The Best Puzzle Tables, Puzzle Boards & Puzzle Mats

The best puzzle tables are great for storing & transporting unfinished jigsaw puzzles. They can rotate your puzzle, have drawers for the sorted pieces, fold to reduce space and even have legs with lockable wheels so they can be used with an armchair.

Are Puzzle Tables Worth it? Yes, if you want to reduce neckache, avoid backache, keep your kitchen table free, and be able to enjoy puzzling whenever and wherever you like. 

I’m Geoff, a former Director of Product Development with over 20 years of puzzle experience at Gibsons Games, including the development of their top-rated Puzzle Board. See my recommendations below.

Need a Jigsaw Table

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My Top Puzzle Tables, Board & Mat

I spent a lot of time developing the Gibsons Puzzle Board.
Raised edges, smooth felt surface, cross-ply board to minimise bending but also keep weight down.
I am glad it has got some good ratings 🙂

Here are my recommended tables & boards for jigsaw puzzles below.
Update : 13 June 2024 – have a look at the very clever Puzzle Mat from Puzzle Ready.
Somehow, you can roll your whole puzzle around a foam roller WITH four storage boxes,
and it comes with a carrying case and shoulder strap. Suddenly puzzling has become portable!

Why do I need a Jigsaw Puzzle table, board or mat?

Imagine you are enjoying your perfect puzzle, only to be interrupted by backache, the chaos of scattered pieces
or being told to move your puzzle as it is time for dinner!

  • Neckache or backache? We have all seen our kids or grandkids looking at their phones – doing long-term damage to their necks by peering over. Why do we do the same to our own bodies by peering over our puzzles? There are now puzzle tables that can be angled and even rotated to help prevent aches in the neck or back.
  • Puzzle wherever you like! With a puzzle table with legs or wheels, you can, from your kitchen to your dining room to your garden puzzle anywhere.
  • Organised Fun – Sort your pieces as you like, then put them in different drawers, which can be integrated into some boards.
  • Puzzle whenever you like! No more moving your puzzle and losing your pieces when it’s dinner time and the table needs to be cleared.
  • Say goodbye to lost piecesPuzzle tables can have drawers or covers to keep your pieces safe. Unless you have a dog with an energetic tail, or a cat who likes to sleep on your puzzles, of course!

You invest hours or days puzzling
be comfortable!

Puzzle Table vs Board vs Mat?

They can be quite an investment, so choose carefully to make sure you buy the right one for yourself or as a treasured gift.

Puzzle Boards can also be used for Board Games. Imagine you are close to victory, and somebody has to go. With a puzzle board, you can easily store your half-finished board game away for next time!

Puzzle mats take up the least room, despite being called a mat!
They are normally a large piece of special felt which is then rolled around a large cardboard tube.
Amazingly, the puzzle pieces actually stay on this roll whilst it is rolled up and more amazingly, actually stay there when the mat is unrolled!   

ProsCons
Puzzle TableStability: Provides a solid and stable surface for puzzling.Size: Can be bulky and take up significant space in a room.
Ergonomic Design: adjustable heights or angles, reducing physical strain.Immobility: Once set up, they can be challenging & heavy to move around (unless on wheels!)
Dedicated Space: Offers a specific area for puzzling, ensuring other household surfaces remain free.Cost: Generally more expensive than boards or mats.
Storage Options: Many puzzle tables come with drawers or shelves for storing puzzle pieces or incomplete puzzles.Fixed Size: Might not accommodate all puzzle sizes.
Multipurpose: Can often be used for other hobbies.Assembly: Some tables require assembly.
Puzzle BoardPortability: Lightweight and easy to move around.Durability: Might not be as durable as tables, especially if made from cardboard or light materials.
Flat Surface: Provides a smooth surface for puzzling. Can be felt with raised edges.No Leg Support: Requires an underlying surface for support.
Versatility: Can be placed on various surfaces, from tables to underneath beds.Slippage: Can slip if not placed on a non-slip surface.
Storage: Some boards come with extra layers for storing incomplete puzzles.Lack of Additional Features: Doesn't offer features like adjustable angles or storage drawers. Cannot be angled by itself.
Cost-effective: Generally more affordable than puzzle tables.Cost: Not as cheap as a Puzzle Mat
Puzzle Matoll-Up Storage: Allows for easy storage of incomplete puzzles by rolling them up.Lack of Rigidity: Doesn't provide a hard surface, which some puzzlers prefer.
Space-saving: Takes up minimal space when not in use.Potential for Creases: Rolling up the mat can sometimes create creases, affecting the puzzle's flatness.
Flexibility: Can accommodate various puzzle sizes.Slippage: The mat can move if not secured properly.
Portability: Lightweight and easy to transport.Risk of Damaging Puzzle: If not rolled carefully, there's a risk of bending or damaging puzzle pieces.
Affordability: Generally the most affordable option among the three.Dependency: Requires a flat underlying surface for optimal use.

