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Molekule Air Purifier Review

High-end, Modern Air Purifier

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Molekule Air Purifier

The Molekule air purifier is a top-tier air purifier that has a modern aesthetic, remote control from your smartphone, and excellent performance. For cleaning large rooms up to 600 sq. ft., this is certainly a model to consider.Check Price

Pros

  • Provides an alternative to traditional HEPA filtration
  • Auto mode can dynamically increase / decrease filtration speed based on air quality
  • Wifi-connectivity for easy remote control

Cons

  • Definitely on the pricier side
  • Higher than average maintenance costs
  • Difficulty connecting to the app during our testing

Rather watch than read? Check out our Molekule video review here:

Molekule Air Purifier Design

The design of the Molekule is a breath of fresh air in the market of air purifiers. It has a sleek, silver body made of machined aluminum with a natural leather handle, for easy portability at the top of the unit.

Molekule air purifier review 2
Molekule air purifier review

The Molekule is heavy at 18 pounds. It looks and feels incredibly solid and substantial.

Touch Screen Display

There is a simple touch screen display on the top of the purifier that allows you to to adjust settings. In the middle of the display is a large graphic number or text, making it easy to identify settings.

Molekule air purifier touch screen display and night light
Molekule air purifier touch screen display and PECO-emitted light

RELATED: Like the look of large graphic touchscreens? Check out our review of the Nest smart thermostat for more ways to simplify your home at the touch of a button.

The Molekule is also wifi-compatible and able to connect your smartphone for remote control.

Dual-Filtration Design

The Molekule purifier is designed with a dual-filtration system. This system includes a small pre-filter located at the base of the purifier, as well as a larger PECO-filter that is located towards the top of the purifier.

Air enters into the system at the base and interacts with the pre-filter first. This filter is designed to capture larger pollutants, hair, dust, etc.

Molekule air purifier pre-filter
Molekule air purifier pre-filter

It travels upward through the Molekule system until it reaches the PECO-filter.

Here, the air is treated (including pollutants smaller than 0.3 microns) and expelled through air vents at the top of the unit.

How does the Molekule purifier clean the air?

The Molekule air purifier takes a different approach to cleaner air.

Unlike traditional air purifier that rely mainly on HEPA filters, the Molekule introduces a new kind of filter with a technology called PECO. A PECO-filter is designed to destroy the pollutants, not just trap them inside of the filter.

HEPA vs. PECO Filter

  • HEPA filters: HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. It is a type of mechanical air filter that forces air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles like pollen, dust, pet dander, mold, and other irritants. Most HEPA filters will state that the remove 99.97% of pollutants 0.3 microns or smaller and basically leave it at that. See our “what is a HEPA filter” guide for more.
  • PECO filters: PECO stands for photo electrochemical oxidation. Instead of trapping pollutants in a mesh, this filter is designed to break down irritants on a molecular level. To do this, a PECO filter uses light to excite a nano-coated filter that starts a chemical reaction to help destroy the particles. This technology has the ability to destroy particles even smaller than the 0.3 micron limit, that is common for traditional HEPA filters.

So what’s the bottom line?

HEPA filters are far less costly to produce than PECO filters, but HEPA also has a kryptonyte, which is the 0.3 micron size minimum.

Molekule air purifier PECO filter
Molekule air purifier PECO filter

This means that any air pollutant smaller than 0.3 microns can slip through the mesh fibers and continue into the clean air.

RELATED – Like the sounds of Molekule, but need something less expensive? Check out our Molekule Mini review.

Benefits of HEPA Filters

As an argument for HEPA filters, many manufactures of HEPA air purifiers claim that pollutants smaller than 0.3 microns simply do not have the mass needed to penetrate the mesh of the HEPA filter in the first place.

True HEPA filters stop particles from traveling into clean air
How HEPA filters trap particulates

Despite growing technology outside of the HEPA world, HEPA filters continue to be highly-used in hospitals, which have some of the most stringent air quality standards.

RELATED: Check out our review of the Rabbit Air MinusA2, a high-end HEPA air purifier.

Size & Dimensions

Size wise, this purifier is not small, but it’s also not obtrusively large.

Molekule air purifier size & dimensions
Molekule air purifier size & dimensions

It is tall and cylindrical, with no parts sticking out or adding visual clutter. It’s about 2′ tall, 8″ wide and weighs a little under 20 pounds. The exact specs are listed below:

  • Width: 8.25″ diameter
  • Height: 23” tall
  • Weight:  18 lbs.

Accessories & Parts

As is standard for most air purifiers, there are limited parts and accessories that come with the Molekule air purifier.

Aside from the purifier itself, the only other main parts includes the power cord and the filters.

The Power Cord

The power cord to the Molekule air purifier is about 6′ long and plugs into the base of the unit. In detail, it is gray and plugs into a standard duplex wall outlet.

