Molekule Review: Is This Air Purifier Worth It?

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.

Our Bottom Line: Who Is Molekule Good For?

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 the 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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Read 113 Molekule Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 4.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 82 4 star: 3 3 star: 1 2 star: 7 1 star:  20
Bottom Line: 75% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 113
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  • Excellent investment!

    • San Diego, CA,
    • Jul 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have two cats and house guests who frequently come over but who are allergic. I purchased the Molekule hoping it would not only improve the quality of air for me, but also for people who stay over. Just this last weekend I had a houseguest for four days who is very allergic to cats. We kept the Molekule in her room the whole time and she said it made a HUGE difference for her! Normally she’s miserable but not anymore! Thank you to the scientists to developed this technology! I love it!

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

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  • Great product

    • Decatur, GA,
    • Jul 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Ordered my first Molekule and was skeptical, I have bought other air purifiers in the past that did not do anything to help my allergies. Molekule, however, has done exactly what they said they would do so I ordered additional units for the rest of the house I am enjoying the fresh air they provide for me.

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

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  • Great air purifier

    • Massachusetts,
    • Jul 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased Molekule because my boys have asthma. I am very pleased with the quality of the product and how clean the air feels. My boys fight over who will keep it in their room each night. I recommend for anyone with allergies or asthma.

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

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  • Great product for dog allergies

    • Miami, FL,
    • Jul 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My daughter had very bad dog allergies to our dog and now they have significantly reduced. We keep it running on BOOST mode 24/7 to always have clean air. Grateful to Molekule! I will most likely purchase a second.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING!

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Jul 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was quite hesitant to purchase a Molekule Air after reading about all the app problems. I even bought an IQ Air instead last year. Which was fine...it's HUGE and did a good job. But Molekule, OMG...I finally caved. The air is actually fresh coming from it and it's attractive! I woke up after the first time I used it, feeling better than ever.

    I had no problems with the app. I do have an iPhone Xs, so maybe people with an older android or something have issues? I don't know...

    I just want to stand on the rooftop and shout about how incredible this filter is. It's like breathing fresh air from deep in the ocean, but in my old LA apartment!

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Best thing I ever bought

    • Ft. Lauderdale, FL,
    • May 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am so excited about this product. Dust is to a minimum and no morning snuffy noses. I cannot thank Molekule enough. What a terrific well built and highly effective air purifier. Well worth the money.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Works well in dusty environments

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • May 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I live in an industrial part of Los Angeles and my room was always covered in dust, until I purchased my Molekule. Now I don't have to remove dust from everything twice a week!

    My only criticism is the connectivity to my phone is spotty at best, but that doesn't affect its performance.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Efficient air cleaner

    • San Diego, CA,
    • May 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received one unit as a gift last year, it worked great. There was a minor firmware issue that has since been resolved and now the system works perfectly 24 hours a day. I will get another unit for a different part of the house soon. The silent mode is how I choose to have this set at and it works wonderfully just a few feet away from my bed.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Molekule helped me profoundly

    • Oklahoma,
    • May 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I suffer from a respiratory condition called bronchiectasis, where my lungs have difficulty removing mucus. I have tried many air purifiers, and I can state, sincerely, and in good faith, that I have noticed a profound decrease in the sequela associated with my symptoms.

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

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  • 9 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Buyer beware

    • Brooklyn, NY,
    • May 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    To see some of the issues I've been dealing with since day two of using this unit see reviews left by Louis and Lianne. My bigger grievance has to do with this company's inept customer service. First, a firmware issue that took 2 days to resolve when the company know of the problem but chooses not to proactively email customers about the issue was not clearly understood by the people I spoke to. A Wi-Fi issue that a customer service rep told me could be resolved by disabling the app to which I replied, why would that be acceptable when the app and connectivity were a major reason for this purchase.

    Insult on top of injury, when I talked with a rep about returning the unit, she tells me that after we hang up she will send me instructions and a FedEx return label will follow shortly; 2 days later and an email to her that she didn't respond to, no instructions or label. Yet another call to customer service yesterday, speaking this time to "Monti" who tells me all the same things, but does send instructions which imply that I am responsible for return shipping costs and that I need a "return authorization number", neither of which Monti mentioned. As with the young lady I spoke with before Monti, I was told I would receive a FedEx return label shortly. FYI, I emailed Monti this afternoon looking for clarification, no reply, and no return label.

    After 10 days of dealing with this nonsense, all I want is the FedEx return label and to be done with this company. My advise, do not buy this product, it's pretty to look at but is bug ridden and have nothing to do with this company, they are completely unaware of the fact that the last thing to do customers is frustrate them.

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

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    • May 9, 2019

      Company Response from Molekule, Inc.

      Hello Bill, we are sorry to hear about your poor experience and apologize for the delayed response. One of our technical support advocates has reached out to you and has sent the return instructions and label.


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Recommend

    • Shepherdstown, WV,
    • May 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Pricey but good. Wife loves it, she breathes easier as the "Canary" in the coal mine in the house.

    It is expensive ($900) for up to a 20x20 room and after the first year, you’ll be spending over $100 per year in filter replacements thru Molekule. All that said, If you have an allergy sufferer it might make the difference.

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

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