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12 best jigsaw puzzles for adults and kids

Caught the puzzling bug? Whether you’re a newbie to the scene, a seasoned puzzler or looking for some great puzzles for your kids, we’ve scoured the internet to find the best jigsaw puzzles in the UK. Fingers at the ready!

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Sep 20, 2021

Scattered jigsaw puzzle pieces

Jigsaw puzzles are having a moment. Days spent at home in lockdown brought the puzzler out in a lot of us as we discovered the soothing satisfaction of methodically fitting one piece of puzzle into another. It’s even had a positive impact on our mental health too.

And when it comes to dedicated dissectologists (that’s someone who does jigsaw puzzles, to you and me), Mumsnetters are flying the flag. The Talk boards are alive with puzzle chat, with many users discussing their favourites and sharing pictures of their accomplishments.

From new jigsaw brands to supermarkets, lots of retailers are getting in the game. So how do you know which ones offer the best entertainment and quality? After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than flimsy or ill-fitting pieces, or heaven forbid, missing ones.

With that in mind, we delved into the Mumsnet Talk boards, jigsaw puzzle blogs and online reviews. So, whether you’re looking for yourself, your kids or a loved one, our research will help you decide which puzzle could be a perfect fit.

Here are the best jigsaw puzzles for adults and kids for 2021.

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1. Best overall jigsaw puzzle: The World of Shakespeare, Laurence King Publishing

The World of Shakespeare jigsaw puzzle

Price: £11.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“It was very satisfying, lots of contrasting pieces and an interesting theme.” - Ulysses

This jigsaw puzzle was a real hit on the Mumsnet Talk boards and we can see why.

Award-nominated artist Adam Simpson has created a stunning, contemporary-looking panorama of Shakespeare’s England. The level of detail in the print is really impressive, with lots of different characters and scenes from the Bard’s plays for you to find once you’ve completed the puzzle.

It comes with a large poster so you don’t have to rely on the box for reference and on the reverse is some information on the characters that are hidden throughout the puzzle – great if your kids are studying Shakespeare at school. Users across the web also raved about the quality of the product, both in the standard of the print and the cut and heaviness of the pieces.

Challenging enough to suit a range of ages and abilities, but not too difficult that it’s off-putting, this is a great all-rounder.

Reasons to buy

  • Appeals to a wide range of ages 
  • Will keep puzzlers of different abilities happy 
  • Excellent quality, especially for the price 
  • Stunning artwork

Key specs

  • No. of pieces: 1000
  • Recommended age: 10+

2. Best budget jigsaw puzzle: Waterloo Station, Gibsons

Waterloo Station jigsaw puzzle

Price: £9.99 | Buy now from Ryman

“Jigsaws from Gibsons - love the way they tessellate, and they are a British company.” - Spababe

This jigsaw depicts Waterloo Station in two centuries. Each character and object is in the same position in the two pictures, but looks different according to the century it’s in. So, there’s lots to look at and learn from, which makes for an interesting puzzle.

It even includes an artwork picture - not bad for just under a tenner.

Gibsons is an established jigsaw maker and Mumsnetters have praised the colour definition of their puzzles and the quality feel. In fact, Gibsons claim their puzzles are made from the thickest board on the market, making this puzzle great value for money.

Gibsons’ green credentials make them another good choice – using 100% recycled board, FSC paper and vegetable-based inks, they’re putting sustainability high on their agenda.

Reasons to buy

  • Medium-level difficulty  
  • Great value for a 1000-piece puzzle from a reputable company 
  • A quality brand with an eco-friendly ethos

Key specs

  • No. of pieces: 1000
  • Recommended age: 14+

3. Best feel-good jigsaw puzzle: Gradient by Cloudberries

Gradient jigsaw puzzle by Cloudberries

Price £16.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Cloudberries do really lovely jigsaws... nice quality too.” - LetterFit 

“Love this one from Cloudberries. It's actually pretty easy to do, so long as you have good light.” fixyourgardengate

The focus here is less on challenge and more on intuitiveness - following the subtle changes of colour to build the puzzle. As such, it’s more of a mindful exercise. One Mumsnetter reported they found it very soothing.  

Once it’s completed, you’ll have a gorgeous spectrum of colour to admire. And if you feel like a bigger challenge, you can also buy the design in a 2000-piece version.  

Cloudberries puzzles have a real quality feel to them and the finished product is worthy of framing. The box is a work of art too. 

Its feel-good credentials are upped by the brand’s commitment to sustainability - they plant a tree in the UK for every puzzle sold.

