Puzzles can be a fun and relaxing way to pass the time either alone or with friends or family. Jigsaw puzzles have been around since the 1700s and haven’t lost much popularity since, despite our increased use of technology. In fact, many people now choose to play virtual puzzles when they don’t have the time or space for the real thing.
These days, puzzles come in many forms including 3D, flat, double-sided, educational, wooden, murder mystery, and more. Because there are so many different types of jigsaw puzzles, it can be hard to pick out the best ones for you and your family to enjoy. Lucky for you, we did some digging to find the best of the best jigsaw puzzles for anyone with some time to kill.
Throughout this article, we will discuss how we chose the puzzles that made our favorites list, give you reviews of the best jigsaw puzzles for different types of occasions and individuals, and go over how to choose the right jigsaw puzzle for you and your family in our handy buyer’s guide.
How We Chose Our Ratings
We decided that rating individual jigsaw puzzles on a 1-10 scale probably wouldn’t be as effective as picking our favorites categorically, so that’s what we did. Below you will find our favorites in the following categories:
- Just for kids
- Family fun
- 3D puzzles
- 1000+ piece
- Floor puzzles
We chose these categories to best highlight puzzles for the widest variety of individuals. When we subsequently chose our winning puzzles we did so through looking over customer reviews, looking at difficulty, and looking at whether or not it would be a good puzzle to either play again or keep in a collection in your home.
Best Jigsaw Puzzle Reviews
Now that you know a little bit about how we chose our ratings, it’s time to check out our favorite puzzles in each category. We know that you’re bound to love one of the puzzles on our list, and when you do, you can view that puzzle by clicking on “view product” below each puzzle’s name to find its price and purchase it for yourself or a family member.
Best for Kids: Melissa & Doug 12-Piece Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles in a Box-Vehicles
We love this puzzle set for kids because it’s a four-in-one option that will keep them entertained for hours. The puzzles are only 12 pieces each, which means even younger kids likely won’t get bored before finishing up one of the puzzles. We also love that this set features vehicles your kids are probably already familiar with from kids shows or books.
For the sanity of parents, these puzzles all fit conveniently into a box that is separated into four compartments, and your little one can put the puzzles together on top of the box, rather than taking up space at your kitchen table.
Best for Kids Runner Up: Ceaco 500-Piece Thomas Kinkade Disney Dreams Collection 4-in-1 Jigsaw Puzzle Set
If you have older kids who can handle a more intense puzzle experience, we recommend this Thomas Kinkade Disney set by Ceaco. Another four-in-one set that will keep kids and teens busy for longer than a single puzzle; this set is a beautiful interpretation of some of our favorite Disney movie moments.
The puzzles are from beginner to moderate difficulty, so you may even want to join your kids in putting together one of these puzzles. The one downside to this set is that each puzzle comes individually in a plastic bag that is not re-sealable, so once more than one puzzle is open, you’ll probably need to utilize zip-lock bags to keep the pieces separated.
Best for the Whole Family: Ravensburger 540-Piece 3D Earth Puzzle Ball
We love that this 3D puzzle set comes with sturdy pieces so they can survive the mouths of babies and toddlers, the abuse of young kids, and the frustration of parents all for as long as it takes to put the puzzle together. Once it’s done, you can keep your puzzle up as a fun globe and ode to your family’s fun time together.
Another thing we love about this puzzle is the precision fit of the pieces. You can actually hear the pieces click when they are placed together correctly, which makes this a great puzzle for beginners as well as more experienced puzzle players.
Best for the Whole Family Runner Up: Springbox Puzzles Sweet Tooth 500-Piece Large Jigsaw Puzzle
If your family would rather do a flat puzzle than a 3D version, we recommend this fun puzzle by Springbox Puzzles. It features some of your family’s favorite sweets in a fun way that gives older kids a challenge but can keep younger ones entertained as well. The puzzle is extra large at 23.5 inches by 18 inches, so it’s easy to see for the whole family and features larger pieces that are easier for little hands to hold.
We love that this puzzle is made in the USA of 100% recycled materials, and is thicker than your average puzzle for a more precise fit. Springbok also has a missing puzzle piece and no-hassle puzzle warranty that guarantees you will have complete satisfaction with your new puzzle.
Best 3D Puzzle Runner Up: CubicFun MCO74h The U.S. Capitol 132-Piece 3D Puzzle
What we like about this puzzle is the educational value that can go with the semi-simple puzzle design. This is a great puzzle for families with younger children who are new to the puzzle scene. It’s also great for kids who are learning about the U.S. government at school or who are preparing for an East Coast trip to see the capital.
This is a smaller puzzle than the other 3D puzzle on our list, but it’s still sturdy enough to withstand the abuse of the whole family. This would be a great puzzle to keep up after your initial build, but can also be fun to rebuild again and again if you so choose.
Best for Education: EuroGraphics 100-Piece The Solar System Jigsaw Puzzle
This puzzle by EuroGraphics is excellent for kids who are just starting to learn about the solar system. It’s only 100 pieces, which means that even kids as young as five could enjoy it without getting bored. The puzzle not only shows how close each planet is to the sun, but it also gives planet names, so kids are learning as they play.
We love that this puzzle is 100% recyclable and made from non-toxic materials in case a piece ends up in a little mouth for a moment. It is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and is made in the USA. This puzzle even talks about Pluto and its demotion to dwarf planet status, which is a great learning opportunity for your kiddos.
United States Puzzle for Kids – 70 Piece
This floor puzzle is our runner up for the best educational puzzle. We love that the pieces are shaped like the states so that kids can learn about geography while they play. Each piece includes national landmarks and state capitals for extra learning fun. The pieces of this puzzle are sturdy as well, so even your youngest family members can participate in putting it together.
