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Love in the Digital Age: Navigate 2024s Dating App Stars

We review some of the best dating apps to use in 2024, as well as some of the most popular.

a woman showing her smartphone

If you’re new to online dating or back after a long break, you might be wondering, “What are the best online dating apps? Which dating app should I use? What are the differences? Where do I have the best chance of finding my one true love/hookup buddy/next awkward-one-night stand?!?!”

We have our favorite apps for all of the above, but what app to use depends on what you’re looking for and what you’d like the process to be like. In this article we’ll list many of the most common dating apps, their features, their reputations, and what sets them apart, so you can choose which app to use for yourself. We’ll also list some more specific apps for people looking for specific qualities, like religion. We’ll round out the article with a list of more obscure apps that we don’t have as much information on, but might be worth looking into if the more popular options don’t seem to be working for you.

Best Online Dating Apps: Popular/General Audience

Best Dating App for Sheer Number of Options: Tinder

best online dating apps pick one: tinder logo

Tinder: the app that began the dating app revolution. Tinder created the “swiping” sensation: swipe-right-to-like, swipe-left-to-pass. It’s fast, casual, and boasts a massive user base, making it ideal for those seeking quick connections or simply dipping their toes into the online dating pool. It’s best known for being a hookup app, but you can really find all types here.

Pros:
  • Huge user base, meaning more potential matches.
  • Simple and quick to use.
  • Great for casual encounters or hookups.
Cons:
  • Can be superficial, with an emphasis on appearance.
  • Not ideal for those seeking serious relationships.
  • Prone to ghosting and low-quality matches.
  • Known for having bots and catfishes.
Filters:
  • Age, Gender, Location, Type of Relationship
PROFILE INFO YOU SPECIFY:
  • Pictures, Name, School, Employment, and a random blob of profile text that could be anything from a one-liner joke to a long missive about your deepest desires in a partner.

Best Dating App for Relationships: Hinge

hinge screenshot

“Designed to be deleted” is Hinge’s motto—it tries to focus on quality and serious connection. It’s definitely a popular option for people looking for relationships rather than hookups (though of course, you can find both.) Instead of waiting around for matches and messages, you have to comment directly on a part of a person’s profile to get the conversation started and to “like” them—this really helps things get going, and there’s much less matching-but-no-messaging happening.

Pros:

  • Encourages deeper connections through prompts and conversation starters.
  • Focus on compatibility and shared interests.
  • Algorithm prioritizes long-term relationship potential.

Cons:

  • Smaller user base than Tinder and Bumble.
  • Can feel less fast-paced and exciting compared to other apps.
  • May not be suitable for casual dating or hookups.
Profile Info You Specify (Mostly Optional)
  • Gender, Pronouns, Sexuality, Age, Height, Location, Ethnicity, Children, Family Plans, Covid Vaccine, Pets, Zodiac Sign, Work, Job Title, School, Education Level, Religious Beliefs, Politics, Languages Spoken, Dating Intentions, Relationship Type, Drinking, Smoking, Marijuana, Drugs
  • Name, Written Prompts (Choose from dropdown list), Pictures, Instagram, Hometown
Filters
  • Can filter based on any from the first list.

Best Dating App for Those Tired of D*ck Pics: Bumble

bumble logo

Billed as a “feminist” dating app, Bumble requires women to make the first move (for LGBT dating, anyone messages first). This unique twist is supposed to create a more balanced and respectful dynamic. Men finally get to wait around for women to message them. There’s also a time limit on initiating a first message—if you don’t do it in the first few days, your chance is gone.

Pros:

  • Women initiate conversations, leading to more engaged matches.
  • Generally higher quality matches compared to Tinder.

Cons:

  • Smaller user base than Tinder.
  • Time limit for initiating conversations can feel pressured.
  • May not be ideal for traditionally shy individuals.
  • Some women will just message “hey”, still making the guy do the real work. (What’s the point?)
  • No real differentiator for LGBT dating.
Profile Info You Specify
  • (Optional): Work, Education, Gender, Location, Hometown, Ethnicity, Height, Exercise, Star Sign, Education Level, Drinking, Smoking, Cannabis Use, Looking For (type of relationship), Kids (want/have/don’t want), Religion, Politics, Languages You Know
  • Pictures, Connected Accounts (Instagram/Spotify), Opening Question, Profile Prompts, Interests (Choose from a dropdown), Pronouns
Filters
  • Can filter based on any from the first list.

