Love Island UK is a reality television juggernaut. Across eight full seasons we've been hooked by dramatic recouplings, muggy moments, islanders getting pied, and even a few constants actually finding love.
Watching a throng of impossibly-attractive singletons spend a whole summer in paradise is the ultimate guilty pleasure watch. And if you've not yet indulged then you've got plenty of catching up to do. Now is the perfect time to get binge-watching as you can watch Love Island UK on streaming services in both the U.S. and U.K.
Each season is comprised of dozens of episodes, which makes watching a full series of Love Island UK quite a commitment. To help you pick out which are worthy your attention, we've ranked every single series to date.
So whether you're looking to revisit an older series or watch for the first time after jumping on the Love Island train later, here's our definitive ranking so you'll know which are worth your time. Be warned there are some spoilers below, so read at your own risk.
Every season of Love Island UK ranked
8. Series 6 (2020)
Ironically, Love Island UK’s first winter series was about as tepid as the average British summer. The villa was moved to Cape Town in South Africa as the producers looked to capitalize on the show’s success with the sixth series beginning just six months after the previous one concluded.
To its credit Series 6 does have its supporters, but overall it was a more subdued season with a real lack of major arcs or watercooler moments. Though the series did spawn a number of beloved couples who are still going strong including eventual winners Finn Tapp and Paige Turley. Not an awful series, just very forgettable.
7. Series 7 (2021)
After a pandemic-forced hiatus of 18 months, Love Island finally returned to our television screens this summer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really worth the wait. The series got off to an extremely slow start. In fact, the lack of romantic chemistry between the “couples” was so bad that viewers dubbed it “Friendship Island”.
Just as things were looking bleak, Casa Amor happened and the villa exploded with drama. Faye Winter went on arguably the most self-destructive tear the show has ever seen and Liam Reardon’s unfaithfulness to partner Millie Court was fully exposed (although she did eventually take him back). It seemed the 2021 series had finally kicked into life.
The problem was, while these proceedings were very dramatic they also felt a little uncomfortable to watch thanks to high levels of producer influence. Plus, after a week or so of high drama things quickly settled back down and the villa returned to a mellow state.
Ultimately, Series 7 was comprised mostly of dull episodes with a handful of dramatic ones that weren't even especially enjoyable mixed in. Our advice? Couple up with a classic series and give this one a miss.
6. Series 1 (2015)
The first series of Love Island UK (in its current form) is definitely pretty rough around the edges. The production isn’t as slick for starters, but there’s also a mean streak that runs through the entire thing. Rather than balancing comedic characters with drama moments, Series 1 goes all-in on toxic relationships and heated fallouts.
If you like your reality shows to feature heavy amounts of expletives and the constant sense that the whole cast is on the verge of a massive punch-up, then Love Island UK Series 1 is for you. Otherwise, you can probably leave this relic in the past.
5. Series 8 (2022)
This year’s Love Island UK should have been renamed Ekin-Su Island after the Turkish bombshell carried the entire series on her back for pretty much the whole summer. Love Island UK 2022 most certainly had its lulls but it also offered several iconic moments that blew up social media and are still being talked about months later.
These ranged from Davide Sanclimenti branding Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu “a liar! Actress!” in an explosive row to Andrew Le Page confessing exactly how to imitate he got in Casa Amor with Coco Lodge to a stunned Tasha Ghouri. The return of the ultimate bombshell Adam Collard was also a moment for the Love Island history books — even if he didn't do much more than couple up with Paige Thorne in the end.
Disappointingly, the show's producers did little to shake up the Love Island formula this year which is a real shame as the show is becoming increasingly predictable with each passing year. Once ground-breaking twists like Casa Amor sparked a lot less drama than in previous seasons, and bland couples like Luca Bish and Gemma Owen inexplicably made the finale despite providing little in the way of entertainment factor.
Nevertheless, Love Island UK 2022 was an overall fun season of reality television with several memorable characters who are sure to stick around in the nation’s hearts for years to come. Plus, Ekin-Su needs to take over as host for next year.
4. Series 2 (2016)
Love Island was starting to find its groove by its second outing. Featuring arguably the show’s greatest success story in Nathan Massey and Cara De La Hoyde, Love Island UK Series 2 had a solid mix of compelling couples and dramatic squabbles. The showdown between Terry Walsh and Malin Andersson is the stuff of Love Island legend, though the unfair treatment of Zara Holland is a blight on the series.
It was hard to watch someone be put through the wringer in such a public fashion. Nevertheless, Series 2 was really the first indication of the smash hit that Love Island UK was on the verge of becoming.
3. Series 4 (2018)
Series 4 ranks as one of the least successful series in terms of cast members actually finding love, within just a few months of the series ending every final couple had split, but it still made for great television. From the boys creating the “do bits society” to Adam Collard having a wandering eye that even an optometrist couldn’t fix, it was a hoot from start to finish. Plus, Georgia Steel declaring she was “loyal” about 10 times had an episode had viewers in stitches.
You could maybe accuse the producers of being a little too comfortable in Series 4, with the twists mostly being carbon-copied from previous seasons, but otherwise Love Island UK Series 4 was vintage reality television.
2. Series 3 (2017)
Series 3 is beloved more for the bromance between Kem Cetinay and Chris Hughes than any of the actual couples. It’s definitely a fan-favorite series and for good reason. Containing probably the most dramatic recoupling in the whole series history as well as the introduction of the second Casa Amor villa, Series 3 was when Love Island truly arrived.
The chaotic drama was brought in the form of hall of fame islander Olivia Attwood, who is still getting her own spinoff reality series’ to this day. But there was also genuine love in the air in the summer of 2017, the relationship between Camilla Thurlow and Jamie Jewitt managed to melt even the stoniest of hearts. Series 3 has rightly earned its reputation as top-tier Love Island.
1. Series 5 (2019)
The anticipation going in Love Island UK Series 5 was enormous. The show was at its peak of popularity and viewer’s expectations seemed impossible to meet. Somehow they were surpassed. Series 5 of Love Island has everything you could possibly want in a reality show. Loveable characters? Check. Hilarious moments? Double-check. Over-the-top drama? Triple check.
The Series 5 highlights reel could be hours long as there are so many iconic moments deserving of recognition. No-nonsense Maura Higgins is the undisputed Queen of Love Island and watching unlucky-in-love Amy Hart get completely heartbroken by ballroom dancer Curtis Pritchard was genuinely tear-inducing. If you only watch a single series of Love Island UK, make sure it’s Series 5.
- Read next: The best streaming devices
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.