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Best Christmas crackers for 2022: festive fun for the whole family

Add the perfect finishing touch to your festive dinner table with our roundup of the best Christmas crackers, as recommended by Mumsnetters.

By Madeline Littlejohns | Last updated Dec 2, 2022

Best Christmas crackers for 2022

No Christmas dinner table would be complete without a cracker at every place setting. 

With their noisy snaps, cheesy jokes, and little gifts they add the perfect bit of festive fun for everyone. And these days there are so many options to choose from.

Whether you’re looking for something classy and traditional, cheap and cheerful, or something a bit different, there’s a Christmas cracker out there for you this year.

Here are our picks for the best Christmas crackers to buy in 2022.

1. Best overall Christmas crackers: Kuckoo Build and Play Crackers

Kuckoo build and play crackers

Price: £18.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“Kuckoo Crackers are my favourite - especially the ones with a model to build inside. Keeps impatient people (adults in our case!) busy before the next stage of lunch!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user ApplesinmyPocket)

Not only will these crackers from Kuckoo look gorgeous on your festive dinner table, they’ll also keep your guests amused and entertained.

They have the tissue paper crown and joke that you’d expect from a Christmas cracker inside, along with a really fun building block model to make.

The models are all Christmas themed and include things like a snowman, Santa, and a Christmas tree.

Whether you’re spending Christmas with family or friends, everyone will love pulling these crackers and making up the mini models inside.

Key specs

  • Number of crackers: Six
  • Price per cracker: £3.15

Pros

  • Look lovely and festive on the table
  • Different toy to build in each cracker
  • Keeps the family entertained

Cons

  • Small parts not suitable for young children

2. Best budget Christmas crackers: Mini Bingo Christmas Crackers

Mini bingo crackers

Price: £5.99 | Buy now from Amazon

If your Christmas dinner is normally a busy, bustling affair then these budget-friendly mini crackers are a perfect option.

The small size means they don’t take up much room on the table and with 10 crackers in the pack there’s plenty to go round.

The crackers are brightly coloured and come with a snap, hat, and motto, along with everything you need to play some rowdy games of bingo.

Key specs

  • Number of crackers: Ten
  • Price per cracker: 60p

Pros

  • Bright, fun colours
  • Family-friendly game inside

Cons

  • Small size doesn’t look as impressive on the table

3. Best traditional Christmas crackers: Robin Reed Handmade Crackers

Robin Reed crackers

Price: £11.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“Check out the Robin Reed crackers on Amazon.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user CatsGoPurrrr)

With their festive shades of red, green, and gold, these crackers are the perfect addition to a traditional Christmas dinner table.

Each cracker contains a party hat, joke, trivia quiz, and fun gift. The gifts include things like yo-yos, playing cards, and magic tricks, making these crackers a great family-friendly option.

The decorations on the front of the crackers can also be taken off and hung on the tree, which is a really lovely detail.

Key specs

  • Number of crackers: Six
  • Price per cracker: £1.99

Pros

  • Look beautiful and festive
  • Fun gifts inside
  • Decorations on crackers can be used on the tree

Cons

  • Traditional style might not suit every taste

4. Best Fill Your Own crackers: John Lewis Community Garden Fill Your Own Crackers

John Lewis Fill Your Own Christmas Crackers

Price: £8 | Buy now from John Lewis

“Waitrose/John Lewis sell fill your own crackers that are ready assembled with hat, joke and cracker, you just pop the gift in and tie a bow around the unsealed end. I put a small gift in that I know will be appreciated/used by the recipient and then fill with wrapped sweets. You could just go with sweets if you can't be bothered to find gifts.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user orangenasturtium)

These pretty crackers from John Lewis are designed for you to add your own gifts, so you can really personalise them for your family and friends.

They already have a hat, snap, and motto, you just pop a surprise in each one.

These crackers are a great way to reduce waste at Christmas, as you can choose a gift that will actually be used and enjoyed instead of thrown away after the big day.

The crackers, hats, and mottos are also all recyclable.

Key specs

  • Number of crackers: Six
  • Price per cracker: £1.33

Pros

  • Lets you pick out your own gifts to include
  • Holly design is really festive

Cons

  • Takes more effort to organise than other crackers

5. Most fun crackers for families: Lakeland Racing Sheep Crackers

Price: £24.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“The racing ones are great, we get ours from Lakeland, no crappy gift but a game that can be played so much more fun between courses” (Recommended by Mumsnet user SuperFairy)

Don’t let the traditional red colours on these crackers fool you, they have something quite unexpected inside!

There are no mini screwdrivers or fortune-telling fish in these crackers. Instead you’ll find a wacky sheep racing game that the whole family will go wild for.

Once everyone’s pulled their crackers and found their sheep, they can race them along the included track by simply pulling them back and letting them go.

There are still a few traditional elements to these crackers as well though, like festive party hats and jokes to tell around the table.

Key specs

  • Number of crackers: Six
  • Price per cracker: £4.16

Pros

  • Unique, fun game inside
  • Comes with storage bag for the game

Cons

  • On the expensive side

6. Best reusable crackers: Crackers Ltd Reusable Tin Crackers

Crackers Ltd Reusable Crackers

Price: £29 | Buy now from Amazon

“Just seen these reusable tin Christmas Crackers. You can actually reuse them, saving money in the long run and also put what you want in them. So vodka for me, brandy for him and toys for the kids. Sorted!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user VinnieB)

These reusable tin crackers are a brilliant idea if you’re looking for something a bit different that you can bring out year after year.