The Filters

The Molekule air purifier uses two filters:

  1. Pre-filter
  2. PECO-filter

The PECO-filter can last about 6 months, while the pre-filter usually needs to be replaced every 3 months.

Close-up of filters for the Molekule air purifier
Close-up of new and old pre-filters for the Molekule air purifier: new on left; old on right

Molekule Features

The Molekule air purifier takes a pretty unique approach to air purification. With a different technology than traditional HEPA air purifiers, it is basically designed different from the ground up.

Molekule cleaning mode selection
Molekule cleaning mode selection

We previously tested the Airocide air purifier, which seems to use a similar technology.

I’ve included some of the most notable features below:

App control

The Molekule purifier is wifi-compatible and can connect to your smartphone for remote control.

While the app seems straight forward to use, we had difficulty connecting our Molekule to the app.

Using the app, you can remotely:

  • Turn the purifier on / off
  • Check current air quality
  • Send notifications to your phone
  • Configure the space / how much to clean
  • Changes modes
  • Monitor filter replacement schedules
Molekule air purifier app
Molekule air purifier app

Operating Modes

The Molekule air purifier has four different modes it can run in:

  1. Auto Mode: In Auto Mode you can input information about your room, like room size, to help determine the optimal airflow for your space. In Auto Mode the fan speed is set automatically.
  2. Boost Mode: In Boost Mode the purifier will run at full power until you turn it to a different mode. This is a handy feature for when you’re cleaning especially dirty air or right after dusting or vacuuming.
  3. Silent Mode: Silent Mode is a cleaning option that operates at the lowest possible sound output (approx. 40 dB).
  4. Dark Mode: In Dark Mode, all lights are dimmed / off which is a good option for sleeping or nighttime hours. However, consider that in Dark Mode the Molekule works a little bit differently. Since the PECO filter needs light to destroy the particles, without light, the bacteria is simply stored until you turn Dark Mode off. Once it’s turn off, the PECO filter will activate the light again to treat the pollutants and catch up.

Initial Clean Up

When you first turn on the Molekule air purifier, it performs a cycle called “Initial Clean Up”. During this cycle, the air purifier will customize and set its settings based on the exact size and location of your room.

This helps to make sure that the air treatment is appropriate, no matter where you decide to use it.

NOTE: The Initial Clean Up cycle could take as long as 50 minutes.

Suitable for Large Rooms

The Molekule air purifier is designed to be able to treat air quality in any size room, but is especially suited for larger rooms.

The air purifier can replace the air in a 600 sq. ft. room once every hour. This would be comparable to a large living room (or approx 20′ x 30′).

The 360 degree intake area help to evenly collect dirty air and redistribute clean air quickly and effectively throughout the whole room.

Performance

Overall, the performance of the Molekule air purifier was impressive. It is quiet to operate, easy to control, and self-adjusting depending on current air quality in your home.

Testing Series

Our testing consisted of setting up the Molekule in a medium-sized bedroom in my home. I took an initial baseline measurement of the room’s air quality, and then ran the Molekule for 1 hour.

At the end of the test, I took a new measurements in order to compare the difference in overall air quality.

What were the results?

Starting Baseline

  • PM2.5: 6.2
  • PM10: 10.7
  • Particles: 379
  • AQI: 25

After 1 Hour

  • PM2.5: 0.6
  • PM10: 1.2
  • Particles: 44
  • AQI: 0

Within 1 hour the Molekule removed 88% of air particulates from the medium-sized room we tested in (~12’x12′).

Molekule improved PM2.5 air quality by 90%.

In order to take these measurements we used the Temtop LKC-1000S+ professional air quality detector. By using this device, we were able to get precise measurements both before and after using the Molekule Air purifier.

Below, we’ve included information on the testing criteria and what defines good vs. bad air quality.

air quality index - PM 2.5 particulate matter index

What is PM?

PM stands for “Particulate Matter”. This measurement can basically be divided into two camps , PM10 and PM2.5.

  • PM 10 = particulate matter that is 10 micrometers and smaller
  • PM 2.5 = particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers and smaller

Air Quality

So overall, the air quality drastically improved by using the Molekule air purifier, within 1 hour of running the purifier.

During testing we continued to run the test for 4 hours and saw a little difference between the 1 hour and 4 hour test results.

How loud is the Molekule?

Aside from improved air quality, noise may also be a factor for many users, considering adding an air purifier to their space. Molekule claims to be “whisper quiet” compared to conventional air purifiers so we put it to the test.

Below are the decibel levels that Molekule.com states within their specs.

Silent Mode

30 dB

Auto Mode

42 dB

Boost Mode

55 dB

We tested the Molekule on boost mode under normal home ambient noise conditions, in addition to the Molekule noise, it was closer to 65 dB.

