Match vs eHarmony? Everything You Need To Know

By: Michele Baird
Updated: February 7, 2021

Have you been unlucky in love and looking to make a change? Are you intimidated by the expansive world of online dating sites? Well, you’re in luck. The two biggest names in successful relationships, Match.com and eHarmony, are probably already on your radar. 

But you don’t need two subscription services to build one successful relationship, so how do you decide which option is right for you? 

This is eHarmony vs Match, the complete breakdown. We’ll cover all the most important aspects to consider in making your decision so that you can have the best online dating experience possible. 

Our four key dimensions for comparison are as follows:  

  • Features
  • Pricing
  • Matchmaking Quality
  • Overall Interface

This thorough analysis will provide you with the comprehensive insights you need to start your journey to a successful romance.

Let’s dive in. 

Match vs eHarmony : Features

The first and most distinctive segment features. Both systems are confident in their patent methods, but there are some marked differences in the intentions behind their algorithms. 

At eHarmony, the system works for you. Right from the get-go, your experience is tailored. At sign-up, be prepared to complete a comprehensive survey: the 29 Dimension Personality Assessment.

This feature is a lengthy questionnaire created by relationship experts to ensure that every match you receive will be a compatible fit. The specificity and intentionality of its questions also entail that every answer you give provides the computer with useful information to sort your options. 

It measures all potential matches against over 100 dimensions of compatibility, which gives you a personalized compatibility score for every recommended date. After all, serious relationships aren’t just built around preferred hair and eye color.

While the length of the survey means creating your account takes some time, once your account is set up, you can be sure that it is immediately tailored to your needs. 

Once you’re set-up, you’ll begin receiving daily matches. On eHarmony, the algorithm does the initial pruning for you. This means that you don’t have to slog through a series of “no’s” before you can find a “yes” and start getting to know real people.

On Match.com, the time investment is flipped. Sign-up is faster and exploration is wider. Potential matches will not be limited to the best of the best, but instead, you will be able to access all the options and use filters to narrow down to your preferred characteristics.

You can also use a swipe system, familiar from low-commitment sites like Tinder, where Match.com’s algorithm will track your yes’s and no’s to deduce patterns in your overall preferences. Over time, your selections will lead to better matchmaking capabilities, but initially, you will have many more options to choose from, and not all of them are likely to be right for you.

That said, there is some merit to freedom of choice, and if you want to put in the time to explore deeply, Match will give you all the options you want. 

There are, of course, lots of similarities between both sites. They both have secure messaging platforms (Match.com gives you a unique email account) and allow you to get to know your options before deciding to share contact information or put a label on the relationship.

eHarmony’s default system allows for secure phone calls, which are available from Match for a small upgrade fee. Both systems have also rolled out video call date options (Vibe Check on Match.com and Video Date on eHarmony) recently, to help balance the uncertainty of continued distancing requirements. 

Most importantly, communication is secure and obligation-free until you decide you trust the person you have met and are interested in moving forward with the relationship. These services are both designed for creating long-term relationships, though, so you have a very good chance of pairing up with a fantastic person in a matter of only a few months. 

That’s the long answer for what’s-what with features, but what you really want is the short answer: which is better?

Our Verdict

In this case, the winner is clearly eHarmony. While both services have unique systems, the deciding factor is the approach. Match.com’s open concept means that it will take longer to find compatible options -- let alone the perfect match. 

When the goal is to find a lasting relationship as effortlessly as possible, putting in the work upfront then sitting back to let eHarmony’s algorithm find the perfect relationship for you is definitely the winning concept. 

Cost Comparison

Of course, as higher commitment sites, both Match and eHarmony come with an added price tag. This is actually a good sign because it means that you can be pretty sure your potential matches are all as committed to the process as you are. With all the free options out there, no one is going to pay more if all they’re looking for is a casual hookup.

Price is an important consideration, so let’s break it down. 

Both Match.com and eHarmony have a free version, which allows for familiarization with their sites, the opportunity to create your profile, and a chance to explore some of your potential options. 

eHarmony recently expanded their free version to take the place of their Basic Membership, which now includes all of the following:

  • Full profile creation (including the 29 Dimension Personality Test)

  • Viewing basic profile information for an unlimited number of matches

  • Limited matchmaking capabilities: you can view matches within the Matchmaking Preferences you specify

  • Limited messaging: Smiles, Icebreakers, Greetings, and first message response

While this is a pretty comprehensive introduction to the site, the real advantages -- and unhindered communication -- come with the Premium Plan. 

