Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

The best dating apps you’ll actually want to use, from Pom to Thursday

It’s time to find your perfect match

Louise Whitbread,Sarah Young
Thursday 25 August 2022 09:42 BST
Whether it’s Pom, Thursday, Hinge or another platform, we’ve found the top sites to use now
Whether it’s Pom, Thursday, Hinge or another platform, we’ve found the top sites to use now (iStock)

Whether you’re looking for a long-term relationship or just a fling, you don’t need us to tell you dating apps are the ideal way to meet someone new (unless you’re prepared to apply for the next season of Love Island).

Offering a way to navigate the minefield that is dating, but from the comfort of your sofa, using apps is a convenient way to find ‘the one’. And, luckily, there are plenty of apps to choose from.

Due to the sheer variety, it’s difficult to know where you should begin. Partial to simple swiping? Turn to Tinder. Enjoy taking your pick of witty profiles? Hinge is where to head. Love music? Pom’s your number one choice.

As for how each dating app operates, most are fairly similar – you write a short bio, upload some of your favourite photos of yourself and you’re good to go.

To help you on your quest to findthe perfect match (and by that we mean your perfect app), we’ve rounded up our pick of the best dating apps to download right now.

The best dating apps for 2022 are:

  • Best for making the first move – Bumble: Free,
  • Best alternative to Tinder – Hinge: Free,
  • Best for singles events – Match: Free,
  • Best for variety – Tinder: Free,
  • Best non-superficial dating app – Jigsaw: Free,
  • Best for quality not quantity – Coffee Meets Bagel: Free,
  • Best for working professionals – The League: Free,
  • Best for the non-monogamous – Feeld: Free,
  • Best for music-lovers – Pom: Free,
  • Best for those with dating-app fatigue – Thursday: Free,
  • Best fitness dating app – Fitafy: Free,
  • Best exclusive dating app – Raya: £5.99 per month,

Best: For making the first move

  • Video calls: Yes
  • Price: Free to download, offers in-app purchases

Women have to make the first move on Bumble, which greatly reduces the number of uninvited messages they may receive. Once your profile is set up and you start swiping, the woman or non-binary person has 24 hours to message a match, otherwise, it is deleted. The app is for same-sex couples too, and in that case, anyone can start the conversation.

Download Bumble for iOS

Download Bumble for Android

Best: Alternative to Tinder

  • Video calls: Yes
  • Price: Free to download, offers in-app purchases

Describing itself as an app that’s “designed to be deleted”, Hinge limits free users to liking just 10 profiles a day, although paying to upgrade will allow you unlimited likes. There are plenty of preferences you can set too, including politics, religion and family plans, should you want to start seriously looking for a partner.

Hinge offers in-app video dating, which is available to all users globally. The app states that two-thirds of users see video chat as a fun, low-pressure opportunity to see if they’re compatible with a match on the app before meeting up in person.

Download Hinge for iOS

Download Hinge for Android

Best: For singles events

  • Video calls: Yes
  • Price: Free to download, offers in-app purchases

This app was created to help you find a true “match”, and has quite specific preference settings to fill in when you create your profile, including height and body type. It hosts singles events to encourage users to meet up offline too.

Download Match for iOS

Download Match for Android

Best: For variety

  • Video calls: Yes
  • Price: Free to download, offers in-app purchases

The OG dating app that of course you know about already. But if you’re new to it – sign up, complete your profile, set your age and distance limit, and start swiping. When two people swipe right on each other and match, either one of you can start the conversation.

Download Tinder for iOS

Download Tinder for Android

Best: Non-superficial dating app

  • Video calls: No
  • Price: Free to download, offers in-app purchases

Described as “anti-superficial dating”, this app does things differently from the others on this list. In a bid to prevent people from being judged solely on their looks, users’ faces on Jigsaw start off covered with a jigsaw puzzle – hence the name. If you’re interested in someone, you simply need to send them messages to make the pieces of the puzzle fall away, so you can match the face with the personality you’re getting to know. The app has also recently banned images that had been filtered using Instagram and Snapchat in order to create a more honest space.