Reasons to buy 

  • Intuitive puzzle that doesn’t require a ‘puzzling’ mind 
  • Stunning finished design 
  • Durable pieces withstand multiple dismantling and building

Key specs

  • No. of pieces: 1000
  • Recommended age: 12+

4. Best funny jigsaw puzzle: I Love the Country, Gibsons

I Love the Country jigsaw puzzle

Price £15.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Gibson’s ‘I Love’ puzzles are great fun to do. Lots of detail.”  - Greenteaandchives

“Another vote for Gibson’s I Love… jigsaws. I wouldn’t say they are difficult but they are fun to do. Lots and lots of pictorial jokes.” - LzzyHale

Artist Mike Jupp’s ‘I Love’ jigsaws delight puzzlers of all ages, thanks to their ‘the more you look, the more you see’ philosophy.

Mumsnetters love the little jokes that appear as you build the jigsaw. Some of the puzzles in this range can have a ‘saucy seaside’ element to them, so we’ve chosen this one as it’s slightly more suitable for younger puzzlers as well.

Gibsons is an established brand known for its quality pieces that fit together perfectly, so there won’t be any frustrating mismatches to spoil the fun. 

Reasons to buy

  • Lots going on in the picture so you’re likely to find something different each time you do it  
  • No blank areas
  • Good for the whole family
  • Trusted jigsaw brand known for its quality

Key specs

  • No. of pieces: 1000
  • Recommended age: 8+

5. Best 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle: Destiny 5 – Time Travel, Wasgij by Jumbo

Retro Destiny 5 - Time Travel puzzle

Price: £11.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I love the Wasgij puzzles and have about 20 of them. I’m doing them for the second time around.” - Originalyellowbelly

Ideal for those who like a challenge, Wasgij’s puzzles introduce another element of puzzling into the traditional format. Whether it’s working out what the characters are looking at or deducing what happens next, the picture on the box will not look like the finished puzzle.

Our pick is from the Destiny collection, where you have to imagine what the characters and scene will look like in the future. There are a couple of clues on the Wasjig website if you get stuck. 

According to user reviews, the quality of the pieces isn’t as good as some of our other featured puzzles, but for sheer entertainment and an added dimension of challenge, they’re hard to beat.

Reasons to buy

  • Great pick for entertainment
  • Offers a different challenge to conventional jigsaw puzzles

Key specs

  • No. of pieces: 1000
  • Recommended age: 12+

6. Best family jigsaw puzzle if you have older kids: The Bizarre Bookshop 2, Ravensburger

The Bizarre Bookshop 2 jigsaw puzzle

Price: £15.35 | Buy now from Amazon

“I love this chap’s jigsaws.”Haggisfish

No list of the best jigsaw puzzles would be complete without a Ravensburger. Here, thanks to the rave reviews of Mumsnetters, we’ve chosen one of Colin Thompson’s Bizarre Bookshop puzzles.

With lots of small details to enjoy, it’s a great one to do together. From cute characters hiding among the books to twisted book titles (remember Five Go Stockbroking?), there’s so much to admire and enjoy in this puzzle.

Ravensburger are known for their high-quality puzzles and this is reflected in the user reviews. Durable pieces, a precision fit and a glare-free surface are some of the reasons why puzzlers love the brand.

Reasons to buy

  • Lots of detail and jokes to uncover together
  • Puzzlers will love Ravensburger’s ‘Softclick Technology’ – i.e. the pleasing click you hear when you fit a piece into place
  • No single colour spaces so kids won’t get bored

Key specs

  • No. of pieces: 1000
  • Recommended age: 12+

7. Best 500-piece jigsaw puzzle: Space 3D jigsaw puzzle, Cloudberries

Space 3D jigsaw puzzle by Cloudberries

Price £16.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I LOVE Cloudberries puzzles.”Icebearforpresident

Mumsnetters’ favourite, Cloudberries, makes a second entry on our list with this cool 3D jigsaw. Great for space nerds or nostalgia fans, this stereoscopic, (where two versions of the same image from slightly different angles create the appearance of depth) retro artwork looks even cooler when you don the 3D glasses (included in the box).

Some users have reported that the 3D-effect makes the puzzle a little harder, so despite it only being 500 pieces, it will still give you a challenge. And you get a full-size poster too.

On top of that, Cloudberries puzzles have pleasingly thick pieces, with a matte linen surface so there’s no annoying glare. Not to mention that they use FSC-certified recycled cardboard and paper, gaining another tick from us.

