It’s not all that often when free date sites manage to perfect the art of providing the best virtual dating experience. We have seen many dating sites that cater to specific niches, but they all revolve around two themes. One is all about casual dating or hookups, and the other is about long-term and meaningful relationships that often end in marriage. These two themes are generally regarded as mutually exclusive, as many dating platforms cannot accommodate both populations.
Lava life is an incredibly popular dating service that started back in 2001, so it has almost two decades of experience under its belt. Based on other Lavalife reviews we’ve seen so far, the overall impression is very positive. Is it really that great? Let’s find out in this comprehensive Lavalife review.
First, let us look at Lavalife userbase and see how large of a community we are looking at here.
The users in Canada alone exceed 1 million. We do not have a clear number on the user count in the United States, but it is safe to assume that there are at least another million users. So, we are looking at 2 million users in total.
We also know that there are at least 700,000 messages being exchanged on a daily basis, with over 20,000 new users signing up every day. Now, the latter may be misleading since old users can create multiple accounts for their changing needs. We’ll talk about this later.
Lavalife is a 3-in-1 dating platform, meaning that it is for everyone older than 18.
There may be other users across the globe that use Lava life as well, but they most likely amount up to no more than 200,000 users. Lavalife is dedicated to serving the Canadian and American users, after all. Overall, Lava life has a hugeuserbase in the United States and Canada.
We have no data on the ethnic structure from Lavalife. However, a closer look at its features shows that Lavalife is for everyone regardless of their ethnicity.
Again, we do not have information on this other than the fact that users need to be older than 18 years old to join. This site keeps its user stats pretty private, which is a great bonus for its tight community.
Next up, what about gender distribution? The ratio is more or less balanced. 45% of the members are female, and 55% are male.
Lava life does not discriminate here, either. Users with all sexual orientations can join.
Lavalife login process is short and does not compromise security. For this reason, theirs takes a little longer, between 10 to 15 minutes. This may seem daunting to some people, but it is always better to spend 15 minutes to register on a good dating site than five on a bad one.
To begin, go to lavalife.com and provide the following information:
After this, answer several questions about your physical appearance, personality, hobbies, and a preferred username. We recommend coming up with something unique and creative because your username can reflect your character just as well as the rest of your profile.
The verification process is simple but comes with a twist. Users will receive an email from Lava life with the confirmation link attached. If you cannot find this email, try looking for it in the spam folder.
Email verification is instantaneous. But, unlike other dating platforms, you need to respond to their email quickly. Users have about 24 hours to do so, after which the account linked to an email will be suspended permanently.
It is here when things can get a little overwhelming for new users. You see, there are three types of profiles to choose from. All three are catered toward users who have different relationship goals. Those who only want casual relationships should opt for a “Casual Dating” profile. For those who want to find a lifelong partner need the “Relationship” profile. For those who want hookups, then “Intimate Encounters” is the best option.
We also want to point out that users can have more than one profile linked to the same account. That means users can look for hookups without having to create another account for this purpose. Lavalife provides a complete dating package. Users can secure hookups while looking for a lifelong partner simultaneously without having to use different accounts or different dating platforms.
After users have created their profiles, they will be prompted to fill out additional information about themselves. Some have already been prefilled for you using the information you provided earlier. There are many empty boxes to fill and questions to be answered.
With that aside, Lava life provides many ways to express yourself. Viewing a user’s profile will show you the following:
As you can see, this is a pretty extensive list, meaning that users on Lavalife have the freedom to express themselves freely. Even with so much information, Lavalife managed to keep things sectioned off properly so as not to overwhelm its profile’s visitors.
When starting out, users have quite a blank profile. We recommend you take your time and fill everything in as much as possible. The reason for this is credibility. On dating sites like Lava life, users usually only contact those who have filled out their profiles extensively.
