Coffee Meets Bagel Review: Should You Give It a Try?

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; learn more about our review process. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

It's an interesting name – but this is a dating app, alright.

Just a slightly different kind of dating app, where women are referred to as “coffee” and men are referred to as “bagels.”

Fortunately, that's where the eccentricities end and, for many thirty-somethings who are looking to find love, Coffee Meets Bagel could represent the perfect app. Instead of pairing you up with total strangers who you must swipe left or right on, CMB pulls data from your Facebook to match you up with mutual friends. 

And while its usage rate was slow to pick up traction during its early years, a highly successful funding round on Shark Tank saw Mark Cuban offer them $30,000,000 to help build their brand. 

It was Mark's highest ever offer, and since then, Coffee Meets Bagel has been helping more and more people find new friends – and the love of their life.

But is this the right dating app for you? 

I signed up, created an account, pulled data from my Facebook – and I wrote this Coffee Meets Bagel review to give you a better understanding of the app so that you can decide whether or not to give it a go. 

Coffee Meets Bagel Review

Pros

Can send and receive messages for free: There's every chance you won't need to spend a dime on Coffee Meets Bagel because you can do all the essential stuff for free.

Sophisticated algorithm: The CMB algorithm has been fine-tuned so that it only lines up suggested matches based on your set preferences which you are more likely to actually get along with. 

People generally take it seriously: Coffee Meets Bagel dispenses with Tinder's endless carousel of profiles and instead focuses on a more curated approach. To that end, it tends to attract serious daters. 

Some really cool features: If you want to send more likes, make yourself more visible and see whether someone has read your message or not, CMB offers several nifty features that improve the user experience.

Affordable: Even if you do decide to upgrade to the premium version, Coffee Meets Bagel is one of the most affordable dating apps around. 

Cons

Facebook is required: If you don't have Facebook, you won't be able to use Coffee Meets Bagel. And even if you created a new one from scratch, it would be useless until you've added at least 50 friends. 

Only works as a mobile app: You can't access CMB via desktop or in your mobile browser. 

It's a slow process: With only a handful of matches each day, it can take some time before you find a spark. 

Like all matchmaker dating apps that curate a list of suggested profiles for you, Coffee Meets Bagel relies on an algorithm that does all the heavy lifting. This algorithm relies heavily on your set preferences (your preferred age range, distance range, and so on) to determine your matches. 

It also uses additional criteria such as your interests, level of education and occupation, although this criterion is secondary to the set preferences, which are considered dealbreakers.

What do I mean by dealbreakers?

 Coffee Meets Bagel dealbreakers

Basically, if you have a set preference such as “I will only date someone aged between 25 and 32,” CMB will never match you with someone outside that target age range. This means that someone aged 33 who is otherwise perfect for you will never cross your path. As such, you must consider your set preferences carefully.

That said, CMB uses various models that score potential matches, and these scores are updated often. This ensures that it's rare that you'll match with someone you've already passed on, but it takes behavioral data into account so much that you might cross paths with someone a second time, despite having already rejected them the first time. 

How Does Coffee Meets Bagel Work?

Signing up on Coffee Meets Bagel

Because Coffee Meets Bagel isn't available on the desktop, you need to sign up via your mobile device. 

A Facebook account is essential, too.

Once you've downloaded the app and linked your FB account, the profile creation process begins. 

Coffee Meets Bagel will walk you through this process, and you just need to fill out some info about yourself, including your height and ethnicity. 

Getting Started With Coffee Meets Bagel

The app then gives you three prompts:

  • I am
  • I like
  • I appreciate when my date …

Once you've answered these (try to be as original as possible, it will help you get more matches), CMB will grab a few photos from your Facebook account. These can be grabbed automatically but you can, of course, choose which ones to remove. 

Matching With People on Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel works differently for men and women. Let's start with the guys.

Once your profile is up and running, it's time to start searching for potential matches and dates. 

