Much like Doc Martens, chokers and velvety tops, puzzles have re-emerged from days gone by. What has once been viewed as a boring and stifling way to spend an evening has now become a favorite in many households.
Maybe it's because of all the time we are spending in our homes.
Maybe we are ready for an exodus from the fast-paced lifestyle that consumed us in years past.
Or maybe it's simply that more than ever, people need a way to relax and take their minds off the stressors of everyday life.
Whatever the driving force, it seems like puzzles are here to stay. Again.
From beginner puzzles, options that engage the whole family and over 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles for the experienced puzzler looking for a new challenge, we've compiled a list of the 33 best Ravensburger puzzles.
What's in a Puzzle?
Before we dive into the puzzles themselves, let's talk about why puzzles are a great choice.
A study by the Archives of Neurology shows that people who consistently stimulate their brains through crosswords, Sudoku and jigsaw puzzles are less likely to get brain-related diseases such as Alzheimer's, dementia and memory loss.
Puzzles also help with problem-solving skills, coping with stress and building spatial and visual reasoning.
These benefits aren't just for adults, either. Puzzles also help children with language, memory and attention span — and we haven't even gotten to the immense benefit of family bonding time.
As you can see, puzzles are a great way to boost your overall health and wellness.
While there are plenty of great puzzles to choose from, one puzzle brand that has withstood the test of time is Ravensburger.
Each Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle is made with extra-thick cardboard and linen-structured paper to create detailed and glare-free images that are truly enjoyable once the puzzle is complete.
And with piece counts ranging from 12 pieces to the world's largest puzzle at over 40,000 pieces, there is an option for everyone.
Now that we've got that all that covered, let's get onto the puzzles.
Puzzles for the Whole Family
But if your family is new to puzzles, making the switch from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video can be challenging. Let's just admit it — thinking is hard, and solving complex and lengthy puzzles is even harder.
These family-friendly puzzles have lower piece counts and may include some of your child's favorite characters to help them stay engaged. Many of these puzzles also have larger pieces than your average puzzle to match your child's sensory development stages appropriately. How will you know if the puzzle pieces are bigger? Look for the XXL on the box.
And don't worry if your kid doesn't jump for joy during the first puzzle or if they need extended breaks and come back in right at the tail end of the puzzle.
Seeing the completed product helps keep them motivated and excited for the next puzzle. Just be sure to leave some pieces for them to figure out on their own.
Suitable for kids as young as 3, this puzzle brings your child's favorite Toy Story characters to life once again.
You and your youngster will enjoy some quality time as you put together this 35 piece picture.
It's never too early to get those problem-solving wheels turning.
Bust it out when your child is learning about space, and you have a great hands-on tool to reinforce their learning.
This option is a great beginner puzzle for younger kiddos or for kids who need to build some confidence when putting together puzzles on their own.
At this point, most families have seen the Frozen movies at least once, if not many, many more times. The Frozen Friends puzzle is a great way to include some of the younger family members while keeping them engaged and excited about puzzles.
If you aren't sick of the music yet, you can put on the soundtrack in the background while you do this winter wonderland puzzle.
With only 200 pieces, your child may be ready to tackle this themselves. This panoramic puzzle features all of your favorite characters and is recommended for ages 8+.
If Frozen isn't your favorite, there are plenty of other Disney and Pixar classics in the Ravensburger collection.
Some things never go out of style, and dinosaurs are one of those things.
Giant man-eating lizards like Godzilla and T-Rex chases are always exciting. Not to mention educational.
This 200 piece puzzle is another XXL choice, making it great for little hands that are still ready for a challenge.
Want more dinosaurs? Check out this In the Land of Dinosaurs panorama.
Another educational piece, USA Map makes geography way more interesting, and not simply for the fact that this map is a puzzle.
This puzzle is covered with pictures to help your kiddo visualize some of the major themes for each area. You will find references to Mount Rushmore, the gold rush and environmental cues.
Teen and Adult Puzzles
If your household isn't quite as excited about a new puzzle as you are and everyone has suddenly turned into your uninspired feline, simply sprawl out in a common area and get to work. When you are ready for a break, leave the puzzle unfinished and let curiosity run its course.
Is anyone too old or too cool to love animals? We sure hope not.
This 200 piece puzzle will transport you all over the world and into different habitats to get you up close with nature's most beautiful creatures.
With so much happening throughout the picture, struggling puzzlers will find the help they need to navigate each piece's final location.
If you are anything like the CS crew, you are itching to travel. Quarantine has really made us stir crazy, and it seems like all we want to do is get out of town! Since we can't just jump on a plane and head to Europe anymore, this London puzzle is a great way to escape.
In 1,000 pieces, this panorama puzzle offers London's skyline and most iconic locations like the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Bridge, the Thames and more.
Just make yourself a cup of black tea and a scone, and it will almost be like you are there seeing the real thing.
Speaking of travel, you don't have to go around the world to experience a close-up of the greatest monuments. Which also means you don't have to venture to New York City to appreciate the Statue of Liberty.
In this 3D puzzle, each plastic puzzle piece fits together to create your own iconic monument of freedom and hope.
Start at the bottom and work your way up for a replica that is worth displaying.
If you have a thing for the bad guys, Ravensburger's Villainous puzzle series is worth looking into.
These puzzles may be dedicated to Disney, but these villain puzzles may be better suited for teens and adults as they average 1000 pieces.