We compared these noise scores to some of the other high-end air purifiers that we’ve reviewed and found the following results:

Setup & Usability

Setting up the Molekule air purifier was as simple as unboxing it, plugging it in, and turning it on.

How to Use the Molekule Air Purifier

Using the Molekule air purifier on a daily basis was easy, as there are a number of features that make this air purifier responsive and adaptive.

When you first start up the Molekule air purifier…

  1. The purifier will run the “Initial Clean Up” cycle to learn more about the environment and how best to treat the air.
  2. Locate the menu on the touch screen display and swipe left or right to change different settings.
Settings on the touch screen display

From the menu, you can:

  • Select a cleaning mode — Auto, Boost, Silent, or Dark Mode.
  • Turn Dark mode on / off
  • Check the status of your filters
  • Put the purifier on standby

PRO TIP: Generally, Auto Mode is going to be your best bet to effectively treat the air and maintain a good air quality. Even in Auto Mode, the Molekule purifier uses between 20-85 watts of energy, depending on the cleaning mode selected.

Molekule Air Purifier Maintenance

The primary maintenance task that you need to consider when tending to the Molekule air purifier is basically just the filters.

  • Replace the pre-filter once every 3 months.
  • Replace the PECO-filter once every 6 months.
Molekule air purifier air intake
Close-up of Molekule air purifier air intake

To help make it easy, Molekule sells and distributes filter refill packs that include 2 pre-filters and 1 PECO-filter, delivered to your door once every 6 months. The cost for this service is around $65 / pack.

The air purifier also has a filter indicator on the touch screen display which notifies you how much life is left in the filters. As a note, this function is only available when the wifi is enabled.

Is the Molekule air purifier a good value?

So specs, aesthetics, and performance aside — bottom line, is the Molekule air purifier a good value?

Installing Molekule PECO filter into base of purifier
Installing Molekule PECO filter into base of purifier

This air purifier is expensive, no doubt about that. But with the extra costs also comes:

  1. Excellent performance: improved indoor air quality by 90% during our performance tests, reducing air quality index to 0.
  2. App-based remote control: had some trouble connecting to the app, but overall, this is a great feature to have once it’s all setup
  3. Touch screen usability: touch-screen is an easy and intuitive way to adjust the purifier
  4. High quality parts: machined aluminum and thick leather handle; whole assembly feels extremely well made

Overall, we feel the value is solid.

Molekule Specifications

Specifications 
ManufacturerMolekule
ModelMolekule
Width (inches)8.25"
Height23"
Weight18 pounds
Filters2 filters (1 PECO and 1 Pre-filter)
Wifi CompatibleYes
Room Coverage~600 sq. ft.
Filter Costs$110 / year
Returns60 days via Molekule.com. Varies by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
PriceCheck Price

Who should buy the Molekule Air Purifier?

In conclusion, this air purifier is hands-down, one of the best air purifiers that we’ve tested to date, and for good reason… it’s also one of the most expensive.

Costs aside, the Molekule air purifier includes a variety of smart control features and self-adjusting cycles that adapt to the custom needs of different environments.

The Molekule air purifier may be best if you:

  • Want an air purifier suited for larger spaces: For optimal performance in rooms up to 600 sf., the Molekule air purifier is an excellent option. It has 360 degrees of air intake as well as air returns that encircle the entire diameter of the purifier. This helps to spread air further, faster, and more efficiently.
  • Want simple controls: The Molekule air purifier can be adjusted using the physical touch screen control on the top of the purifier or remotely from your smartphone, when connected to a wifi network. Note, there is also an Auto Mode that will automatically adjust fan speed and settings based on the calibrations of whatever space it is currently in. If you want to eliminate the guesswork, the Molekule does just that.
  • Want outstanding performance: Using the PECO filter, this purifier can identify and destroy even the smallest particulate that other HEPA filters could miss. If you struggle with asthma or frequent respiratory illnesses, the Molekule could be a great option at maintaining improved air quality.

For more information or to buy the Molekule air purifier, click here.

Ultra High-End Air Purifier
  • 100%
    Design - 100%
  • 97%
    Performance - 97%
  • 100%
    Quality - 100%
  • 97%
    Usability - 97%
  • 94%
    Value - 94%
98%

Summary

The Molekule is a 2-filter air purifier using a PECO filter to not just trap, but destroy particulates that it comes into contact with. Molekule is able to filter up to 600 sq. ft. of space. During our tests it improved PM2.5 air quality by 90%, reducing air quality index from 25 to a flat 0. It’s an expensive air purifier, but offers impressive performance, features, and build quality.

