What are the best jigsaw puzzles? In the market today, some of the best puzzle brands must maintain interesting images for the puzzles to sell. The best jigsaw puzzles will start with a clear, sharp, attractive image. The image will be large enough on the puzzle box and/or it will have a poster inside. The box will be firm and sealed with plastic to avoid loss of pieces and to protect the image cover. The box design must be very sturdy to keep the puzzle pieces safe. The details on the box will state the artist, number and piece shapes and the size the puzzle measures when completed. The pieces inside the box will be in a sealed bag. Most premium puzzles will have little puzzle dust from the cutting manufacturer. The pieces will not be cut loose. That’s in a perfect world.
Puzzle quality is HUGE these days. The good news is, the market is now flooded with a plethora of jigsaw puzzle brands.
There were a lot of different jigsaw puzzle brands opened during the pandemic. There are so many top brands these days, it’s difficult to decide on just one. The most popular brands remain the most preferred brands. A 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle is most common among adults. Many seniors prefer 500-piece puzzles. Many puzzle enthusiasts have a large collection of jigsaw puzzles. While there is room in the market for 3D puzzles, they are not common among the majority of puzzlers.
When trying a puzzle for the first time, be sure to choose an image that is not too ‘busy’. The number of pieces does not determine the skill levels. A 500-piece puzzle can be more difficult than a 1000-piece puzzle. Some of the most popular jigsaw puzzles these days have what we call ‘very busy’ images. Those types are not for first timers.
Jigsaw puzzles are a huge market in the United States, especially during the pandemic in 2019 - 2021. Today, more than ever, it is very important to have high-quality puzzles due to competition. If you go to an 'all' jigsaw puzzles store, be prepared to have a difficult time selecting just one. Some companies will open their puzzle warehouse for people to shop. The ‘silver lining’ about all the companies that started since the pandemic, is puzzlers having a fantastic array of image choices. WerkShoppe is one such company.
The question of how to count puzzle pieces is very common. Counting individual pieces does not mean there are no missing pieces. Even the best jigsaw puzzle brands can have missing pieces. The piece count of a puzzle cannot be determined easily if the cut is random. Many puzzlers like random cut puzzles better than grid/ribbon cute puzzles. The only true way to know how many pieces are in the puzzle is to contact the puzzle company or the cutting manufacturer. They will know by the cutting grid used. BUT, they won’t know if there are any missing pieces. Often brand new, sealed puzzles are purchased with missing pieces. That's a fact!
There are a few puzzle companies that will turn a customized photo into a jigsaw puzzle. That makes for a perfect gift, as Puzzlers love to get new jigsaw puzzles in the mail. It can be tricky to get a photo turned into a good quality jigsaw puzzle. It is best to contact the company and have them confirm your photo will turn into a clean, sharp puzzle image.
Not all jigsaw puzzles are high quality. What for these pointers when purchasing your first puzzle:
For the best jigsaw puzzle brands, you will likely pay top dollars. The average price range of jigsaw puzzles these days are now $20-30 dollars. However, the majority of jigsaw puzzles are medium to good quality except for the really lower priced which tend to use very thin board and very little variation in the cutting style. They offset that low quality with fantastic images!
Puzzle companies may use a few puzzle cutting manufacturers before they settle on any one specific company. Quality control is a vital part of the cutting process, as the sharpness of the blades will determine the level of puzzle dust. It’s possible to have a great quality cut on one puzzle image and a poor cut on another of the same image. One gets the sharp blade, the other gets the not-so-sharp blade.
Most puzzles are contained in a plastic bag inside the box, and maybe only 10% do not use plastic bags. Many jigsaw puzzle companies will put an image of the puzzle shapes on the outside of the box, which helps determine if the puzzle cut is random or grid-like cut. It is not uncommon for a puzzle company to switch up the type of cut used, therefore the same company can use random or ribbon cuts on their products.
If you are searching for a specific puzzle image or brand, use this example, """1,000-piece puzzle""" in the Google search box to get the quickest results. Using the quotations will minimize the number of returns, but the information returned will be more focused to your search.
If you want a good deal on jigsaw puzzles, take a look at your local Thrift Store. Sometimes you can get brand new sealed puzzles at bargain prices. Often Spring cleaning sees an increase of puzzles at the Thrift Stores, like the ‘new-unwanted’ Christmas puzzle presents. Don’t forget to check local online markets. Puzzlers looking to offload their collections in bulk prices can be found there. Another ‘market’ for bargain puzzles is church/fundraisers.