Download Jigsaw for iOS

Download Jigsaw for Android

Best: For quality not quantity

  • Video calls: Yes
  • Price: Free to download, offers in-app purchases

For a serious, more meaningful partnership, Coffee Meets Bagel focuses on quality, not quantity, by allowing you only one match per day, giving you time to get to know each other. Be warned though, if the person you match with isn’t for you, then you have to wait until the following day to be able to start chatting to somebody new. The rule used to be that chats disappeared after seven days – however, they will now remain open indefinitely, as long as someone has spoken within the chat in the past three days.

Download Coffee Meets Bagel for iOS

Download Coffee Meets Bagel for Android

Best: For working professionals

  • Video calls: Yes
  • Price: Free to download, offers in-app purchases

Launched in 2015, The League is one of the newer dating apps to download. Designed for working professionals, users are vetted based on their social media accounts before being allowed to become a member. Once you’re signed up as a member, potential matches are known as “prospects” and the number of users you have access to is based on the preferences you set for your area.

On Wednesdays and Sundays at 9pm, there’s a “league live” section that lets you swipe through video feeds of other people on the app near you, and you get a two-minute timer to talk before deciding whether you like them. Think virtual speed dating, but for a modern romance. Plus, if nothing else comes of it, you’ll end up with some fun stories with which to keep your coupled-up friends entertained.

Download The League for iOS

Download The League for Android

Best: For the non-monogamous

  • Video calls: No
  • Price: Free to download, offers in-app purchases

If you’re looking for something less serious, and maybe with more than just one person, Feeld could be the app for you. All you need to do is set your location when you sign up to be connected with people or other couples in your area.

The app is aimed at open-minded people who are potentially looking for polyamorous relationships or may be interested in kink. It doesn’t allow nudes or other explicit content and its full photo guidelines can be found here. If any pictures with nudity are detected, Feeld will not host them.

Download Feeld for iOS

Download Feeld for Android

Best: For music-lovers

  • Video calls: No
  • Price: Free

Pom uses your music taste to match you with a potential flame. How? Well, once you’re all set up, you connect the app to your preferred streaming service, and the algorithm determines who you’re compatible with. It hosts free events you can attend too.

Download Pom for iOS

Download Pom for Android

Best: For those with dating-app fatigue

  • Video calls: No
  • Price: Free

Dubbing itself the “offline dating app”, Thursday is here to change the game when it comes to dating. Instead of constant chatting and swiping, it offers you just 24 hours to match with someone. It aims to encourage you to organise a date straightaway, as opposed to having small talk online. It also hosts in-person events in London and New York.

Download Thursday for iOS

Download Thursday for Android

Best: Fitness dating app

  • Video calls: Yes
  • Price: Free to download, offers in-app purchases

If dating someone who shares your love of fitness and being active is your main concern, there’s an app for you. Fitafy is all about connecting you with people who have the same energetic lifestyle as you. You can filter by interests and lifestyle goals, as well as dietary requirements, if certain ones are deal-breakers for you.

Download Fitafy for iOS

Download Fitafy for Android

Best: Exclusive dating app

  • Video calls: Yes
  • Price: £5.99 per month

Chances are you’ve heard of Raya – the private, membership-based dating app. Everyone from Ben Affleck and Channing Tatum to Lewis Capaldi and Cara Delevingne have been known to dip their toes in the Raya world. The application process involves answering questions about yourself, including your Instagram handle and the industry you work in. It costs £5.99 per month to be a member, but you might stumble upon a celeb, so it’s worth a try.

Download Raya for iOS

Dating apps FAQs

What is the most popular dating app?

Tinder is the world’s most popular dating app, with more than 6.5 million downloads in May 2021.

Tinder vs Bumble

While Tinder is widely used, simple to get the hang of, and anyone can start off the conversation, Bumble enables women and non-binary users to get the ball rolling. If within 24 hours they do not send a message, the match will be deleted.

Compare the best mobile deals with Independent compare

For a trusty toy that won’t disappoint, read our guide to the best vibrators

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in