There are two ways to do this: You can use the Suggested section or the Discover section.

 Coffee Meets Bagel suggested matches

If you choose to use the Suggested section, you will see 21 maximum suggested matches each day. You won't always receive as many as 21, but you'll still receive a fair amount based on your set preferences. 

Then, you can either Like them, Pass on them or give them a Priority Like, which works a lot like Tinder's Super Like in that it's more likely that the other person will see your profile.

If you Like someone, you can choose to attach a message alongside it (or not).

And guys, you have just 24 hours to say Yes or No to a woman. If you say neither, she will disappear from your feed. 

On the other hand, women are given 6 suggested matches each day. That's obviously less than men, but here's the catch: They can only see guys that have already “liked” them. 

It's an interesting concept, and it's worth mentioning that all suggested matches are pulled from your Facebook. In other words, you are connected with friends of friends (and even friends of friends of friends).

How come the matching process is different for men and women?

The founders of Coffee Meets Bagel claim that research showed them that, while men love the idea of selection, women are far more selective.

Not just that, but the app is made up of around 60% women and just 40% men. So you can see why CMB has embraced this concept. 

Once you've matched with someone, you can start chatting! 

And if you're not sure what to say, Coffee Meets Bagel asks you upon sign-up to add a few interesting facts about yourself, which, while they won't show up on your profile, will be presented to new matches to help them break the ice. 

But what about Discover? 

Good question! 

 Coffee Meets Bagel discover

So, Discover works differently from Suggested in that you can find other profiles that are outside your set preferences.

For instance, if your set preferences include the age range 28-35, you will not see any potential matches that are younger than 28 or older than 35.

As such, if you're curious to see who else is out there, you can use the Discover feature. 

Is Coffee Meets Bagel a Free App?

Coffee Meets Bagel lets you create your profile for free, receive daily suggested matches for free, and send and receive messages for free. However, it offers paid membership for premium features

Coffee Meets Bagel Premium Features 

Coffee Meets Bagel has a premium upgrade that gives you access to extra features. You'll get access to the following premium features.

  • Access to “Likes You” Feed.
  • Boost your profile for a month.
  • Get Unlimited superlikes.
  • Activity reports
  • 15% discount on beans

These include the ability to see your entire “Likes You” feed (ideal for if you just want to match with people faster), and you can see whenever someone has read your messages (great for if you're anxious about that sort of stuff). 

You can also boost your profile once a month so that it's more visible in other peoples' feeds, and you get unlimited “Woos” (super likes) per month. 

A really cool extra feature is Activity Reports, which gives you a detailed insight of every user you come across. You can see how active they are, how often they chat with matches, and whether or not they send the first message.

This sort of thing is so helpful for deciding whether or not to match with someone. 

You also get a 15% discount on Beans.

What are CMB Beans? 

Beans are Coffee Meets Bagel's currency that you can purchase using real money in order to unlock more potential matches and send extra likes. 

How Much Does Coffee Meets Bagel Cost? 

You can start with a monthly subscription of $35 per month if you want to upgrade. Alternatively, you can jump straight in with a 6 or 3-month subscription, which will save you a bit each month. Six months' worth of CMB works out at $20 per month, while three months' worth will set you back $25 per month. 

  • 1-Month Renewals: $34.99 USD per pay period
  • 3-Month Renewals: $74.99 USD per pay period (equivalent to $24.99 per month)
  • 6-Month Renewals: $119.99 USD per pay period (equivalent to $19.99 per month)
  • Annual Renewals: $179.99 USD per pay period (equivalent to $14.99 per month)

Is Upgrading to Premium Worth It?

Coffee Meets Bagel's deal is essentially the same as Tinder and Bumble: Many people use it successfully for free, but if you feel as though you're just not getting anywhere on the app, it might be worth upgrading. That said, CMB differs from both Tinder and Bumble in that you are guaranteed match suggestions every day. You're not always guaranteed likes, but it's almost a given that someone will see your profile.

