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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53 Consumer Reviews for Molekule

Average Consumer Rating: 4.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 41 4 star: 0 3 star: 1 2 star: 1 1 star:  10
Bottom Line: 77% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 53
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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Absolutely amazing!

    • Central Florida,
    • Sep 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The Molekule is an absolute miracle! I found these while on Instagram and did my research. With the ability to finance this product, I had to give it a try. Well, about a month later now, the quality of the air in my home has changed dramatically. I was so impressed, I purchased a second Molekule for the bedroom and I’ve never slept better. Your health is worth this investment, trust me.

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

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  • Big difference

    • Sonoma, CA,
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I became concerned about the air quality inside my house right after the nearby wildfires last fall. I was intrigued with the clean, modern design of Molekule and I decided to give it a try due to the generous return policy. After only a few days I woke up and noticed my eyes were less puffy, my nose was not running, and my throat felt normal. Shortly thereafter I had to leave town for a few days, and I remember noticing a distinct difference in how I felt and looked after waking up in my hotel room. I missed my new Molekule.

    When I came home from my trip, I recycled the Molekule shipping box I was saving in my garage.

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

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  • Must have

    • San Francisco CA,
    • Sep 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I love my Molekule. I had it for 18 months. It saved me from the annual flu. It does kill virus while clean air from pollution. I recommend it to all my friends to buy two - one for the bedroom and one for the family room. A must-purchase item.

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

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  • Cleaner air? Who knew!

    • Old Bridge Township, NJ,
    • Sep 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I suffer from allergies ALL YEAR, and as a result of it, I also have asthma. Living in the Northeast with all the seasons, humidity, barometric pressures, stifling heat, dust, mold, pollution, etc., I was always advised by my allergy specialist to get a Hepa filter. Then I found Molekule. Yes "OMG, it's expensive," but let me tell you, I sleep through the night without waking up to coughing or a stuffy nose. I recently moved it closer to my bed, and my quality of sleep is MUCH better. I can feel the difference from my room to other rooms in the house. I know some are skeptical because of the high price point, but I have to say, it’s totally worth the money to have cleaner air!

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Love my Molekule

    • Herkimer, NY,
    • Sep 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    From the first night, my Molekule changed my life. I used to wake up every morning with a headache and a nose full of debris. Now I wake with a clear nose and no headache. I also have 5 dogs and their hair no longer bothers me. The Molekule has been a lifesaver. Well worth every penny.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Molekule quality

    • Saint Petersburg, FL,
    • Sep 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I’ve suffered for many many years with asthma and sinus problems. Not anymore! I’ve had my Molekule since June and have not had any respiratory or nasal problems at all. The quality of the air in my room is simply amazing! The air smells good, and it feels good! I leave it on all day, and sometimes I bring the Molekule to other rooms. There is nothing like it! It is in a class by itself!

    Thank you Molekule Team!

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Sound is cyclic and disturbing

    • Venice, FL,
    • Sep 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was most worried about the initial off-gassing smell people talked about, as I am sensitive to strong odors. No problem there, but the sound it emits is incredibly annoying. It isn't a steady, soothing white noise, it's cyclic. Even on so-called "silent' mode, the cyclic up and down is there and disturbing. There is no true "silent" mode. It has a general hum coupled with a cyclic sound. The cyclic sound is higher pitched than the general hum. If you are sound sensitive, this unit will drive you crazy.

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

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    • Sep 10, 2018

      Molekule ., Molekule Support

      Hello Sharon, we are sorry to hear that your Molekule is causing you discomfort. Please send our customer support team a video of the sound https://help.molekule.com/hc/en-us/requests/new. The one year warranty will cover this issue. Normally, Molekule is extremely quiet compared to conventional air purifiers, and its noise levels run from 30 dBa to 55 dBa. Silent Mode runs the device as quietly as possible (30 dBa), which is about the noise level of a hushed conversation. While the volume of air flowing through the device is reduced, the device still cleans the air effectively. Boost mode runs the device at its maximum speed (55 dBa), which is the noise level of a normal conversation.

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Complete waste of money, and an utter failure in function

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Sep 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have now owned this piece of junk for about seven months, and have lost count of the number of times it has spontaneously shut itself off. It might work for a few minutes or a few hours, but inevitably, it dies until I restart it manually. After almost a year of promised fixes, firmware updates, etc., I will be asking for my money back because it is simply entirely unreliable. A shame - looks great, great idea, but it is completely and totally unreliable. Do NOT waste your money on this.

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

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    • Sep 10, 2018

      Molekule ., Molekule Support

      Hello Michael, we are sorry to hear that your Molekule has been having these issues. If you like a return or exchange. please contact our customer support team: https://help.molekule.com/hc/en-us/requests/new. We agree with you, the new firmware is long overdue. Rather than do incremental updates to fix problems, we decided to completely overhaul our firmware, which, in retrospect was a much greater undertaking than we had estimated.

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    We love our Molekule!

    • Chelmsford, MA,
    • Aug 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    We purchased Molekule for ourselves and our two sons and their families. The set up was easy and I felt it really helped with the pollen this year. With five grandchildren, we were impressed at the virus killing property. Can we know it works? I have no way to test, but we are pleased enough that we are purchasing another for our condo in California because of the smoke from the fires. I will be happy to report back on that, but we have high hopes!

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Great machine

    • Lewiston, ID,
    • Aug 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been purifying my water for decades, my air not as long, however, this is the most effective concept I have ever seen. Took ALL the mold from underneath the house and is now keeping the entire house clean as it should be.

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

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Molekule surpasses expectations

    • Providence, RI,
    • Aug 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I decided to order two Molekules for my home. I have a historic home that we also have several pets, mold has been an issue and we work with the public...health is always a concern. Firstly, the product is beautiful...so well made, the design extremely simple but so effective. We hardly have dust, my asthma has improved dramatically. I had a few questions each and every time I called my questions were answered, and great tips were given. Once I called not only did I receive a phone call, they followed up with an email answer. I am so impressed. Their app is easy to use. They made it so easy to change the filters...push and turn...you will not be disappointed. I love, love, love my Molekules.

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

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