Best Online Dating App for the Chronically Overwhelmed: Coffee Meets Bagel

Was definitely more popular in the past, but still has its users, mostly in larger cities. Coffee Meets Bagel’s Differentiators are gender-based, like Bumble–if you are a straight woman, you are presented with only seven matches a day, all of whom have already liked you. If you are a straight man, you get 20 people to swipe on. These matches are based on their algorithm and your compatibility via your profile. If you are LGBT, then there really isn’t a differentiator. You get 8 days to message a match, and there are icebreakers that the app gives you. I once got to be part of a user interview for Coffee Meets Bagel, so that was cool.

Filters
  • Gender, age, height, distance, ethnicity, and religion
Profile Info You Specify
  • Icebreakers, Prompts, Pictures, Name.

Best Dating App for People Who Consider Themselves Weirdos: OKCupid

OkCupid is the OG nerd of the online dating world, catering to those who value intellectual compatibility and meaningful conversations. Its detailed questionnaires and focus on shared interests make it a haven for bookworms, trivia enthusiasts, and anyone who appreciates a good mental challenge. However, people have said that it’s gone downhill in the past few years, and become more like Tinder and all your other standard dating apps.

Pros:

  • In-depth personality quizzes help match you with compatible partners.
  • Emphasis on shared interests and values.
  • More diverse user base compared to some other apps.

Cons:

  • Interface can feel cluttered and overwhelming.
  • Can attract users seeking casual encounters alongside those seeking relationships.
  • May require more effort to create a detailed profile and initiate conversations.

Best Online Dating Apps for Specific Communities

Best Religious Dating Apps: JDate (Jewish), Muzz (Muslim), Upward (Christian)

If your religion is important to you and you’d like to meet someone who understands your religion or shares your religious beliefs, it may make sense to try a dating app focused on religion. Your alternative is to use a more popular app that has a filter for what you’re looking for, like Hinge, which lets you choose people of certain religions only. However, those filters are very general and don’t account for the wide array of levels of practice.

One of the major pros of religion-focused apps is that they let you be upfront about your commitment to your religion and specify your lifestyle within your religion—for example, if you keep strictly kosher or halal, or how often you expect to go to church. Having such conversations is normalized (and sometimes you can even filter for certain religious branches, beliefs, or practices).

Best Lesbian Dating App: Her

An app created for queer, bi, and lesbian women, by a queer woman. A larger focus on relationships than Tinder, and claims to be designed with women’s preferences, behaviors, and interests in mind.

Pros

  • You’re less likely to get propositioned for a threesome or get messages from some guy trying to turn you.
  • Less people experimenting with their sexuality—you’re more likely to get people who firmly feel a part of LGBTQ+ community. (This could be a pro if you’re looking for a long-term relationship.)

Cons

  • Smaller pool. Depending on your area, it may have very few users.

Best(?) Gay Dating App: Grindr

Grindr has a reputation as a hookup app, though there are people who meet longer term partners and platonic connections. It’s the largest LGBTQ+ social networking app, and quite well known. (A woman is writing this post, so unfortunately I do not have too much to say about Grindr, and take this recommendation with a grain of salt.)

Best Dating App for Kink or Alternative Lifestyles: Feeld

Alternative, Poly, Kink, etc. —focused dating app. Specify what you’re looking for and be very upfront about your desires. Need we say more?

Lesser-Known Online Dating Apps

Most of these are apps we haven’t tried (and don’t have friends who’ve tried them), so we can’t do much more than list them and hope that maybe one sparks your interest.

General

  • Zoosk
  • Facebook Dating
  • EHarmony
  • Hily
  • Plenty of Fish
  • Match

More LGBTQ:

  • Taimi
  • Zoe

Dating Apps by Race:

  • Interracial Cupid
  • Dil Mil: South Asian Dating
  • AsianFlirts
  • Chispa: Dating App for Latinos
  • Black People Meet

Dating Apps for Age-Based:

  • Cougar
  • Feels (Gen-Z Audience)
  • Snack (Gen-Z Audience)
  • Silver Singles

Dating Apps for Specific Life Situations:

  • Positive Singles Herpes Dating
  • Veggly Vegan Dating App
  • Ashley Madison
  • Stir – Single Parent Dating

Dating Apps for Religion

  • CatholicMatch
  • ChristianMingle

Dating Apps Trying to Be Exclusive:

  • The League
  • Elite Singles

Choosing a dating app can be daunting if you don’t already have a favorite. If you’re not enjoying using one, definitely play around with trying another. You might find it works better for you. We don’t recommend having too many, however—you’ll quickly get exhausted with trying to keep up with all of them. We hope this list has helped you choose what app to try—good luck and happy dating!

This article is part of our online dating guide series. Want more great dating advice? Consider subscribing to the blog.

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