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 108 Molekule Customer Reviews and Complaints

Write a Review
Average Consumer Rating: 4.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 77 4 star: 3 3 star: 1 2 star: 7 1 star:  20
Bottom Line: 74% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 108
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 5 out 6 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

      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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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Molekule

    • Eatontown, NJ,
    • Apr 29, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I truly love my Molekule unit, I breathe much better. As a saxophone player, I love having clean air when I play. This does just as they say truly is a must-have. Get yours today. I would recommend this to all my friends and colleagues.

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

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Ineffective - poor customer support

    • Foster, RI,
    • Apr 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I wanted to love this machine. I read about it for years and years and finally decided to give it a shot to see for myself if all the hype was true. I purchased it and received it extremely fast, which was impressive.

    I installed the Molekule in my 200 square foot bedroom to try and stop allergies. I wake up most mornings unable to breathe, and congested and have for years. I am in excellent health and do not smoke or drink and my doctors associate the congestion with seasonal allergies.

    We ran the Molekule for a week and noticed a big improvement in the overall smell of the room. The house is hundreds of years old so it has a "wood" smell that is pleasant and the smell went away with the Molekule.

    While I had read the reviews about the dreaded blue light at night, I thought it made sense to see how it would affect my sleep. It was awful. So bright that it lights the entire room up in blue. The Molekule does not work with the blue light disabled and is a glorified HEPA filter so turning it off was not an option. I can get a HEPA filter for less than $100.

    The noise was great. It is very loud on its highest setting. It allowed me to turn off my white noise machine that I use because I can't sleep in silence. Some people might not be able to sleep with this at night because it is LOUD. I didn't see a point in trying to use it on the low setting at night when that is the time I spent most in my bedroom and I wanted it to work at its best while I was sleeping.

    After a week I noticed absolutely zero changes in my allergies. Between that and the light at night, I decided to send it back. It boggles my mind that they haven't changed the design yet to contain the blue light inside the machine. What a huge disappointment!

    Contacting Molekule through email was easy. They tried to get me to call, but I prefer to handle everything through email so that I have a record. They didn't pressure me to try and keep it once I told them about the blue light (I am sure they hear it daily). I was disappointed when they told me I would have to pay $58 but felt it was fair enough as I did use the machine for a week.

    Unfortunately, it got a bit complicated once they sent me a return label. The person Khyle who was handling my return was terse and unhelpful. They accidentally sent me a label for FedEx Express shipping and when trying to schedule the pickup using their link it wouldn't work because Express shipments were not eligible for pickup using the link. I decided to schedule my own pickup and when they arrived I was told they wouldn't pick up Express packages. I emailed Khyle to tell him and he said: "we do not use FedEx Express for returns, the link should work." I sent a screenshot of the label, and the error from the website and didn't even receive an apology. In the end, it took more than a week to get it picked up, and cost me an additional $35 for the two failed pickup attempts. After dealing with the customer service, it put a bad taste in my mouth.

    Unfortunately, the Molekule has too many design flaws, and simply doesn't work as well as they advertise. I have since replaced it with a $200 HEPA filter, and my nightly congestion is much better.

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

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    • May 9, 2019

      Molekule, Inc.

      Hello Aden, we apologize for the misunderstanding with the FedEx label. It looks like one of our customer support advocates has reached out and set up a pick up as requested.


  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Our home has never had cleaner air

    • Chandler, AZ,
    • Apr 24, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My family and I decided to give Molekule a try. We suffer from allergies and have been dependent on allergy medications. Five years ago we decided to focus on limiting allergy medication by investing in air purifiers. We started with replacing our home air filter with premium filter design to filter very fine particles.

    Then we decided to purchase a Lowe’s Idylis Hepa air purifier with little improvement to our air quality (we still depended on Zyrtec/Benedryl for relief).

    I did a little research and decided to invest in an IQAir system. IQAir did a good job, this unit was the answer to our allergy problems, but the filter cost is expensive. We slept well and limited on the amount of allergy medication taken at night. We used this system for about three years and counting.

    One morning Molekule presented itself on Facebook. During this time my family and I were dealing with the flu. As I started reading the details on the Molekule’s unit, I became interested. Their claims were that their unit is able to filter particles smaller than 0.3 microns, particles small enough to bypass HEPA technology. I was interested in the technology, so decided to test the unit out for myself.

    Skeptical at first and doubtful it would outperform my $1000 IQAir system with $400 filters inside this monstrosity of a unit, it most certainly did. Amazed that this small compact mobile unit actually cleaned our air much cleaner than it already was. Each breath we took was satisfying. My fiancé and I looked at each other and couldn’t believe how much cleaner the air around us smelled. Almost like having a oxygen nasal cannula attach to your face (if you ever had one).

    I have two younger daughters (7 and 16months) and we place the Molekule system in their room at night. We noticed that they actually sleep longer into the morning. Friends and family have also commented on how clean our air smells. Molekule does an excellent job creating a clean air environment. We will be purchasing another unit in the future (unfortunately we cannot afford another one at the moment). But for those looking into an Air Purification System, Molekule is a must have!

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Helped so much

    • Maryland,
    • Apr 24, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    We love our Molekule, customer service was great with addressing the initial issue, and it has helped us so much. We are breathing so much better in the room we have it in and considering moving it to other rooms as well. Very pleased.

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

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  • 4 out 6 people found this review helpful

    DO RESEARCH

    • New York, NY,
    • Apr 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I just received this COOL LOOKING DEVICE. HOWEVER, within 3 days issues starting happening. Being the weekend, I chatted with someone online from MOLEKULE. They told me they have an issue that will be fixed soon. Please don’t buy without doing research on reviews from customers not on their site - they apparently pay for good reviews. Go to other sites and get reviews and do independent research on the claims they make. Peace.

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

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Showing 1-11 of 108

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