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The Soothing Power of the Best Puzzles Right Now

the best soothing calming beautiful jigsaw puzzles for adults

One of the hottest items in e-commerce in the past week? Jigsaw puzzles for adults. Proof positive of the soothing power of the best puzzles for adults right now. Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has curated a list of some of the best puzzles for adults that are beautiful to look at and calming to assemble. 

the soothing power of the best puzzles right now

The humble hobby of putting together a puzzle is enjoying a revival in our high-tech, digital world. Even before we were all self-quarantining, the resurgence was noticeable enough that our friends at MarketWatch predicted that the jigsaw puzzle industry was primed for growth up to $730 million in 2024, from $670 million in 2019.

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Now, count us among the guilty who in the past have suggested a puzzle as the perfect gift for someone you really don’t like. But thanks to our mandatory home stay due to the coronavirus, we’ve come around and seen the light.

the best soothing calming beautiful jigsaw puzzles for adults

What are the best soothing, calming and beautiful jigsaw puzzles for adults right now?

Turns out there’s something soothing and comforting about returning to the entertainment of our youth. Working on a puzzle feels productive and meditative at the same time. It’s no wonder that it is being labeled as a “wellness” activity.

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If you haven’t done a puzzle in decades, you might be scratching your head thinking, “Who has time for a puzzle when you’re working from home, teaching the kids fractions, foraging for food, and sewing face masks?

Well, a lot of people apparently. According to the Wall Street Journal this week, of the top 10 items that shoppers searched for on Amazon, “puzzles for adults” landed in the 7th spot, above Clorox wipes. What??? (Full disclosure: our CEO is on the board of the Clorox company).

We’ll ‘fess up- we were also amongst the shoppers searching for puzzles to help occupy the time. There’s only so many Netflix marathons and Zoom parties one can take. We needed something pretty to look at, something tactile, and something that multiple generations can participate in. Jigsaw puzzles to the rescue!

What are the best soothing, calming and beautiful jigsaw puzzles for adults right now?

the most beautiful and calming jigsaw puzzles for adults right now

Here are 20 of the most beautiful puzzles for adults that are still being shipped and delivered in the time of COVID-19. We’ve organized them by theme so you can pick one that is suited to your style and interests.

As one of our favorite puzzle purveyors, Wentworth Wooden Puzzles says, “Keep calm and keep puzzling.”

ART & DESIGN

If you think jigsaw puzzles only portray images of pastoral landscapes with farm animals, think again. These days, there are updated versions that have serious art and design cred. You’ll be proud to show these off when you’re done.

1.

Ooh la la! This uniquely illustrated double-sided puzzle is from famed French fashion designer, Christian Lacroix, known for his opulent and theatrical designs. 250 pieces.

BUY NOW  $35.

2.  

Piece together Andy Warhol’s famous soup can while making your way through that emergency canned goods stash. It’s so meta. 300 pieces.

the best soothing adult puzzles

BUY NOW  $19.99.

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3.

We’re all kicking ourselves for ever bailing on a night out. Indulge your grief with this wooden puzzle – intricately cut with challenging and irregular pieces featuring Manet’s masterpiece Bar at the Folies-Bergere. Choose from 250, 500 or 1,000 pieces.

beautiful and calming puzzles for adults

BUY NOW $49.50 – $173.50.

4.   

This Frank Lloyd Wright Imperial Hotel Peacock Rug features gold foil embellishments to brighten your tabletop with a luxurious deco shine. 500 pieces.

 

BUY NOW  $14.99.

5.   

Jonathan Adler’s whimsical and colorful home goods always boost our mood. This trippy Vertigo puzzle looks impossible, but it’s totally worth the effort. 1,000 pieces.

the best soothing calming beautiful jigsaw puzzles for adults

BUY NOW  $24.99

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TOWN & COUNTRY

Get lost in an inspiring vista and travel (at least in your mind) with these captivatingly beautiful puzzles. Hey, it beats the current view of our messy kitchen.

