There are more than 8000 online dating sites worldwide.  If you search Google for ‘free dating sites’ you will find 407,000,000 links in .53 seconds. It can be really onerous to find the best free dating site from such a vast array of offers. 

To add injury to insult, many of the so-called ‘free sites’ are not really free at all. Often the word free is just used as a lead-magnet in order to get your contact details and to list you as a user. 

Best free dating sites online

Many of these pseudo-sites require you to provide them with credit card and payment details before you register.

After registration they often offer you only a free trial for a couple of days before they charge you for full membership. The fine print will explain to you afterwards, that you had 24 hours or a couple of days to opt out if you wanted to avoid the charge. 

Best free dating sites online

Other ‘free’ dating sites will allow you to register for free, but you will be blocked from viewing user’s profiles and from contacting any matches if you do not pay for full membership. 

Our team found that online pundits routinely include sites that are not free at all among their favorite free dating sites.  As a result, we decided to investigate, and we found that these sites represent the very best sites that are truly free.

So we’ve put together a list of the best free dating sites online (REALLY free) and included details below:

1. Plenty of Fish (PoF)

Plenty of fish - online dating site

Plenty of Fish (PoF) REALLY is a free online dating site.  You can register, browse, search, view profiles, match, message and participate online without paying anything at all.

Some features are restricted for premium members only.  If you want to access these features, you can ‘upgrade’ your account for $7.50 per month. Premium features include instant chatting and confirmation if someone has read a message you sent.

If you upgrade your account and find it not really worth your while, you can cancel your subscription and ask for a refund, which will be paid back to you within three business days in the United States.

Girl kissing guy selfie

PoF is one of the largest and best free dating sites online with a reported membership of 40,000,000. With these kinds of numbers, finding a suitable match there should definitely not be a problem. Despite being trendy and fresh, the site is reputed to be ideal for serious minded users who are looking for more than just a hookup.

PoF is considered controversial by some pundits.  They had their fair share of bad publicity over the years. Users were infected with a virus by a third party advertisement that ran on the site, and a few women were assaulted by men they met on the site.

Despite this, our team rates PoF as one of the very best free dating site out there.

2. OKCupid

OkCupid online dating

OKCupid is another truly free dating site.  They make it really easy for you to create your free account. All you have to do is to enter your details, choose a username, and off you go. It is seamless. 

The site allows you to search for matches in your area and to send and receive messages. The algorithm they use is question based, which makes for interesting self-discovery while you’re at it.   

They expect you to start off with seven basic questions you must answer before they can match you.  They provide you with an array of tools, like a quick match function and instant likes, that makes this an exciting way to search for your soul mate. 

OKCupid allows you to start messaging without any waiting period. All they require, is that you complete your profile before you start. As you go along, you can prompt OKCupid to ask you more questions. The more answers you provide, the more sophisticated their algorithm becomes in providing you with suitable matches.

Women drinking wine

Interestingly, every question you answer, gives you access to the answers other users on the site gave to the same question. OKCupid uses this question-answer approach to beguile users into upgrading to their premium service.  Some questions are off-limits for free users, and this limits the type of answers given by potential matches you can search for.

OKCupid allows you a lot of leeway to personalize your profile page and to express yourself creatively. This can add to your allure.  The site offers an international search option, which is very useful if you want to meet and date men or women from around the world.

OKCupid is a serious dating site, and they go out of their way to stay that way.  To prevent the site from melting down to become another casual-hookup space, they require users to like someone’s profile before they can message them. This protects their female users since it prevents “window-shoppers” from going on messaging sprees

3. Tinder

Tinder Logo full

It might be a bit controversial to list Tinder as one of the best free dating sites out there. Tinder might have many faults, but there are many positives too.

Tinder is one of the best free dating sites online and it has a massive following. It is completely free, provides instant gratification and is very simple to use. Tinder has more than 50,000,000 users and it is reported that more than 12 million matches are made there every single day. If you are in a hurry to get going and if you want something that is entirely free, you can be absolutely certain that you will find many matches on Tinder.

Tinder has a dark side.   It is renowned to be a very superficial site, but this is mostly due to the emphasis they place on speed. 

An attractive couple together

Your appearance is a big deal on Tinder.  A Tinder profile is often scant, consisting of just a couple of pictures and a favorite song while giving a description of yourself is optional.

As a consequence,  matches are more often than not based on looks only.  If you like her looks, you connect with her. If not, you swipe her away. 

This superficiality and ease of use, makes Tinder notorious as a site for easy hookups and cheap thrills, but there is another side to Tinder.  If you spend time to create a detailed profile that fully describe you,  you can most certainly search and find thousands of likeminded matches. 

Couple having dinner together

Tinder is said to be the preferred site for many call-girls and prostitutes.  These women will apparently make their intentions quite clear from the start and they will allegedly solicit users by offering them nude pictures.

As a conversation starter.  When you circumvent these operators, your Tinder experience can be very stable and rewarding.

4. Mingle2

Mingle2 online dating logo

Mingle2 is another actually free dating site out there.

To sign on takes no time at all.  You have to provide only basic information that includes your sexual orientation and location.  After signing up, you create a username and password, and you are ready to go.

Mingle2 is a clean and effective site.  It does not require you to upload a detailed profile, but it requires more detail than Tinder does for example.

Even so, many of the users do not bother to fill in their profiles, which reduces your chances of finding a real match.  You can however, more often than not connect with like-minded singles without relying only on pictures.   

The site is relatively small.  It contains a total of 6 million community posts over its entire history, which means it is dwarfed by sites like those listed above.

Two friends online dating together

The site offers many unique features to its users.  First off, you get to decide for yourself whether you want to match before you can contact someone, or not.  Search is also enhanced. 

