the 5 best puzzle brands

5 best puzzle brands

Before I dive into this post in earnest, let’s just go ahead and get one thing out of the way. When it’s -40F degrees outside, ya girl isn’t outside. So, what do we do inside when it’s so cold that we’re basically hunkered down in survival mode? We do puzzles! I can honestly say that I have done more puzzles in the last six months of winter in interior Alaska than I’ve done in my entire life. So, naturally, I’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a puzzle good, and what makes it less so. Today, we’re sharing the 5 best puzzle brands we’ve found, and what gives them an edge over competitors.

What to Look for When Buying a Puzzle

First and foremost, I feel like I should acknowledge that I didn’t realize how much went into the making and design of puzzles before we started doing them more often. And second, I didn’t realize that all puzzles are not created equal. I’ve learned, however, that puzzles challenge you to find unique patterns, sort and group items, and follow a sort of order to complete it.

letspuzl 1000 piece

When buying a puzzle, it’s also important to consider the elements of the puzzle itself, as well. For example:

  • The Materials – Cardboard puzzles are the standard, but you want pieces that are sturdy and won’t bend or break when manipulating them. Wooden puzzle pieces are also becoming more popular but are more expensive and can be harder to find.
  • The Cuts – Not all cuts are created equal. We found several puzzles where the cuts were almost interchangeable, and I can honestly say there is nothing more frustrating than reassembling a 30 pieces because one piece looked like it fit, but it didn’t.
  • The Colors – From vibrant and bold, to muted and pastel, great colors are something to look for. A puzzle that makes a statement keeps you invested.
  • The Shapes – Some puzzles have whimsical shapes or uniquely-shaped edges. Other pieces are shaped like actual elements (like animals). While we haven’t done any of the latter yet, doing puzzles with unique shapes is way more fun to “puzzle” out. Yes, pun intended.

5 best puzzle brands

usborne puzzles

The 5 Best Puzzle Brands We’ve Found

I’m either proud or ashamed to admit that I’m a bit of a puzzle snob these days. If we’re going to spend our money on a puzzle, we want it to be a good one that’s well-made, withstands kids’ hands arranging and rearranging the pieces, and stays together well. So, here are the 5 best puzzle brands we’ve found and loved so far:

  1. LetsPuzl – I bought a world landmark jigsaw puzzle from them, and we were beyond impressed with the quality, colors, and overall design of the entire puzzle. In fact, we loved it so much that it’s one of the few that we’ve kept assembled and hope to actually frame.
  2. Ravensburger – This brand is a classic, and we always come back to them for great, quality designs. We love their Abandoned Series, and our abandoned hotel puzzle was definitely one of our favorites.
  3. Cross & Glory – Perhaps lesser-known, the colors and quality of these puzzles rivals some of the bigger brand names out there, and their variety of designs is awesome!
  4. Springbok – We’re partial to bold colors and designs, and Springbok has some of the best, sturdiest puzzle pieces we’ve found. They have a wide selection of 1,000-piece puzzles, which is our favorite amount.
  5. Heye – I’ve worked in marketing and branding for about 15 years, and good packaging appeals to me. Heye has some of the best puzzle packaging, and their commission-based puzzles make them really unique. Our favorite? The hidden-object ones from artist, Alex Bennett.

5 best puzzle brands

5 best puzzle brands

Finding the Right Puzzle for You

Ultimately, I think that finding the right puzzle is about finding the perfect fit (again, pun intended) of all those elements. We love the 1,000-piece puzzles because they’re challenging, but they’re not insurmountable. When we find a puzzle that’s bold and bright, we tend to get pretty invested in it, and we can get it done in as few as 3-4 days.

I would caveat all of this to say that we’ve also been unimpressed with some puzzle brands lately, like Buffalo – especially the ones you can get at Target or Walmart. We actually donated a puzzle about a third of the way through because the pieces fit poorly and seemed almost interchangeable. I think it would easier with smaller-scale puzzles, but less so for the large ones.

Tell me – do you like doing puzzles?