Cobble Hill puzzles is a Canadian-owned company founded in 2005, with high-end images and quality jigsaw puzzle pieces. There are a great many Canadian art prints to decide upon. The company uses a linen finish on their puzzles and poster, so no glare. The cut is random shapes. The variety of piece size comes in small, medium and large. They sell easy handling pieces for seniors and graduated-cut pieces for family puzzles. They produce some of their images ‘in-house’. Their puzzles are cut by puzzle manufacturers in the USA. Cobble Hill Puzzles Amazon Store
White Mountain puzzles is another ‘big name’ for puzzle brands. The company is located in Jackson, NH in the White Mountain National Forest since 1978. This family-owned business is known for their great customer service, good quality products and the artistic theme that puzzlers are familiar with. White Mountain Puzzles Amazon Store
Buffalo Games puzzles, situated in New York since 1986 boasts 30+ years experience in the puzzle/gaming industry. Their products are good and are one of the few companies to take on the series by Ron Silvers, known as phototmosaics. Buffalo Puzzles Amazon Store
Ravensburger puzzles started in Germany back in 1883. Since then the company has offices set up state-side too. The cutting pattern is grid-ribbon like and the quality is good. They cut their own puzzles with what they refer to as their ‘unique soft-click- technology. Ravensburger Puzzles Amazon Store
Springbok puzzles are known for its unique shaped cut, and its thick pieces. Due to the thick pieces, sometimes the pieces can be so tight, it is difficult to connect them together. The thick pieces tend to keep the pieces from being cut too loose. Since 1963, “Springbok puzzles have been known for high quality pieces that interlock and state-of-the-art lithography.” Springkbok Puzzles Amazon Store
Taken from tate.org.uk to explain the art term: “Lithography is a printing process that uses a flat stone or metal plate on which the image areas are worked using a greasy substance so that the ink will adhere to them by, while the non-image areas are made ink-repellent.”
A well known brand in the UK is Gibsons puzzles. The website states in 2019 they marked 100 years since the founder, Harry Percy Gibson formed H. P. Gibson & Sons Limited. Gibsons games have been selling good quality jigsaw puzzles for 102 years. They are truly a family orientated business. Gibsons Puzzles Amazon Store
Another very popular brand is the New York Puzzle Company. It was founded in 2007 by two college pals, who came up with the idea of making a puzzle of the iconic NYC subway map. That idea expanded into producing products from serious art images that may be appreciated on the wall. They have good quality puzzles and packaging. New York Puzzle Company Amazon Store
Piecework puzzles was started by two women puzzler-preneurs in July 2019 just before the pandemic. Rachel Hochhauser and Jena Wolfe are in partnership at Pieceworks Puzzles. It started with a dusty old puzzle found in a remote cabin and snowballed into some of the most elegant puzzle images on the planet. They have well-deserved and huge social media reviews.
The Blue Kazoo puzzle company is founded by Abraham Piper and Josh Sowin. Their brand images include fine art, earth, galaxy, gradient, impossible and solid colour puzzles. The website is filled with fun antics too. Blue Kazoo Puzzle Amazon Store
Many puzzlers may have an artist that is a personal favourite, or they are an art fan. Just as many do not pay any attention to whom the puzzle artist is. Artists may license their image for 2-3 years with one company, then take on a new company license the next year. Fine artists like Claude Monet can be found on Eurographics Puzzles and Wentworth wood puzzles.
Pressman Toy Company sells Ken Duncan Panographs which are photography images made into jigsaw puzzles. It may be difficult to find them anywhere else. https://www.pressmantoy.com/product/images-of-america-wistful-waters-panoramic-puzzle/
There are three feature artists in the Puzzle Hobby Magazines. The Christmas Issue features puzzle Artist, Lori Schory. The New Year's Issue features Artist, Greg Giordano. The Valentine Issue features Rose Cat Khan.
These days, most wooden jigsaw puzzles are cut with lasers. Many puzzle makers are using computer images with cutting machines. There are a great many puzzle lovers out there who have never tried a wood cut puzzle. There is a distinct difference to assembling a wood jigsaw puzzle. The puzzler does not slide pieces or puzzle sections into the working puzzle. The wood pieces need to be dropped in from directly above. It takes a slight adjustment for that, but the available options for wood puzzles easily offsets that.
Wentworth Wood puzzles is an icon for the wood puzzles with their whimsy unique shapes however, current computer-imaging and laser-cutting machines makes the wood cut puzzles so much more competitive. The design cuts are as endless as the unique images being created. Wentworth Puzzles Amazon Store
In North America, children start playing with puzzles in the form of toys to develop motor skills. There are puzzles cut for all family members to assemble together, known as graduated pieces. The puzzle cut pattern has extra large pieces starting on one side for the younger children, and the pattern ‘gradually’ gets smaller to the opposite side. That way, the smaller children can assemble one side and the adults can assemble the other side.
Several puzzle companies have now branched out to family cut products.
A good reason to do jigsaw puzzles is for your own mental health. There are many medical science reports indicating the benefits for the brain while assembling a jigsaw puzzle. While the benefits are drug free, jigsaw puzzling tends to draw many new puzzlers into a long term hobby.