Not just that, there are things you can do to improve the quality of your matches without upgrading. You can try adding different photos (ask a friend to help you pick your best ones), sprucing up your bio, and perhaps even tweaking your preferences. Ultimately, though, if you truly feel as though you've been on CMB for long enough and you're not really getting anywhere, it might be worth trying out the premium plan for a month and seeing how things go.

How Was My Experience?

I was pretty excited when I first signed up for Coffee Meets Bagel. After all, I'd heard how different this dating app was (even if I was a tad skeptical about being referred to as someone's “bagel,” hmm!). 

Fortunately, I had a Facebook account, so I could zoom through the sign-up process (as mentioned earlier, you need a Facebook account to sign-up).

Once CMB had pulled some photos from my Facebook account, I refined my bio, set my preferences, and filled out the three prompts – “I am,” “I like,” and “I appreciate when my date …” 

Filling out those prompts actually took a few minutes because I wanted to make them as original as possible. Did they work?

Well, as a guy I was then given several suggested matches on my first day (you get 21 at the most, although I never received as many as that over a 24-hour period). I probably said “no” to most suggested matches, and the ones I said “yes” to didn't like me back. 

Boo. 

However, I'd already been told that the key to succeeding on CMB is patience. We all know that you can't spend the day endlessly swiping on profiles and that you can only match with 21 people at the most over 24 hours. So I was cool with that.

Moreover, I didn't steer away from my preferences, nor did I say Yes to more people just in the hope of landing more matches. I was fairly picky instead. 

By the end of the week, I'd received 5 mutual likes and started properly chatting to 2 of them. 

At the end of week two, I'd even set up TWO dates. Success. 

Ultimately, I also upgraded to the premium account for a month to see how different it was from the free version. My experience wasn't that much better, although I can see how it would work for those who are in a bit of a hurry to move things forward. 

Verdict 

Overall, I really liked Coffee Meets Bagel's concept. Yes, you will for sure need some patience, but it's important to remember why people use this app: To make a genuine connection with someone. And that takes time. I also really like the fact that it connects you with friends of friends on Facebook. That said, that alone often means you won't get anywhere near as many suggested matches as you would if you were using an app like Tinder, where you can swipe Yes or No on as many profiles as you want. However, Coffee Meets Bagel claims to have helped thousands of people worldwide find love, so it clearly works. And if you're looking to use a more serious, relationship-oriented version of Tinder? It can totally work for you, too. 

Other Services:

eHarmony 

eHarmony is a premium dating site that's been around for a few more years than Coffee Meets Bagel, but which is mostly aimed at the same demographic: Those looking for something a bit more serious. However, the two differ because eHarmony is exclusively focused on those who want to meet their life partner, whereas Coffee Meets Bagel's users are looking to date and see what happens. If something develops – great!

AdultFriendFinder

Coffee Meets Bagel isn't really for hook-ups. If you're looking for casual sex, a better option is AdultFriendFinder. It's used by 20,000,000+ around the world, and people use it for all kinds of sexual escapades – hook-ups, orgies, sex parties, BDSM, and much, much more. Whatever your taste is, you can find it here, and it doesn't matter how dirty or kinky you are. 

FAQs:

Is Coffee Meets Bagel for Hookups or Serious Relationships? 

According to CMB itself, over 90% of people who use this app are looking for something serious. This means there's a very slim chance you might come across someone who's looking for a hookup or who's up for a bit of fun before they meet the right person. But it's highly unlikely. Instead, you're far more likely to succeed on Coffee Meets Bagel if you intend to find a long-term partner.

How to get More Beans on Coffee Meets Bagel?

Beans are Coffee Meets Bagel's very own currency. You can use them to purchase more likes and unlock more matches. To get more beans, you can just head over to the Bean Shop and buy some. Alternatively, you can get free beans when you complete specific tasks, such as following CMB on social media and successfully referring a friend.