I’ve long been a fan of jigsaw puzzles but I never could have guessed this would turn out to be the Year of the Puzzle. When the pandemic began, so did the puzzle shortage as people, who were suddenly spending all their time at home, looked for a way to distract themselves. Puzzle makers scrambled to catch up, as safe practices allowed.
One silver lining is that puzzle makers have released a dizzying array of new designs as they caught up to the need. Puzzles are really here to stay and I’m so grateful. They’re helpful with managing anxiety, preventing overthinking, and plain old passing the time. Plus, they make fantastic gifts! Here’s a roundup of puzzles that are surefire mood boosters, delightful distractions, or captivating challenges.
Note: some companies are still catching up and availability can change quickly.
All puzzles featured here were chosen because we love them. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. More info here.
Galison Michael Storrings Bethesda Fountain 1000 piece puzzle. This makes me want to watch every holiday movie with a scene at this fountain.
Litographs Twas the Night Before Christmas 500 piece puzzle. The poem in puzzle form!
Cobble Hill Ugly Xmas Sweaters 1000 piece puzzle. It’s quite something to see them all together like this.
Galison Christmas Chorus 500 piece puzzle. These aren’t your typical Christmas carolers.
White Mountain Puzzles Tis The Season 550 piece puzzle. A quintessential scene.
Litographs Emma 500 piece puzzle. Litographs is now making puzzles! There are so many great ones to choose from too. Each one has words from the book in question as part of the design.
Ben Gilles Blooming Books 750 piece puzzle. My two loves combined!
White Mountain Puzzles Writer’s Paradise 1000 piece puzzle. This is a dreamy setup.
Buffalo Games Charles Wysocki Frederick the Literate 750 piece puzzle. If someone loves books and cats, this is the puzzle for them.
eeBoo Jane Austen’s Book Club 1000 piece puzzle. A reader emailed me about this one and it looks so cute.
State Parks and Great Outdoors puzzles
Cavallini & Co Vintage National Parks 1000 piece puzzle. This retro-style puzzle features a number of state parks and I want to visit them all.
BewildernessPuzzles Night Sky 330 piece wooden puzzle. This gorgeous puzzle may only have 330 pieces but it looks like quite the challenge to put together.
Galison Painted Desert 500 piece puzzle. A fun one for the whole family.
Lantern Press Acadia National Park, Maine – Monument Cove 1000 piece puzzle. I want to go to there!
Buffalo Games Mountains on Fire 750 piece puzzle. The next best thing to seeing these mountains in person.
Plants and flowers puzzles
Galison Houseplant Jungle 1000 piece puzzle. Someone gave me this one and I really enjoyed it, although it was harder than I expected.
Galison Wendy Gold USA State Flowers 1000 piece puzzle. This one went straight to the top of my wish list.
EuroGraphics Tulip Field – Netherlands 1000 piece puzzle. Oh, to be able to walk through this gorgeous field!
Galison Plant Life 1000 piece panoramic puzzle. I love the colors of this one!
Springbok Garden Goodness Puzzle 1000 piece puzzle. This has me thinking about what I’ll plant in my garden come spring.
EuroGraphics Neuschwanstein 1000 piece puzzle. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for this castle in Bavaria, Germany.
Galison Michael Storrings Brooklyn Bridge 1000 piece puzzle. Such a darling illustration!
EuroGraphics Yosemite El Capitan 1000 piece puzzle. I wish I could magically transport myself there.
True South Kentucky 500 piece puzzle. I’ve heard great things about True South puzzles and they have so many states to choose from.
EuroGraphics Paris Eiffel Tower 1000 piece puzzle. All that sky and water makes this a great choice for anyone who’s looking for a real challenge.
Do you share my love of puzzles? I’d love to hear about your favorite puzzles in the comments.