Like you’d expect, they don’t come with a snap, but you do get a starter set of hats and jokes to pop in along with your own gifts and toys.

The cracker-shaped tins come in lovely festive colours with either a snowman or a santa design. 

Key specs

  • Number of crackers: Four
  • Price per cracker: £7.25

Pros

  • Reusable year after year
  • Eco-friendly
  • Can be personalised with your own gifts

Cons

  • Don’t have a snap like traditional crackers

7. Best crackers for after dinner fun: Who Am I? Christmas Crackers

Who am I crackers

Price: £9.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Add some extra festive fun to your family Christmas dinner with these novelty crackers.

Inside the box you get six elf headbands and twenty four ‘who am I?’ game cards for several riotous rounds of the fun guessing game.

The crackers themselves are fun and festive with two different red and white designs. They also contain the classic snap, hat, and motto.

Key specs

  • Number of crackers: Six
  • Price per cracker: £1.66

Pros

  • Fun game to play after dinner
  • Bright festive colours

Cons

  • Crackers themselves are quite basic

8. Best eco-friendly crackers: Robin Reed Woodland Flower Seed Christmas Crackers

Robin Reed Woodland flower seed Christmas crackers

Price: £17 | Buy now from RSPB

Nature lovers will adore these woodland Christmas crackers with their gorgeous outdoorsy design.

The crackers come with a party hat, bird facts, jokes, and a packet of flower seeds. Green-fingered families will love discovering which of the three types of seeds they’ve got - cornfield colour burst annual flower seed, best for bees annual flower seed, or mini meadow wildflower seed.

Everything in the box is fully recyclable, including the box itself which is made from sustainably sourced paper and card.

Key specs

  • Number of crackers: Six
  • Price per cracker: £2.83

Pros

  • Eco friendly
  • Unique gift inside

Cons

  • Manufacturer’s recommended minimum age is 12

9. Best chocolate Christmas crackers: Hotel Chocolat table cracker

Hotel Chocolat table cracker

Price: £5 | Buy now from Hotel Chocolat

Is a Christmas dinner really complete without a bit of chocolate after pudding?

These classy crackers from Hotel Chocolat have three festive chocolate figures inside which is just enough to satisfy that need for something sweet.

The crackers also come with a golden paper crown and classic Christmas cracker joke.

Key specs

  • Number of crackers: One
  • Price per cracker: £5

Pros

  • Delicious chocolate inside
  • Alcohol-free so suitable for all ages

Cons

  • Quite expensive

10. Best alcoholic crackers: Fever-Tree Sipsmith London Dry Gin and Indian Tonic Water Cracker

Fever-Tree Sipsmith London Dry Gin and Indian Tonic Water Cracker

Price: £8.50 | Buy now from John Lewis

It might not come with a snap and a cheesy joke, but this Fever Tree cracker will still be a bit hit with your grown up guests this Christmas.

The pretty cracker-shaped box contains a 5cl bottle of Sipsmith London Dry Gin and a 150ml bottle of Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water. Just perfect for an after dinner drink.

And there is a little nod to the traditional cracker with a Christmas party hat inside each box.

Key specs

  • Number of crackers: One
  • Price per cracker: £8.50

Pros

  • Lovely table gift for adults
  • Could also be used as a stocking present

Cons

  • Expensive for a cracker

What do you put in a fill-your-own Christmas cracker?

The beauty of a fill-your-own cracker is that you can fill it with whatever you like - anything that fits is fair game.

Scratch cards, wrapped sweets, face masks, and alcohol miniatures are popular with Mumsnetters, but you could also add keyrings, jewellery, stationery, stickers or even a reusable party hat

For children, Mumsnet users recommend Hot Wheels cars, Playmobil people, Lego figures, sparkly hairclips and sweets.

How to buy the best Christmas crackers

The best Christmas crackers are both fun and eco-friendly. Look for recyclable card and minimal plastic. Crackers with games you can keep and play again are great value, minimise waste, and will provide after-dinner entertainment too. 

What are the most eco-friendly Christmas crackers?

The most eco-friendly Christmas crackers are ones that you can reuse each year, like the Crackers Ltd reusable tin crackers on our list.

If you want a more traditional cracker though, look for one that is fully recyclable and made from sustainable materials. The Robin Reed woodland flower seed crackers on our list tick these boxes and look lovely too.  

What are the best Christmas crackers to buy?

We love the Kuckoo build and play crackers and have picked them as our best overall Christmas crackers for 2022 because they look great and provide a fun activity to keep the family entertained beyond dinner time.

How we chose our recommendations

We have thoroughly researched and weighed up the pros and cons of the different types of Christmas Cracker that you can buy in 2022 and picked out the best ones for you. Our research includes tried and tested experiences from a wide range of reliable, trusted sources. 

Here is how we carefully pick out the best products.

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which Christmas crackers discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their own families. We compiled a list of the crackers they recommended for being good value and great quality.

Expert opinions

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which Christmas crackers had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media. 

Authentic customer reviews

Finally we visited a mix of retailer sites and read the reviews there, to find out what real people thought of the different options.

Having collated all that information, we picked the crackers we thought would make the best buys in several categories.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

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