What is the Best Surface for Puzzling?

The surface on which you assemble your puzzle can greatly influence your enjoyment.
If you pick up your puzzle pieces, you want them to ‘grip’ the surface, so felt would be a good choice.
However, if you are a ‘piece slider’, you should look for a smooth surface like wood or MDF.

ProsCons
FeltProvides a non slip surface that helps to hold puzzle pieces in place.Can be difficult to slide pieces around - especially for wooden puzzles.
Soft texture can prevent damage to puzzle pieces.Very prone to lint & puzzle dust.
Wood or MDFSmooth surface allows for easy movement of puzzle pieces.Pieces might slip & slide around too easily, especially if the table is angled.
Doesn't crease & is more durable
Can be heavy and less portable than other materials.
No lint or dust - can be easily wiped.Can be a 'hard' surface to lay your palms on for a prolonged time.

Portable Jigsaw Puzzle Tables with Legs & Wheels

When you need to move your puzzle from room to room, straddle it across your armchair,
or even use it for your TV dinner.
Puzzle Tables with wheels are the ultimate option for the truly dedicated puzzler with their height & tilt adjustability.
Even better when they have lockable wheels!

Jigthings - JigTable

  • Material : Beech laminate effect, so easy to wipe clean
  • Surface : N/A (needs an additional Puzzleboard)
  • Assembly required : 4 mins. Helpful video available!
  • Base Area : 22″ x 31″
  • Folded size : 37-3/4″ x 26-1/2″ x 2-1/2″
  • Weight : 22 pounds
  • Special features : Adjustable Height (27-33 inches) & Tilt. It needs an additional Puzzle Board, which adds expense, but also adds flexibility for larger puzzles. Lockable wheeks so it can be used for eating your dinner as the base tilts flat and the legs go around your armchair!

USER REVIEWS

  • Functionality: Users have found the table to be perfect for jigsaw puzzles. Its adjustable tilt and height features are particularly appreciated. The table’s design allows for easy movement and storage, making it convenient for users with limited space.
  • Design: The table is sturdy, with lockable wheels for easy mobility. The top is designed to hold various sizes of Jigboards, and the edge helps keep the puzzle board in place.
  • Assembly: While many users found the table easy to assemble, some faced challenges. The provided instructions can be a bit confusing, but with patience, most users were able to set it up successfully.
  • Customer Service: The company stands behind its product. Users who faced issues with damaged parts received prompt assistance and replacements.
  • Value for Money: Most users felt that the table offers good value for its price, given its quality and functionality. It’s seen as a worthwhile investment for avid puzzlers.

Becko 1500pc Tilting Puzzle Table

  • Material : Pinewood & Particle board with metal frame
  • Surface : Flannelette
  • Assembly required : Minor
  • Puzzle Area : 24.8″ x 35″
  • Folded size : 36.6″ x 26.4″ x 28.6″
  • Weight : 30.4 pounds
  • Special features : Tiltable with 5 different angles. Height adjustable 75cm to 95cm. Legs on lockable castors so easy to move. Cover mat to keep the puzzle safe from cats!

