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According to the World Health Organization, air pollution affects the respiratory health of millions of people around the world. In particular, indoor air pollutants may contribute to respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies.

More and more people are looking to decrease this risk with the use of indoor air purifiers, like those made by Molekule.

Molekule claims they can capture and destroy all kinds of common indoor air pollutants, from gas-based paint fumes to bacterial spores, with their air purifiers.

Thousands of satisfied reviewers say that Molekule devices make their homes smell better and help them manage dust, mold, and seasonal allergy symptoms.

But Molekule air purifiers aren’t the most affordable air purifiers on the market, and some air purifier enthusiasts say you can find a better value elsewhere.

Ultimately, your needs, budget, and expectations will determine whether Molekule air purifiers are worth it for you. Let’s take a look at what Molekule has to offer if you’re looking to improve the air quality in your home.

Molekule uses some proprietary technologies in their air purifiers, which means there are some unique pros and cons to using the products.

Pros of Molekule air purifiers

  • Molekule’s Air Mini, Air Mini+, and Air Pro are FDA-cleared as medical devices and many other air purifiers are not.
  • All Molekule air purifiers are designed to fit in with any home decor aesthetic.
  • Devices are Wi-Fi enabled, so you can control them with an app even when you’re not in the same room as your device.
  • Molekule offers a 30-day in-home trial period with free return shipping and a 2-year factory warranty.

Cons of Molekule air purifiers

  • Only Molekule filters work with Molekule units, so you can’t mix and match cheaper, off-brand filters with the devices.
  • Some reviewers say that Molekule’s customer service was difficult to reach and that problems with the devices took a long time to resolve.
  • As a result of two class action lawsuits (filed in June 2020 and November 2020) charging that Molekule exaggerated how effective their technology is at “destroying” contaminants in the air, Molekule agreed to modify the wording of their advertising.

The Molekule family of air purifiers uses filtration and ultraviolet (UV) radiation to capture and destroy viruses and bacteria in the air. They accomplish this via a low-energy ultraviolet light and two different filters.

The purifiers have a fan inside that draws air from your space through an outside filter and into a deeper filter. The outside filter catches bigger molecules like gas particles, mold, and dust.

Inside that deeper filter, the air is exposed to UV light, which destroys harmful microbial particles. The air is then released through vents at the top of the device. This process is called photoelectrochemical oxidation, or PECO, and is unique to Molekule’s products.

The use of UV light to destroy particles is what distinguishes Molekule from other air purifiers, most of which use HEPA filtration to trap these particles and remove them from the air.

But how effective is PECO?

Molekule commissioned – paid for – testing of their PECO technology from third-party laboratories such as Minnesota College of Science and Engineering and College of Veterinary Medicine and Aerosol Research and Engineering Labs (ARE) which supported their claims of PECO’s ability to destroy contaminants like bacteria and viruses.

Similar tests were also conducted during the FDA certification process, and the FDA did ultimately certify the Molekule Air Mini, Air Mini+, and Air Pro as medical devices.

While Molekule makes no claims regarding the actual clinical benefits people may experience from using their purifiers, some studies have examined that. In one small 2018 study, 46 participants with allergies used a “portable PECO air purifier” for 4 weeks and reported feeling noticeably better. A 2020 study in a hospital setting suggests PECO-enabled air purifiers could potentially benefit patients, possibly reducing length of stay.

It’s important to note that, though both studies were peer-reviewed, all researchers were affiliated with Molekule.

Molekule currently sells four different models of air purifiers. They all rely on the same technology, with the biggest differences being how much square footage they cover.

Best for small space

Air Mini

The Air Mini is meant to cover 250 square feet of space. That means it’s designed for smaller spaces like a bedroom, home office, small living room, or an enclosed kitchen. It also has a small handle, and it’s only 7 pounds, so you can move it from room to room pretty easily.

The device’s circular shape means that it takes in air from all angles, so you don’t have to worry a lot about placement.

Best automatic purifier for small spaces

Air Mini+

The Air Mini+ is very similar to the Air Mini, with all the same features. In addition, the Air Mini is equipped with a special sensor that can automatically adjust the fan speed depending on the particles in the air. Like the Air Mini, the Air Mini+ is 7 pounds.

