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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62 Consumer Reviews for Molekule

Average Consumer Rating: 4.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 47 4 star: 0 3 star: 1 2 star: 2 1 star:  12
Bottom Line: 76% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 62
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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Love love love

    • Lafayette, IN,
    • Nov 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I love that I can see how well it’s cleaning my air. Our four kids can breath easier. I love checking the filter and seeing how much dog hair and dander it has cleaned from the air. Do not know what else to say except the quality is amazing and I would recommend it to anyone. Very much worth the money.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Awesome product

    • Carriere, MS,
    • Nov 1, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This purifier is the bomb! I plugged it in and in an hour and a half, you could not smell anything but clean air. I am amazed! I have had other "air purifiers" that were anything but. I plan to purchase two more so the rest of my house will smell as good as the living room and kitchen. I fried fish the other night, and in thirty minutes you could no longer smell it. My old machine only got most of the smell out by the next morning. I am a total fan of this product!

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Love my Molekule

    • Freehold, NJ,
    • Nov 1, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received my Molekule 18 months ago, and it’s still working great. I suffer from very bad allergies and I notice a difference at night breathing. We are loving our unit! I move it from the bedroom to the family room depending upon the season. With a dog and three children, we are all benefiting from this technology.

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

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Best air filter

    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Oct 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This filter has significantly improved my air quality. During the forest fires here in British Columbia, Molekule has helped to keep the indoor air in my bedroom or living room crystal clear. I noticed I sleep better while having Molekule by my bedside and wake up with cleaner air, not stuffed up.

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

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Effective and helps with my asthma

    • Portland, OR,
    • Oct 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    My husband ordered this for me when the forest fires were raging here in the PNW. My asthma was getting really bad, and sleeping was almost impossible with the burning eyes and lack of good breathing. We hooked this bad boy up, and within minutes noticed the difference of the air quality in the room we had the Molekule purifier going vs. the next room over. We slept extremely well after that, and even when the forest fires toned down, allergy symptoms that usually happen that time around were almost nothing. Extremely happy with this product!

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

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  • 6 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Buggy...and doesn't "just work"

    • California,
    • Oct 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It's an air purifier. With 3 speed settings.

    The app is unnecessary, rarely connects, and doesn't do anything to enhance the experience. It makes it far more frustrating when you can't access it - and have to get up and go to the device and use the touchscreen... and have it work about half the time.

    The unit itself is...fine. It's tall, fairly bulky, but lightweight

    But most of the time it just locks up. It'll be fine one moment, then be "initializing" and get stuck there - until I unplug it, then plug it back in. Then it comes back up and works for a while - a few hours to a few days - then get stuck on initializing again.

    It's too complex for what it is. A fan with filters shouldn't have boot errors, or lock up when its settings aren't being changed.

    I did contact support about this - they offered to help, but honestly, I just don't care. I got it when the forest fires were an issue - now they're not - and it's too much hassle to contact them to figure out what's going on for a benefit that may or may not actually exist. I noticed it was locked on initializing a few days ago and haven't bothered unplugging it (the plug on the bottom is annoying, and the part in the wall is...not easily accessible). I haven't noticed a difference in my room.

    The annual filter shipment came with the bigger round filter, but it's been running so little that it's not even at 50% use on the old one yet. I just started getting emails about getting the next annual filter subscription, and I don't think I'm going to bother.

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

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    • Oct 17, 2018

      Molekule ., Molekule Support

      Hello Mike, we are sorry to hear about the broken experience you had with your device. We are aware of the connectivity and initializing issues you described and are actually in the middle of field testing an update that will improve this experience. If you change your mind and would like our help, feel free to reach out anytime.

    • Nov 16, 2018

      marianne a.

      Just looking. How much will one unit cost now? Do you have them in stock as of 11-17-18?

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  • 4 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Molekule didn't deliver on their commitment for replacement filters

    • California,
    • Oct 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Molekule, in my case, didn't deliver on their commitment to provide replacement filters. They claim that they will provide one pre-filter to cover for the first six months (with additional filters after that), however, this was far from the truth. On August the 23rd, I received an email that my "Filters were ready to ship" and that they need me to confirm my address. I did this step as indicated. However, moving into October I got concerned because my filters were never received. I called, spoke to a gentleman, and was told that my filters never shipped because they were behind on shipping filters due to an inventory issue and I should receive an -mail the week of my call that my filters shipped.

    One week later and NO email. I chatted on their chat system with a different employee and was told that they didn't ship because they needed to verify my address. Two different stories and guess what? Still no confirmation email that my filters were shipped. Lack of commitment on Molekule has been a complete disappointment, and I wished I never spoke highly of their product to family and friends. I guess I will be making some phone calls to family and friends after this review submittal.

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

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    • Oct 17, 2018

      Molekule ., Molekule Support

      Hello Peter, we are sorry that your filters did not arrive on time, this was an oversight on our end. We sent you a complimentary filter as soon as we found out and it looks to have arrived on October 12th. Apologies again for any inconvenience, and please don't hesitate to contact our customer support team at 855-999-9069 if we can help with anything else.

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  • 5 out 8 people found this review helpful

    So sorry I bought a Molekule

    • Portland, OR,
    • Oct 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got a Molekule for a family member who is badly affected by exposure to paint fumes, perfumes, and air fresheners, as well as a range of other odors and allergens. We already own several IQAir air cleaners and had had very positive experiences with them. We needed one more air cleaner for a separate location and after hearing all the hype about this air cleaner decided to try it out, and I'm so sorry that we did.

    These units are not cheap, and the Molekule may be pretty, but it did not clean the air as advertised. It was in fact very ineffective, especially when compared to the IQAir.

    I recommend against buying a Molekule air cleaner as in our experience it doesn't work. It made no difference in air quality for my daughter. I do recommend IQAir products, and to be clear, we have no association with IQAir except as a customer. They are also expensive (even more expensive) and their filters are more expensive than the Molekule filters, but you replace them less frequently, so it may even out. The most important thing is their air cleaners actually work.

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

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    • Oct 16, 2018

      Molekule ., Molekule Support

      Hello Liane, we are sorry that Molekule did not work for you. The health of your daughter is the most important part, and we are glad that you found a solution for her! At Molekule, we are constantly innovating our product and filters based on feedback like yours. Our R&D is directly translated into our product which is how we can quickly iterate and improve. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    This is a wonderful product!

    • McHenry, IL,
    • Sep 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I really love this air cleaner. I've had just about every air cleaner out there and have spent tons of money on air cleaners, and Molekule is by far the best I've ever owned. I had a sick dog with diarrhea recently and she had a couple of really stinky, messy accidents that made you gag and after cleaning it up, then shampooing the carpet, the smell was still in the air pretty bad. I turned on the Molekule onto the "Boost" mode, and the odor was gone completely within less than an hour. Changing the filters is a breeze also, and they are shipped automatically. This is the best air cleaner I've owned!

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

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  • 3 out 5 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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  • 4 out 6 people found this review helpful

    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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