The Best Dating Apps For 2020
2020 is already the best year for online dating apps and online dating sites on record. More than 60% of single people are using, or have used dating apps, and there are more choices than ever when it comes to picking the right dating app for you. Unfortunately, not all dating sites are created equal. I’ve been the world’s leading dating profile ghostwriter since I started ProfileHelper back in 2005. Over that time, I’ve helped over 25,000 singles with everything from picking the best dating site for their personal dating needs, to helping write amazing profiles that help attract the type of people they want to meet. I’ve tested out nearly every dating site and now I want to give you a definitive guide to the best dating apps for 2020.
Best Traditional Dating Apps
THE BEST: Match.com
Match.com is one of the oldest and largest dating sites out there, but they’ve lasted because they have a format that works. If you are looking for a mainstream dating site/app where you can meet a good mix of people for anything from dating to marriage-minded relationships, Match is really the best choice.
What Kind of People Use Match:
Match.com is a great dating option for people over 30-years-old until their mid-60s. The Match.com dating crowd tends to relatively mainstream. There is a good mix of secular and religious members, so there is something for pretty much everyone.
What We Love About Match:
- It Is HUGE – One of the biggest things to look for in a dating app is that it has a lot of people. Next to POF and Tinder, no dating apps have anywhere close to the number of people that Match has.
- It Isn’t Free – Free dating sites can be great, but they are not where you want to be if you are looking for a serious relationship. A membership fee acts as a barrier of intent to keep away some of the riffraff. That’s something you want if you are looking for a date that could lead to a lot more.
- You Can Search – Many dating apps don’t let you search. Instead, they make you rely on their own algorithms to find you the people their computers think are compatible with you. We’ve been at this a long time and we know that there are some things computers just can’t account for. The ability to search through the profiles on a dating app can make the difference in finding a partner or not.
- You Can Message Anyone – If you are a paying subscriber, you can message anyone on Match.com and the message will be sent to them. On many other dating apps, messages are either not sent directly to their recipients, or you have to rely on the two of you swiping on each other before you have the privilege of saying hello.
- Their Membership Database Is Current – While some dating apps keep profiles visible forever, Match hides them after the person hasn’t logged into their account for more than 60 days. This greatly increases the chances that you’ll be messaging people who are actually on the dating site.
What We Don’t Love About Match:
- You Can’t Tell Between Free/Paid Members – Paid members on Match can email anyone, they want, but you also have to be a paid member to receive any message sent to you by someone. If you are a paid member and you send a message to a free member, that person will get an email from Match saying that there’s a message for them and they can see it as soon as they become a subscriber. This can be frustrating because it increases the chances that you might send a message to someone who cannot respond.
- They Eliminated Preferences From Profiles – In early March of 2020, Match eliminated the “what they are looking for” section from profiles. They replaced it with new internal filters that are designed to help make sure you only see people with whom you are compatible. Our concern is that this new filter could be too restrictive and will end up with compatible matches not being able to see each other.
Match uses a traditional free-form profile format. A good profile is generally between 175-270 words long and it talks about your life and what you are looking for in a partner. Match also includes the opportunity to answer additional profile questions including: Your Favorite Hotspot, The Last Book You Read, The Most Famous Person You’ve Met, and several more optional questions. It is always a good idea to fill out at least three of the optional sections because it gives people a better chance to get to know you. If you struggle with writing about yourself, check out online dating profile writing services.
How Much Does Match.com Cost?
You can join Match.com for as little as $16.99 a month on a basic membership, but we suggest going for either the 3 or 6-month premium membership package. The 3-month plan costs $24.99 a month and the 6-month plan costs $19.99 per month. You always want the premium package because it is the only way to get reader notification (the only way to tell if someone has received your message other than them responding to you). The feature will give you invaluable peace of mind and is definitely worth the extra few bucks a month.
Honorable Mentions: OKCupid, POF, eHarmony
OKCupid has always been known as the best overall dating app for people in their 20s and early 30s. It attracts a more creative crowd than any other traditional dating site, largely because of the unique, in-depth profile, and the thousands of interesting multiple-choice questions you can answer and compare with prospective dates.
