I come from a family of puzzlers. If you visit my childhood home, nine times out of 10 there will be a half-finished puzzle out on the kitchen table. Our summer vacations are measured by how many puzzles we complete, and how many pieces they are. We have favorite puzzle designers and strong opinions about puzzle piece shapes and textures. And don’t get me started on the agony of gradient puzzles.
While just a few years ago it seemed like none of my peers shared my puzzling obsession, puzzles are now more popular than ever. Forbes reported that “jigsaw puzzles for adults” saw a huge spike in Amazon search traffic last month. Über-trendy startup Piecework Puzzles is sold out of every single one of its Instagram-worthy puzzles as of this writing. Our colleagues at The Goods investigated this phenomenon, chalking it up to a perfect storm of social media and social distancing.
Whether you’re a lifelong puzzle fan in search of some fun new options or a puzzle-curious newbie looking to dip your toe into the hobby, we’re rounding up some of our favorites. For new puzzlers, we’d recommend starting in the 300- to 500-piece range, before venturing into 1,000-piece territory in beyond.