LavaLife Review — the “Well-Balanced” Dating Site

Any company that’s been around since the 80s must be doing something right. We wanted to see how LavaLife compares to some of the newer hookup sites and apps. We joined and are ready to present our findings to you, our loyal readership. Here is our Lavalife review.

Lavalife Review

Lavalife Review Results
  • Popularity - 86
  • Value - 88
  • Features - 84
  • Quality of Members - 86
  • Safety - 92
  • Customer Satisfaction - 84
87

Final Word on Lavalife

Lavalife offers its users a solid user base that is well-balanced between male and female members. This increases the possibility of genuine matches and makes for a better user experience.

Based on our testing, we rate LavaLife ABOVE AVERAGE

— Pros and Cons of LavaLife —

Pros

  • Long and established history
  • iPhone and Android apps available
  • Very few fake profiles
  • Paid version allows for three “profiles” (long-term, casual dating, and no-strings encounters)
  • Uncluttered and easy to navigate

Cons

  • Must have a paid membership to communicate with other members
  • Match results don’t always conform to the search criteria you entered (in age and geographic location)
  • Display ads are shown even to paid members
  • Profile approval can take as long as 24 hours

— Full Lavalife Review —

lavalife homepage

Lavalife is an online dating site that dates back to a time prior to the existence of the internet as we know it today — all the way back to 1987. Its longevity demonstrates how the company has managed to successfully stay up to date and competitive in the matchmaking industry.

In the present day, Lavalife has positioned itself to cater to singles who are in search of relationships. Lavalife does not focus on one particular style of relationship. It helps its users find a match across a broad range of dating styles — long-term, casual or platonic friendships.

For a site with such a drawn out history, we were personally surprised to find it to be so modern and efficient in its design. It offers a decent set of features in an uncluttered manner that is easy and intuitive to navigate — regardless of your level of familiarity with the online dating scene.

While not on the cutting edge in terms of innovative functionality, what it does offer is on par — and in some areas, superior — to other dating sites. In order to better gauge LavaLife’s performance, we registered and put it to the test. These are the results of our Lavalife review.

— Registration Process —

The sign-up process for LavaLife is designed to get new users registered in a timely manner. Most people will find that this initial process will take less than ten minutes. The speed of registration offered by LavaLife should not leave you with the idea that it is just another generic dating site that collects minimal information and therefore offers minimal results. To the contrary, Lavalife offers its users the ability to properly flesh out their profile in order to increase their matchmaking metrics following the initial registration process.

Unlike other dating sites that allow new users to register with skeletal profiles, LavaLife goes as far as requiring new users to upload an image to their profile.

lavalife mandatory profile photo
Profile Pic is Mandatory on Lavalife to Proceed

They also require that new users fill out, at minimum, the basic personality questionnaire. This is done to minimize the proliferation of fake profiles. It also makes for a better user experience.

lavalife profile

New users can access the site and browse other profiles immediately upon providing their basic information. New user profiles, however, will not be posted on the site for others to see until they have been screened. The screening is done by algorithms and human screeners. Of our three testers, two of their profiles were approved in less than an hour, the third one took just under 24 hours.

— Three Accounts in One —

In the paid version of LavaLife, users are presented with the option of having as many as three profiles on the site. This is not done with the intent to deceive their user base. Rather, it is a way for paid members to be able to access three different search parameters. They can have one profile to search for long-term relationships, one for casual dating, and another for no-strings-attached encounters.

We found this feature unique among dating sites. We can see how it may be convenient if you are not sure about what you’re looking for; or if you are seriously looking for a long-term partner, but in the interim, you still wish to “play the field.” Of our three testers, two of them stated that this feature alone would make them want to stay with LavaLife.

— Lavalife User Base —

One of the biggest problems encountered with online dating sites is their lopsided membership ratios in terms of gender. Some can be as high as 15 men for every woman. Others boast large membership figures, but when scrutinized, it is discovered that the number of active users is as low as one percent of total membership. Situations like that create very bad user experiences. LavaLife is different. They have over two million active users and the male to female distribution of its membership base is a well-balanced 60/40.

That probably explains why both our male and female testers reported having a pleasant user experience on LavaLife. Neither gender felt that they were singled out for undue negative attention. Male users were not bombarded with burdensome offers to upgrade their membership. Female members were not flooded with messages and chat requests from desperate males having nothing in common with them.

— Membership Cost —

lavalife cost

The free version of Lavalife offers its users the ability to gauge its overall look and feel. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer any communication ability with other members. That is fairly common among dating sites, so we were not surprised to see it here. However, unlike other sites that don’t do a good job at compelling you to pay for their membership by virtue of their functionality alone — LavaLife, does. Maybe it’s the lack of constant reminders to upgrade, maybe it’s the feeling of genuineness generated by the large and well-balanced user-base — whatever the reason, you feel more comfortable in making the jump into paid membership on LavaLife than other sites.

A one-month membership has a cost of $19.99. If you are willing to pay for three months in advance, the average monthly cost drops to $16.65. Paying for six months in advance drops it to $15 per month.

— Lavalife Messaging —

lavalife messaging

Once you are a paid member, the full messaging power of LavaLife is made available to you. This includes traditional messaging (basically an internal email platform) and instant messaging. It also allows you to interact with other members by sharing private images and videos with them.

— Mobile Friendly —

As is standard now with most online dating services, LavaLife can be accessed via any web browser on a computer or through their iPhone and Android apps. Their mobile apps are free to download through their respective app stores.