Buying Guide for Puzzle Storage Mats
Why buy a puzzle storage mat?
Suppose you’re a puzzle lover, and you or your friends and family enjoy putting together puzzles regularly. In that case, a puzzle storage mat is a worthwhile investment—especially for larger puzzles that take more than a single afternoon to complete. Like puzzle tables, they allow you to safely store a partially completed puzzle without scattering the piece and undoing your progress; you don’t have to worry about re-assembling your puzzle each time you want to work on it. They’re particularly useful for those with limited space or who want to keep their in-progress puzzles out of reach of pets or children. Instead of clearing our workspace after each puzzle session or leaving the puzzle to take up floor/table space until it’s finished, you simply roll up the mat and store it out of the way until you’re ready to work on it again. And since puzzle storage mats come in various sizes, they’re a versatile option for puzzle enthusiasts of all levels.
What should you look for in a puzzle storage mat?
- Size: Puzzle storage mats come in different sizes to accommodate puzzle dimensions. Make sure to choose a mat that is large enough for the size of the puzzle you’re working on. A mat that is too small may not hold all the pieces of your puzzle, while a mat that is too large will not only take up more than its share of space but be difficult to handle.
- Material: Puzzle storage mats are typically made of felt or soft materials that provide a nonslip surface for the puzzle pieces. Look for a mat made of a durable material that will hold up over time and won’t tear or fray easily. Some mats also have an anti-slip backing that provides extra support and stability for your puzzle.
- Simplicity: Look for a puzzle storage mat that is easy to use and roll up. Some mats come with straps or ties that make it easy to secure the rolled-up mat, while others may have a built-in storage bag for added convenience. You may also want to consider a mat that’s easy to clean—either in the washing machine or by a simple wipe down—in case of spills or stains.
How do puzzle storage mats work?
Spread the mat on whatever surface you plan to do your puzzle, be it the floor, kitchen table, etc., and start putting it together directly on top of the mat. Once you’re done working on the puzzle for the day, stash any loose, unused pieces in the puzzle’s box, or the puzzle storage mat’s included bags or trays (if it came with any). Almost all puzzle mats come with a tube to help roll them up more evenly, and you may need to inflate the tube before storage. Once the tube is ready, you must roll up the mat around the tub with the puzzle still on it, securing it with the attached straps or ties. This keeps the puzzle pieces interlocked and prevents them from getting damaged or lost. Then, whenever you’re ready to work on the puzzle again, simply unroll the mat and pick up right where you left off.
Our Picks for the Best Puzzle Storage Mats
Lavievert Jigsaw Puzzle Roll Mat
With a unique anti-leaking design tube, elastic bands to secure the rolled-up mat, and an inflatable tube, this puzzle storage mat is perfect for puzzle enthusiasts of all ages.
Pros: If you enjoy working on puzzles but have limited space, this quintessential puzzle storage mat provides an excellent solution. Its soft felt material keeps your puzzle intact while you work on it, which is especially useful for larger puzzles that will take more than one day to complete. This mat is also large enough to hold puzzles of up to 1,500 pieces, regardless of shape. It’s easy to use and roll up, making it ideal for storage or when you need to move your puzzle to another location as well as smaller apartments or shared spaces.
Cons: Some customers reported issues with the inflatable tube that comes with this puzzle mat, which will reduce its effectiveness. Others found the included elastic band too flimsy for its assigned task and had to add extra ties to keep the puzzle pieces securely in place.
Bottom Line: If you’re a puzzle enthusiast short on space, this classic puzzle storage mat is an excellent choice. Whether you want to store your puzzle to work on later or even transport it to another location, this mat has you covered. It may necessitate a little extra care to keep your puzzle securely in place, but it will serve its intended task very well.
Newverest Jigsaw Puzzle Mat Roll Up, Saver Pad 46” x 26” Portable Up to 1500 pieces with Non-Slip Rubber Bottom and Smooth Polyester Top + Storage Bag, Foam Rolling Tube, 3 Hook & Loop Fastener Straps
Take your puzzles safe and organized on the go with this roll-up puzzle storage mat featuring a waterproof rubber bottom, smooth polyester top, foam rolling tubes, and a drawstring storage bag.
Pros: Made of high-quality neoprene material, this puzzle storage mat is durable and designed to keep your puzzle pieces organized and intact. The built-in outlines for different puzzle sizes and shapes offer a handy guide for helping you line up and place your puzzle edges, while the foam ends ensure they stay securely in place. The mat is also easy to roll up and store, and the nonslip rubber bottoms help to keep it from sliding around while you’re working on your puzzle. Three fastener straps and a drawstring bag for travel and storage come included with your purchase.
