The best jigsaw puzzles offer one of the simplest pleasures that can be had, and they might be just what you need if you've had enough of whiling away hours at home watching TV or immersed in social media.
Jigsaws come with all kinds of themes, and in all sizes, but they don't always have the best finishes. There's nothing more frustrating than getting into a puzzle and finding that it's been badly cut or that there are pieces missing. To help you avoid that fate, we've done some research to dig out some of the best jigsaw puzzles from the most reputable companies.
The jigsaw puzzles below all feature beautiful artwork, a decent level of challenge to keep your brain cells fit and healthy while you unwind, and a quality finish. The availability of the best jigsaw puzzles often varies on each side of the Atlantic so we've split our guide in two, for the US and the UK, starting with the best jigsaw puzzles stateside (skip down to see the best jigsaw puzzles in the UK).
If you're looking for more entertainment to enjoy at home, make sure you also check out our guide to the best board games.
The best jigsaw puzzles: US
The Artist's Garden in Giverny is one of Claude Monet's most famous paintings, depicting, logically, his own garden. This large and beautifully produced jigsaw rendering of the impressionist classic is both inspiring and educational. It's made in the US with high quality recycled board and printed with vegetable based ink, making it an eco-friendly option too. It's a tough challenge due to the soft, diffuse impressionist style of the painting, but highly satisfying when you complete it.
Gustav Klimt's The Kiss is another great jigsaw based on a famous piece of art. The Kiss is Austrian painter Gustav Klimt's best-known work, and it's an inspired choice for a jigsaw puzzle design. Klimt's work, painted in 1907-8 during his 'Golden Period', is sumptuously exotic, fusing Art Nouveau with influences from the earlier Arts and Crafts movement. The many hues of lush gold make it an entertaining challenge even for experienced puzzlers.
Andy Warhol's pop art hit the sweet spot between high art and populism, and his 1970 Flowers series was no exception. This Andy Warhol Art Foil Puzzle is full of colourful details that make it a fun and challenging jigsaw puzzle suitable for both adults and children (aged eight and above). The 500 puzzle pieces are of good quality – thick and sturdy with a white matte finish on the back. A print is also included in the box.
If you're looking for the best jigsaw puzzle for kids, this offbeat puzzle should fit the bill. The cute, cheekily named Frida Catlo is inspired by the work of 20th century Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. The puzzle pieces come nicely presented in a 4. 25-inch diameter x 4. 75-inch tall storage tin that looks like a paint can, and the pieces are printed with no glare, non-toxic inks that are safe for children. This is a fun and original puzzle that kids (from age six and up) will love assembling and disassembling over and over.
If you're looking for a more challenging puzzle with more pieces than the average jigsaw, Ravensburger has a huge range, going all the way up to the largest puzzle in the world with a staggering 40,320 pieces. At 3,000 pieces, this African animals puzzle offers a more manageable option for the average living room. It's recommended for ages 14 and up, but the animal theme is sure to appeal to younger children too, even if the colours of the background make it a challenging puzzle to complete. This jigsaw is produced using Ravensburger's Softclick Technology, which means pieces should fit together seamlessly.
There are many Disney-themed jigsaw puzzles on the market, with artists offering endless interpretations of Disney's much-loved characters. However, for our money, this Disney All Characters puzzle from Tenyo is the most unique and inspired with its stained-glass style. It features hundreds of characters from 31 movies, the most recent being 2011's Tangled. Best of all, the puzzle's actually made from glass, making it a different experience from your usual jigsaw puzzle. It even comes with packets of glue so you can permanently seal and display the completed image if you wish.
From glass to wood, this colourful Unidragon wooden puzzle jigsaw is produced in Samara, Russian Federation. Unidragon's gorgeous wooden puzzle is quite small at around 8 x 8 inches, and has just over 108 pieces, but it's so pretty and well-constructed. The shape of each individual piece is inspired by marine life, adding extra interest to the process of building the puzzle, and the colours are super-vibrant. The puzzle comes in an attractive wooden box, which makes it a great gift idea.
The best jigsaw puzzles: UK
For adults who love art, this Lips jigsaw puzzle ticks all the boxes. Based on a sumptuous and evocative piece of art from the famed interiors and ceramics designer Jonathan Adler, it's a beautifully made jigsaw with pieces that fit together easily. The surreal design and repeating colours make it a challenge to put together, even for the experienced puzzler. High-quality packaging make this an excellent gift for a jigsaw or art fan.
Another one for art fans, this strikingly colourful Eurographics Keith Haring jigsaw puzzle features an iconic work of art by the late American pop artist Keith Haring. The pieces are well cut and have a glossy finish that brings the artwork to life. Although it's a well-known piece of art, the chaotic nature of Haring's work makes it quite a challenge to complete this 1,000 piece puzzle no matter how many times you attempt it.
Why settle for one Monet painting when you can enjoy two with this double-sided Monet jigsaw puzzle? Featuring a pair of Claude Monet’s classic Waterlilies paintings, one side is glossy and the other matte, which makes differentiating the pieces fairly straightforward. At 24 x 18 inches, the finished puzzle is a good size for a kitchen or dining room table. It offers a great challenge, or rather two great challenges, for the whole family to tackle together.
Animal lovers will adore the mix of beautifully illustrated scenes in this Amazing Animal Kingdom puzzle. Asian elephants rub shoulders with flamingos. Wolves watch over brown bears. It's a complex piece full of detail. Ravensburger's puzzles are known for their exclusive, extra-thick cardboard combined with fine, linen-structured paper, which creates a glare-free image, so this 2,000 piece jigsaw is premium quality too.
Kids are always fascinated by the solar system so they should love this solar system jigsaw puzzle. It's beautifully illustrated and scattered with scientific facts, such as the diameter of each planet, the orbital period and the distance from the sun. As well as the main planets, it also includes five dwarf planets: Eris, Makemake, Haumea, Ceres, and Pluto, making this jigsaw thoroughly educational as well as fun to complete. Note that this jigsaw puzzle comes in a tray, and the pieces sit in a frame, so there's no actual box.
No Disney fan will be able to resist this classic scene of the cute elephant Dumbo enjoying a bubble bath watched over by Timothy Q Mouse. Part of Ravensburger's series of Collector's Edition puzzles based on classic Disney films, this Dumbo puzzle also features other scenes from the film in a 'movie reel' section at the top of the puzzle. There are many Disney puzzles out there, but this is one of the cutest. It's the perfect gift for the Disney fan in your life.
Yunobi's small but perfectly formed wooden puzzles are beautifully crafted. They're made from formaldehyde-free Baltic birch, high-quality archive paper and a dyed protective layer offering a superior finish. There's a range of gorgeously stylised animal puzzles available. As well as the wolf pictured above), they make an owl, a dragon, an eagle, an elephant, a fox, and more. A lovely added touch is that the puzzle pieces themselves are shaped like animals and plants – how cool is that?