With its core mission to put women in control of their online dating experience, Bumble has become one of the most popular dating apps — boasting 100 million users across six continents.
Until recently, only women were allowed to message first on Bumble. However, in an effort to be more inclusive, the app now allows anyone in a same-gender match to message first, as well as non-binary people who match with other non-binary people and men.
Bumble is one of my favorite dating apps out there — it's user-friendly and has great prompts to help you show off your personality. However, I’ll be the first to admit the app could use some improvements.
These are some things I don't love about Bumble:
- It’s not mandatory to fill out the prompts (I've seen plenty of profiles with just photos).
- 24-hour window to message others is sometimes not enough. There have been many times I've matched with someone and completely forgot to message in time.
Still, I’ve had many positive experiences with men on Bumble. They’ve for the most part have been open and transparent on what they’re looking for.
Bumble has a free version, 1week membership trial, and a quick and easy sign up process. Try Bumble now for free >>
Here’s what you need to know about Bumble:
- Is Bumble legit?
- How does Bumble work?
- How much does Bumble cost?
- How many free swipes do you get?
- Is the Bumble app any good?
- What age is Bumble good for?
- Is Bumble full of fake profiles?
- Is Bumble worth getting? Pros and cons
- Bumble reviews
- Bumble alternatives
Is Bumble legit?
Yes — Bumble is a legit publicly traded company founded in 2014 in Austin, Texas, by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd.
In 2019, the holding company for Bumble and its sister site Badoo was acquired by investment firm Blackstone for $3 billion.
How Bumble works
Bumble has three different modes:
- Bumble (for dating)
- Bumble BFF (for friendships)
- Bumble Bizz (for professional connections)
Each of these modes is accessible within the same app, and you can easily switch back and forth between them.
Here's how each of these modes of Bumble work:
How Bumble for dating works
Bumble is, first and foremost, a dating app, initially built with women in mind — though, as I've said, it's taken steps to be more inclusive.
The Bumble app can be downloaded from both the Apple Store and on Google Play, or you can visit Bumble.com from a web browser.
Once you download the app, you’ll sync your profile in one of these ways:
- With your Facebook account
- Phone number
- Apple ID
This verification helps to solidify that you are actually you — and that the people you swipe across are legit humans, instead of a bot.
Here’s how the process for setting up a profile works:
- Provide your name and an initial photo. You can add up to five more photos to your profile, but Bumble allows you to complete this step later if you prefer.
- Add your birthday. It’s important to note that, if you didn’t sync your profile to your Facebook account, you can, theoretically, choose any age you prefer.
- Confirm your identity. Bumble now features 75 different gender options — including male, female, and nonbinary — and you also have the option to submit a new gender if you can't find one that fits.
- Pick matching preferences. You’ll be asked to select which genders you're open to dating. If you identify as a woman, you'll always be allowed to message first. Nonbinary individuals can message first in all cases except when they match with a woman.
- Provide your email address for account recovery.
If you hold the power to message first, you only have 24 hours to do so, or the match will expire entirely.
Once you’re in the app, matches appear immediately. You can filter matches by these specifications, but you can only choose two criteria at a time in the free version, in addition to age and distance:
- Star sign
- Education level
- Looking for
You can also limit your matches to “verified” profiles only. This means, according to the app, that someone who works at Bumble has verified that the person is who they say they are via a photo taken in real time. You can do this, too.
The last step before you start swiping? Setting up your profile.
Bumble allows users to add up to six photos of themselves (with the option of verifying their profile via a photo) as well as a short bio, interests, work and education, and various convo-starting prompts (i.e. what a perfect first date might look like, or what you might do in a zombie apocalypse).
Note that Bumble works for guys the same way it works for women, except that only women can initiate a chat.
This means that both a man and a woman can “swipe right” on each other, but if the woman doesn’t message within 24 hours after the mutual connection is made, the match won’t go anywhere.
How Bumble BFF works
Bumble BFF uses the same framework as its dating counterpart, except that matches are looking strictly for friendship.
You do not have to download a separate app to use Bumble BFF, just switch modes in the app settings. (You’ll know you’re in Bumble BFF when the app switches over to a green color scheme).
Until recently, only same-sex matches could be made on Bumble BFF. However, users now have the option to choose whether they’re open to female, male, and/or non-binary friends. Still, men and non-binary individuals cannot message women first on Bumble BFF.
How Bumble Bizz works
As its name suggests, Bumble Bizz is designed for making professional business connections.
You can write a headline to describe yourself/what you’re hoping to accomplish on the app, include a short education and work history, and choose industries of interest to make connections.