Sign up for the newsletter with your preferred puzzle company, so you know when new items are going to be available. Frequently, when you sign up for a jigsaw puzzle email newsletter, you can get a 10-15% discount on your next purchase.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - With her self-published book and over 300 jigsaw puzzle reviews, Linda has established herself as a prominent social media marketing influencer and jigsaw puzzle-preneur. If you want to send Linda a quick message, visit her contact page here.
I have listed some of the top quality or the best jigsaw puzzle brands for adults in 2022 below. All the brands listed below with the checkmark means I have assembled their brand personally myself. There are a couple there that I have not sampled but have not heard any negative feedback.
Keep in mind, these are my personal opinions. If you scroll quickly down the page, you will see I have a lot of different jigsaw puzzle brands within my hobby. And this list is far from complete.
I will give you a brief explanation of the way I rated them. First, I have broken the rating down into 4 Groups which I consider to be the main features of a Great-Good-Medium to Low jigsaw puzzle brands. Each lists 8 details of 'pros and cons'. The details are general observations, as puzzle companies tend to change manufacturers, which can make a huge difference in quality board and cutting to thickness and style. So there is a lot to consider.
Best Jigsaw Puzzle Accessories
GREAT = 1
GOOD = 2
MEDIUM = 3
LOW = 4
Overall Rating: 1 = Great, 2 = Good, 3 = Medium, 4 = Low
✔️ Rate Brand Example Country Website
✔️ 2 Bits and Pieces USA https://www.bitsandpieces.com/
✔️ Bgraamiens Jigsaw Puzzles N/A
✔️ 2 Castorland Poland https://www.castorland.pl/en
✔️ 2 Ceaco USA https://www.ceaco.com/
✔️ 2 Clementoni Italy https://www.clementoni.com/en/the-catalogue/puzzles/
✔️ 1 Cloudberries UK https://www.cloudberries.co.uk/
✔️ 1 Dowdle Folk Art USA https://www.dowdlefolkart.com/shop/
✔️ 1 eeBoo USA https://shop.eeboo.com/c/our-products_puzzles
✔️ 1 Educa Borras Spain https://www.educaborras.com/pages/home/language:eng
✔️ 1 Eurographics Canada https://www.eurographicspuzzles.com/
✔️ 1 FX Schmid USA https://www.ravensburger.com/start/index.html
✔️ 3 Gibsons UK https://gibsonsgames.co.uk/puzzles/
✔️ 2 Great American Puzzle Factory USA https://www.facebook.com/pages/Great-American-Puzzle-Factory/117987978248283
✔️ 2 Hennessy Puzzles USA https://hennessypuzzles.com/
✔️ 1 Heye Germany https://www.heye-puzzle.com/
✔️ 2 House of Puzzles Scotland https://www.thehouseofpuzzles.com/
✔️ 1 Jacarou Puzzles (by Anie Maltais on FB) Canada https://www.jacaroupuzzles.com/
✔️ 2 Jumbo (and Falcon) Netherlands https://www.jumbo.eu/en/products/puzzles/
✔️ 3 Karmin Group Canada https://karmingroup.com/karmin-international/
✔️ 2 Masterpieces USA https://www.masterpiecesinc.com/
✔️ 3 Mega Puzzles USA/Canada https://megapuzzlesandgames.com/
✔️ 3 Melissa and Doug USA https://www.melissaanddoug.com/melissa-doug-childrens-puzzles?topcat
✔️ 2 Milton Bradley USA Link - N/A
✔️ Playful Pastime Canada https://playfulpastimes.com/
✔️ 1 Piatnik Austria https://www.piatnik.com/
✔️ 1 Pintoo Taiwan https://www.pintoo.com/index.php
✔️ 1 Pomegranate USA https://www.pomegranate.com/puzzles.html
✔️ 2 Spilsbury USA https://www.spilsbury.com/category/jigsaw-puzzles
✔️ 1 Springbok USA https://www.springbok-puzzles.com/
✔️ 2 Standout Canada N/A
✔️ 1 Sunsout USA https://www.sunsout.com/
✔️ 4 Sure Lox (TCG) Canada https://www.tcgtoys.com/#section-10
✔️ 2 Trefl Poland https://sklep.trefl.com/en/puzzle.html
✔️ 2 Vermont Christmas USA https://www.vermontchristmasco.com/category/jigsaw-puzzles
✔️ 2 Waddingtons (Hasbro) UK N/A
✔️ 2 Wasgij (Jumbo) UK https://www.wasgij.co.uk/
✔️ 1 Wentworth UK https://www.jigsaws.co.uk/
✔️ 1 White Mountain USA https://www.whitemountainpuzzles.com/
Wimberley Puzzle Company (not reviewed) https://wimberleypuzzlecompany.com/
✔️ 1 Werkshoppe Puzzles USA https://www.werkshoppe.com/
Wrebbit (3D puzzle)
Other Brands with limited information
✔️ 1 TUCO USA
Brand: WerkShoppe Puzzle
Title: Together We Can puzzle
Size: 19.25 x 26.625"
Read the review here