Best for living spaces

Air

The Molekule Air is the company’s flagship product. It’s much taller than the Air Mini and the Air Mini+ and is designed for rooms around 600 square feet. Large living rooms and open-concept living spaces are the ideal environments for the Molekule Air.

The Air comes with a handle, much like its smaller counterparts, and is circular for 360-degree air intake. It weighs 18 pounds.

Best for large spaces and open floor plans

Air Pro

The Air Pro is billed as a professional-grade air purifier. It can filter spaces up to 1,000 square feet, making it a good option for larger, open floor plans and high-traffic areas. It can do this by filtering more air in less time.

The Air Pro has a particle sensor that automatically detects pollutants and shifts between higher and lower settings according to what’s needed. It weighs just under 23 pounds.

In 2021, Molekule’s Air Mini, Air Mini+, and Air Pro were FDA cleared as class II medical devices. But what does this actually mean?

It means the FDA tested these devices to see if their PECO technology actually destroys viruses and bacteria as the company claims. They found that these devices work as advertised.

Products that are classified as FDA-cleared medical devices are also required to report to the FDA any adverse medical events that happen as a result of using their product.

Molekule air purifiers aren’t cheap. The company’s smallest product, the Air Mini, starts at $399. The Air model starts at $799, and the professional-grade Air Pro starts at $1,199.

Shipping isn’t included in this cost, and neither is sales tax. Both can vary and are calculated based on where you live. Sometimes, Molekule runs promotions in which shipping is free.

Molekule offers a 15 percent discount for frontline workers such as military personnel, healthcare professionals, first responders, and teachers. They also offer frequent sales, and you can sometimes find additional discounts by looking around online.

Other retailers

You can also purchase Molekule air purifiers in-person or online at the following retailers:

  • Best Buy
  • Amazon
  • b8ta
  • alo

Note that if you buy from one of these retailers, you’re subject to their return policies and customer service.

Tips for using a Molekule air purifier

  • Make sure to only use Molekule filters with Molekule units.
  • To save energy, use the slowest setting that you feel is effective for your home.
  • Don’t expect the air purifier to be completely silent. All air purifiers do make some noise. The faster the setting, the more noise they make.

Molekule is unique in that it offers PECO technology to destroy pathogens in the air. It’s also sleeker and more visually appealing than a lot of its competitors.

We don’t know whether PECO is more efficient than traditional HEPA filter systems — many of which are available at a cheaper price point. The two technologies are different in that PECO destroys particles using UV light while HEPA filtration traps these particles within the filter.

Molekule air purifiers aren’t the most expensive in the air purifier space. They cost somewhere between Blueair products, which are slightly cheaper, and Dyson, which cost a bit more.

Molekule also doesn’t share how many cubic feet of air per minute can run through their air purifiers. Without this metric, it’s hard for die-hard air purifier enthusiasts to make a fair and accurate comparison.

Some customers really love their Molekule air purifiers.

The company currently has a 3.7 ranking out of 5 stars on the independent review website Trustpilot. This rating is pretty good, especially considering there are only 48 total reviews.

Molekule’s ranking at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is about the same, earning 3.21 out of 5 stars. The company is also BBB accredited with an A+ rating.

Amazon reviewers seem especially impressed with their Molekule products, with thousands of customers stating that their air felt cleaner and their homes smelled better after using the products.

Of course, measures like “smell” and “feel” are pretty subjective, but there do seem to be plenty of happy customers.

Molekule air purifiers do make use of a proprietary technology that kills bacteria and viruses. If keeping your home germ-free is a big concern for you, this type of air filtration device might be worth it.

While the products aren’t cheap, they’re not the most expensive when compared with industry competitors.

On the other hand, there really isn’t a ton of independent data regarding the actual health benefits of using PECO technology. There are some promising studies published in medical journals, but the studies were small and conducted by researchers affiliated with Molekule.

To buy into Molekule, you really have to like PECO technology. Otherwise, you might be better off with a more traditional – and possibly less expensive – HEPA-filter-based air purifier.