About Molekule

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff Updated on: May 2, 2018

If you’re familiar with traditional air cleaners, you know they work by filtering particulate matter out of the air.

But according to the folks over at Molekule, they’ve created the world’s first molecular air purifier that doesn’t just capture pollutants, it eliminates them—including allergens, airborne chemicals (VOCs), mold, viruses, and bacteria. Not only this, but Molekule is also portable, much quieter, and can be monitored and controlled via its companion app.

In a nutshell, here’s how it works (we’ll go into more detail in a second): Molecule’s intake pulls in 360° of air. As this air passes over a patent pending light-activated nano-filter, any harmful pollutants not caught by the prefilter are turned into harmless elements at the molecular level. Then, this sanitized air exits Molekule into the surrounding room.

Although Molekule claims their technology is based on 20 years of research and development, does this necessarily mean that the purifier will work better than traditional options? Even then, will it deliver a solid level of value?

To begin our review, let’s take a look at Molekule’s finer details.

How Does Molekule Air Purifier Work?

Made from machined aluminum, each Molekule air purifier is 23" H x 8.25" in diameter and weighs 18 pounds. On its top, you’ll find a natural leather handle that allows you to move the purifier wherever it’s needed.

Speaking of which, the manufacturer recommends using one Molekule per 600 square feet, and placing it in areas where you spend most of your time, especially close to your bedside at night. This way, it can help you wake up feeling refreshed.

When in use, Molekule feature three operation modes:

  • Silent (30dBa, or about as loud as a whispered conversation) – Although it still operates efficiently, this mode is meant to maximize quietness.

  • Turbo Boost (55dBa, or normal conversation) – Boost focuses more on cleaning the room “extremely quickly.”

  • Auto (42dBa, or a hushed conversation) – Here, Molekule will determine when the air needs a quick clean, based on factors like the number of pets present and the size of the room.

The Molekule air purifierThe Molekule air purifier

Each of these settings can be adjusted directly via Molekule’s touchscreen display. Or, using your home’s Wi-Fi connection, it can connect to the companion app, which can report metrics for each cleaning cycle, allow you to select the operation modes above, and display the remaining life for both filters. Built-in sensors will also order new filters as needed, which will arrive directly on your doorstep.

We’re even told Molekule’s app will, over time, “increase in intelligence to report surrounding air quality metrics (both indoors and outdoors).”

Molekule’s Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) Technology

Most air purifiers work using HEPA filters to trap 99.97 percent of airborne particles 0.3 micrometers (µm) in diameter (several hundred times smaller than the thickness of a human hair), depending on the filter’s size and quality. However, this process only traps particulate matter; it doesn’t eliminate it.

Comparatively, Molekule uses a proprietary technology called PECO (Photo Electrochemical Oxidation) to disassemble pollutants at the molecular level and convert them into nontoxic elements—without creating ozone. We're told this technology was developed over the course of two decades, and that it's able to destroy pollutants 1,000 times smaller than HEPA filters (0.1 nanometers), including VOCs and viruses.

According to the company, this means that Molekule is the “only product that eradicates the full spectrum of indoor air pollutants.” Here’s how they explain it:

“This is done by creating a catalytic reaction that happens when a nanoparticle-coated filter is activated by light. Pollutants are broken down into their most basic molecular components, making them safe for us to breathe.”

The process works through four steps:

  1. First, Molekule’s air intake draws in air from all 360° at once.
  2. Then, this air is circulated first through the pre-filter, which traps “larger allergens like dust, pollen, and dander.”
  3. Next, the PECO technology goes to work breaking down harmful pollutants to their most basic molecular components.
  4. Last, Molekule will leave your room pollution-free in minutes.

Molekule's 4-stage purification process Molekule's 4-stage purification process is claimed to eradicate the full spectrum of indoor air pollutants.

Together, the company advertises this four-stage purification process will eradicate the full spectrum of indoor air pollutants.

The manufacturer also reports that Molekule has been extensively tested by third-party laboratories, including the University of Minnesota and the University of South Florida, some of which have been shown to completely eliminate 3.9 million E. Coli in a single pass. A few white papers supporting these claims are listed on the Molekule website, and we were also able to dig up a PECO technology review elsewhere online.

How Much Does Molekule Cost?

The Molekule Air Purifier is priced at $799 and comes with one pre-filter and one nano filter. All direct purchases also include a free one-year filter subscription, where you’ll receive three replacement pre-filters (approximately 11 months after your purchase) and one nano filter (six months after purchase) delivered directly to your door.

If you purchased your Molekule before 3/2/18, the following year’s subscription will cost you $99. If after this date, you’ll pay $129 ($189 CAD).

If you prefer to buy individually, a single pre-filter is $30, which should be replaced every three months. One nano filter is $85 and should be changed out every six months.