Reasons to buy

  • A fun twist on a regular jigsaw puzzle
  • At 48.5cm x 34.5cm, it won’t take up much room if you’re short on space 
  • A highly rated company with good green credentials

Key specs

  • No. of pieces: 500
  • Recommended age: 12+

8. Best luxury jigsaw puzzle: Rainbow hand-shaped puzzle, Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler rainbow puzzle

Price: £23.55 | Buy now from Amazon

Jigsaw puzzles can be many things – funny, beautiful, tear-your-hair-out challenging, but we love this one because it looks and feels so grown-up.

It’s one of the more expensive featured products, but reviewers commented on the quality of the pieces and the artwork. The foil-stamped box and pieces only add to the finished puzzle’s gravitas. The box looks just as good as the puzzle – and wouldn’t look amiss as a coffee table accessory. 

It’s quite high on the difficulty level though. The pieces aren’t standard shapes, which adds to the complexity of the piece - something that has frustrated some reviewers.

Reasons to buy

  • Super-stylish puzzle
  • Would make a great gift for someone special
  • A good challenge

Key specs

  • No. of pieces: 750
  • Recommended age: Not specified, but we’d suggest 16+

9. Best photo jigsaw puzzle: My Ravensburger Photo Jigsaws

My Ravensburger photo jigsaws

Price: from £9.90 | Buy now from My Ravensburger

“Ravensburger are by far the best quality imo - the pieces are just much nicer and don't have that horrible paper backing.” - MegBusset

For the puzzler who has everything, why not get them a personalised jigsaw? 

We love that Ravensburger make their own personalised jigsaws. And they have a great range too – from a 24-piece picture of your pooch to a 2000-piece stunning landscape, it’s a fun way to treasure your favourite memories. You can even order a single jigsaw shape as a standalone piece, or lots of singles to create a unique interlocking collage of your favourite people and places.

And with Ravensburger’s expertise behind it, it’s no surprise that reviewers have praised the picture and quality of the finished products. It’s worth bearing in mind that the larger the jigsaw, the higher the cost, but for a unique gift we think it’s a great option. 

Reasons to buy

  • Good choice of jigsaw sizes and pieces – from 24 to 2000
  • Excellent choice of products
  • Established and trusted brand known for its quality

Key specs

  • No. of pieces: From 24 to 2000 
  • Recommended age: Dependent on design/difficulty

10. Best toddler jigsaw puzzle: Orchard Toys Giant Road Floor puzzle

Orchard Toys Giant Road floor puzzle

Price: £13.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“My son… loves the Orchard Toys road puzzle, which can be put together in different ways and forms a track for toy cars, etc.”  - Equimum

There’s a reason this jigsaw is a perennial favourite of parents. Not a puzzle in the traditional sense, kids can build endless variations of roads, which they can then drive their toy cars down, interacting with the busy street scenes as they go.

The pieces are easy to fit together and with bright colours and fun artwork, this is a visually appealing puzzle for little car fanatics.

Some reviewers have mentioned the pieces don’t fit well together on carpet, so it’s worth making sure you have a suitable area to put it on before you buy.

Reasons to buy

  • Comes in a box with a carry handle for easy storage
  • Encourages imaginative play
  • There are no wrong connections, so kids won’t feel frustrated
  • The pieces are interchangeable, making each playtime different

Key specs

  • No. of pieces: 20
  • Recommended age: 3+

11. Best jigsaw puzzle for art lovers: Louis Comfort Tiffany: Displaying Peacock, Flame Tree Publishing

Louis Comfort Tiffany: Displaying Peacock jigsaw

Price: £10.98 | Buy now from Amazon

“I did the 1000-piece Tiffany peacock jigsaw in lockdown – beautiful and fiendish.”KizzyWayfarer

This reproduction of Tiffany’s Art Nouveau stained-glass painting makes a real impact.

It includes an A4 poster for reference, which you might need to keep handy because many reviewers have stated it’s a challenge to complete. So if you’re looking for something easy, then it might not be for you. Some have also complained about the lack of variety of the pieces' shapes.

That said, once you’ve mastered it, the finished result is stunning and well worthy of a place on your wall.

Reasons to buy 

  •  Perfect for art lovers
  •  If you’re looking for a challenge

Key specs

  • No. of pieces: 1000
  • Recommended age: 13+

12. Best wooden jigsaw puzzle for adults: Autumnal Fox, Wentworth Wooden Puzzles

Autumnal Fox jigsaw puzzle

Price: £29.95 | Buy from Wentworth Wooden Puzzles

“The pieces are laser-cut wood, so fit together beautifully and they smell amazing.” - InMySpareTime

“Wentworth wooden puzzles - excellent quality, lovely whimsy pieces. Expensive, but make a nice present or treat for yourself.”Odile13

There are quite a few contenders for best jigsaw puzzle brand, but Wentworth, although pricey, seem to be up there among the Mumsnetters’ favourites.