Cons: Some customers reported issues with the quality of the travel bag, namely the drawstring tearing after only a few uses. Others noted that the puzzle pieces might shift during the rolling up process, even with the foam edges, which may require redoing parts of the puzzle.
Bottom Line: If you’re a puzzle enthusiast who wants to work on your puzzles at your convenience without taking up too much space, the puzzle mat is an excellent investment. It’s made of high-quality material and offers more placement guidance than the average puzzle storage mat. While the cost may be a bit high, it’s still a worthwhile investment for its convenience.
Genovega Jigsaw Puzzle Mat with Sorter Trays
Make puzzle storage and transportation a breeze with this comprehensive set featuring a felt mat, inflatable tube, six sorter trays, and more.
Pros: Like all puzzle storage mats, this model allows you to work on your puzzle without taking up valuable table space and then quickly roll it up and store it when finished. That’s hardly the only benefit it offers, however. It has six sorting trays to keep the loose pieces organized and close at hand for a more efficient puzzle-solving process; you can use them to keep the unused edge pieces separated from the center pieces, for instance. Also included is a handy storage bag, making it easy to transport your puzzle anywhere. There are also some markings on the top of the mat, which make it easy to know where to place your puzzle pieces during the assembly process. And you get this entire set for a slightly lower price than average, giving you better bang for your buck.
Cons: You may find that the provided straps are too small to fit around the rolled-up puzzle and thus have to offer extra ties to keep the mat rolled up. The inflatable tube may also lose some of its air when the mat is rolled up, which might cause the puzzle pieces to come apart.
Bottom Line: This puzzle mat set makes for a convenient and useful gift for puzzle lovers, even with the potential hiccups involved with the inflatable tube. The sorting trays are especially helpful for sorting and organizing unused puzzle pieces, while the storage bag keeps everything more securely together.
Buffalo Games Roll-Up Puzzle Mat
Experience an easy puzzle storage solution featuring an expandable tube, premium felt material, and Velcro straps, all at a nice low price.
Pros: This puzzle mat comes rolled up nice and small, making it easy to store until needed. It keeps puzzle pieces together and in one place, making it perfect for those with limited space or who want to work on puzzles in different locations. You shouldn’t have any issues transporting partially completed puzzles or any pieces falling out. The collapsible plastic tube doesn’t require inflating, which will save you time when stashing your partially completed puzzle, and you won’t have to worry about it losing air in storage. The markings on the mat make it easy to know where to put your puzzle pieces, and the felt material helps keep the pieces in place. Perhaps most notable is this puzzle mat’s low price tag.
Cons: Some customers have noted that the mat tends to slide around on the table, making it easy for puzzle pieces to accidentally slide off the mat as you put your puzzle together. Additionally, the felt material can attract pet fur, dust, and debris, making it difficult to keep clean.
Bottom Line: There’s no reason to pay for more expensive puzzle storage mats with all the trimmings, especially if you’re not a frequent puzzle user. This compact and convenient mat provides all the usual benefits of a puzzle storage mat without a higher price tag.
Genovega Jigsaw Puzzle Mat - 3000 Pieces
Unleash your puzzle passion with this extra-large puzzle roll-up mat kit that boasts the ability to hold up to 3000 puzzle pieces at once.
Pros: This puzzle mat is a great investment for those who love larger puzzles with more pieces and want to work on them in different locations without worrying about losing pieces or the puzzle falling apart. It’s capable of supporting puzzles that contain up to a whopping 3,000 pieces, making it large enough for just about any puzzle on the market. The quality felt material helps keep the pieces securely in place, while the included storage bag allows you to transport and store the mat more easily when rolled up. The outlined markings on the mat make it easy to know where to put your puzzle pieces, and the mat’s lower price tag makes it a great value for the money. With its built-in trio of straps and ability to accommodate larger puzzles, this puzzle mat is a great choice for anyone who enjoys trickier, higher-quantity puzzles and is after a hassle-free solution for working on them over several days.
Cons: Some have reported that the mat doesn’t always lie perfectly flat and that the pump for the inflatable tube is not the most methodical model; it tends to take longer to blow up the tube, so storing your puzzles in this mat is not as quick and efficient as it could be. Additionally, the mat often doesn’t work well on carpeted floors.
Bottom Line: The more pieces a puzzle has, the more likely you’ll have to spend more than one day working on it. If you’re a fan of puzzles with a thousand pieces or more, this puzzle storage mat will be perfect for your needs.
Puzzle storage mats are a practical and convenient solution for anyone who enjoys working on jigsaw puzzles. With their space-saving design, puzzle storage mats allow you to keep your puzzle organized and protected between sessions and make it easy to pick up right where you left off.