Best Dating Sites: Top 5 services and how they work

We asked our expert colleagues on sister site Marie Claire to give us their round-up of the best dating services on the web. 

These days, the best dating sites are as well-known and commonplace as London buses or Starbucks branches. But if you’re new to online dating, the number of sites on offer can be overwhelming, making it hard to choose the best dating sites for you.

Related: Facebook Dating

To get you started, we’ve hand-picked six of the best online dating sites that are worth trying out if you’re looking for love.

Best dating sites: eHarmony

 Best dating sites: eHarmony

How it works:

One of the most well-known dating sites, eHarmony takes its matchmaking very seriously – their ‘Compatibility Matching System’ is actually patented. It took them 35 years to perfect their Relationship Questionnaire, which pairs you up with people you’re actually compatible with, and the whole process has been specifically tailored to the UK with the help of Oxford University.

How much is it?

£9.95/month

Try now: eHarmony from £9.95 per month

Best dating sites: Match.com

 Best dating sites: Match.com

How it works:

This is the UK’s most popular dating site, so you know you’re in good hands. The process is simple; create your own profile and search for other singles who share your interests. YouGov research found that match.com is responsible for more marriages than any other dating site – if you’re looking for lasting love, this is a good place to start. They also put on ‘Match nights’ where you can go and socialise with potential matches in real life. How much is it? £12.99/six months Tastebuds How it works: If you’re looking for a partner who shares the same interests, in particular your taste in music, listen up. Tastebuds enables you to meet and chat with compatible people who share your interests, as well as discovering new music while you socialise. Simply pick three of your favourite artists, plus the gender you’re looking to date, and you’re away.

How much is it?

£8 / month for new members

Try now: Match.com from £8 per month

Best dating sites: Elite Singles

 Best dating sites: Elite Singles

How it works:

Responsible for pairing up 2,000 new couples every month, Elite Singles delivers you 3-7 matches per day based on your personality, relationship preferences and location. They also use a personality test to pair you up with the right matches, so you’ve got a good chance of finding someone you’re compatible with. How much is it? £19.95/month for 12 months Parship How it works: Founded on 40 years of dating research, PARSHIP also employs a patented test known as The PARSHIP principle®. It examines 32 personality traits, based on an algorithm of 136 rules. But all you have to do is sign up, take the test and start up a conversation with your matches.

How much is it?

From £14.90/month

Try now: Elite Singles from £14.90 per month

Best dating sites: OkCupid

Best dating sites: OkCupid

How it works:

OkCupid matches you with people in the area who share a similar personality and interests to yours. Rather than a questionnaire, you answer simple ‘yes or no’ questions and input an ‘about me’ paragraph to get started, and the site delivers you potential matches with whom you can strike up a conversation. It’s quick, free and easy. How much is it? Free Lovestruck How it works: Lovestruck is aimed at working professionals who want to date but don’t have a lot of spare time to do so. The site connects you with potential partners who live and/or work in the same area as you, saving you precious time when arranging and meeting up for dates.

How much is it?

Prices start at £16/month

Try now: OK Cupid from £16 per month

Best dating sites: PlentyofFish

Best dating sites: PlentyofFish

How it works:

Users take the PlentyofFish Chemistry Test, measuring self-confidence, self-control, how much you value family, social dependency and how easy-going you are. You’re then matched up with fellow daters who share the same emotional needs as you.

How much is it?

Free

Try now: PlentyofFish for free