We love this curled-up sleeping fox, with its beautiful autumnal colours. It features ‘whimsy’ pieces – pieces that have been cut into the shape of different objects, which in this case match the woodland theme of the puzzle. Not only do they mean you build the puzzle differently to a traditional one, they add to the challenge. There are also dissected corners and straight pieces within the middle of the puzzle, just to make it that little bit harder.

Reviewers love Wentworth for the quality look and feel of their products. The precision-cut pieces are made using wood from sustainable forests and they use recycled materials in their packaging too.

Reasons to buy

  •  It’s a unique jigsaw – the whimsy pieces add an interesting and fun element 
  •  Beautiful to look at – with remarkable detail on each piece 
  •  A quality product that makes a great gift or keepsake to treasure

Key specs

  • No. of pieces: 210
  • Recommended age: 12+

What to look for in a jigsaw puzzle?

Your wish list will obviously vary according to who you’re buying for, but here are some things to consider: 

  • Size of the completed jigsaw: Do you have a big enough space to build it?
  • Level of difficulty: Do you want something that’s going to challenge you, and therefore take longer, or an easier one that you could complete in an afternoon? More challenging jigsaws include all-one-colour puzzles, repeated patterns and those with irregular-shaped pieces. 
  • Number of pieces: Generally speaking, the more pieces a jigsaw has, the longer it will take you to do. If you’re looking for a puzzle for your child, for example, take into consideration their attention span when deciding how many pieces to go for.  
  • An image that pleases you: If you don’t like the artwork on the jigsaw, you’re less likely to complete it if the going gets tough. 
  • Shape of the pieces: Are you looking for standard shapes, or do you want something different, such as whimsies or puzzles with no edge pieces? 
  • Quality of the pieces: You’re looking for a thick piece to give you that satisfying clunk when you fit it in. The image should be high quality and not likely to peel at the sides. If you’re unsure about a brand, take a look at online reviews first to see what other puzzlers are saying.

What’s the best way to solve a jigsaw puzzle?

Most people have their own tried-and-tested methods of completing a jigsaw puzzle. But here are a few tips:

  • First, sort your pieces: straight edges, colours, patterns or details, and then, if you have the patience, each of those categories into shapes - this can save you a lot of time later on. Those plastic takeaway containers can come in handy here to keep all your pieces in. 
  • Building the edges first is the most common way to begin. And if it’s a standard-shaped puzzle, it’s your best bet, as it gives you a frame to work off. 
  • Once you have your frame, you can then pick a section of it to build on, using the picture as reference. Looking for pieces with easily identifiable details can help you place items faster. Larger blocks of the same colour can be more difficult, so try to focus on the more identifiable pieces first. 
  • Take a break! Sometimes when you’ve been staring at the same puzzle for hours you can no longer see the wood for the trees. Looking at it with fresh eyes can magically produce matches.

Are Ravensburger puzzles the best?

As a long-established brand, Ravensburger make some of the bestselling jigsaw puzzles around, and for good reason. Mumsnetters love the quality of the pieces and their incredible range.

However, as our research has uncovered, lots of new companies are snapping at their heels. Brands such as Cloudberries and Wentworth are gaining fans thanks to their innovative and high-quality products.

What is the best jigsaw puzzle?

For a solid all-rounder, we think The World of Shakespeare Jigsaw Puzzle is the best. Beautiful artwork, great quality and added elements of interest means it will appeal to a wide range of puzzlers.

For little ones, we’ve picked the Orchard Toys Giant Road Floor Puzzle, as it’s something they can do themselves without any supervision from an adult. And once they’ve completed the puzzle, they can start again with a different set up.

What is the best jigsaw puzzle storage?

We loved some of the Mumsnetters’ ingenious ways of storing their jigsaw puzzles, including placing a board across a bay window. Others use cork noticeboards, which prevent pieces from sliding and can be popped under the sofa when not in use.

A felt roll-up jigsaw mat is great if you’re short of space. Make sure you choose one that doesn’t crease when you roll it up so that your pieces stay put.

Other options include portable puzzle boards, which take the place of a table and include a cover to keep your pieces firmly in place when you need to move it. Some even come with built-in piece sorters or removable boards which allow you to build different sections.

How we chose our recommendations

A jigsaw might look great on the box, but you can’t tell how good it is in terms of entertainment and quality until someone has actually done it. So, we turned to the Mumsnet Talk boards to find out which puzzles they rated. And which ones they didn’t.

Then we looked at reviews from dedicated puzzle blogs, and expert and consumer reviews to find out their recommendations. Those that got the thumbs up from these sources made our list.

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