What Kind of People Use OKCupid:
OKCupid is perfect for people who are too young to get anything out of a site like Match but are looking for something a little deeper than what you’ll find on Tinder and Bumble. The app has an alternative feel to it that keeps it from attracting people who are primarily concerned with finding a “nice, average” person to be with. Interestingly, the open and artistic vibe on OKC has also made it one of the most popular dating apps for polyamorous singles. Thankfully, the first question the app asks you is if you are interested in monogamy, so don’t worry that you’ll be inundated with messages from swingers. There are plenty of interesting people on the app who are looking for a one-on-one relationship.
How Much Does OKCupid Cost?
OKCupid is a free dating app with the option to upgrade. Free members can send and receive messages, but your messages have to go through a messy process that involves your profile being put in front of the person you messaged and them having to like your profile before they are then sent the message. The two benefits of upgrading to a paid membership are that you can see who has liked your profile and you get any incoming messages immediately. It is important to note that if you are a paid member, and you send a message to a free member, they will still have to choose to like your profile before they see your message. There are three payment options available for OKC, but we suggest you go for the 6-month, $9.99 per month option. It is half the price of joining on a month-to-month basis.
POF is a free dating app that has consistently been the biggest dating site in the world for the better part of the last ten years. The app uses an in-depth search feature and a basic, 2-paragraph profile. It is an app that has a little bit of something for everyone, but you will have to do more work to find it than you would on paid dating apps.
What Kind of People Use POF:
POF is the largest dating app in the world. It got that reputation because it is free to use. There is no charge to post a profile, send, or receive messages. However, the fact that it is known as “the free dating app” has also given it a reputation as a mixed-bag in regards to the people who use it. With that said, POF is a little bit of a diamond in the rough. It just happens that there’s a lot of rough before the diamond. The dating app has a good age-range of users from 18-70, and there are a lot of amazing people using the app to find real relationships. The app also has one of the most comprehensive search tools in the dating industry.
How Much Does POF Cost?
POF is the largest dating site in the world because it has built a reputation as the largest “Free” dating site. They do offer an upgrade option, but we don’t see the point in buying it. Your best bet on POF is to be pro-active. Use their search tool to find the type of people you are looking for and send them messages. Most of the benefits of the paid version of the dating app are geared towards you getting more messages. However, the chances that those additional messages are going to actually be from people you want to meet are pretty slim.
Calling eHarmony a dating isn’t accurate. We’ve always considered eHarmony to be more of a marriage app. While most traditional dating apps rely on searching, eHarmony relies heavily on a personality survey and algorithm that are designed to pick the most compatible people for you on the app. It is a great option for people who are looking for a heavily guided online dating experience, but it might be too restrictive for many singles.
What Kind of People Use POF:
Traditionally, eHarmony has always attracted a more conservative dating crowd with many of their members being religious Christians. Until recently, the site only allowed heterosexual matching, but that changed when the company was bought out and the new owners are focusing on re-branding the app towards being more inclusive. However, it is very hard to overcome fifteen years of reputation. As it is, eHarmony skews towards an older audience made up of seriously marriage-minded singles. It isn’t really a dating app that we recommend to singles under the age of 40.
How Much Does eHarmony Cost?
There is no free option for eHarmony users. You can set up your profile for free, but you can’t really do anything until you become a subscriber. They offer three subscription plans: a 6-month plan for $59.90 a month, a 12-month plan for $35.90 a month, and a 24-month plan for $25.90 a month. We suggest that you choose the 12-month plan. There is never a good reason to pay $60 a month for a dating app, and if you need to be on eHarmony for 24 months to meet someone, it isn’t the right dating app for you.
Best Dating Apps For Singles Over 50
When it comes to dating apps for singles over 50, there are really only two apps that fit the bill, Ourtime and SilverSingles. There are many 50+ singles who feel too young for apps like these. They are most commonly found on Match and POF. If you are over 50 and you don’t want to deal with a dating site that is mostly filled with people younger than you’d want to date, these two dating sites are worth checking out.
OurTime is the best-known dating site for people over the age of 50. It is owned by Match, who recently combined the dating site with their other 50+ dating site, Seniorpeoplemeet. Their research showed that people don’t like being called seniors (unless it is their fourth year of high school). As a result, OurTime is the largest dating site for this age group. Much like Match or POF, OurTime uses a traditional search and profile format to give users the freedom to seek out partners they think are compatible on their own.