Match.com’s free version is pretty similar in style. It allows for only the following capabilities:

  • Profile creation

  • Exploring potential matches

  • Receiving daily matches suggested by the algorithm

  • Liking other member profiles

The one thing you can’t do with Match’s free service that you can with eHarmony is sending messages, but messaging capabilities are also seriously limited on eHarmony’s Basic Membership, making these experiences pretty comparable. 

The real fun happens once you pay to subscribe. A subscription will get you your chosen number of months of tailored matchmaking services, unlimited secure messaging, video dating, and the chance to create the foundation for an amazing relationship. 

Here’s how the pricing stacks up: 

Plan Duration

Match.com Subscription

eHarmony Premium Membership

1-Month

$35.99

n/a

3-Month

$19.99

n/a

6-Month

$17.99

$55.90

12-Month

$15.99

$35.90

24-Month

n/a

$25.90

Currently, eHarmony only offers a Premium Membership on a 6, 12, or 24-month scale, while Match.com has a wider range of subscription packages, from 1 to 12-month options. Keep in mind that these prices will also fluctuate.

Match also has additional options past the standard subscription, which can help tailor or enhance your experience. These are referred to as Power-Up’s, and consist of the following options:

  • Email Read Notification
  • matchPhone
  • Private Mode
  • Reply for Free

Another important facet of the payment process is satisfaction guarantees. Both sites are incredibly confident in their services. eHarmony’s guarantee states that if you don’t find someone in 3 months, they will give you the next three months free, while Match doubles that time frame in their promise, meaning that they expect their process to take slightly longer to be effective. 

You can also know more about eHarmony plans and cost on our eHarmony review.

Our Verdict

Taking in all of the payment information, we’ll have to give this one to Match. The variety of subscription packages means you can commit for as long or as short as you need, and comparing the 6- and 12-month plans, it is undeniably the more affordable option.

Quality Of Matches

Lots of matches are fantastic to have, but if every other one ends up a complete dud, the experience might be pretty disheartening. Because of this, our next metric is match quality, and we think you’ll agree that it’s probably the most important. 

At the end of the day, you want results you can trust, that will lead to the outcome you’re looking for: a successful relationship. 

So how effective are the matches you will find on each site?

Let’s look at the statistics.

eHarmony currently holds the top spot as the #1 most popular site among singles looking for love. It has over 35 million members -- more than any other relationship-focused site -- and over 2 million daters have found meaningful partnerships through this service.

Since its inception in 2000, it has helped around 500 people a day find their lifelong partner. In fact, 4% of US marriages met through eHarmony, and within that group, the divorce rate has been <4%, meaning that eHarmony relationships last. 

This is likely due to the comprehensive matchmaking capabilities available through the site, which include individualized compatibility scores based on lengthy personality tests, additional dating advice, and tips for making the most of each stage of a relationship 

Match.com also boasts some impressive statistics. It has at least 29 million members, with an average of 14 million monthly visitors. Depending on location, though, this means it might have a slightly smaller local dating pool than eHarmony.

Still, as one of the oldest dating sites out there -- due to its inception in 1995 -- Match has created the most connections out of any of its competitors, boasting numbers in the billions. Not all of these have necessarily been successful; however, at least 1 million babies in the US were born as a result of the service. Not too shabby! 

Since both sites offer free trials and these accounts never expire, you may encounter some defunct profiles. Match.com, in particular, has had quite a few reports of old profiles that still show up as active daters, but do not reply to any form of contact. This is definitely something to be wary of, whatever option you chose. 

One aspect where both sites are readily comparable, though, is with regard to the balance of the user base. Both have a very wide range of ages represented, with high numbers across the board, and a very balanced gender ratio.

Notably, Compatible Partners, eHarmony’s same-sex relationship service, has recently been folded into its main site, so both Match and eHarmony cater to straight and gay relationships, making them equivalent in that aspect as well. 

Our Verdict

Both sites have incredibly impressive statistics with regard to success metrics. 

That said, with respect to the overall quality of matches, we have to admit that eHarmony has a slight edge. Their matchmaking algorithm means that you get better matches sooner, and they have not had anywhere near as many complaints as Match.com about defunct profiles still being visible and creating false hope for their users. 

The Interface

In the current digital world, user experience is an incredibly important metric for identifying effective online services. The best algorithms and the best results won’t always be enough to keep users coming back to a website with a confusing layout.

eHarmony and Match.com both know this, and have updated their sites to be sleek and competitive. 

Here’s how the exploration process works on both sites.

eHarmony starts by immediately sending you your first set of compatible matches. You can choose to start a conversation with them or keep looking, but the algorithm is constantly working in your favor. 

Their Guided Communication feature means that your relationship can unfold in the most effective way possible, making each step as transparent and intentional as possible. 

If you get stumped somewhere in the process, eH Advice is there to help. Expert relationship advice and coaching from experts gives you the tools and the confidence you need to navigate a successful relationship in our modern world. 

