Cool Puzzles In 2023

It’s never a bad time to get going on a new puzzle. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran in the jigsaw game or simply looking for a new and engaging home activity, a puzzle is a great way to get your mind working while taking a pause from the TV, or the hustle and bustle of the modern world.

There are a dizzying amount of options out there — an endlessly expansive array of iconic scenes, beautiful art pieces, and eye-popping colors — combined with a wide range of difficulty levels for puzzle fans looking to take it easy or gear up for a challenge.

If you’re in the market for a new puzzle, you’re sure to find the perfect one on our list. These offerings are cherry-picked from our favorite companies, with options so plentiful we candidly had a hard time narrowing this list down to only 10 really cool puzzles for adults!

1. Mesa Puzzles – Brooklyn Bakery (500 pieces, 16” x 20”)

Mesa Puzzles - Brooklyn Bakery

Exploring the constantly moving New York City borough of Brooklyn, the scene depicted in this puzzle doesn’t even seem too far removed from reality, though it’s sure to put a smile on your face. The puzzle features six dogs of various breeds effortlessly modeling in and outside of a Boerum Hill, Brooklyn bakery. The earthy, muted tones of the dogs’ coats and the storefront contrast with a vibrant floral display throughout the piece, and it’s simply a funny and adorable scene to behold. Mesa’s collection of dog jigsaw puzzles is unparalleled.

2. Le Puzz – So Random (500 pieces, 18” x 25”)

Le Puzz - So Random

This Le Puzz puzzle is at the top of our list for cool jigsaw puzzles because it embraces a vintage look with an avant garde sense of humor, and this is all too clear looking at the abstract, and aptly named, So Random puzzle. The image is incredibly colorful, featuring — you guessed it — a random assortment of items put together in one quirky, still life image. This puzzle practically doubles as an “I Spy” image, featuring a pink clog, an oversized screw, a small beach chair with a huge egg on top, a clock with misplaced numbers, and more. In “So Random” fashion, the back of the puzzle includes a game of M.A.S.H.

3. Ordinary Habit – Ecstatic Motion (500 pieces, 16” x 20”)

Ordinary Habit - Ecstatic Motion

Dive into Priscilla Weidlein’s whimsical take on a typical afternoon with this delightfully colorful and detailed puzzle! The piece features a chunky cartoon cat sitting vacantly on a lounge chair surrounded by plants, paintings, and a diverse collection of interior patterns. It’s a nice affirmation of why we love puzzles in the first place — to slow down, relax, and live in the moment in our spaces. The amount of details Weidlein packs into this piece also makes it endlessly entertaining as the puzzle comes together.

4. Jiggy – Lazy Girl Book Club (800 pieces, 18” x 24”)

Jiggy - Lazy Girl Book Club

Readers especially will get a kick out of this puzzle, featuring art from Natalie Linnea playfully riffing on the titles of well-known novels. The titles call to a feeling of comfort and security of the home, coinciding with the cozy nature of puzzles as a whole with reworks like, “Sherlock’s Home,” “The Girl on the Couch,” “The Devil Wears Nada,” and “The Subtle Art of Not Leaving the House,” all plastered through a gorgeous array of monochromatic peaches and a perfectly contrasting forest green backdrop.

5. Chuffed – Sunset Commute (1,000 pieces, 19.7” x 27.6”)

Chuffed - Sunset Commute

Take a journey on this otherworldly subway on this fantastical Sunset Commute. The artwork by Deb JJ Lee blends an array of blues and pinks, immediately transporting you to the unique scene filled with humans and forest animals. You might find yourself working on this 1,000 piece puzzle for a bit, but having more time with this serene and surreal artwork is far from a bad thing!

6. Piecework – Psychedelicatessen (1,000 pieces, 19.25” x 26.6”)

Piecework - Psychedelicatessen

 This isn’t your typical deli… The Psychedelicatessen puzzle speaks for itself, featuring an eclectic spread of deli items like a reuben, a collection of bagels, and a root beer float, but as you look closer, things aren’t quite what they seem. Featuring an array of trippy colors and a handful of interesting visual illusions, this puzzle is just as fun to put together as it is to visually explore. As Piecework itself says, “Deli food has never had this much fun.”

7. Puzzledly – Fresh Air, Don’t Care (500 pieces, 14” x 19”)

Puzzledly - Fresh Air, Don’t Care

Great for lovers of the outdoors, fantasy, cartoons, and of course puzzles, Puzzledly’s Fresh Air, Don’t Care offering immediately emits a child-like, carefree vibe, featuring a playful mountain scene underscored by a collection of eye-catching pastels and polarizing shades throughout the color spectrum. Kids and adults alike will love watching this puzzle come together, perfect for anyone to let their imaginations run wild and get lost in the clouds of this quirky, curious universe.

8. New York Puzzle Company – Fun in the Sun (1,000 pieces, 19.25” x 26.625”)

New York Puzzle Company - Fun in the Sun

Escape the heat and get a vintage taste of summer with this classic puzzle. Fun in the Sun lives up to its name, featuring a lively array of iconic convertibles surrounded by a slew of tanned, swimsuit-wearing beachgoers. The scene calls back to summers of the past, with ‘60s style graphics referencing a classic Americana vibe, and it’s a great way to appreciate the hotter months and some of the cultural relics of years past.