What Kind of People Use OurTime:
OurTime is the largest online dating site for the 50+ community, but most members are 60+. Singles in their 50s are more likely to be found on apps like Match, POF, or eHarmony. The singles who use OurTime are looking for a service that provides them with the freedom to look around and message who they would like to. Singles looking for a more guided online dating experience are better suited to SilverSingles.
How Much Does OurTime Cost?
OurTime a subscription-based dating site. You can set up a profile and look at other profiles for free, but you need to purchase a subscription if you want to send or receive messages. We are very disappointed in OurTime for the way they’ve chosen to advertise their pricing. To make the dating site seem less expensive, they list their pricing options as “per week,” but they bill you for the entire subscription at once. Despite this, we recommend their 6-month plan as it is the only membership plan that includes “readership notification,” a very important tool that helps members know if their messages are being read. This membership option is listed at a weekly cost of $4.49, but remember the fine-print points out that you will be billed the entire $107.76 in one payment.
SilverSingles isn’t nearly as large as OurTime, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be effective as an online dating site for people over 50. There are two main things that set SilverSingles apart from OurTime. First, it is a much more guided experience. When you join the site, the first thing they have you do is take a short personality test. It is a simple test that only takes 5-10 minutes. They use the results of that test to try and help determine the best matches for you. That means you won’t do any searching, they will show you all of the people who match your criteria on the dating app. The other big difference between the two dating sites is the profile. SilverSingles still has the standard, “about me/about what I’m looking for,” profile, but it also has additional sections where you can answer shorter, more specific questions that can help people get a better sense of your personality.
What Kind of People Use SilverSingles:
SilverSingles is for single men and women over the age of 50 who are looking for a more guided dating experience. They have either felt overwhelmed by the format on dating apps like Match and Ourtime or they are just more interested in having the system suggest matches to them. SilverSingles is geared towards online daters who enjoy a similar experience to what they would get on a dating site like eHarmony, but we’ve found that this site is actually much easier to use.
How Much Does SilverSingles Cost?
SilverSingles is a more expensive dating site than OurtTime, but you are paying for a more guided experience. The only membership option that we’d suggest is the 6-month membership. It offers all of the same features as the 3-month membership, but it costs much less per month at $27.95 vs $44.95.
Best Discovery Dating Apps
THE BEST: Hinge
Discovery Dating Apps are the most popular way for singles between the ages of 18-28 to find each other right now. The first big discovery app was Tinder, but it has launched a sea of clones and hybrids. All discovery dating apps use a “swipe” feature where you can choose if you like someone simply by swiping right or left on their photo. While this can make it easier to find first dates, it can make connecting on a deeper level much more difficult.
We love Hinge because it takes the best parts of discovery dating apps and uses them to create an app where people can slow down a little bit more and connect with each other. Instead of relying on just a photo before you decide if you want to swipe or look at someone’s profile, Hinge shows you profiles that include photos and answers to interesting questions. Additionally, Hinge limits the number of people you can see in a day, which helps users take the process a little more seriously. You are less likely to mindlessly swipe through profiles if you know you will only get to like 10 profiles a day. You can unlock the ability to like an unlimited amount of profiles a day by upgrading your membership, but don’t bother if you are just going to swipe like you would on Tinder.
What Kind of People Use Hinge:
Hinge is becoming the most popular dating app for singles in their mid-20s to their early-30s. While there are definitely people on there looking for casual connections, the app has gained a reputation as the best option if you are looking for a serious relationship. This is the app a lot of singles gravitate to when they are sick of Tinder and Bumble but aren’t interested in something like Match or OKCupid.
How Much Does Hinge Cost?
There are three payment options for Hinge that range from 1-6 months, but we suggest the 3-month membership to get the best bang for your buck. At $19.99, this deal will cost you $6.66 per month. The bonuses of upgrading your membership include the previously mentioned unlimited liking as well as the ability to see everyone who has also liked your profile.