USER REVIEWS

  • Functionality: Many users have found the table to be perfect for their puzzling needs, especially with its adjustable tilt and height features. However, some noted that it’s best suited for up to 1000-piece puzzles.
  • Design: The table is sturdy, easy to move around with its wheels, and comes with a cover mat. The felt on the board feels soft and provides a good grip for puzzle pieces.
  • Assembly: While the table is relatively easy to assemble, some users faced challenges with certain parts. It’s recommended to use a power screwdriver for a smoother assembly process.
  • Customer Service: There were mixed reviews regarding customer service. While some users had positive experiences, others mentioned not receiving certain parts and facing difficulties in reaching out to the company.
  • Value for Money: Most users felt that the table was worth the investment, especially for avid puzzlers. Some did mention that it felt a bit overpriced, but the overall functionality and design made up for it.

Folding Puzzle Tables

Foldaway or collapsible puzzle tables make your unfinished puzzles much easier to transport.
Often tiltable or designed at comfortable heights, they can reduce strain on your neck & back.
It’s like a laptop stand but one for your puzzle to create the most comfortable height & angle for your neck & back.

Becko Puzzle Board with 2 angle Adjustable Bracket/Stand

  • Material : MDF base with pinewood frame
  • Surface : Flannelette
  • Assembly required : None
  • Puzzle Area : 22.4″ x 30.3″
  • Folded size :
  • Weight :
  • Special features : Tiltable (2 angles). The board is seperate so can be easily stowed away.

USER REVIEWS

  • Quality: Users have praised the puzzle board for its functionality and design. The pieces stay in place, and the edge prevents pieces from sliding.
  • Convenience: The board is portable and can be easily stored away when not in use as it is seperate from the base. Some users mentioned sliding it under the sofa to keep it out of the way.
  • Design: The board comes with a stand and is made of felt, which holds the puzzle pieces in place. It also offers two tilted angles, which is beneficial for those with back issues.
  • Customer Service: The company has received commendations for its outstanding customer service. One user mentioned receiving a replacement board when a part of theirs was broken.
  • Minor Issues: A few users pointed out packaging and delivery issues, with one mentioning a bent and ripped corner upon arrival.

Puzzle Boards with Drawers

Every puzzler knows the struggle of managing hundreds of pieces.
Now there is a way to keep them organized without making the puzzle board too large & expensive.

Puzzle boards with drawers have hidden compartments under the puzzle board!
Some are color-coded and others have magnetic locks to keep the drawers closed.
Does that make your puzzle cat & dog-friendly?!

Becko 1500pc Tilting Jigsaw Puzzle Board with Colorful Magnetic Drawers & Cover

  • Material : MDF base with a pinewood frame
  • Surface : Flannel
  • Drawers : 4 Colorful Magnetic drawers!
  • Assembly required : None
  • Puzzle Area : 22.4″ x 35.4″
  • Folded size : 36.2″ x 25.2″ x 1.3″
  • Weight : 12.6 pounds
  • Special features : Tiltable (5 different angles). Comes with a transparent cover to protect the pieces (and can be used to slide under a finished puzzle when moving it). Magnetic drawers so they stay closed. Does this board have everything except legs!

USER REVIEWS

  • Quality: The board is made of softer pinewood, and the flannel on the board is thick enough to keep puzzle pieces from sliding down when tilted. However, some users reported issues with the wood’s finish, and one user had a corner of a board chipped.
  • Functionality: The tilt design is highly appreciated as it reduces glare and neck pain. The drawers are useful for sorting pieces, and the felt holds the pieces in place solidly, even at full tilt. The board is also portable and comes with a cover.
  • Design: Some users mentioned that the felt has nail heads that create bulges on the puzzle surface. Additionally, one of the drawers was slightly too big, causing fitting issues.
  • Customer Feedback: Most users are satisfied with the product, praising its design and functionality.

