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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38 Consumer Reviews for Molekule

Average Consumer Rating: 4.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 28 4 star: 0 3 star: 1 2 star: 1 1 star:  8
Bottom Line: 74% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 38
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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Took a chance on new technology - glad I did!

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Apr 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The house I live in is pretty old. From the 1940s actually. Constant coughing downstairs quite a bit and it's a bit worrisome. Plus there are three cats and a dog (my house mate's pets).

    I was a little skeptical about the Molekule and its new approach to air cleaning. But, I've had mine for a couple of days now, and the coughing has reduced by 90%. I am amazed and grateful.

    Now, to convince my housemate to get their own Molekule!

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

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  • 4 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Unhappy

    I ordered the air purifier, but there were delays in delivery, so I canceled the order. Tracking number shows that the item was returned to Molekule, and I’ve made numerous request for a refund of the purchase. I received one response asking for a tracking number, which I provided. As of yet, months after the purchase, I have not received a response. This implies to me that Molekule's customer service is unsatisfactory. I can only imagine what would have happened if I received their product and had any issues with operations. This is a fairly expensive item, and you would expect a quick response with any problems. All I can say is, buyer beware. Further action will follow.

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

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    • Apr 18, 2018

      Molekule, Community Manager

      Hi Larry. We're sorry to hear you had an unsatisfactory experience with our Customer Service team. We looked at the tracking you provided, and it does look like there were delays in your shipment due to local weather conditions that were out of our control. We also see that you reached out to our team a few times within the last few weeks, however, our team has responded within a day each time. We haven't received a response to our last message to you yet and are happy to follow up again to work towards a resolution.

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    I can finally breathe!

    • Tucson, AZ,
    • Apr 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been suffering for 30 years from chronic sinusitis and allergies. Most recently I was diagnosed with adult asthma. My doctors have given me albuterol and nebulizers steroids, alternative antibiotics brand Sudafed, fluticasone, propionate, Patanase, along with CPAP machine.

    I also used alternative therapies, raw honey, ACV, saline nasal spray and nettie pot, Er Chen Wan, etc.

    Although some of these methods would help alleviate some of these symptoms from time to time, nothing helped alleviate the chronic post nasal drip in the back of my throat that would decrease respirations and keep me awake at night. Nothing resolved the swollen painful face and extreme fatigue I would have most days during the allergy season or indoor allergen reactions in certain environments especially in my own recently built home.

    New filters and other air purifiers did nothing but add to the regular chores of cost and maintenance until I read about Molekule. Molekule was the first design and air purifier system that I had absolute faith and symptom resolve. My morning and night regime consisted of two pump albuterol inhaler and during the day when I needed extra air, to installing Molekule in my home and within 24 hours forgetting to use my inhaler and as the days passed by not needing my inhaler at all. It was the first time I felt free to breathe deeply without a nagging little cough.

    I am so grateful for the Molekule to finally feel comfort in the air I can inhale. This has been the best purchase I have ever made!

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

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  • 14 out 14 people found this review helpful

    Avoid this product

    The Molekule is nicely designed, but the software just doesn't work, and the small particle filtering is way below industry standards. The unit will not connect reliably to WiFi, and the filter tracking feature does not work. Also, the small particle filtering of this unit is way below other much cheaper units. I have contacted the company about the software fix, and there is no timetable to get a software update out. My guess is they never plan on fixing the unit's software issues. I would avoid given the high cost and the fact that the main features of the unit never work.

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

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    • Mar 9, 2018

      Molekule, Community Manager

      Hi Michael - Thanks for taking the time to review Molekule. We recognize there are software bugs that affect some customers and a resolution for this is absolutely a priority for our team. We apologize that these issues have negatively impacted your experience with Molekule.

      Our patented technology does not only filter pollutants 1000x smaller than the industry standard, it completely destroys them. Molekule completely destroys viruses, bacteria, mold, and gaseous chemical pollutants without, in the case of bacteria, giving them a chance to stay on the filter and release endotoxins as they die.

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  • 14 out 14 people found this review helpful

    Molekule being thrown in garbage

    • Boulder, CO,
    • Mar 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have ZERO confidence in the Molekule purifier and am simply throwing it in the garbage.

    I am tired of receiving generic responses from the company saying my problems are due to known software and hardware problems. The unit cannot keep Wi-Fi connectivity, and the app gives an inaccurate reading for both the Pre-FIlter and the Nano-Filter. Settings for the filter were re-set by Molekule, as filter settings would not reset when I replaced the filters.

    I now question both the integrity of the product AND the people running the company. I will no longer waste electricity on a product that appears to be doing absolutely NOTHING! Unfortunately, I cannot give a rating of less than 1.

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

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    • Mar 9, 2018

      Molekule, Community Manager

      Hi Ken - We’re sorry to hear you’ve had such a frustrating experience with your Molekule and our team. As you mentioned, we are aware of the connectivity and filter reset issue. These are top priorities for our team and we are actively working on a resolution. Unfortunately, as a small team, software updates don’t just happen overnight and thus, we do apologize for the wait. While Molekule does have features that are enabled by connectivity, the core of our technology is a fundamental advancement in air purification and that core still functions perfectly without Wi-Fi.

      Molekule’s patented technology, PECO, was developed over 20 years at the University of South Florida by our chief scientist, Dr. Yogi Goswami. We are proud of our technology, our team, and how far we have come against an outdated industry. We're sorry Molekule didn’t work out for you and appreciate your candid feedback.