Having a complete profile tells everyone else that you are not afraid to talk about yourself. It helps others decide whether you two will have a good time together. Casual daters and users who want hookups are more interested in the physical aspect, while those who are interested in long-term relationships focus on both. The second group is especially wary of empty profiles. By their logic, they believe that those who cannot even put in enough effort to complete their profile will not make a right lifelong partner. So it makes sense to complete your profile as much as possible.
What about the Lavalife search features? The extensiveness of the profile system is not there just for show. The information users put into profiles will serve as filters in their search system. This is the second reason why you should complete your profile as the little information about you can be looked up by someone, and it will lead them straight to you.
The search system is accessible by even free members, and users have many filters to choose from. Basic filters include age, distance from the user, and the type of relationship you want to look for.
Advanced search system includes:
As you can see, with all of these filters at your disposal, you can narrow down your search significantly and find just the right person you want.
Here comes the fun part. How can you reach other members? Here, Lava life offers many features with which users can use to contact each other.
The most basic form of communication feature is the Lavalife chat system. Unfortunately, free users cannot send messages. However, they can receive those and even reply. To send messages, you will need a premium membership.
Premium users can initiate conversations, and it is as easy to use as the Facebook messenger system. Unfortunately, Lavalife does not have voice chat or video call functionalities.
Next up, let’s talk about safety. This is the most important aspect of any dating site after all, although it is often overlooked. What measures has Lavalife taken to ensure that its users are safe?
We visited Lava Life website and were quite pleased to see that our connection was encrypted and secure. It was not something that we should be this happy about, but we have seen some amazing dating sites that just fall behind when it comes to security.
Allow us to explain it to those users who are not tech-savvy. At the text bar where you type in the website URL, there should be a picture of a padlock. That means that whatever website you are browsing is secured, encrypted, and certified.
Why is this important? Unencrypted information is vulnerable to hijacking. Basically, a malicious party may intercept your connection and see what data you share with a website. That includes your personal or banking information, so having a secured connection is a big deal.
What about privacy? Lava life follows the protocol and guarantees that data from its users is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to a third party. That means users’ personal information stays with Lavalife, and no one else will know what you shared on that website unless you tell them.
Next up, let’s talk about scam profiles. Are there many of them? There are very few, if none at all. In reality, there is no perfect way to keep scammers out of any website. With enough time and effort, some scammers will slip in any way. The idea then is to make it very inconvenient for them to perform the act, which Lavalife has done very well.
As mentioned previously, Lavalife puts a 24-hour time limit for users to verify their account, after which they would get suspended. This alone keeps most of the bots away from this site.
Another layer of protection comes in the form of a paywall. Scammers must send messages to many people at once and hope gullible users would fall for their scam. They cannot do that on Lavalife because payment is involved. This deters most of them already since they do not want to spend a penny to earn a dollar.
The third layer of protection does not come from Lavalife specifically, but from its userbase. There is an unspoken rule on this platform. Simply put, users do not like interacting with people who keep their profile empty. Since scammers do not want to share their personal information, this keeps the rest of them away.
In short, there should be no scammers on Lavalife. Even so, there may be some that appear now and then, which is why Lavalife created their own dating safety tips for users’ information.
People at Lava life know that even with all security systems in place, there is always a threat of a scammer roaming the platform. As such, they have created a moderation team to oversee all activities. But that alone is not enough, so they included the report functions for users to manually report people who behave inappropriately. They will take action, and this may result in a permanent suspension.
How does Lavalife handle customer support? We have seen many dating platforms that use email support or customer support ticket systems in this regard. These are adequate so long as the customer support team is responsive.
That is not enough for Lavalife. They create a live support chat that allows users to ask questions and receive answers from their customer support team instantly. You can also use lavalife phone chat, available 24/7, and ready to answer all your inquiries.
Website usability is also a crucial component of any successful dating site. It does not matter how well the prices are or what features are offered. If users must spend 10 minutes looking for that one setting, they won’t have a great time. Putting all functionalities together is easier said than done because every button placement should make sense. How does Lavalife fare in this regard?
