Even though it sounds counterintuitive, difficult puzzles can help you relax and feel less stressed. To challenge your brain
and help you chill out, the best hard jigsaw puzzles will feature repetitive images, similar colors, and hundreds — or even thousands — of pieces to put together.
These picks get their difficulty from different factors. Several options are monochromatic or feature gradient colors that make it harder to tell puzzle pieces apart, while others have repetitive images that you have to painstakingly assemble. Some even raise the difficulty level with two-sided puzzles that are double the fun (and frustration). And if you’re tired of traditional rectangular jigsaw puzzles, you can challenge yourself with a round puzzle (which is harder for those who like to start with corner puzzle pieces) or build a 3-D jigsaw puzzle that just happens to be inspired by Harry Potter.
Jigsaw puzzles are great for improving
memory, problem-solving skills, and teamwork, but of course, some puzzles are more challenging than others. To really increase the difficulty level, these highly rated options are some of the best hard jigsaw puzzles on Amazon to give your brain a workout. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
This 1,000-Piece Sea Of Skyscrapers
Ready to navigate an entire metropolis? This challenging
1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle is jam-packed with skyscraper drawings in different colors, but the lines of the buildings are tough to match up. If you get stuck, the back of the puzzle is divided into lettered areas to guide you. When assembled, the puzzle measures 24 by 24 inches. According to a puzzler: “I enjoyed the complexity of the puzzle’s structure. The pieces vary greatly in size and shape and fit together nicely. Because of the complexity, the back of the puzzle has sections A to F with the letters printed on the back of the piece. I used the letters to separate the pieces which made the puzzle easier. If you want a more challenging experience, don’t sort.”
An All-White Puzzle That's Ridiculously Hard
If you’re truly up for a challenge, you can put together this
all-white jigsaw puzzle made up of 1,000 tiny pieces. Aptly named Pure White Hell, the puzzle offers no images or colors to guide you —it's all about connecting lots of tiny interlocking pieces. The completed puzzle measures around 15 by 10 inches. According to a puzzler: “It really is a hard puzzle. Anyone looking for a challenge should get this... or anyone looking to torture someone who loves puzzles should get this.”
A Rainbow-Colored Round Puzzle That Won't Let You Start At The Corners
If you're used to starting with the corners, this 1,000-piece
round jigsaw puzzle will give you a run for your money. And the gradual rainbow color gradient is just subtle enough to make it even more difficult. However, the back of the puzzle is divided into lettered areas to help if you get stuck. When finished, it has a diameter of 26.6 inches. According to a puzzler: “This is by far the greatest puzzle I’ve ever done. Great quality pieces that click on together and stay together. The right balance of challenging and satisfying, I finished this baby with pride.”
This Pretty — & Pretty Challenging — Rose Puzzle
Stop and smell the roses with this
1,000-piece puzzle in shades of red, pink, and white which will surely take you some time to complete. The tricky puzzle gives you some guidance on the back if you get stuck, but I recommend flipping all the pieces over — you'll feel way more accomplished when you're done. The finished size is 24 by 24 inches. According to a puzzler: “The quality of this puzzle was even better than expected - it is definitely challenging since there are only two two colors involved. Not for the faint of heart!"
A Double-Sided Beach Puzzle That'll Remind You Of Being On Vacation
Channel summer vacation vibes with this
double-sided puzzle that features a beach crowded with sunbathers on one side and snorkelers swimming through a coral reef on the other. If winter break is more your thing, check out the ski slope puzzle, or if you're dreaming of putting your passport to good use, opt for an Italian Riviera scene. The 500-piece puzzle measures 24 by 18 inches once completed. According to a puzzler: “Love it! It’s challenging and frustrating but in a good way. [...] Yes, it’s taken longer to finish but that’s what makes it fun! Go for it, it’s great!"
An Out-Of-This-World Solar System Puzzle That Requires NASA-Level Skills
Featuring planets, spaceships, satellites, and astronauts, this 1,000-piece
solar system puzzle is, well, astronomically challenging. It comes with a reference poster to keep you on track, and the back is divided into lettered groups to provide guidance if you get stuck. The assembled size is around 28 by 20 inches. According to a puzzler: “Love this puzzle! It has a lot going on, some parts are easy and some aren’t. Very colorful.”
This Succulent Spectrum Puzzle That's Totally Mesmerizing
If you've got a green thumb, you'll love this
500-piece jigsaw puzzle that features succulents arranged in an eye-catching grid. Even better, it comes with a succulent fact sheet so you can learn about each plant as you assemble the puzzle. When completed, it measures 20 by 20 inches. You can also opt for 10 other brightly colored and challenging puzzle patterns, like butterflies, popsicles, marbles, and buttons. According to a puzzler: “This is the most adorable puzzle ever!!! The box is beautiful, the puzzle is beautiful, it is great! If you love puzzles and succulents you have to get it.”
A Monochromatic Wine Cork Puzzle That Gets Harder The More You Drink
Crack open a bottle of wine and get to work on this 1,000-piece
wine cork jigsaw puzzle that's a must-have for oenophiles and puzzle enthusiasts. With images of wine corks laid end to end, the virtually monochromatic coloring creates a true challenge that'll only get harder with each subsequent glass of pinot noir. The assembled size is 17.5 by 26.5 inches. According to a puzzler: “One of my favorite puzzles ever. It was really tough, but not impossible. Forced me to find a different approach to puzzling.”
A Double-Sided Puzzle Cat Puzzle That Just Might Stump You
Dubbed the "
world's most difficult," this purr-fect 529-piece puzzle features the exact same cat artwork on both sides — but offset by 90 degrees — so you can’t tell which side is which. (Yes, this gets frustrating, but in the best way possible.) The finished puzzle measures approximately 15 by 15 inches, and completing it is almost as satisfying as solving the puzzle of your cat's personality. According to a puzzler: “Hardest ever. You think you’ve cracked it but NO! If you love jigsaws you have to get this.”
A Gradient Color Puzzle That Looks Like Modern Art
gradient color jigsaw puzzle is harder than it looks, but is worthy of being hung in an art gallery when it’s done. The puzzle comes in eight colors gradients, like bronze/teal, black/white, and blue/green, and there are three sizes to choose from: original (500 pieces), small (100 pieces), and large (1,000 pieces). The original-size puzzle measures 18 by 24 inches when assembled. According to a puzzler: “Such a rad puzzle that provides hours of entertainment and challenge. Looked so beautiful when we were done with it that we mod podged it and framed it. Impressed with quality of pieces, color, and level of play.”
A 3-D Puzzle For Harry Potter Fans
Create some Harry Potter-inspired magic with this
Diagon Alley-inspired 3-D jigsaw puzzle. The 450-piece puzzle features favorite shops from Diagon Alley like Ollivanders, Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, and Flourish and Blotts. The sturdy 3-D jigsaw puzzle doesn't require glue and measures 21.75 by 7.75 by 8.5 inches when assembled. Display it on a shelf right next to all your beloved Harry Potter books. According to a puzzler: “[It’s] a fun but truly challenging puzzle for even 3D gurus! Very much worth the sweat & swearing! Display when done, people love it and will offer to buy it... I won’t sell mine!”