In our dating app review today, we have something that’s a little out there.
This is about a niche as you will see when it comes to niche dating.
Now we all know that there are all kinds of dating apps found online.
If you can think of it, there’s probably a dating site for it.
But one for bearded men and those who love to stroke beards?
Bet you didn’t think of that, right?
Yes, that would be Bristlr and the niche it specifically covers is beard dating, believe it or not.
Today, we are going to take an in-depth look at this dating platform for beard lovers and all other types of facial hair.
This Bristlr review or Tinder for Beards as it’s known, is going to look at the following:
So if you’d like to know more, read on.Is your dating app giving you the best chance for success? Make sure to take our online dating site/app quiz to find out. People who follow our dating site suggestions have on average 2 more dates per month.
- Ease of use – 4.5/5
- Effectiveness – 3.5/5
- Key features – 3/5
- Pricing – 4/5
What Are The Pros and Cons of Bristlr?
- A niche dating site for those with beards and those who want to meet them
- Some free communication is available if you matchup with someone
- Membership prices are very cheap
- A very small user base
Who Is It For/Demographics?
For those that have beards and facial hair and those that want to hook up with them.
That’s the basic target audience for Bristlr.com
Strangely enough, according to the Bristlr website, it started out as more as a joke than anything else.
Its creator, John Kershaw began Bristlr back in 2014 in the United Kingdom.
While it’s a very niche dating site that’s never going to have a million users, over 150 000 people have signed up at this point.
Let’s break that down a little further:
- Of those 150 000 users, around 15 000 (10%) are based in the United States
- Around 1 000 users are active on the site each week
- The Bristlr Android app has been installed over 100 000 times.
- The app has a 1.9-star rating, however.
- The rating on the App Store is a little better at 2.4
Gender ratio breakdown and age ranges of users
While 150 000 users aren’t massive, especially since this online dating site has been around since 2014, for the niche it serves, I don’t think it’s too bad actually.
Looking at the gender ratio breakdown, luckily this isn’t a site where you would find 90% men and 10% women.
That’s the kind of expectation I had before I started my research into it.
But that’s not nearly the case.
Instead, we have a gender breakdown that, while it sees more men on-site than women, is actually very close.
- 52% are men
- 48% are women
Now let’s look into the age ranges of the users on-site.
All in all, the user base is very well spread across all of them.
But younger users, from 18 to 34 years old do dominate the site.
They take in the 18-24 and the 25-34-year-olds and account for over half of those who have registered for Bristlr.
Here’s a full breakdown from most popular to least popular age ranges.
- 25-34 year-olds: 29% of all users. 17% of these users are male and 12% are female
- 18-24 year-olds: 22% of all users. 13% of these users are male and 9% are female
- 35-44 year-olds: 19% of all users. 11% of these are male and 8% are female
- 55 and older: 16% of all users. 10% of these are male and 6% are female
- 45-54 year-olds: 14% of all users. 8% of these are male and 6% are female
Ultimately, Bristlr doesn’t have the biggest user base I’ve ever seen but that’s to be expected because of the type of dating site it is.
I do like the fact that users are spread across all the age ranges and that the gender ratio is very close to equal.
That’s what you want to see on a dating app where the user base is on the smaller side.
Ease Of Use
You have two options when it comes to registering for a Bristlr account.
You can either download the IOS or Android app or like me, you can register through the website.
If you choose that route, you can even use your Facebook account to speed up the sign-up process.
If you prefer not to, then you can register using a valid email address.
Here’s some of the other information you will need to provide.
- A profile picture
- Email address
- Your gender and the gender you are looking for (with LGBT options)
- Date of birth
- And if you have a beard or not
There’s no profile information to fill in during the registration process, so you will be online in less than five minutes.
The site itself is unique, just like the dating niche it serves.
The home page presents you with matchups right from the start and these are only based on your location and nothing else.
Before you do anything, you are going to have to first take care of your profile.
And you will be reminded to do so by a banner at the top of the screen with a quick link to it.
Profiles on the site don’t contain too much information.
There are four sections:
- About Me
- Anything for your matches: Only people that match up with you can see what you write here
- Who would you like to meet
- Your hopes and expectations when meeting up
- If you have a beard or not
And that’s it.
You can make your profile as detailed as you like because all of these are text blocks that you can fill in.
Of course, while you want to get some information across to a potential matchup, you don’t want to bore them to death, right.
So get across what you need to without being long-winded.
Finding your way around Bristlr
Let’s talk about finding your way around the site.
Before we get into that, I think we first need to talk about the overall site design.
Simple and effective are the words that come to mind while I was using the site for this review.
Here profiles are deemed important and they are displayed in a simple way of rows of four with large screenshots of each user.
It’s super simple to scroll down and find someone that appeals to you and then click on their profile to find out more about them.
But what about the menu system.
You will find that at the top of the screen.
Bristlr uses both an icon and a named menu system.
These are the menus you will find:
- Find people: Click here to find matchups near you. This is the default homepage for the site
- Speech bubble icon: Find all messages here
- Heart icon: This is where you will find people that you have matched up with
- Person icon: This is where you can edit your profile
- Eye icon: If you take out membership on the site, clicking here will show you who has viewed your profile
- Rate beards: Perform beard ratings here
- Subscription: Sign up for a membership on the site by clicking here
- Bell icon: Here you will receive all your notifications
It’s pretty standard dating site fare if I am honest.
You will notice three more icons on the top right-hand side of the screen.
- Cog icon: Change various settings here including your search preferences, personal details and more.
- Question mark icon: This is the FAQ section of the site. There is a ton of information covered here, so if you have any queries, this is a good place to start.
- Information icon: Here you can find information including safe dating tips.
The Bristlr app
We already know that the Bristlr app is available for both Android and IOS handsets.