Direct purchases delivered within the contiguous U.S. come with a flat $29 shipping fee, while deliveries to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are charged $40 S&H.

For qualified customers, Affirm offers financing for as low as zero percent APR.

All Molekule purchases come with a 60-day refund policy, less S&H charges, as well as a one-year limited warranty.

A Look at Reviews and Complaints About Molekule

Nearly 40 HighYa readers have provided reviews about their experiences with Molekule, giving the air purifier an average rating of four stars. Common compliments referenced improved breathing (reduced coughing, alleviated congestion, etc.), decreased odors, and better sleep.

The relatively few complaints frequently related to functionality and service concerns, although a company representative responded to each.

As a company, Molekule, Inc. was founded in 2014 and is based out of San Francisco, CA. They held a C+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on one negative customer review and five closed complaints, as of 4/30/18. No additional details were available.

Who Invented the Molekule Air Purifier?

The PECO technology behind Molekule was originally invented by Dr. Yogi Goswami, a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of South Florida, using principles of solar technology, light, and nanotechnology—along with two decades of research, patents, and publication.

Today, Dr. Goswami’s son, Dilip Goswami, has taken this technology and "enlisted some of the brightest minds in applied science, engineering, and design" to implement it into Molekule, a device the company believes can help millions of people breathe better.

Because of this, the company is on a mission to “eliminate indoor air pollution, in every home, for everyone,” and to adapt the technology behind Molekule for use in businesses, hospitals, airplanes, and in many other potential applications.

Is Molekule the Right Air Purifier for You?

Whether you’re searching online or at a brick-and-mortar retailer near you, the fact of the matter is that you can typically pick up a high-quality HEPA-based air purifier for anywhere between $100 and $200—which is up to 80 percent less expensive than Molekule.

However, as we often say here at HighYa, the price is only one factor in determining overall value. The second part of the equation is how much use you'll get out of Molekule, as well as the potential health benefits it can provide.

Here are a couple of admittedly simplistic examples to outline what we mean:

Are you just looking for something to remove dust and other larger particulate matter from the air inside your home or office? An option that might be able to deliver the most bang for your buck? In an instance like this, it might be difficult to go wrong with a traditional air purifier.

On the other hand, do you have allergy sufferers in your home? Are you looking to get rid of the most allergens possible—including airborne chemicals, viruses, and bacteria? Because Molekule's PECO technology can destroy matter hundreds of times smaller than a HEPA filter, its high price might be worth the much-improved performance.

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92 Consumer Reviews for Molekule

Average Consumer Rating: 4.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 67 4 star: 1 3 star: 1 2 star: 6 1 star:  17
Bottom Line: 74% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 92
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  • Allergy relief

    • Indianapolis, IN,
    • Mar 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have had a lot of issues with allergies my whole life and have tried a ton of air filters over the years. This one by far has brought me the most relief! I no longer wake up in the morning and have to blow my nose, and I notice a big difference in how I feel when I’m at my house compared to out in public. Needless to say, this product has improved my life, and I would recommend it to anyone who suffers from any type of respiratory issues.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Snake oil - expensive paper weight

    • Delaware,
    • Mar 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Honestly, I don't buy the fancy light killing Molekule tech. I did the same test as many. I put a new AC filter in every month in my condo. This last time, instead of throwing the old AC filter away, I put it in a clean trash bag to compare a month of use without the Molekule vs. with the Molekule. Guess what? There is exactly the same amount of particulate matter in each filter. You could say "Oh maybe the vents are dirty." NOPE. I clean them out every six months.

    I would say buy 3x high-end HEPA purifiers and scatter them through your house. This thing might be able to clean the air in a small closet, lol.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Molekule reviews are not hype

    • Millbury, MA,
    • Mar 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received my Molekule and the online reviews were accurate and not hype. I did feel a difference in the air almost immediately after the initial cleaning cycle. The next morning, I was not congested or reaching for my nasal spray upon waking. I will definitely be telling my allergist about Molekule at my next appointment in March.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Worth the money - it works.

    • Lake County, CA,
    • Mar 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I bought one of the Molekule air purifiers despite being skeptical about the claims. The bottom line is that I noticed an immediate difference the morning after turning it on. I have been significantly stuffy in the morning, sneezing and coughing despite my county having the cleanest air in California. Now I can breathe through my nose again and no more coughing or sneezing. The effect was immediately noticeable. While I'm generally skeptical about stuff, the return policy made me try it and I am very glad I did. This is pricey but being able to breathe inside my own house made the purchase worth making.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Bad customer service and poor exchange

