Dating sites and dating apps – of which there are more than 1,400 in the UK right now – are the most popular way to meet people in 2023. Move over, real life: even those who imagined bumping into their perfect match on their morning commute (or on Love Island, ahem) are taking matters into their own hands, searching for the best dating sites and online dating services that’ll help them find love.
Forget what you thought you knew: thanks to in-depth matching systems and questionnaires, the best online dating services are home to profiles you will be interested in. In fact, new data by Zen shows that 31% of people in the UK know a success story of a couple who have met online, and over a third of Brits are confident that online dating will continue to rise in popularity. Match.com’s Dating Expert Hayley Quinn, agreed that free dating sites and dating apps can be genuinely effective – for both serious relationship and casual hookups. “If you're looking to connect with people who want serious partnerships, then using a site that really focuses on compatibility is a real win,” she told us.
That’s that, then. But which dating platform is the best? With Match.com, eHarmony, Coffee Meets Bagel, Bumble, Tinder and SilverSingles all promoting staggeringly good stats, how can you know which paid subscription will be home to the most appropriate dating pool for you? Ahead, GLAMOUR editors have tried and tested paid memberships for queer women, heterosexual daters and LGBTQ+ singles to give your love life the boost it needs.
Meet the expert:
- Relationship expert at Match.com, Hayley Quinn
Which is the best dating site in the UK?
- Best dating site overall: eHarmony
- Best dating app: OkCupid
- Best dating site for serious relationships: Match.com
- Best app for hooking up: Tinder
- Best dating site for over 50s: Ourtime
What is the best free dating app?
“I found Hinge to be the best free dating app when I was single,” GLAMOUR's Commerce Editor Sophie Cockett said. “It was home to a lot more people looking for something serious than Tinder was, but you don't get spammed with terrifyingly serious profiles talking about marriage and babies. You can send an unlimited amount of first messages, and the prompts, voice notes and videos give a welcome insight into a dater's personality. There are no read receipts, either.”
What is the best dating site for a serious relationship?
Eharmony is the best dating site for series relationship, since it's exclusively designed to match people find long-lasting love. You'll be matched based on compatibility scores, dealbreakers, personalities, habits and interests after taking a lengthy but worthwhile quiz, so countless new subscribers report it being more successful than making a go of things through social media.
How we chose the best dating apps and sites:
The GLAMOUR team is made up of those who are married, those who are single, those who have been in relationships since the pandemic and those who are embarking on sparkly new love stories – and many of us have met our partners through the best dating sites. We tested each of the dating sites in this edit over a course of at least a month, meeting potential dates IRL and scoring apps based on factors like whether they offered unlimited messages, how safe they made us feel, the quality of the icebreakers and how appropriate our matches felt.