PuzzleReady 1000pc Puzzle Board with Drawers & Cover mat

  • Material : MDF base with a pinewood frame
  • Surface : Felt
  • Drawers : 4 Colorful Magnetic drawers!
  • Assembly required : None
  • Puzzle Area : 24″ x 30″
  • Folded size : 30″ x 24″ x 1.5″
  • Weight : 11.2 pounds
  • Special features : Comes with a black cover mat to protect the pieces (and can be used to slide under a finished puzzle when moving it). Also available for 1500 puzzles.
  • USER REVIEWS
  • Quality: The board is solidly constructed, providing a firm surface for puzzles. However, some users mentioned that the wood feels a bit rough and expressed concerns about potential splinters.
  • Functionality: The board is large enough to fit even oversized puzzles. The felt surface holds pieces in place well, and the heavy cover protects the puzzle effectively. The board is also lightweight enough for easy maneuverability.
  • Design: The colorful drawers are larger than expected and are very useful for sorting pieces. They slide out completely, making them versatile for different puzzling needs.
  • Portability: The board can be easily moved and stored under a bed or couch. It’s suitable for those without a dedicated puzzle space.
  • Customer Feedback: Most users are satisfied with the product, praising its functionality and design. The board has transformed their puzzling experience, making it more organized and enjoyable. Some users expressed a desire for finished wood for a smoother feel.

Rotating Puzzle Boards

 

Puzzlers know the challenge isn’t just assembling the puzzle pieces and manoeuvring around them.
A rotating puzzle board offers 360-degree access, ensuring you’re always in the best position to make your next move.
No more craning your neck or overextending your arms – especially on those 1000pc portrait puzzles!

ALL4JIG Rotating 1500pc Puzzle Board with 6 Drawers

  • Material : Sustainable hardwood (although not specified which type)
  • Surface : Smooth – material not specified
  • Drawers : 6 drawers
  • Rotatable : yes – lazy susan
  • Assembly required : Minor
  • Puzzle Area : 24″ x 30″
  • Size : 36.8″ x 27.4″ x 2.1″
  • Weight : 16.7 pounds
  • Special features : Lazy Susan to rotate the board. Comes with a translucent cover mat to protect the pieces.

USER REVIEWS

  • Quality: The board is solid and sturdy, providing a reliable surface for puzzles. However, some users mentioned the wood feels a bit rough, and there were concerns about potential splinters.
  • Functionality: The board’s large size accommodates even oversized puzzles. The felt surface holds pieces in place effectively, and the heavy cover protects the puzzle from external elements.
  • Design: The colorful drawers are spacious and can be pulled out completely, offering versatility for different puzzling needs.
  • Portability: Lightweight and easy to move, this board can be stored under a bed, making it ideal for those with limited space.
  • Customer Feedback: Most users are highly satisfied, praising the board’s functionality and design. The rotating feature, in particular, has been highlighted as a game-changer, allowing for easy access to all parts of the puzzle.

Puzzle Boards

When you are looking for something simpler, lighter & cheaper.
There are no drawers, wheels or tiltable functions,
but it is an easier way to pick up a puzzle and stow it away out of sight.

The Original Puzzle Board - PortaPuzzle

The puzzle board that started it all. Millions have been sold around the world.

  • Material : Not specified but I believe it is a type of multilayered cardboard covered with felt.
  • Surface : Felt
  • Drawers : none
  • Rotatable : no
  • Assembly required : none
  • Puzzle Area : 24″ x 30″ (for the 1000pc version)
  • Size : 23.3″ x 31.5″ x 1″ (for the 1000pc version)
  • Weight : 5.6 pounds (for the 1000pc version)
  • Special features : Lighter compared to wooden puzzle boards, although not as light as a Puzzle Roll. Fold out sides for assembling pieces. Two felt covers.

USER REVIEWS

  • Functionality: The Portapuzzle provides a neat solution for storing puzzles in progress. It can be easily stored under a bed or sofa, making it ideal for those with limited space.
  • Design: The board comes with two flat trays which can be used for organizing or building out a section. However, it’s worth noting that while it’s advertised for up to 1000 piece puzzles, some users found it more suitable for a maximum of 500 piece puzzles.
  • Durability: Some users mentioned that the board can warp if not taken care of properly. It’s essential to ensure it doesn’t get wet.
    (Note : I suggest to keep it flat when not in use as leaning any board against a wall can cause any board to bend).
  • Protection: The board offers a great solution for those with pets or young children. Puzzles can be covered and stored away safely, preventing any disturbances.
  • Portability: The board is designed to be easily moved, allowing users to work on their puzzles in different locations or store them away when not in use.