It’s very similar to how the site operates and uses all the same icons that you come across.
So if you use the website, you won’t have a problem working out the app’s functionality and vice versa.
The app seems pretty popular with many users.
I effortlessly switched between the app and the website while trying both of them out for this review.
Because it has a smaller user base, whether Bristlr is going to work for you or not is going to depend on one thing.
And that’s your location.
By far, most of the users of this app are in the United Kingdom but we’ve seen that around 10% are based in the United States.
That’s going to grow too.
No matter where you are, however, if you aren’t in a major metropolitan center, you aren’t going to find that many people using this niche app.
Of course, there is no harm in trying it out.
It cost nothing and you certainly haven’t got anything to lose, that’s for sure.
Searching for a potential matchup
So how do you go about searching for a matchup on this dating service?
Well, it’s pretty user-friendly in that regard.
Remember I mentioned how when you first log into the site, Bristlr provides you with matchups.
These will be based on your location and be pretty much any age.
That’s how it works first up because you haven’t set any parameters.
It’s probably a good thing, however, because you don’t want to set too many of them as that narrows down an already small user base.
And you’ll know right from the start if this beard dating is going to work for you or not.
If you’d don’t see matches straight away, however, well there are a few tweaks that you can make to the parameter settings.
But how do you access them?
It’s not immediately obvious.
At first, I thought that you couldn’t.
But if you look under the settings menu, you will find “Search preferences”
Here you can adjust the following:
- The gender you are looking for
- The age range you’d prefer your matches to be
- The distance from your location (from 3 miles to 150 miles away. You can also set it to anywhere if you are looking for some long-distance beard lovers.
You can also get these returns to only show people whose profile you have liked or those who have liked you.
The latter, however, is a member-only feature and to access that, you are going to have to subscribe.
Lastly, you can perform keyword searches as well.
So yes, there are quite a few different parameters that you can adjust for searches but they are a little hidden away if you don’t know where to look.
That’s why I followed my own advice.
And that’s clicking on every menu when using a dating site for the first time just to see what will pop up when you do.
Reaching out to others
Messaging is free on Bristlr but there is a slight catch.
It works like most dating apps that communication is opened between two users as soon as they form a mutual matchup.
And that mutual matchup happens when you like someone’s profile and they like your profile back.
While it sounds simple enough, it can be a bit of a hit-and-miss affair.
Well, as a regular user, you have no way to tell if someone has liked your profile or not.
That’s only an option for paying subscribers.
So I am sure you can see that it might take a bit of luck for a mutual matchup to happen.
You can easily see if it has thought by clicking on the heart icon.
All users that you have mutually matched up with will appear here.
So at least it is trackable when it happens.
The site is usable if you don’t want to pay for a membership, it might just take more time to find a matchup, that’s all.
And when people message you, Bristlr has an interesting tool.
Called the “Lothario Detector” it detects if a message you received has been copied and sent to other users as well.
If that is the case, be warned, you might be dealing with someone running a fake profile.
Lastly, I want to talk about the color of hearts on user profiles.
A clear grey heart means you haven’t liked someone’s profile yet.
If that full grey heart means you’ve liked someone’s profile but they haven’t like you back
A full red heart means a matchup has been made.
If you aren’t patient and would prefer to ensure that matchups happen a little faster, then membership is something that you need to consider.
While the site doesn’t have that many key features, the ones it does have are useful.
Here’s a look at what’s on offer.
1. See users that like your profile
The most obvious key benefit of taking out a subscription on Bristlr is the fact that you can see who liked your profile.
If you haven’t liked them but you’d think they would be a good matchup, simply like their profile back.
And that means a matchup and communication can now take place between the two of you.
Ultimately, that means no more guesswork when you are trying to find a potential matchup.
It just speeds everything up tenfold.
2. See who has viewed your profile
You can also see who has looked at your profile.
If you think they might make a good matchup, perhaps you can like their profile to encourage that.
If they are a member, they will be notified and if they like you back, that’s a matchup.
Those are the two main key features.
The admin team behind Bristl are promising more, which would be nice.
With just two extras for membership, pricing is going to have to be on point, so let’s look into that now.
Just how much does Bristlr change for its services and key features afforded to those who subscribe to their service?
Well, the great news is that it’s not expensive at all.
Often, niche dating sites can be but that’s not the case with Bristlr.
Here’s a breakdown of the prices you can expect and the packages on offer when it comes to membership.
- 1-month membership: $9.95
- 3-month membership: $23.85 ($7.95 per month)
- 6-month membership: $29.70 ($4.95 per month)
That’s excellent pricing, isn’t it?
Considering that there aren’t actually that many features, those behind Bristlr have realized that keeping the pricing down is imperative.
But what about payment options?
Well, you can either pay with your debit or credit card.
If you choose to download the app, you can then pay using your service provider account as well.
Conclusion and Overall Rating
Something completely different!
That’s Bristlr for you.
But I really love it and I think it’s got huge potential especially as more and more people who have beards or love men with beards become aware of it.
It’s a very simple but effective dating site and app that is so easy to register for and use.
While the key features aren’t that impressive, the admin team at Bristlr has promised more.
Plus those features offered are well worth while and you aren’t charged an arm and a leg to sign up for subscription.
In my book, this is a dating app that’s one to watch.
I think it will grow from strength to strength.
For a rating, it gets 3.75 out of 5.
The team at Onlineforlive studied both the app and website for Bristlr for an extended period.
In that time we concluded that this is a niche app for those with beards and those who want to date bearded men.
Our review approach saw us provide a star rating for the most important criteria of the app and website as we used it.
In the end, our overall evaluation of Bristlr took these factors into account: price, overall ease of use, matchup success rate, user population of the app and the key features it offers.