10 Best Dating Sites (2016)

Our experts tested every major online dating site, ranking each below based on size, usability, success rate, and more. Curious about one in particular? Browse profiles on any of the best dating sites 100% free:

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All Sites | Senior | Christian | Black | Gay | Lesbian
★★★★★
4.9/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Search by age, profile, zip, more

Our Experts Say: Match.com has led to more dates, marriages and relationships than any other site. Its impressive user base and success rate make it our top review. Full Review »

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★★★★★
4.6/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Search, plus daily match suggestions

Our Experts Say: Zoosk's integration with social networks and its popular smartphone app make it one of the web's fastest-growing dating sites for casual and serious daters. Full Review »

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★★★★★
4.5/5.0

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search personal criteria, plus get Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: Elite Singles is the premier site for professionals. Most members are upper-income with college degrees, and its Fraud Detection ensures no-nonsense dating. Full Review »

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★★★★★
4.5/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Personality test suggests matches

Our Experts Say: Accounting for 4% of U.S. marriages, eHarmony's compatibility-based system and commitment-minded user base are ideal for those seeking a serious relationship. Full Review »

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★★★★
4.4/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Search by age, profile, zip, more

Our Experts Say: OurTime is quickly gaining popularity amongst older singles, featuring an extensive profile search and simple interface. Exclusively for ages 50+. Full Review »

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★★★★
4.4/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Search by age, profile, zip, more

Our Experts Say: ChristianMingle is the largest dating site exclusively for devout Christian singles. Offers excellent search functionality and safety features. Full Review »

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★★★★
4.0/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Search by age, profile, zip, more

Our Experts Say: BlackPeopleMeet.com is the largest online dating site for black and biracial daters of all backgrounds, and is used by 1.4 million daters each month. Full Review »

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★★★★
3.6/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Free to browse. Easy search options

Our Experts Say: SeniorPeopleMeet.com is the most popular dating site exclusively for those 55 and older. Safe and easy to use, with a free trial to view profiles. Full Review »

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★★★★
3.5/5.0

Relationships: Hookups, Chats

Match System: Search by interest, zip code, photos, more

Our Experts Say: BeNaughty is a popular "hookup" site that drops all the pretenses of dating and just gets down to the nitty-gritty of hooking up. The best part: browse profiles in any town for free. Full Review »

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All Sites | Senior | Christian | Black | Gay | Lesbian
7 Types of Online Dating Websites & the Top Date Site for Each
Hayley Matthews

By: Hayley Matthews

Editor-in-Chief

When my best friend joined her first dating site, like most people, she went with one of the largest ones that was completely free. She assumed she was making the right choice, but within the first day, she regretted her decision. The site had too many people for her to sort through and didn’t have the resources to help her to do so. Plus, she had already received 40 or so messages that she needed to read. Online dating become more work than fun.

A little research beforehand would’ve saved her a headache, but there are literally thousands of online dating services. It seems unrealistic for my friend and others like her to look into every single one of them.

The good news is not only is that our job, but it’s our passion. Below we’ve narrowed down the seven types of dating websites you need to know about — and the top one for each.

1. Most Popular Dating Sites

What we consider to be the most popular dating sites are the ones that receive positive comments and high star ratings from users — as well as ones that are easy to use and, most importantly, successful.

Best Overall: Match

Match.com was founded in the ‘90s and has been a pioneer in the dating industry ever since. No other dating website has been responsible for more dates, relationships, and marriages than Match. Not only that, but with over 13.5 million people visiting Match every month from more than 25 countries, no other dating website has anywhere near the same reach.

Best for Mobile: Zoosk

If you’re always busy and on your phone all the time, like most of us are, then we’d highly recommend Zoosk. One of the first dating sites to also expand to a dating app, Zoosk is integrated with Facebook and Google+ — which means it’s really simple to upload your information and start dating instantly.

