The 10 Best Jigsaw Puzzles

Updated June 02, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Jigsaw Puzzles
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We spent 37 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Not just for rainy days, jigsaw puzzles are both challenging and entertaining. Plus, they are now being recognized as an excellent meditative tool to help relieve everyday stress. With models ranging from complex to culturally current and relatively simple, you may even get the kids away from their smartphones for an hour or two. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best jigsaw puzzle on Amazon.

10. Aquarius DC Comics

Superhero fans will enjoy the retro Aquarius DC Comics, featuring a multi-character design that tests your superhero knowledge. It is quite difficult, though, as you mostly have to just deal with color fields to make the puzzle take shape.
  • makes good wall decor when finished
  • pieces don't snap together nicely
  • lots of cardboard dust in the bag
Brand Aquarius
Model 68005
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Springbok Tiny Treasures

With no two pieces alike, the Springbok Tiny Treasures offers a challenge for any level. The entire puzzle is made from 100% recycled materials using soy-based inks, so you don't have to worry about piecing it together with your children.
  • extra thick puzzle pieces
  • ideal for school age kids
  • some have shipped missing pieces
Brand Springbok
Model 33-20495
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Educa World Map

The Educa World Map is great for map collectors and geography buffs. It's also great to use with teenagers as a teaching tool, so they can learn about world geography as they have fun piecing the puzzle together. It includes countries, major cities, rivers, and more.
  • replace-a-piece code on the box
  • will take a long time to finish
  • image on the box is too small
Brand Educa
Model 14827
Weight 5.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Ravensburger Paradise Sunset

Create memories with family and friends putting together the Ravensburger Paradise Sunset, which is constructed of grained paper that ensures a glare-free picture. When fully pieced together, it is quite large at an impressive 109" x 75.5".
  • pieces are strong and won't break
  • comprised of 18000 pieces
  • not all pieces line up perfectly
Brand Ravensburger
Model 17824
Weight 18.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Artifact Puzzles Tyukanov Flying Bottle

The Artifact Puzzles Tyukanov Flying Bottle is actually made of thick and sturdy wood, which challenges hand-eye coordination more when putting it together. Combine that with the fact that it isn't terribly difficult and it's a great choice for young puzzlers.
  • can be completed in under 2 hours
  • good for alice in wonderland buffs
  • it's a bit on the small side
Brand Artifact Puzzles
Model pending
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Ravensburger World Map

The high-quality historic illustration of the Ravensburger World Map is full of intricate detail in a variety of shades and colors. It is a representation of an old world map, circa 1665, and has Spanish, English, and Latin script on it.
  • looks authentic when finished
  • very challenging for your mind
  • durable pieces never bend
Brand Ravensburger
Model 17054
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. John N. Hansen Life

Made for the true puzzle aficionado, the John N. Hansen Life is a feast for your eyes, with thousands of images spread out across 24,000 pieces, many of which are hidden. If you are looking for a puzzle that takes time and dedication, this is the one for you.
  • beautiful vivid colors and details
  • free replacement of any puzzle piece
  • no puzzle dust on the edges
Brand John N. Hansen
Model 13434
Weight 25.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Tenyo Disney DS-1000-764

Liven up your space with the unique Tenyo Disney DS-1000-764, which can be framed and hung in a window to create the effect of beautiful stained glass. It's the perfect gift for Disney buffs, as it includes a number of their most famous characters.
  • puzzle pieces are very stiff
  • stays together if lifted up
  • medium level difficulty
Brand Tenyo
Model DS-1000-764
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Artifact Puzzles Kevin Sloan Migration of Knowledge

If you are tired of flimsy cardboard puzzles that are easily damaged, then you'll appreciate the Artifact Puzzles Kevin Sloan Migration of Knowledge. It is made with thick laser-cut wooden pieces that won't be damaged no matter how many times you put it together.
  • quality made in usa
  • packaged in a pine wood box
  • has whimsical pieces incorporated
Brand Artifact Puzzles
Model pending
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. VARIOS Wildlife

Designed for the serious puzzlist who is looking for the challenge of a lifetime, the 33,600 piece VARIOS Wildlife is large enough to be a full wall display when finished, at 225 x 62 inches. It is made to be tacked in sections, with each pack being its own puzzle.
  • comes in ten packs
  • all pieces fit well together
  • crisp and vibrant image quality
Brand VARIOS
Model 16066
Weight 35.6 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

What Makes One Jigsaw Puzzle More Challenging Than Another?

