5 Incredible Jigsaw Puzzles That Should Be Expensive (But Aren't)

Jigsaw puzzles are an activity both kids and adults can enjoy — but while the best cheap jigsaw puzzles are surprisingly low in cost, that doesn't mean they sacrifice quality. These puzzles feature eye-catching imagery and high-quality pieces that easily fit together.

When picking out a jigsaw puzzle, you’ll want to ensure that it is age-appropriate for the person that’s putting it together. This is especially important when buying a puzzle for a child, so you don’t end up with one that is too challenging, though it’s also important when making sure you don’t buy a too-easy puzzle for adults. Use the suggested age range that is listed on the puzzle box as a guide, and also consider the number of pieces in the puzzle, which, for adult puzzles, usually falls somewhere between 100 and 1000 pieces (though some can have more). Generally speaking, the more pieces in the puzzle, the harder it is.

The cool thing about puzzles is that they can feature virtually any scene imaginable, so select one that catches your eye. These five puzzles are all less than $30 — but Amazon reviewers indicate that they are high-quality picks that have provided hours of entertainment for their families.

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A Colorful 1,000-Piece Puzzle

  • Ages: 14+

This inexpensive Ravensburger puzzle features images of multiple interesting (and colorful!) doors. The puzzle is definitely challenging — after all, it has 1,000 pieces — but not so difficult that it can’t be completed. Each puzzle piece clicks softly into place, so you know you it is correctly placed.

The pieces are made of thick cardboard with a glare-free surface so you can really enjoy looking at the finished image.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Ravensburger's 1,000 piece 'Doors of the World' jigsaw puzzle is a great entertainment value. I've made similar puzzles with different doors, and this one is a great size with sharp graphics, good interlocking, and bright, interesting colors. Assembly was easier than I expected, and very fun."


A Challenging 1,000-Piece Skyscraper Puzzle

  • Ages: 13+

If you are an avid puzzler or are just looking for a challenge, this 1,000-piece Bgraamiens puzzle is certainly the one you want. The puzzle is particularly difficult because it depicts a busy sea of skyscrapers, and each building features different colors and exteriors. You’ll need to match up the drawing lines on the buildings in order for the pieces to fit. But don't worry — if you need a little help, the pieces can actually be divided into sections (thanks to the letter system on the back of the pieces) to make it a little easier. The puzzle pieces are made of a sturdy chipboard on recycled paper.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This fun puzzle is great for any skill level. If you are a beginning puzzler, you can use the letter sorting system to divide the pieces into 6 sections (A-F). By doing one letter at a time and turn all of the letters facing the same way, then you will sail through this puzzle. If you are an intermediate puzzler, you can sort by color and only use the letters in a pinch. The random cut of the pieces help to complete the puzzle because each piece only fits in one spot. If you are an experienced puzzler, like I am, then you can sort the pieces by color and get it done by carefully looking at the artwork on the box top. The pieces are sturdy and I didn’t have any issues with layer separation, crushed corners or pieces that are not cut all the way through."


A Uniquely Shaped 206-Piece Wooden Puzzle

  • Ages: 8+

You’ll be hard pressed to find a puzzle with a more unique shape than this one from Hartmaze. The bright and colorful puzzle features 206 pieces that can be put together to form an owl. The pieces aren’t made from cardboard, but rather a high-quality wood (which certainly justifies the slightly higher price tag). With more than 200 reviews on Amazon and a solid 4.5-star rating overall, it’s clear that reviewers on the site love this pick.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Not flimsy cardboard pieces. Each piece is intricate. Smaller puzzle but the individuality makes it a work of art. It was a gift for my best friend who loves puzzles. She framed it when she was done."


A Round 1,000-Piece Puzzle

  • Ages: 12+

While this round puzzle from Bgraamiens is challenging, you’ll love the finished result. The image is a brightly colored one titled “Magic Tree Of Life.” The puzzle features 1,000 pieces that are made of a sturdy blue chipboard on recycled paper. And if you find that the puzzle is too difficult to complete, the pieces are divided into sections (as indicated by letters on the back) to make it a bit a little easier.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I have really enjoyed working my way through the Bgraamiens collection of puzzles. They are beautiful, challenging and a lot of fun. The round puzzle format s very good for working with others. We have [had] some great conversations over this puzzle. The entire [Bgraamiens] collection is high quality and the pieces fit nicely."


A 500-Piece Puzzle That Features Inspiring Artists

  • Ages: 8+

This 500-piece jigsaw puzzle from Mudpuppy features vibrant and eye-catching images of inspiring famous artists, musicians, and performers. The puzzle includes illustrations of Frida Kahlo, Louis Armstrong, Misty Copeland, and more.

The puzzle pieces are made of sturdy 90% recycled paper and printed with nontoxic ink. You can also grab a Little Feminist version of the puzzle, which depicts notable women in history, from Cleopatra to Malala Yousafzai.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I love Mudpuppy puzzles! We own over 20. They are so well made and have an additional educational value for kids. Because of the design they are easy to sort for even younger kids to help. Our kids are ages 4-19 and we love doing these together. You can do the 500 piece puzzles in an evening or afternoon. We use them to learn about the people illustrated on the puzzles. They help make education fun!"