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Wonderful so far!

    After spending weeks researching and deciding whether or not to buy the Molekule, I finally decided to go for it.

    So far (one month) we have been very pleased with the new air quality in our house!

    Having three dogs and a cat, that "doggy" smell can be present even with regular professional carpet cleaning. The air is definitely cleaner and fresher!

    I wish the air cleaning capacity was larger (400sq ft is the largest room it does) or that I could buy a couple more for other parts of the house.

    We really are very pleased!

    It is very mobile and stylish looking to boot, so that is a plus.

    I recommend downloading the app to your phone before starting the unit; it will help with setup and getting the latest updates.

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Changed everything

    I would wake up every day sneezing and blowing my nose for an hour before heading out the door and finding relief. Something in my house does not agree with me, and I had lived this way for a couple of years. When I heard about the Molekule, I figured I had nothing to lose. I backed the Kickstarter, got the machine, plugged it in, went to bed...and I woke up and didn't even notice at first. I was completely sneeze/drip free. I can honestly say that this machine has changed my life. It's also really nice looking, which is a big plus for me.

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

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  • 51 out 52 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    Update

    • Raleigh, NC,
    • Jan 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was finally able to receive an RMA after they had practically bricked my device (no W-Fi, Bluetooth, and it would reboot on its own all of the time). They have had the device for 11 days and still no process on a refund. PLEASE. Don't waste your time with this product.

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

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    • Jan 8, 2018

      Molekule, Community Manager

      Tim, we have taken a detailed look at what happened in your case. Unfortunately, we did not provide the kind of customer service that you deserve and the one we strive to deliver to all of our customers. Please accept our sincere apologies. We are aware that occasionally devices can be affected by the connectivity issue that you experienced. We are working hard to resolve this issue as swiftly as possible. We understand that, although the unit functions perfectly well without being connected, some of our customers want to be able to use this feature.

      We see that we emailed you the RMA return label on November 22nd and received your returned unit in our warehouse on December 25th. Unfortunately, our warehouse did not notify us of its receipt, which is why the process took longer than it should have. This mistake was due to work scheduling over the holiday period. We apologize again for the inconvenience this caused you. We’re glad you received your refund last week and we have also arranged for a full refund of your shipping costs.

      Thank you for your candid feedback and for trying Molekule. We hope that this explanation provides some context, and assure you that we have learned from the mistakes we made while handling your case.

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    • Previous review
    • Sep 26, 2017

    Doesn't live up to the hype

    My experience with Molekule was positive until about 30 days in.

    The device started rattling and eventually also started squealing when on high.

    I have also found that the device becomes unresponsive and will either reboot on its own or requires that it be unplugged and plugged back in to get it to function again. It is extremely disruptive as I have this unit in my bedroom and when it reboots it also recalibrates which causes the fan to surge which will wake up even the most sound sleeper.

    I have reached out to support on multiple occasions and am disappointed by the lack of help. They take the better part of a week to even respond. Most recently I was asked to disable WIFI on the device as they have an issue with the current firmware and no anticipated date for it to be corrected. This is what they are attributing the reboots and lockups to.

    I have asked for an RMA and have not been able to get one to date so don't expect them to honor the extremely limited warranty that does exist.

    (read moreread less...)

  • 8 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Amazing air!

    • Minneapolis, MN,
    • Dec 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    We have radiator heat in our home so no filtration, nothing to filter any air pollutants. I have two Germ Guardians, and they were barely touching the problem unless I opened the windows with the units running, otherwise, they smelled stale and burnt. I saw this advertised and after reading reviews and doing more research I concluded this might be the way to go. However, I was skeptical since as per usual things can sound better than they actually perform, but I was wrong.

    This unit is absolutely amazing! The day after I received the unit, my grandson came over and he said: "Grandma, your house smells so good!" Don't get me wrong, I clean constantly and run essential oil diffusers, open windows, etc., but when you have nothing to filter your air, it's a battle constantly! It is winter here and cold so opening the windows all day is not an option. I am so glad I found this company! I have asthma and cannot afford to keep buying all these various units that do very little and offer no solution to my air quality. Molekule did it! Thank you!

    Anyone with heating duct work in their homes would be amazed by this addition to air quality! I definitely plan to purchase a second unit for the other level in our home.

    Healthy breathing!

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

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Worth the money!

    • Birmingham, AL,
    • Dec 13, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    My husband and I both were waking up with sore throats and congestion for weeks on end. We consistently change our air filter, so we were really getting frustrated and worried. We bought this machine as a last-ditch effort.

    Literally the very first morning after Molekule ran all night, we saw a difference in the way we felt. My throat no longer hurts when I wake up, and if that isn’t proof, I don’t know what is. For us, it has been worth the money.

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

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Best air cleaner I've ever owned

    At first, I was attracted to the Molekule air cleaner based on appearance. Its clean design looked like something from Apple for example. For this reason, I clicked for more information and liked what I read enough to order one. It arrived well packaged, setup was easy, and it started working immediately to improve air quality in my home. We have pets (a Labrador and cats) that share our house with us. I almost immediately noticed an improvement and there is little odor of any kind. I can smell the "clean" air coming out, which has a distinctive smell. I'd highly recommend this unit to anyone. I plan on purchasing at least one more in the near future.

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

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