Before you can show up in search results, you have to complete at least 50% of your profile. This helps to encourage those reluctant to complete their profiles to do so.

The site has many matching features, and one we particularly like, you can request to be matched by someone you found via the search function.  This will prevent you from spending time and effort ‘courting’ an user that in the end, will not be interested in you.

An interesting feature, is the stealth option.  This allows you to browse anonymously, and while this might be a bit creepy, it will guarantee your privacy while you browse the site.

5. Coffee Meets Bagel

coffee meets bagel - online dating review - logo

Coffee Meets Bagel is a one of the best free dating sites online that was launched in 2012 by three sisters.  This dating platform is only available on mobile, and it is very different from most other dating sites out there.

Users can only interact with a limited amount of profiles every day.  It also uses unique information as ice-breakers for matches.  Coffee Meets Bagels can only be used if you have a Facebook account. 

The app looks at your Facebook profile to help them to identify potential matches for you. You are allowed at least one match per day, and you can only contact this match if you ‘like’ them and they ‘like’ you back. 

Woman dating online with her phone

Uniquely,  Coffee Meets Bagel is one of the very few dating platforms that have a large majority female user base.  It uses a point system to reward for using it more frequently, and the points scored increase your chances of finding a successful match.

The Facebook connection can sometimes be a bit incestuous.  You are limited to matching with your friends, or the friends of your friends, and this might not be the crowd you would feel most comfortable to hook up with.

Coffee Meets Bagel is almost exclusively a serious dating platform. More than 70% of its users are looking for a serious relationship.

6. Bumble

bumble logo

Bumble is described by many as a feminist version of Tinder. It is free, instant and is reported to have more than 22,000,000 users.

The app has been downloaded more than 27,000,000 times. According to Survey Monkey 46.2% of users are female and 49% of users went on the app on a daily basis.

Bumble is very much a serious dating app.  Eighty five percent of it’s users are looking for marriage or a relationship, while only 4% of the men on this app are looking for casual hookups, according to a statement made by Bumble in April 2018.

Bumble is different form all other dating platforms because of its supposed feminist character. On Bumble, women initiate all contacts, and not men. 

Men on Bumble can only respond to a woman after she initiated a conversation. The men can swipe, but then they have to wait for the woman to decide what comes next.

Bumble has a so-called BFF mode, which allows members to create variations, like plain platonic friendships and more.  Despite all these features Bumble is almost as “superficial” as Tinder in that it is equally visual in its presentation.  The only way you can actually present yourself, is by adding photographs that communicate who you are.

7. ConnectingSingles

ConnectingSingles online dating logo

ConnectingSingles is a free dating site.  The site contains quizzes, chat rooms and profile reviews and more if you want to pass the time. 

It is actually free to register on this site, and you can browse profiles and message potential matches.  You can locate members by location through just entering a zip code to your search.

A great spot for a date

This site also allow users to search for matches internationally.  The site makes it possible to contact potential matches, and you can also use the option to ‘send flowers online.’

8. Book of Matches

Book Of Matches is another actually free dating site.  They do not require payment details or a credit card, and they charge you absolutely nothing for their service. 

You get access to search and messaging potential matches, and it provides both an instant messaging and live text chat service. A unique feature is their video chatting facility via your web camera.

The site allows you many other features, including a favorites list and a friends list.  You can opt to only allow people that match to email you, and every member has a rating that shows how active they are on the site. 

9. Mate1

Mate1 is one of the busiest online sites with over 30,000,000 users. The site is free for women only, while men have to pay for membership. 

The site offers advanced search options that include unlimited two-way chatting.  It additionally offers you the option of creating a voice profile. 

10. FreeAndSingle

This is another semi-free free dating site.  Members get access to advanced searches, and messaging, and they can view profiles.  The site is simple and you can browse, chat and connect with potential matches.

Two people holding hands

It is a small site with only 500,000 members. Women get unlimited free access, while men have to pay a membership fee if they want to read or reply to messages.

11. Passion Network

To register you just provide the site with your basic contact details, and then you can go off and create your profile.  Drop down menus are filled with lists of questions about your interests and preferences, your characteristics, your habits and more. 

You can upload ten photograph of yourself as well.  You cannot participate in the chat rooms if you did not provide a picture of your face for your avatar. 

A couple on a date

The site offers comprehensive search functions that makes it possible to really find a suitable match for yourself.  When you find someone you might like to meet, you can email them. If you add the member to your favorites list, you are allowed unlimited emails. 

Passion Network offers over 250 unique dating niches.  You can join niches like cigar, coffee, or classical music, and many more.  With basic free membership you are allowed to join one of these niches. 

If you upgrade to paid membership, called Network Wide Access, you can join all of the 250 niches if you want, and you can access all the special features in every one of these niches.

Passion Network offer a wide range of virtual features.  You can send smooches to users you like, you can send a ‘tickle’, you can send a hug, throw cold water over them and even jump up-and down on the user.

These virtual features are unrestricted and can be used by anyone that visit your profile.  Passion points are awarded and this allows the user to upgrade some of the features on the site, like doubling the number of friends you can add to your favorites list.

A loving couple in nature

In Summary

Many people believe that you will get better results if you pay for a dating service. This view is not supported by research. The best free dating sites online can not only lead to love, but do so at far less a cost.

Consumer Report did an online dating survey of over ten thousand users of online dating sites, and they found that free dating sites scored slightly higher in overall satisfaction than paid sites did.  If you consider that a paid service might cost you as much as $500 per year, this is no wonder.

Other commentators believe that paid sites attract a better class of user.  They believe that free sites attract all the ‘losers’ who cannot afford to pay their way.  If you are looking for a serious dating site, they say, you have to go the paid way.  We do not agree with this view.