14 thoughts on “Molekule Air Purifier Review”

  1. According to your 1-hour test, the results of which did not change much at four hours, you tested 90.3% removal for 2.5 um particles, 88.8% for 10 um particles, and 88.4% for all particles. These are less than impressive results when compared to true HEPA which can achieve 99.97% removal for 0.3 um particles. Am I missing something? Thanks.

    • Hey Michael,

      I wouldn’t use our data to compare it to maximum HEPA efficiency.

      Even the Rabbit Air MinusA2 which is the best performing air purifier we’ve tested to date (and uses a HEPA filter) reduced from 584 to 9 particles per cubic liter, which is a 98.45% improvement. That’s still not quite at 99.97%.

      We test in a normal home so there are a number of variables at play, which can create the need for a certain level of margin of error.

      In any case, you’re not wrong, the Molekule doesn’t seem to perform as well as other high end HEPA based air purifiers we’ve tested. The Rabbit Air MinusA2, Dyson TP04, Dyson TP02, and a number of others were stronger performers.

      Compared to those performances the Molekule isn’t as impressive. Nevertheless, the Molekule still maintained a AQI of 0. While I do wish it’s PM2.5 was within the 0-0.3 range, I would still say it’s a good purifier.

  2. Why didn’t you test and measure VOCs or formaldehyde or ozone that are not addressed by HEPA filtration but are addressed by PECO? After all, in most homes, a 90% reduction in ‘dust’ (PM2.5 etc) is an excellent improvement in air quality but a 0% reduction in VOCS or formaldehyde etc is not (about what HEPA does for VOCs). Put another way, I’d rather buy a device that does 90% particle reduction and 90% VOC etc reduction than a device that does 99% particle reduction and 0% VOC reduction.

    • Hi Keith,

      Thanks for your comment.

      We actually do test VOCs and formaldehyde. However, I’m not tremendously confident in our testing equipment, so we did not want to publish findings until we are more certain of our measuring devices.

      On the Molekule after 1 hour it was able to reduce formaldehyde from 0.20 mg/m^3 to 0.14 mg/m^3 and reduced total VOCs from 0.75 mg/m^3 to 0.61 mg/m^3.

      Based on other tests we’ve done these reductions feel like they are within a normal room fluctuations. So either the Molekule isn’t able to dramatically reduce these or our equipment cannot accurately measure. At this point, we want to get a more expensive VOC tester before publishing more of those findings.

      Hope that helps answer.

  3. Thanks so much for this very helpful answer. Much appreciated. I was also curious about the effectiveness of the PECO component. If there are little data from the manufacturer themselves to support significant reductions in VOCs, and your data could also not detect significant drop, then this item not for me. Back to the drawing board on which air-purifiers can substantially reduce airborne road pollution inside my house (situated on a busy road). Finding air purifier with big enough activated carbon component seems to be Mission Impossible. But will keep searching. 🙂

    • As far as particulate reduction goes, the Molekule was fine, though not quite as good as I would expect for the price.

      As far as VOC reduction goes, my data was inconclusive (but part of that is also due to the limitation of our testing hardware, which is why we haven’t more broadly published it for all air purifiers).

      You should take a look at the Oransi EJ120 – https://moderncastle.com/oransi-ej120-air-purifier-review/

      We recently tested it and were blown away with the performance, reducing PM2.5 to 0.1 and PM10 to 0.0 (with particulates per liter of air at 4). It also has a much larger activated carbon filter.

      Among all of the purifiers we’ve tested I have the most confidence in it to reduce VOCs.

  4. We are looking for a machine that reduces all kinds of bad odors, including but not limited to pet odors and fish cooking. What is the machine that you have found to be the best at doing this? Thank you!

    • Unfortunately, I do not. It’s definitely something worth watching to see if more studies reveal similar data.

      I will say, while we do not publish our formaldehyde data for our air purifier tests, we do gather it. In the case of the Molekule air purifier formaldehyde levels decreased from 0.75 mg / m^3 to 0.61 mg / m^3.

      That said, the reason we don’t publish the data is because I think we need a more robust measuring device to accurately track and monitor formaldehyde. So while it’s good to see that those levels did not increase, I would say that I would want to get better testing equipment before I would be confident enough to post more comprehensive formaldehyde testing data.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to respond. Given the study and the uncertainty of oxidation process, do you think it’s safer to stick with a HEPA until more info is available. I would be putting these in my children’s rooms. Many thanks for what you do!

    • I feel really unqualified to comment on the study and whether or not it’s valid. So I really just don’t know what to make of it right now or know whether its findings directly apply to Molekule’s technology.

      Even with the study, I don’t have any strong reason to believe Molekule’s filter is creating formaldehyde. While I don’t trust my measurement device to 100% accurately measure formaldehyde, I do trust it at least directionally (whether it goes or up or). And in our tests it went down.

      That said, HEPA filters have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt over the last 50 years. If you have any reservations at all I would suggest you go with the HEPA.

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