1.

Ah, the great outdoors! We love this romanticized image of Yosemite National Park, which comes without all the annoying insects. Choose from 250, 500, 750, and 1,000 pieces.

the best soothing calming beautiful jigsaw puzzles for adults

BUY NOW  $49.50 – $173.50.

2.          

Francophiles will love celebrated illustrator Michael Storrings’ scene, which captures the charm and romance of Paris in the springtime. 1,000 pieces.

the best soothing calming beautiful jigsaw puzzles for adults

BUY NOW   $16.99.

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3.          

Even reluctant puzzle participants will want to help complete this stunning Japanese cherry blossom picture. Choose from 250, 500, 1,000, and 1,500 pieces.

BUY NOW  $49.50 – $289.

4.          

Let the warm and soothing tones of this puzzle depicting one of our favorite buildings in architecture – La Muralla Roja in Calpe, Spain – help you slow down and relax. 285 pieces.

BUY NOW  $35.

5.          

Who isn’t dreaming about being at the beach? We’ll never complain about sunscreen again. Take us away! 500 pieces.

the best soothing calming beautiful jigsaw puzzles for adults

BUY NOW  $97.50.

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ANIMALS

While we’re primarily assessing the best soothing adult puzzles, we know that many are looking for multi-generational themes. And puzzles featuring creatures big and small are a perennial hit for families. These gorgeous designs make wildlife come alive in your living room.

1.

This magical peacock is surrounded by so many enchanting details it will keep you entranced long enough to forget life for awhile. 250 pieces.

the best soothing adult jigsaw puzzles

BUY NOW  $49.50.

2.      

Charley Harper’s stylized illustrations of nature and wildlife are an American treasure. This puzzle captures all the biodiversity that can be found in the ‘burbs. 300 pieces.

BUY NOW  $29.50.

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3.      

Did you see the New York Times headline, “America Stress-Bought All the Baby Chickens?” If you weren’t quick enough to get your hands on some baby chicks, console yourself with this poultry tableau. 275 pieces.

BUY NOW  $20.95.

4.     

Dog lovers, this one is for you: it features 22 adorably illustrated mixed breeds. 500 pieces.

the best soothing calming beautiful jigsaw puzzles for adults

BUY NOW  $13.99.

5.      

Kitties under the influence of famous modern artists. We bet you can’t pick a favorite. 500 pieces.

BUY NOW  $13.99.

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GLORIOUS FOODS

Comfort food + comforting activities = momentary happiness. And we’ll take what we can get! Here are some of the best soothing adult puzzles for foodies.

1.

This cheery illustration of a bowl of ramen is developed by women-led company, Seltzer Goods, which works with women artists around the world. 500 pieces.

 

BUY NOW  $24.95.

2.

After this is all over, we swear to never take a cup of coffee and a frosted doughnut for granted ever again. This unique set contains two separate and uniquely shaped puzzles, so you can indulge in some healthy competition with a partner. 625 pieces.

BUY NOW   $19.99.

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3.

Celebrating a birthday during lockdown? Feast your eyes on this beauty! 1,000 pieces.

 

BUY NOW   $17.50.

4.          

This Fruit Lady jigsaw puzzle is like a tropical vacation and farmer’s market in a box. Alright, we admit that’s a bit of stretch. But we have been cooped up for three weeks and counting! 500 pieces.

BUY NOW   $24.95.

5.          

We can’t help but smile (and drool) at these icy, rainbow popsicles. 500 pieces.

BUY NOW  $13.99.

the best soothing adult jigsaw puzzles right now

That’s it! Our picks for some the best soothing, calming and beautiful jigsaw puzzles for adults right now. When a primary goal is keeping our minds sharp and our hands busy, a jigsaw puzzle just might be the analog antidote we never knew we needed. What’s your favorite one?

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Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, and fitness. Julie lives in New York where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing. And spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.

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