Since Lavalife is a 3-in-1 dating site, its design is neutral. It features a modern look with a bright color palette of red and white. The overall aesthetic looks clean and sharp. The photos on the landing page are not suggestive, either. They just convey what Lavalife is trying to achieve, which is to make dating fun again.
Speaking of the landing page, it is a pretty long one. At the top are the options to log in or sign up. Scroll down a bit, and you will see more information. When this is being written, there is a promotion on Lava life that offers a 7-day free trial for those who sign up.
The rest of the page is where people can find out more about Lavalife, such as their goals, how they work, etc. The most interesting part is at the bottom. They have a special section for success stories. Basically, these are user testimonials who have found their true love with Lavalife.
They also have a blog section and other online resources to help their users. One that we find useful for everyone is a section with safety dating tips. They provide information on how to keep yourself safe online, which applies to not just dating but everywhere else. The blog section is where users can keep up to date with all the events on Lava life. They post interesting articles there sometimes, so go check it out.
Of course, the value of a virtual dating site would be greatly diminished if it did not offer a mobile application. Some do offer mobile-optimized sites, but nothing beats a dedicated mobile app with which users can receive live notifications.
As expected, Lavalife does have a mobile app that is compatible with both iOS and Android. The app is absolutely free, and it offers all the features its desktop counterpart does. That means you can still get the full functionalities of the desktop site on your phone. That way, you can use the phone chat feature to talk with other users while you are out and about.
That said, how well does the mobile app look? Very good, in fact. They understand how little screen space a phone has and design their app around that limitation. Everything still looks very clean and organized. We tried out the app ourselves and found that it is very easy to use even for those who are not familiar with dating apps.
It is worth mentioning that this app has the swiping feature similar to that of Tinder. This feature is called Lavalounge, and it works based on user proximity. Simply put, it scans for other users within a certain radius around you. It feels like Tinder from here since you just need to swipe.
Lavalife keeps its membership plans straightforward. There is only one to choose from, so you don’t have to decide between getting just enough features for cheap or all features for a lot more.
Free users have access to the following:
Premium users have access to the following:
There are three time frames to choose from. Their 1-month plan sets you back by $20 a month, 3-month goes for $17 a month, and 6-month goes for $15 a month. Comparing this to all other dating sites we’ve seen before, this is a very competitive price. We did the math, so you don’t have to.
The best value is the 6-month subscription. Paying $15 a month may still seem a lot to some people, but you would be paying 50 cents per day to use all the features they have to offer.
Users can pay Lavalife via credit card. Keep in mind that users are charged only once in a billing cycle, meaning that people pay $90 immediately to have premium access for six months. Other than that, the bill is not auto-renewed unless users opt for that themselves.
Finally, how can users cancel their membership with Lavalife? The site makes it clear that its users will not be compensated for lost time. So the only way to cancel it is by letting the timer run out. To delete your account, go to the account section, and you should find the option to do so. You will be prompted to provide a reason or testimony, so make sure you do that to help improve this site before you delete your account.
In short, we really love what Lava Life has done with its dating platform. They serve as the prime example of a dating site done right. We had a really hard time identifying the flaws on Lavalife, as expected from a dating site with so much experience under their belt.
They boast a modern yet clean overall aesthetic that put their users at ease whenever they log in. The registration process is a bit tedious, but it is all in the name of security, which works very well. Scam profiles are kept at a minimum.
Lavalife is so full of features that it does not do them justice to describe them all in detail here. As such, you will need to try it all out for yourself to really experience what they have to offer. To do so, you will need to spend some cash. Here, the price is also excellent considering all the additional features you can have access to. They offer a price that many other dating sites just cannot beat. Their users only have to spend their spare change daily to access all these excellent features.
The customer support and moderation teams are top-notch as well. They are responsive to their Lavalife chat line and genuinely willing to offer assistance where they can.
Overall, we highly recommend Lavalife as your main dating site. You cannot find a website that provides so much for so little. Even for free users, Lavalife offers so many features that they manage to best many other free dating sites out there.