The main benefit of eHarmony’s system is that matchmaking compatibility is decided upfront. Every potential match is immediately compared with your 29 Dimension Personality score, so that you know exactly how compatible a potential match could be, right away.

With this important step of the process already resolved, the rest of the interface can be tailored to help you improve your dating skills, navigate budding relationships, and achieve your goal of finding the one as easily as possible. 

The features included in eHarmony’s Premium Membership cover all the aspects of starting a new relationship -- not just matchmaking free-for-all. This attention to detail and expert planning means that you’re buying into an experience, not just a networking site. 

Match.com also has some interesting features which make its interface unique. One of it’s most popular options is the Reverse Search. This lets you find matches that are actively looking for people with your qualities. It helps ensure that those you choose to connect with will be equally interested in you.

However, there are some downsides to Match’s interface. For one, you have to do most of the exploration on your own. There are filter options to help guide you, but the world is yours in terms of deciding who to connect with. 

Although you might be able to select for desirable features or search among the people already looking for someone like you, you can’t be sure that you’re truly compatible with the options that you select. Having to weed out for incompatibility on your own, you will likely end up having to devote more time to the service before achieving your goal.

Secondly, speaking purely in terms of design, Match.com has a lot of confusing options for showing interest in someone. Some examples include the following:

  • Likes on your profile
  • Likes on individual photos
  • Winks
  • Favorites
  • Yes ratings
  • Superlikes
  • And more…

Unfortunately, we could not identify the differences between these many options.

There’s also the added complication that is the need to pay separately for Power-Ups to be able to make secure calls or get notifications for read emails on Match.com. It’s also worth noting that in the world of messaging apps galore, emails are no longer our favorite form of secure communication.

Our Verdict

Both sites have modernized websites and interfaces, but again, intentionality is important. Match.com might be good for someone familiar with low-commitment dating sites, who are willing to put in the time to prune matches for themselves, but eHarmony’s interface is how it’s algorithm is able to shine.

By creating a system that puts matchmaking first and caters to every step of the relationship as well, you have access to an expert-tested, streamlined system that puts results first -- and you don’t have to guess how a “wink” differs from a “yes rating”. 

For the overall interface and user experience, we have to give this point to eHarmony.

eHarmony vs Match : The Final Verdict

Alright, let’s recap. We started with four dimensions to measure the success of the two biggest relationship-driven dating sites: eHarmony and Match.com.

We looked at the following categories:

  • Features
  • Pricing
  • Matchmaking Quality
  • Overall Interface

Here’s how the scores shook out.

  1. Features: Because of eHarmony’s superior algorithm and up-front emphasis on compatibility, we gave them a clear win in the features category.

  2. Pricing: Match.com has a lower overall time commitment required for a paid subscription, and lower prices in the immediately comparable categories (6-month and 12-month plans). This one went to Match.

  3. Matchmaking Quality: This was close. Both sites have amazing track records, but with a shorter history combined with more impressive statistics, higher overall popularity, and a lower concentration of defunct profiles, this one also went to eHarmony.

  4. Overall Interface: This section looked at a combination of usability as well as the overall matchmaking experience, beyond just providing a list of singles for your perusal. Between algorithm effectiveness, additional features, and clearly-understandable liking conventions, eHarmony was the clear winner here as well. 

With a 3-to-1 split, eHarmony is our recommendation for a premier dating site that will provide you with a meaningful relationship, and the guided tools to be sure that it lasts. 

Of course, personal preference is going to have a huge influence on what works for you.

  • If you’re looking for tailored features that give you an online dating experience that rivals or surpasses the offline experience, eHarmony is a perfect choice.
  • If you’re looking for the best system for the lowest price, comparable statistics mean that Match.com will be a better fit.
  • If you agree that matchmaking quality is king to all criteria, eHarmony will deliver right away, without making you prune through potentially inactive users.

Finally, the interface depends on personal preference. 

  • If you want a unique dating experience with relationship-building tools built into the foundation, eHarmony is a perfect choice.
  • However, if you recently graduated from Tinder or a similar dating app and want the ability to swipe through your options to train the algorithm yourself, you sound prepared to give Match.com a try.

Both eHarmony and Match.com have proven and effective systems, but their designs serve different purposes. eHarmony is the most tailored to getting you the results you want, with a streamlined process and an incredibly high success rate. While its cost comes at a premium, we think you’ll agree that this price tag comes with the added value to match. 

If you’re still undecided, you could sign up for a free trial of both services before making a commitment, and find out which option is right for you.

To all the romantic hopefuls getting ready to embark on their online dating journey: We’re rooting for you!