How much does Bumble cost?
Although Bumble is free to download and use, you can pay extra for a premium membership, which allows you to add an unlimited number of filters to your match search. You can also:
- See everyone who swiped right on you with Beeline
- Rematch with expired matches
- Extend your matches by 24 hours
- Undo accidental left swipes
- Get unlimited swipes
- Put yourself in the Spotlight so more people see your profile
- Use five SuperSwipes per week (which shows someone you're extra interested)
Premium membership costs as of November 2023, which includes all versions of Bumble (dating, BFF, and Bizz):
- 1 week – $29.99
- 1 month – $14/ week
- 3 months – $9.33/ week
- $269.99 for a lifetime
A Bumble Boost membership costs:
- 1 week – $14.99
- 1 month – $7/ week
- 3 months – $3.89/week
- 6 months – $3.11/ week
You can also highlight your profile to make it stand out with Bumble Spotlight for starting at $2.50 each.
You can show someone you are interested with a SuperSwipe. SuperSwipes cost:
- $5 each for two
- $4 each for five
- $2.67 each for 15
- $2 each for 30
Pros and cons of Bumble
Should you download Bumble? Here’s a rundown of some of the major pros and cons associated with the app, including feedback from experts we interviewed:
Pros of Bumble
- For heterosexual matches, the control is in a woman’s hand, eliminating an inundation of (potentially) unwanted messages.
- You have the option of matching with only verified profiles (and verifying your own profile), leading to more authentic matches.
- You can customize your profile with fun, unique prompts and sync your Spotify and/or Instagram for a more personal touch (and potentially stronger matches).
Cons of Bumble
- You don’t technically have to verify your profile, opening up your swiping journey to potentially fake matches.
- Although this can be framed as a positive, the onus is on women to make the first move on the app, which can feel overwhelming or one-sided if you’re not prepared to put in the work. “The biggest con with Bumble is that many men who understand how Bumble works just swipe right on every woman and don't bother reading their profiles until you send them a message,” says Eric Resnick, a dating coach and founder of ProfileHelper.com. “As a result, there's no dating app with a higher rejection rate for women daters than Bumble.”
- Matches expire within 24 hours if you don’t message the person.
- Nonbinary individuals cannot make the first move in a match with women, which has disgruntled members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Are there any Bumble dangers?
There are always dangers when it comes to online dating, but Bumble takes steps to ensure the safety of its users.
When you join Bumble, you can opt to submit a selfie photo following a specific direction so Bumble can verify that you’re a real person (and that you are who you say you are). You can filter out matches to only see other verified profiles.
Bumble also has a block and report feature for members to use as needed.
While one of the most common Bumble complaints is that men cannot message first in matches with females, this is another step Bumble takes to protect its female users.
Check out our tips for dating safely online.
Bumble rating with the BBB
Despite having a trove of users, Bumble has closed more than 350 complaints on the Better Business Bureau’s website, with the vast majority of grievances related to billing issues. The BBB gives Bumble an F rating.
Bumble’s Trustpilot rating
Bumble only has 1.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. Most complaints accuse Bumble of having too many fake profiles and say the app is too quick to block paying members when another member reports them.
While most reviews are negative, there are a few random five-star reviews of people who say they met their current partner through Bumble.
Bumble reviews on Reddit from men
Here are some top Bumble reviews on Reddit:
Bumble reviews on Reddit from women
This is what the ladies of Bumble have to say on Reddit:
These are some other popular dating apps and how they stack up against Bumble:
Bumble vs. Tinder
Bumble and Tinder were actually founded by the same millennial female entrepreneur, Whitney Wolfe. They are both among the most popular dating apps, have great tech, are mobile-friendly and are great for meeting new people.
Is it better to be on Bumble or Tinder? Which is better? And what's the difference?
From my experience, Bumble is a lot better than Tinder. Not only do I have several friends who’ve met their SOs on this app, but I also find the quality of men on this app to be better.
When I used Tinder, it sometimes felt like I was playing “How many likes can I get in a day.” I was left with lots of likes but no conversations.
On Bumble, (as much as I wish the window to make the first move is longer), I like that it weeds like all the guys who were just liking to like. I will admit, the 24-hour window is helpful when you do go on a liking spree and realize later that you’re not interested in a profile.
Another reason why I think Bumble is better than Tinder is its straightforwardness both with the actual app and the people. The app’s interface is clean and user-friendly — using it feels very second nature. I also like that there are prompts to help users fill out their profiles.
Tinder’s interface over the years has gotten clunky. There’s just too much going on and there have been many instances where I’ve Super Liked someone too many times.
