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The Best Jigsaw Puzzles for Leisure Time

two hands looking through jigsaw puzzle pieces
New Africa/Shutterstock

For those looking to maintain or forge a new hobby, collecting and completing jigsaw puzzles is a rewarding way to spend your downtime. You can have full control over the difficulty and intrigue of the puzzle you want to create. It’s up to you if you want to frame that 20-by-16-inch view of the Cape Code shoreline or scramble it and start from scratch a week later. Moreover, jigsaw puzzles keep our minds stimulated, bringing forth problem-solving skills and strengthening our hand-eye coordination. If you’re in the market for a new jigsaw puzzle, here are a few options that we recommend.

Put All the Pieces Together First

Consider these factors ahead of your next purchase:

  • Degree of Difficulty: A key factor when purchasing your next jigsaw puzzle is understanding who it is for, because the higher the puzzle piece count, the harder it tends to be. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re the type to invite a hard-earned challenge. Understand that any jigsaw puzzle above 500 pieces is for those who know their way around lost corners, while sets with 50 or a few hundred pieces are for beginners and intermediate users.
  • User-Friendly Materials: On the topic of puzzle pieces, it’s also important to consider what your puzzle is crafted from. This is a question of durability, toxicity, and easy usage. If you’re buying for a seasoned puzzler, then you’re going to want a jigsaw puzzle that’s built to last repeated uses, so seek out sets that use high-quality and hardened materials that won’t wear or bend easily. If you’re buying for children or senior puzzlers, you should also consider how environmentally friendly that material is and if it’s simple enough to snap in and out of place.
  • Imagery:  Finally, a good jigsaw puzzle is only as special as the picture you’re attempting to piece back together. You get to decide if you want to recreate the Golden Gate Bridge, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, or a beach along the island of Cozumel. There’s plenty of scenery to choose from out there, so pick one you can get lost in.

Best Overall: Buffalo Games Cinque Terre 1,000 Piece Puzzle

Starting our list is an option for the more experienced jigsaw puzzle crowd. With 1,000 pieces to its dreamy Cinque Terre landscape, this set offers its puzzlers a large-scale challenge as grand as the Italian coastline it paints. Each piece included here is made from a mix of high-quality and recycled materials and is precisely shaped to snap into place and fit soundly. The finished puzzle measures 26.75 by 19.75 inches and includes a bonus poster for reference while you work.

Best Overall

Buffalo Games - Cinque Terre - 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

This 1,000-piece puzzle offers users a worthwhile challenge in putting together a classic Italian coastline.

Best for Kids: MasterPieces Kids USA Map 60 Piece Puzzle

If you’re looking to get your children in on the fun, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, this puzzle from MasterPieces also knows how to bring about an educational experience. Across 60 random-cut and state-shaped puzzle pieces, your child can snap together a 16.5-by-12.75-inch map of the United States of America. Each piece is made from thick recycled paper and soy-based inks, so it not only provides a tight interlocking fit but a child-friendly one as well. Additionally, puzzle pieces come with fun facts about the states they are cut from.

Most Unique Design: Bgraamiens 1,000 Piece Blooming Puzzle

Another advanced jigsaw puzzle that would make for a terrific piece of retro wall décor once finished, this 1,000-piece Blooming Puzzle from Bgraamiens is a worthy challenge for the puzzling crowd. Each jigsaw “petal” here is combined with at least two colors from a sea of vibrant hues. The completed puzzle is also unique, culminating in a large, 26.6-inch circle rather than the traditional square. While this may seem like a daunting task at first, users are ensured easy operation as the back sides of each puzzle piece are divided into categories via English letters (“A” and “B”). Users can reference these letters if they get lost or ignore them if they’re up to the challenge.

Most Unique Design

Bgraamiens Puzzle-Blooming Color-1000 Pieces Color Challenge Blue Board Round Jigsaw Puzzles

This jigsaw set offers seasoned puzzlers an intricate and vibrant option to spend their downtime making.

Best for Seniors: Active Minds 63 Piece Burano Island Puzzle

Of course, puzzles aren’t only intended for establishing your next hobby, nor are they pivotal learning tools for only children. Some jigsaw puzzles also serve as an important means of facilitating cognitive skills in seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Active Minds, an award-winning puzzle brand specializing in crafting products that aid in the process of easing the effects of dementia, offers users this 63-piece set depicting the narrow lagoon of Burano Island. Its rich illustration is a treat all its own, but it’s the easy assembly—from its tough plastic pieces to its guide assistance box frame—that makes a purchase here anything but puzzling.

Best for Seniors

Burano Island 63 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle by Active Minds | Specialist Alzheimer's / Dementia Activities & Games

Here's a jigsaw puzzle that's cost-efficient, highly durable, and perfect for seniors with cognitive disabilities.

Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »
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