9. Crocodile Creek – Transportation of the World (1,000 pieces, 20” x 27”)

Crocodile Creek - Transportation of the World

Looking for a visually stimulating challenge with a little education to go along? The art behind Transportation of the World is already something to behold, featuring an eclectic and busy collage of more than 150 types of transportation from around the world. Not only is the puzzle itself beautifully illustrated, but it also includes a guide to help identify all of the transportation methods as you put the puzzle together.

10. Cloudberries – Gradient

Cloudberries - Gradient

To top off our list, we’ve included a popular — perhaps somewhat infamous — puzzle, though it’s not for the faint of heart. This Cloudberries puzzle features a simple color gradient, as though you were dragging and dropping in a Photoshop color picker. If you’re looking for a unique, one-of-a-kind challenge, look no further. However, Cloudberries assures its customers that this puzzle is “surprisingly intuitive to complete.” Perhaps it’s worth seeing for yourself!

How Do I Choose a Good Jigsaw Puzzle?

There are plenty of quality jigsaw puzzles available online and beyond, but that’s not to say every puzzle out there is a solid pick. Consider these elements when setting out to purchase a new puzzle:


Most jigsaw puzzles are made from paper or cardboard, though you’ll surely stumble upon other interesting iterations, like wooden, acrylic, or even rubber puzzles. Many materials can be quality so long as they are resilient. This can be challenging to gauge without actually holding puzzle pieces in your hands, but ideally, pieces will be somewhat thick and/or resistant to folding.


You may find puzzles that have unique cuts, with different shapes for each piece, or recurring shapes. It’s generally up to your preference which you choose, but arguably more important is the quality of the cut. Fitting pieces together should be simple and precise, and there should be limited or no excess trimmings. A dull die (the machine that cuts puzzles) will ultimately lead to a bad cut, which typically results in a less than ideal puzzle experience.

Size and Pieces

There are two elements to consider here: How large do you want the puzzle itself to be when it’s finished, and how many pieces are you willing to work with? You’ve got plentiful options at your disposal here, with puzzles less than 100 pieces and up to thousands along with a plethora of sizes. There’s no right or wrong here necessarily, though we definitely recommend starting small and working your way up before tackling a massive puzzle.


Arguably one of the most important parts of picking a puzzle, the design should be something you won’t tire of as you work. Consider picking a design with details you’ll enjoy taking a closer look at as you go. Part of the fun of a puzzle is soaking in those little elements you may not have noticed otherwise! Bear in mind, more intricate designs can pose a challenge, especially depending on the number of pieces. Similarly, puzzles with highly uniform colors and designs can also be more difficult.

Are Jigsaw Puzzles Good For Your Brain?

Puzzles have been around for centuries, and not just because they are fun to put together. That’s right, working on jigsaw puzzles does indeed have a host of cognitive benefits!


Working on a jigsaw puzzle involves focus, and distractions can often lead to setbacks and mistakes that will ultimately add unneeded time to your total venture. This extra concentration can help to benefit your memory, given that you must stay focused and ignore distractions to efficiently complete a puzzle. The more puzzles you do, the better your brain gets at falling into this cycle naturally, which can work to benefit other areas of our lives.

Problem Solving

Jigsaw puzzles involve patience and concentration, and optimizing these skills can ultimately help to improve focus and attention span. This combination also calls for analytical thinking, in this case sorting through how all of the pieces fit together. Where exactly does this color appear in the picture? Does it happen multiple times? How long does this pattern persist through the picture, and how many puzzle pieces will that likely translate to? Critical thinking, logic, patience, and perseverance are ultimately needed to complete a puzzle, and improving these skills can, in turn, boost your problem solving abilities.

Concentration and Focus

Completing and framing a puzzle is a tedious task. Sure, you can probably pop on a movie or show in the background, but you won’t get far if you try to actively watch it while you work. Puzzles demand our full attention, and completing a puzzle ultimately means we’ve put everything else in the background to take on the task at hand. Of course puzzles improve our concentration and focus!

Stress Reduction

This isn’t to say that actually putting a puzzle together is always the most serene experience. It can be a difficult task and comes with its array of challenges, but jigsaw puzzles offer a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction upon completion. There are endless ways that folks may work to complete a puzzle, but the end goal is always the same. Whether it’s an afternoon or a number of weeks, puzzles take work! Also, the sheer act of taking time out of your day to focus on the task can also act as moments of reprieve, especially in today’s world of constant news, media, and streaming. An intentional break is sometimes all we need to embrace a bit of calm!

How We Chose Our List for the Coolest Puzzles

Our list focused on puzzles between 500-1,000 pieces, with a range of options for newbies and returning puzzle fans alike. Jigsaw puzzles can range greatly in difficulty, so we didn’t get carried away but still threw out a handful of more complex options for puzzle fans who like a challenge.

We included a wide array of designs — with actual photography, simple to complex illustrations, vibrant and more muted color palettes — as we know that every puzzle fan has different tastes. We also understand that the design can be a huge indication of how easy or challenging a puzzle ultimately is. If you’re not feeling our picks, we implore you to do some digging on these sites, as there are plenty of other great options!

There’s nothing worse than opening a new puzzle to a ton of flimsy pieces, so the companies included on this list only use quality, thick material. Many also take advantage of recycled materials! While there are plenty of companies that sell puzzles as part of a broader catalog, we also focused on companies that primarily or exclusively make puzzles and puzzle accessories

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