    • Minneapolis, MN,
    • Mar 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Just got the Molekule tonight, and worked fine for 15 minutes with the apps from my phone, but then, the apps on my phone couldn't detect the Molekule device anymore, so I tested with thee more phones, but still couldn’t detect the device. So, I talked to the customer rep, whose name is Leo (Refund Request #105019), but it sounded he didn’t care about the customer, and refused to send the new one, even if it was obvious that the sensor of the Molekule broke after 15 minutes. He spent two hours talking to me in a stubborn, rude attitude. Because of the way Leo treated me, I made a decision to request a full-refund with additional shipping cost due to the defected item that you sold. All I asked was to ask him to exchange the defected item with the item that works properly. During the 2 hours, his response was so slow, like he was talking to friends or watching TV because I heard laughter on his background noise. It completely ruined my night, and wasted my time. The worst customer service.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Mar 12, 2019

      Molekule ., Molekule Support

      Hello Steven, we are sorry to hear this. This is not the experience we want our customers to have. We are more than happy to assist you with a return, please contact our customer support team at 855-999-9069.

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Disappointing

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Mar 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am surprised at the positive reviews. I had high hopes for this machine, but unfortunately, it didn't live up to the hype. It did nothing for kitchen aromas (bacon, etc.). When I called to ask customer service about it, they told me it could take 24-48 hours! Say what? In that much time, I can get rid of the odors on my own, without a $700 air "purifier!"

    Also, I used it for a month, and the HEPA filter in my furnace was just as dirty as it used to be without the Molekule!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Mar 12, 2019

      Molekule ., Molekule Support

      Hello Al, we are sorry to hear that your Molekule has not helped you with kitchen odors. We would be more than happy to assist you with a return, please contact our customer support team at 855-999-9069.

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Worth every penny!

    • Florida,
    • Mar 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Since using my Molekule (and I was very skeptical of this), my son has 100% stopped his nighttime tossing and turning and coughing in his sleep. I’ve been using it now for almost 3 months (just on silent mode) and I can’t believe the immediate difference this has made. I have read some people online being skeptical if it works and if you will really notice a difference, well I can speak from my experience and say that anyone that is dealing with serious asthma/allergies should invest in this and will notice a difference at night. Thank you MoleKule. I’m pretty certain you will see an order for another one for my room soon.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Immediate odor from unit

    • Indiana,
    • Mar 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was so excited to get this unit. I immediately opened the box and plugged it in. I liked that it had a night time setting with no lights. That setting, however, limits the effectiveness of the unit as it shuts off the UV light. The UV light works in conjunction with the filter to create oxidation to eliminate VOCs in the air.

    We used the unit overnight in the bedroom. She woke up in the morning with a splitting headache and felt nauseous. I later smelled the air coming out of the unit and it smelled like formaldehyde. I read another review from a woman who experienced similar symptoms but noticed they went away when the unit was off.

    I contacted Molekule and they went into their boilerplate, it's new and the parts will smell for a few days. Problem is, the unit doesn't smell until you turn the UV light on. I turned it off and on several times and noticed the difference in the odor coming from the unit. I didn't test the odor that was coming out of the unit but it shouldn't be doing that. Clean air doesn't have an odor. Chemicals and mold have an odor and I've been around formaldehyde enough to know when I smell it.

    More testing and tweaks need to be done to the Molekule. It didn't work for us, and I think you'll notice the same odor coming from the unit when the UV light is on if you decide to buy one anyway. Remember, clean air doesn't have an odor.

    Customer service was great though. Easy return process and I already got a full refund with no return shipping.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Love it, love it.

    • Denton, TX,
    • Mar 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had been hooked on Afrin nasal spray for 3 years. Allergies were something terrible. Air quality in North Texas is no good. Every evening around 6 pm my head would stop up. Because I use a nasal CPAP, it was imperative I can breathe through my nose. I have been using my Molekule for 30 days now and I have used Afrin twice in the first week and needed only a tiny spray. I sleep so sound now. I thought Molekule was expensive, but it works so well and is worth every penny. The quality of the product is obvious and I’m glad I bought it.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    It really works!

    • Indiana,
    • Feb 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My wife Kathie has been suffering from mole toxicity for some time. Once we removed all mold trappings, we decided it was necessary to purify the air we breathe to allow her to fully heal. We use the Molekule every day and move it from room to room during the day.

    It's not cheap, but it really works. We're going to buy another one so we won't have to carry it up and down the stairs.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Very pleased

    • Reno, NV,
    • Feb 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been so allergic to Nevada sagebrush, however, Molekule definitely does help! Some days I still feel stuffy and I do use essential oils. On the days I’m more stuffy I will put the device on boost (usually while I’m gone to work as it is louder in boost mode) and by the time I’m home I’m mostly all cleared up! The science behind it seems great and I can tell a difference in air quality by breathing! Eventually would like to get a second one to really ensure the air is filtered properly.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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Showing 1-11 of 92

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