Want to find your perfect match? We’ve picked the best dating sites whatever your age, sexuality, interests… and budget.

Online dating can seriously improve your love life – but to really boost your odds, you need to start with the best dating site.

With more than 1,400 online dating services in the world, choosing the best site for you can feel as intimidating as finding the right person. Should you join a specialist site where you’re guaranteed to meet like-minded singles? Or should you throw the net as wide as possible? To make it even harder, most dating sites hide their subscription prices until you’ve created a profile.

To help you choose, we created temporary profiles on more than a dozen dating sites. Here we expose the prices they’d rather keep secret and reveal which sites are best for user experience, clever features and chances of finding love.

How to choose the best dating site?

Should I use a niche dating site, such as dating for dog lovers?

There are pros and cons to narrowing down your search from the get-go. Niche dating sites tend to be cheaper than mainstream sites, for starters, but the biggest advantage of a specialist site is the feeling of being among friends. If you’re new to the online dating jungle, a niche site can help you feel more at ease than a huge mainstream site, where you can easily feel overwhelmed.

You may be surprised by the number of specialist dating sites out there. More than half the 1,400 dating sites cater to a specific group such as over 50s, gay daters and disabled daters. There are matchmaking sites for wine connoisseurs, people who share your music taste, and – yes – dating for dog lovers.

On the downside, a niche site limits your choices. You may assume you’ll want to date someone who shares a specific interest, but attraction doesn’t work like that in real life. Your ideal match may not fit the formula. And remember, mainstream sites do let you narrow your search, then expand it gradually to widen the net.

The other big advantage of mainstream sites is that they tend to offer more innovative features, such as live chat, rich profile tools and incognito modes. We’ll mention the best tools in our reviews below.

Why don’t I just use a free app like Tinder?

Free dating apps such as Tinder, Badoo and Facebook’s new Match Me are great for finding hookups, but they’re not designed to find you a match for life.

In this review, we’re focusing on services that aim to find you a compatible partner. They charge subscription fees and make you wade through epic questionnaires because they want to filter out casual browsers. So be prepared to spend an afternoon spilling your heart out as part of the sign-up process before you can get anywhere near other members’ profiles.

Top Tips for Safe Online Dating

Guard your personal information carefully. The thrill of connecting with someone online can easily make you drop your guard. You want to tell them everything. Well, don’t. Information like your mum’s maiden name, your street, and even your pets’ names are gold dust for scammers.

Don’t swap numbers until you’ve met. Many sites, including eHarmony and EnableDating, have secure online calling features that let you chat without having to give away your phone number. Don’t swap numbers until you’ve met. Many sites, including eHarmony and EnableDating, have secure online calling features that let you chat without having to give away your phone number.

Be cautious of file downloads. If a stranger emails you a ZIP file of songs or photos, it may be perfectly innocent – but it could also be dodgy malware. Don’t open files until you know the person better.

Meet up quickly. Chemistry is almost impossible to assess through emails alone. Meet up soon, so you can be sure there really is a spark. If the person you’re chatting to keeps putting off the chance to meet, ask yourself why.

Report suspicious behavior. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or gets abusive, don’t hesitate to report them to the website.

Check the site has signed up to the ODA.

The Best Dating Sites of 2020

Zoosk

Zoosk Dating Site

The winner of 2015’s Webby award for “Best Online Dating Sites,” Zoosk effectively markets to millennials by providing a layout that’s similar to popular dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. Here, you’re limited to viewing one profile at a time, rather than the wall of faces that some websites throw at you. A carousel section functions almost identically to Tinder, where you’ll churn through profiles, deciding if you’re interested (on Zoosk, there’s also a “maybe” option).

The search engine allows users to filter by ethnicity and body type, in addition to all the regular stuff (age, gender orientation, location), and if you’re searching, you won’t be swiping; instead, to engage someone, you can add them, send a wink or gift (gifts cost points), or send a message if they’re online. The “Smart Match” feature asks you questions — stuff like “would you date someone with kids?” — to whittle down the list of potential matches, and it works pretty well. Zoosk is free to join, and in lieu of a traditional subscription, you can pay for packs of “coins” to boost your profile, which increases visibility to members of your target demographic. Coin packs cost between $10 and $50, with value scaling up as you buy more.