The most obvious way to make a jigsaw puzzle more challenging is by cutting the pieces smaller. Imagine, if you will, a toddler's jigsaw, the pieces of which are meant to look gigantic. If those giant pieces had been cut 100 times smaller, then the puzzle as a whole would theoretically be considered 100 times more difficult to reassemble. In addition, a puzzle is considered more challenging if the overall picture is vastly made up of either one color, or a very crowded mix of similar objects.

The more identically-shaped pieces a puzzle features, the more trial and error it'll take to match those pieces with an appropriate mate. Manufacturers may throw in a curve ball by featuring several oblong, or even rectangular pieces. These straight-edge pieces will eventually fit into the puzzle, but they can't be locked in until a corresponding section is 99 percent complete.

If you're an enthusiast, perhaps you'd like to try a puzzle that is nothing more than a solid white rectangle (all shape and no shades). Or perhaps you'd like to try a puzzle with extra throwaway pieces; maybe a puzzle that's custom-made to confuse the eyes. Perhaps you'd like to try a puzzle that can only be solved by connecting the pieces vertically. Or perhaps you'd like to solve the world's largest jigsaw puzzle, which includes 551,232 pieces, and a border that runs 76 feet wide.

Jigsaw 101: A Beginner's Guide to Solving Any Puzzle

Every jigsaw puzzle is built around a basic frame, and this is a great place to start for any beginner. You can usually separate the puzzle's frame pieces by eyeing up their straightened edges. Beyond that, you've got four corner pieces (assuming the puzzle is in the shape of a quadrilateral), each of which is constructed with a right angle. The direction of each angle should tell you the corner in which each of these pieces belongs. Once you've settled that, you can begin to connect interlocking pieces until you've created a wraparound border.

You'll be able to identify where certain pieces should fit based on matching the colors of those pieces against the picture on the front of the puzzle's box. Certain puzzle boxes have been measured to scale, which means you can complete the puzzle, piece-by-piece, by using the box as a surface (almost like a paint by number). Keep an eye out for any pieces that are uniquely shaped. You can usually spot a corresponding piece for these without a lot of trouble.

Next, you'll want to start sorting similar pieces into piles (This'll allow you to work on specific sections of the puzzle, one-by-one). Do you notice any distinctive objects in the puzzle? How about any letters, or numbers? If you can spot these, you'll have a good idea of where to place any of the corresponding pieces.

As you start to interlock several pieces, you can place them in the puzzle's frame according to where they should fit. This way you'll have fewer pieces on the outside of the puzzle, and a clearer image of what you're still missing within. Going forward, the remainder of the puzzle should come down to a process of elimination. Mix and match those final pieces until your puzzle is complete.

A Brief History of The Jigsaw Puzzle

Early jigsaw puzzles, which were known as dissections, were originally used to teach geography in 18th-century England. These puzzles usually featured a map of either a country or a continent, with wooden pieces cut to represent the borders of each land.

The pieces of these wooden dissections were individually cut by a fretsaw. Both the jigsaw and the jigsaw puzzle were already in existence at this point, but manufacturers largely shunned the jigsaw method because it demanded creating puzzles out of cardboard, which was considered low-grade.

Cardboard jigsaw puzzles began to catch on during The Great Depression in America, as people with meager incomes came to appreciate the low cost, and manufacturers came to appreciate the inexpensive production.

Jigsaw puzzles became even more popular throughout World War II, with devotees competing to see who could solve a complicated puzzle the quickest. Soon after, large companies started to use jigsaw puzzles as a promotional tool. These puzzles, which were often given away for free, featured images of the company's logo (either that or some similar form of advertisement).

Today, there are traditional jigsaw puzzles, which still appeal to purists, and then there are progressive jigsaw puzzles (e.g., three-dimensional puzzles or puzzles that are built around an optical illusion, etc.), which are appealing as a result of their difficulty level. By and large, jigsaw puzzles remain in production because they represent a simple and entertaining way to distract oneself, or develop sharper problem-solving skills.



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Last updated on June 02, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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