Tinder doesn't have prompts; you can just list a bunch of interests and your Spotify profile, but that doesn’t do much for me.
Check out our Tinder review.
Bumble vs. eharmony
Bumble, similar to Tinder and Hinge, is exclusively a swiping app. Its dating algorithm is largely based on your Facebook profile, which you are asked to connect upon signup (though you can also use your Apple ID or phone number). Bumble is for all types of relationships — serious, casual, and hookups.
eharmony, on the other hand, is a site devoted exclusively to serious, committed partnerships. When you join eharmony, you’ll answer an extensive questionnaire — about 150 questions — about yourself and your desired match, which takes about 20 minutes to complete. eharmony then shows you matches based on an extensive algorithm.
One piece of advice: Each dating site attracts different types of people in different geographic areas, so ask your single friends which sites they like best in your city.
Also, eharmony’s free version is a good way to check it out without commitment — even if romantic commitment is your ultimate goal.
Check out our eharmony review.
Bumble vs Hinge
Hinge is one of my favorite dating apps, and for good reason — it’s actually where I met my current partner.
Like eharmony, Hinge is more geared toward serious relationships than Bumble, which is for all kinds of daters, including those just looking for a hookup.
Both apps have extensive free versions that allow you to message other users without paying for a subscription. They both also use creative prompts to help daters form a connection.
Check out our Hinge review.
How many free swipes do you get on Bumble?
Although Bumble doesn’t publicly say how many free swipes you get, on my profile, I moved through 105 swipes before the app informed me I needed to upgrade to a premium membership before I could acquire more.
What age is Bumble good for?
Although women of any age can use Bumble, certified dating coach Melissa M. Snow believes that the app is positioned perfectly for women who are looking for something serious.
Going against popular user opinion, Snow loves the 24-hour limit on returned messaging because it weeds out the guys who only check their dating apps on Friday nights when they want to hook up.
“I find that many of my clients who are women, especially successful, emotionally intelligent, mature women, like Bumble better than the other dating apps,” Snow explains. “It was created with the intention of leveling the playing field and empowering women.”
Is Bumble full of fake profiles?
As noted earlier, although the option exists to verify your profile, you don’t technically have to provide your true identity while using the app. When I created a fake profile for this article to better understand the swiping process, I was able to build a profile without my real photo or age.
Fake profiles are one of the top complaints for Bumble across popular review sites like Trustpilot and the BBB.
Should I use my real name on Bumble?
If you want to foster legitimate connections, both the experts we interviewed say that using your real first name (minus your last name, of course) is key.
How successful is Bumble for dating?
While there is no published data to show Bumble’s success rate, it continues to be one of the most popular dating apps, with 100 million users.
However, numerous reviews in recent years show users are increasingly frustrated with the app’s overabundance of fake profiles and restrictive messaging policies. Bumble has low ratings from the Better Business Bureau (F) and Trustpilot (1.4/5 stars).
Many users also complain about being banned from the site for seemingly no reason, (Oddly enough, Hinge reviews often have the same complaint).
Bottom line: Is Bumble worth it?
If you’re looking to date or meet friends in your area, Bumble is worth trying out.
Even though women hold the power on Bumble, Bumble is worth it for guys who are tired of making the first move and being ignored or rejected.
Although you may not be able to message with as many women as you would on an app like Tinder, the women who actually connect with you may be more likely to want to engage and eventually meet in person.
Other dating app reviews from Bianca:
|Elite Singles||Adult Friend Finder||Dating.com|
|Plenty of Fish||OKCupid||SingleParentMeet|
|Catholic dating sites||Seeking Arrangement||Coffee Meets Bagel|
|Millionaire Match||Jewish dating sites|
Founded in 2014 in Austin, Texas by Whitney Wolfe, Tinder founder, who at the time was 26 years old. Bumble is backed by entrepreneur Andrey Andreev, and Bumble is today valued at $8 billion.
Although Bumble is free to download and use, you can add two additional filters to your match search (besides distance and age) before you have to pay extra for a premium membership, which starts at $29.99 for one week.
Although Bumble doesn’t publicly say how many free swipes you get, on my profile, I moved through 105 swipes before the app informed me that I needed to upgrade to a premium membership before I could acquire more.
Despite having a trove of users, Bumble has closed 344 complaints on the Better Business Bureau’s website, with the vast majority of grievances related to billing issues. The BBB gives Bumble an F rating.
If you’re looking to date or meet friends in your area, Bumble is worth trying out, but it’s not the best dating app for serious relationships in our opinion.