Jigsort 1000 - Jigsaw Puzzle Board with Carry Case

 

The deluxe option with a removable Puzzle board, four Sort Trays all contained in a Carry Case.

  • Material : Soft baize covered wooden board
  • Surface : Felt with a raised edge
  • Drawers : none
  • Rotatable : no
  • Assembly required : none
  • Puzzle Area : 20.5″ x 29.5″ (for the 1000pc version)
  • Size : 25.6″ x 33″ x 2″ (for the 1000pc version)
  • Weight : 12.5 pounds (for the 1000pc version)
  • Special features : The portable puzzle board means it can be used seperately. High Quality carry case with handle & two zips to stop those pieces sneaking out! Available as a Jigsort 500 and Jigsort 1500 too.

USER REVIEWS

  • Functionality: ‘Well made’, ‘well packaged’, and ‘Good quality’ were frequently mentioned.
  • Design: Expensive, but worth the cost. Not suitable for the larger White Mountain 1000pc puzzles.
  • Durability: Very high quality, and no problems reported.
  • Protection: The Carry Case provides an extra layer of protection, especially with the two zips.
  • Portability: The felt stops the pieces sliding when put away, especially with the sort trays on top, even when carried vertically by the handle! Heavy due to the quality of material used.

Puzzle Mats

The cheapest and lightest option.
Assemble your puzzle on a felt mat, and when you are ready to pack away,
wrap the felt with pieces around a cardboard tube and carry it away.
Who thought this would actually work as well as it does!

The Original Puzzle Roll - 3000pcs

The Original Puzzle Mat by Jumbo.

  • Material : Felt with a cardboard tube
  • Surface : Felt
  • Drawers : none
  • Rotatable : no
  • Assembly required : none
  • Puzzle Area : 24″ x 30″
  • Size : 11.8″ x 11.8″ x 7.9″
  • Weight : 2.3 pound
  • Special features : Cheap! The only solution for a 3000pc puzzle? Be very careful when wrapping up your pieces around the cardboard roll. It does work but practice first!

USER REVIEWS

  • Functionality: The Puzzle & Roll provides a convenient solution for storing puzzles in progress. It can be easily rolled up, making it ideal for those who want to free up space between puzzling sessions.
  • Design: The mat comes with marked boundaries for different puzzle sizes, aiding in the placement of edge pieces. However, some users found the mat to be a bit wrinkled, which can affect the puzzling experience.
  • Durability: While the mat serves its purpose, care needs to be taken to prevent it from getting wet.
  • Protection: The mat offers a great solution for those with pets or young children. Puzzles can be rolled up and stored away safely, preventing any disturbances.
  • Portability: Designed to be easily rolled up, it allows users to work on their puzzles in different locations or store them away when not in use.

Also, have a look at this very clever  Puzzle mat from Puzzle Ready.
It comes with a foam roller (not cardboard), a neat carrying bag with shoulder strap and incredibly four foldable mats.
How do these mats roll around the roller? A super clever design as they are also made from felt and so the four corners can be pinned together to make a tray! 

Puzzle-Ready_Puzzle-Mat

Conclusion:
Should I buy a Puzzle Table, Board or Mat?

How much is a meal out for two people? How much is a Becko puzzle board? The same price!

How long does a meal last? 2 hours? How many hours is a puzzle board used for? Over 300 hours!
(Based on an average of 8-10 hours for a 1000pc puzzle, and a puzzler doing 6-8 puzzles a year for five years)

The simple answer is … you can have a nice meal for a couple of hours,
or have a really nice time puzzling comfortably for years!
Whichever Puzzle Table, Board, or Mat you choose, I hope I have helped you choose the right one for YOU.

Jigthings – a special hello!

I first met Colin & Lisa, founders of Jigthings, 20 years ago whilst working for Gibsons. I was struck by their passion for making the best Jigsaw puzzle accessories and incredible enthusiasm for jigsaw puzzles.

Established in 1999, you can see how Colin & Lisa started  Jigthings here and how they became the ‘Dyson of the jigsaw puzzle accessory world’!

See the Jigtables, Jigsorts & Jigboards on the Jigthings store.

Geoff Lee