Honorable Mentions: Tinder, Bumble
Tinder is the biggest and most well-known dating app available. It pioneered swiping as part of the online dating process and has become the most popular online dating app for singles under 30. The app relies on photos and short profiles that are ‘discovered’ while you swipe. While this app, and others like it, can be a great way to connect, a recent study showed that the majority of people using it are doing so for either entertainment purposes or because they seek validation through the act of getting a match. We strongly recommend that you set a 10-minute timer every time you log into to Tinder. Spending more than that swiping on a daily basis can often lead users to diminished self-esteem.
What Kind of People Use Tinder:
The biggest group of people using Tinder are single men and women under the age of 27. There are people on the app in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, but we have found success rates drop significantly once you leave the app’s target demo. Singles in that age-range generally find much better relationships through the traditional dating sites that are mentioned above. Tinder members are looking for everything from a hook-up site to true love, but the app works best for dating without a serious agenda.
How Much Does Tinder Cost?
Tinder is free to use, but there are two levels of upgrades that you might want to consider if the free membership is holding you back.
How Much Does Tinder Plus Cost?
Tinder Plus gives is the first level upgrade that you can get for the dating app. If the free version of Tinder isn’t enough for you, and you don’t live in a major city, this is the best option for you. We’d suggest buying their 6-month package at a total of $17.99.
Tinder Plus Includes:
- Unlimited Likes
- Rewind (the ability to unswipe someone you accidentally swiped left on)
- 5 Super Likes a day
- 1 Boost a month
- Passport (the ability to see profiles outside of your area)
- No ads
How Much Does Tinder Gold Cost?
Tinder Gold is the app’s deluxe package. We can tell you right now, if you don’t live in a major city, you can easily get by with Tinder Plus, or possibly even the free version of the app. However, if you live in a major metropolitan area, it might be worth shelling out the extra money. The 6-month package will set you back $52.99, but unless you plan on using Tinder for more than that to meet someone, there’s no reason to spend $82.99 for the 12-month membership.
Tinder Gold includes:
- See who Likes You before you Like or Nope
- New Top Picks every day
- Unlimited Likes
- 5 Super Likes a day
- 1 Boost a month
- No ads
Bumble was created by a female former employee of Tinder who was looking for a dating app that put women in control. When using the app, it is women who make the first move when it comes to swiping and starting the conversation. While this has the benefit of giving the app one of the highest match-to-conversation ratios of any dating app, it is not without its flaws. As soon as men realized how the system worked, many of them just started swiping right on every profile that appeared on the screen.
What Kind of People Use Bumble:
Bumble shares Tinder’s core demographic of men and women under the age of 27, but as a result of its reputation for putting women in control, the app has also found popularity with women in their 30s and 40s. Theoretically, Bumble users are more serious about finding a relationship than the people on Tinder, but many users report that they have similar experiences on both apps.
How Much Does Bumble Cost?
You can use Bumble for free, but it does have limitations. You might want to get an upgrade, but you need to know that your upgrade might not be the end of the money you spend on the app. The Upgraded membership for Bumble is called Bumble Boost. It will cost you $10.99 for a week-long membership, $54.99 for a 3-month membership, and as much as $149.99 for a lifetime membership. Here’s what is included in Bumble Boost:
- BeeLine (Shows you who has already liked your profile)
- Rematch (Increases your chances of discovering someone with whom your match expired)
- BusyBee (When you match on Bumble, you only have 24 hours before that match expires. This gives you as long as you need.)
- Unlimited Filters (Gives you access to all of the search filters at once, instead of just two at a time like free members)
There are two important features that Bumble doesn’t include in their paid membership: SuperSwipes and Bumble Spotlight.
While Superlikes are included as part of Tinder’s paid membership, Bumble charges $1.99 per SuperSwipe. If you buy them in bulk, you can get the price down to #1.25 each.
Bumble Spotlight is the app’s basic boost feature. When you use it, it boosts your profile in the discovery carousel for 30-minutes at a time. Every time you put your profile in the spotlight it costs $3.98, or $2.50 when you buy at least 20 Bumble coins at a time.
No matter which dating app you use, a great profile can be the difference between connecting with the next love of your life, or wondering why no one is responding to your messages. If you are new to online dating, give me a call at 888-447-7634 and I’ll help you figure out the best dating site for you at no charge. If you need help with your profile, we are the best dating profile ghostwriting service available. Since we launched in 2005, we have helped over 25,000 singles improve their online dating lives. Check out what our profile writing services can do for you.