Best for Serious Relationships: eHarmony

Launched by clinical psychologist Dr. Neil Clark Warren, eHarmony.com is a go-to if you want a serious, long-term relationship — which explains how 4% of U.S. marriages have taken place thanks to the site, according to Harris Interactive. eHarmony is also known for their unique matching system that compares 29 dimensions of compatibility to pair their members.

Here’s where you can learn more about all three of the dating services above:

2. Hookup Sites

Online dating isn’t just for finding a date or relationship — it’s also a great way to find a hookup if that’s what you’re looking for. However, not all hookup websites are created equal. There are ones you’ll want to join, and then there are others you’ll want to avoid. Here’s what you need to know:

Best Hookup Sites

BeNaughty is a hookup site that is among the cream of the crop. With cool features like instant messaging and location-based matching, this site will help you find no-strings-attached adult fun in no time.

Free Hookup Sites

When you’re searching for the top sex site, you’ll often find ones that claim they’re 100% free. While that certainly sounds appealing, we’d suggest staying away from these services, including Craigslist. We’ve all heard or read the horror stories about people on Craigslist pretending to be someone they’re not. You can avoid having that happen to you by joining a reputable site like BeNaughty. Not only do they offer a free trial period that doesn’t cost anything, but they also use anti-scammer technology to ensure their members stay safe.

3. Christian Dating Sites

Finding someone who has the same religious beliefs and values is important to a lot of people, particularly Christians, and one of the best Christian dating sites on the web is ChristianMingle. More than 2.4 million Christian singles use the site every month, and the search filters even let you sort by keywords like “bible study.”

4. Senior (Over 50) Dating Sites

Online dating for seniors can be intimidating, especially if they’ve just been through a divorce, lost a partner, or aren’t that tech savvy. But it doesn’t have to be this way. OurTime.com is dedicated to singles over 50 and has a quick signup process and clean interface, making the entire process very easy.

5. Gay & Lesbian Dating Sites

While you may think you have to use an LGBT-specific dating site if you’re an LGBT single, that’s not really the case. There are plenty of conventional sites that are also among the top websites for gay dating and the top lesbian date sites.

With over 1.5 million gay members and more than 1 million lesbian members, Match is one of them. Zoosk is another fantastic choice, particularly if you’re looking for a quality mobile experience.

6. Free Dating Sites

Free doesn’t necessarily have to mean a cheap or low-quality experience. The best free dating sites are the ones that give you every chance of success without any hidden fees or other barriers. We’re happy to say all of the sites on our list are 100% free to create a profile, upload photos, browse for and receive matches, and communicate.

7. Dating Apps: Free vs. Best Apps

Dating apps have become extremely popular because they allow singles to date anywhere they are and at anytime, but you don’t want to just download the first one you come across. Luckily, we’ve done the groundwork for you.

Best Dating Apps

Zoosk’s much-heralded dating app lets you sign up through Facebook or Google+, so you can pull pictures and quick facts about yourself from your profiles that already exist — instead of having to spend a lot of time answering a bunch of questions. This is just one of the many reasons Zoosk is among our favorite online dating apps.

Free Dating Apps

You could take a chance on a 100% free dating app, but, honestly, you never really know what you’re going to get. A lot of the self-proclaimed free dating apps allow you to sign up, but then they limit what you can do, ask for your credit card info, and then require you to upgrade if you want to move forward.

Zoosk isn’t one of them, though. Zoosk has a totally free, extremely comprehensive membership that anyone can sign up for and that will give you the opportunity to try out the entire app before whipping out your wallet.

Which Website Has the Best Reviews by Local Singles?

Ultimately, narrowing down all of the dating sites out there comes down to which ones receive the best user and company reviews. Listening to singles about their experiences and testing out the numerous options ourselves are the two biggest components that make up our reviews. And through all of our research, we’ve determined that Match truly is the top choice for any type of dater, while Zoosk is great for dating on the go.

We don’t want anyone to have a frustrating time with online dating like my friend did, so take a couple of minutes to check out what our experts have to say before taking the leap. Then you’ll confidently be on your way!