We like a lot about this puzzle, but there are some downsides. Older kids and family members will likely find it a bit boring as they begin to understand geography much quicker than their younger counterparts. This is also a large puzzle, so it’s going to take up a lot more space than a simple tabletop puzzle would in your house.
Best Wooden Puzzle: National Parks of America 250-Piece Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle
We love that this puzzle is small enough for beginners but complex enough to thrill a more experienced puzzle master. This beautiful puzzle comes in a protective bag within its box to keep the wooden pieces safe. We also love that Wentworth puzzles includes “whimsy pieces” within each puzzle, which are cut into recognizable shapes like flowers, birds, or boats.
This puzzle is created from 3mm thick wooden board that is sustainably sourced, and the box that the puzzle comes in is made from recycled materials. The puzzle itself features some of America’s greatest National Park landmarks as well as the animals you’ll see when visiting those parks, so that it can be an educational experience for the whole family as well.
Best Wooden Puzzle Runner Up: BeginAgain Animal Parade A-Z Puzzle
This is a great puzzle for families with young kids. We love that each puzzle piece is the shape of an animal and that each animal features the letter of the alphabet that its name starts with to help kids put the puzzle together. It comes conveniently in a long box where it can be put back together to keep it contained without needing a table.
We love that this puzzle can be used as an additional toy set for kids since the thick wooden animals can be stacked in multiple ways and make great non-toxic playthings when they aren’t in puzzle form. This isn’t a challenging puzzle for the whole family, but it is one that the whole family can enjoy stacking in a variety of ways and watching youngsters learn with.
New York Puzzle Company – New Yorker Winter Weekend – 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
If you’re looking for a puzzle that will be challenging but acts as a rewarding collectible piece in the end, you’ll love this one by New York Puzzle Company. The company created a series of puzzles from famous old magazine cover pages. This one features a famous Vanity Fair cover from 1919 that will be challenging, but fun to complete.
We love this puzzle because it features a historical image that will work well in a puzzle collection if you choose to keep it put together, but that is also exciting enough to put together that you won’t be ashamed to put it together more than once. It is a little bit too difficult for younger kids, so this one is best for older kids and families.
Best 1000+ Piece Puzzle Runner Up: Amish Country by Charles Wysocki 300-Piece Puzzle
With a variety of colors and geometric lines, this puzzle is large, but not terrifying for non-puzzle masters. This puzzle is the largest on our list, and we love that it features a work of art by master painter Charles Wysocki. This is another puzzle that is made on recycled puzzle board in the United States. The precision cutting technique that Buffalo Games uses is a bonus as well.
Best Floor Puzzle: The Mitten’s Faces 24-Piece Floor Puzzle
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Another puzzle from the New York Puzzle Company, The Mitten’s Faces is a large floor puzzle that features the faces of the animals from the famous children’s book “The Mitten” by Jan Brett. This puzzle is perfect for young kids, especially as a companion to reading the book. It is 36” by 24”, which means your kids won’t have trouble putting it together alone or with your help.
We love that this puzzle connects to a reading opportunity for the family. We also love that it’s made in the USA and that kids as young as three can enjoy it with or without their families. The puzzle gets phenomenal reviews from customers as well.
Best Floor Puzzle Runner Up: Fire Truck 24-Piece Floor Puzzle
This fire engine floor puzzle is more than three feet long and is shaped just like a fire truck, rather than typical puzzle shape. We love that this puzzle features large pieces that kids three and older can enjoy. The fire truck is exciting for kids to see and build, and is a great learning experience for them. The shapes of this puzzle are simple enough for young kids with small hands as well.
Best Double Sided Puzzle: Galison Birthstones and the Zodiac 500-Piece Two-Sided Puzzle
This 20×20 double-sided puzzle is a fun way to enjoy a puzzle more than once. It gets great customer reviews and is a colorful wonder on one side with a deep blue sky-like opposite side. We love that this puzzle comes with an insert with information about the artist and images. We also like that this isn’t a huge puzzle so that it can be fun for the whole family.
For family safety, we love that this puzzle is made with non-toxic inks. It was also made with 90% recyclable materials. This is a fun way for kids to learn about different birthstones or for grownups to learn more about astrology. It’s a fun puzzle for the whole family to enjoy together.
Best Double Sided Puzzle Runner Up: Fallingwater Frank Lloyd Wright Double-Sided 500-Piece Puzzle
If you’ve got a budding architect or Frank Lloyd Wright lover in your family, this is a great puzzle option for you. At only 500 pieces, it’s a great option for the whole family. The puzzle features an image of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Fallingwater house on one side and the blueprints to the same house on the back. You can decide which side to put together depending on the level of difficulty you’re looking for at a given time.
How to Choose the Right Puzzle for You: A Buyer’s Guide
With so many options out there, we know it can be difficult to choose the best jigsaw puzzles for you and your family, but we have a few tips on making it easier for you to choose. First, you should ask yourself who would be interacting with the puzzle the most. Do you think this will be a family project or is it going to be primarily a project for your younger children?
Once you know the answer to that question, your puzzle options will be much more narrow. You’ll also want to consider difficulty level. Just because a puzzle is 1000 or more pieces doesn’t mean that it’s difficult. The same is true for 100 piece puzzles being easy. Some puzzles are just harder than others. Consider the number of colors, shape of pieces, and materials when deciding how hard a puzzle will be to complete.
Finally, you’ll want to consider if you’re a one and done puzzler, a collector, or a person who will do a puzzle over and over again. You’ll want to stick with a lower puzzle budget if you tend to only do puzzles once, but if you’re going to collect it or put it together again, you might be able to stretch your budget, and you’ll definitely want an image or shape that will appeal to you for a long time to come.