Take a Break From Endless Scrolling With One of the 8 Best Puzzles
The quarantine trend is here to stay.
Published Sep 8, 2021 8:28 PM
Whether it’s for quiet relaxation time or simply to take a much-needed break from endless scrolling, there’s nothing quite like a good puzzle. The pastime made a swift comeback during the pandemic—Food52 saw an 800 percent increase in searches for puzzles in March 2020 compared to the prior year, and many suppliers struggled to keep up with demand—but unlike Houseparty hangouts and our fleeting obsession with sourcing sourdough starter, this is one quarantine trend that’s here to stay.
The latest fleet of design-led jigsaw puzzles look more like works of art than the tattered box you’d find in a vacation rental. In fact, Jiggy sets come with a tube of glue and a straight-edge tool to turn your creation into a framable masterpiece (no artistic flair required). Ahead, we’ve curated a few of our favorites—from the likes of Dusen Dusen and East Fork—to help you find the best puzzles, whether you’re looking for a 1,000-piece brainteaser or a quick and easy find for the littlest member of the family.
- For the design lover: Areaware Dusen Dusen Pattern Puzzle
- For summer vacation: Piecework Buns Out Puzzle
- For New Yorkers: New York Puzzle Company Jigsaw Puzzle
- For the road tripper: Cavallini Papers & Co. National Parks Map Puzzle
- For the budding artist: Jiggy for Anthropologie Puzzle and Glue Set
- For kids: Cucú Watermelon Wooden Puzzle
- For the traveler: Slowdown Studio Puzzle
- For the avid ceramist: East Fork Puzzle
Our Top Picks
For the Design Lover: Areaware Dusen Dusen Pattern Puzzle
For Summer Vacation: Piecework Buns Out Puzzle
For New Yorkers: New York Puzzle Company Jigsaw Puzzle
For the Road Tripper: Cavallini Papers & Co. National Parks Map
For the Budding Artist: Jiggy for Anthropologie Puzzle and Glue Set
For Kids: Watermelon Wooden Puzzle
For the Traveler: Slowdown Studio Puzzle
For the Avid Ceramist: East Fork Puzzle
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Mechanical puzzles vs jigsaw puzzles: Mechanical puzzles are more like brainteasers and rely on logic; they’re typically 3-D or self-contained objects. Jigsaw puzzles, like our favorites above, require an assembly of interlocking pieces to form a final design pattern, print, or photograph.
Number of pieces: A 500-piece puzzle may take a day or less to complete (or two to six hours, depending on how dedicated you are to the process), while a 1,000-piece puzzle may take a week or more (or five to 30 hours), depending on the difficulty level and the design. Abstract artworks may take a bit longer as you familiarize yourself with the pattern. Don’t even get us started on this Areaware Gradient Puzzle.
Q: I want to turn my finished puzzle into art! What’s the best way to frame it?
Since many puzzles may not be a standard frame size, your best bet is to buy a matte board and custom-cut it with an X-Acto knife or any single-edge blade. Some puzzle kits come with glue, like the Jiggy model, or you can always buy puzzle glue (or even Elmer’s glue in a pinch).
Q: What are the best places to buy puzzles online?
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- They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use.
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- They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews to know that they pass the test IRL.
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