If there’s one thing online dating has taught us, it’s that there are countless singles out there looking to connect. So don’t compromise your integrity or comfort level. Be true to yourself and your needs, and if they don’t align with your date’s, then it wasn’t meant to be and you can head back online with your pride, dignity, and boundaries intact. 

4. Be flexible. Romance is an enigma, and it can come about in the most unexpected places. So think twice before writing someone off just because their interests are different from yours. Sure, you may not be crazy about hiking, jazz, or mini-golf. But if the chemistry is there, give it a shot. You never know. 

5. Be respectful. Don’t catfish anybody. Convey your intentions, and respect people’s boundaries just as you want them to respect yours. Don’t waste anybody’s time. We’re all just trying to find love out here.

6. Stay positive. Some dates are a bust. It happens. But try not to let it discourage you. Remind yourself that there are many great people out there, and all it takes is one magic date for your luck to turn around. 

How Much Do Dating Sites and Apps Cost?

The average cost of a dating site subscription is around $220-250 per year, which works out at roughly $20 per month. 

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. 

Other Brands We Reviewed

This list of 10 dating sites is composed of companies that chose to partner with Top10.com. In total, we reviewed over 40 brands when doing our research into dating sites, with new brands being reviewed on a regular basis. Interested in learning about the prices and features of some big dating sites that don't appear on this list? Check out our in-depth reviews of some of these big names in dating:

Love Is Out There, Find It Today

The days of blind dates and meeting on the street are over. Dating apps are the easiest way to find a relationship in 2021. 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 Mandriota
Morgan Mandriota writes for top10.com and is also 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.