For the Harry Potter fan, there are several great puzzles to choose from.
For an entirely different feel, you can also check out the Harry Potter Challenge, which acts as a who's who and showcases different characters in the series.
For The Experienced Puzzler
If you consider yourself pretty puzzle-savvy, you may be ready for these options.
With higher piece counts and more elaborate designs, these puzzles are no small feat.
Make it a personal challenge or challenge your spouse to a speed-puzzle night and see how fast you can move through these beastly beauties.
The Krypt series is considered an ultra-challenge for an experienced puzzler looking for a new challenge.
Each puzzle is a picture of a monochromatic puzzle. Sounds exciting, right?
There are a few Bizarre puzzles to choose from, each with a vast array of goodies to piece together. This 1,000 piece Bookshop puzzle is no different.
You will find books of all kinds in this display, each ready to waltz a reader into a new world.
The ultimate challenge, this 18,000 piece puzzle is a force to be reckoned with.
You will get lost with all of the colors and characters in this puzzle. With surprising bookshelf objects and tiny houses hidden within the scene, this colorful puzzle comes to life.
If the Magical Bookcase didn't quite hit the spot for you, consider the world's biggest puzzle, Memorable Disney Moments. At over 6 feet tall and 22 feet wide, this 40,000 piece puzzle takes you through ten different hand-drawn scenes from Cinderella, Peter Pan, The Lion King and more.
If you are ready to tackle this, you will need to dedicate some serious resources. For example, you will need to find a pretty large space to put this jigsaw puzzle together.
And there is a hidden Mickey Mouse bonus in each scene, making it a puzzle within a puzzle.
We told you this one is for the puzzle masters!
The Puzzle Essentials
Now that we've laid out all the best puzzles, there are a few other things you should think about before sitting down to start your puzzle.
While none of these will make or break your experience, these tips and tricks can definitely increase the quality of your time and help you carry your excitement to the final piece.
A Special Puzzle Spot
If you are new to puzzles or just about to embark on the next level of intensity, never underestimate the amount of time you may need to complete it. So if you use your dining room table for work, homeschool and meals, it may not be the spot to bust out your 5,000 piece puzzle.
Instead, find a good spot to lay out your puzzle that won't disrupt your everyday life and even better if you can find a spot that is out of reach for little hands.
If you just can't tackle a new piece of furniture, Ravensburger's Stow and Go puzzle mat will let you roll up your work and save it for another day. More than 1,500 pieces? Grab the Giant Stow and Go.
The Right Ambience
You'll figure out real quick if you are the sit-in-silence or music-required type of puzzler.
Personally, I like to throw on some good tunes or my favorite e-book, grab a cup of coffee and snuggle in for some serious R&R.
Whatever your style, be sure to set up your space in a way that will keep you going.
And don't forget to grab a desk lamp, so you don't have to break up the party when the sun goes down.
A Good Memento
Sure, memories of your time together is a great puzzle take-away. (After all, you did just work on your memory skills.) But if you want a more tangible way to commemorate all your hard work, some puzzle glue is the way to go.
Just like the puzzle itself, you have several glue options. But Modge Podge puzzle saver is a tried and true fan favorite.
To really take it a step further, throw it in a frame and hang it up for all to see.
You may not have given it much thought, but everyone has their own puzzle strategy. I know people that do nothing before they have sifted through the entire puzzle piece pile to find and assemble the edges. If that's you, you also may find puzzle sorters a thing dreams are made of.
Unfortunately for you type A people, and much to my husband's chagrin, there is more than one way to complete a puzzle.
While he methodically and strategically thinks through every move, I begin furiously matching colors and start building out whatever image inspires me the most with no real thought to things like the border. And guess who finishes more puzzles?
That brings us to the age-old question, "Is there a right and a wrong way to put a puzzle together?" The world may never know.
Put It All Together
Puzzles are a great way to combat stress and increase your brain health. Not only do they help with things like stress and problem-solving abilities, although those are great in and of themselves.
Regularly engaging in puzzles also reduces your chances of getting diseases like memory loss, Dementia and Alzheimer's.
And before you run out to your nearest thrift store to grab a puzzle that may or may not have all its pieces (a struggle I know all too well), you should give Ravensburger puzzles a shot.
Made with the highest quality cardboard and anti-glare imagery, no two pieces are the same. And thus, no two puzzle experiences will be the same either.
Whether you are into Disney characters, landscapes, travel or some serious mind benders, there is a puzzle for you.
You might also be interested in: Our 17 Favorite Tabletop & Board Game Subscription Boxes
Best Ravensburger Puzzles:
- Disney Pixar Toy Story 4
- Frozen Friends
- Realm of the Giants
- In the Land of Dinosaurs
- USA Map
- World Landmarks Map
- 3D puzzle Child's Globe
- Aimee Stewart: Wild Kingdom Shelves
- Statue of Liberty
- Eiffel Tower
- Empire State Building
- Big Ben
- Chrysler Building-Night Edition
- Captain Hook
- Queen of Hearts
- Prince John
- Journey to Hogwarts
- Harry Potter at Home with the Weasley Family
- The Secret of Azkaban
- Harry Potter Challenge
- Krypt Black
- Krypt Gold
- Krypt Silver
- Colin Thompson: The Bizarre Bookshop
- Bizarre Bookshop 2
- Bizarre Town
- Magical Bookcase
- Memorable Disney Moments