4 Molekule Air Purifiers Compared And Reviewed (2020)

If NASA engineers would make an air purifier, they would make the Molekule Air.

In fact, Molekule Air utilizes a NASA-developed award-winning PECO filtration technology. That’s why it commonly referred to as ‘The Most Revolutionary Air Purifier’.

Here’s one Molekule Air review that quickly sums up the Molekule experience:

“I love the Molekule. I have great clean air all throughout the day. Low sound for the night and I can feel the difference in the air. My allergies are so much better now with Molekule running all day.”

Molekule Air is, for lack of a better term, special.

We’re going to review all 4 Molekule Air purifiers (Mini, Mini+, Air, Air PRO) further on, but let’s first touch on the significance of Molekule being special:

Standard air purifiers use mechanical HEPA filters to remove dust, mold, allergens, and other air pollutants. Molekule air purifiers use NASA-grade PECO technology (Photo Electrochemical Oxidation) to do the same job arguably much better.

We’ll go into details about how the Molekule filter work later on. But inner workings are actually the boring part.

This is the exciting part:

HEPA filters are square, big, and dirty. Comparatively, the PECO filter is tubular, small, and clean. Why do the dimensions of filters even matter?

The design.

Here’s how different people look at that:

  • Engineers: “Packing PECO filtration technology coupled, with Auto-Protect modes and particle sensor, in an air purifier is quite a feat.”
  • Everybody else: “I just love the design! It’s so elegant. I’m gonna use it as an interior design element.”

Most air purifiers are shaped like a box because HEPA filters are box-like. Molekule air purifiers, on the other hand, have an aesthetic tubular shape because PECO filters can take tubular shape. That also allows for 360-degree air intake.

Tubular shape – as you can see from the photo of Molekule Air form Molekule’s brochure – is about a million times more aesthetic than standard boxy air purifiers:

molekule air purifier in the bedroom next to a bed
All that PECO technology boils down to brilliant design. HEPA air purifiers can be boxy; Molekule, by comparison, is an art gallery-worthy masterpiece.

With such advantages, we don’t even need to review the Molekule Air purifiers, right? Everybody’s going to get the aesthetically-pleasing, NASA-grade revolutionary air purifiers.

Not (entirely) true.

There is 1 misgiving and 1 dilemma we have to work through in this Molekule review (just to show that Molekule Air is truly the best air purifier in the world). Here there are:

Misgiving: “Molekule units are expensive. The most popular model – the Molekule Air – costs $799. And I might need 3 of them for bedroom, living room, and kids room.”

Not everyone can afford NASA-developed tech to purify their home, it’s true. Having a device that could fit well in an art gallery is obviously not going to be cheap. During the Molekule review, we’re going to figure out if, given the price and performance, Molekule units are worth the cost.

What really needs to be said is how well the PECO filtration performs against viruses. Here is a study of the smallest Molekule Air Mini reducing airborne RNA virus MS2 by more than 99.999% in only 2 hours:

molekule air mini peco filter destroying 99.999 percent of rna virus ms2 in 2 hours

In the times we live in, the destruction of airborne RNA virus alone can be worth the cost of Molekule units.

Dilemma: “There is Molekule Air, but there are also Air Mini, Air Mini+, and Air PRO models. Which Molekule air purifier is actually the best for my home?”

Most people choose a combination of Molekule Air for either bedroom or living room and a smaller Air Mini+ for smaller rooms (like kids’ rooms). For larger rooms – master bedroom or a big living room – the biggest Air PRO is the best choice. 

We’ll compare all 4 Molekule air purifiers in the following table. Further on, you will find details about the PECO filters, and, most importantly, individual Molekule unit reviews.

Comparison Of 4 Molekule Air Purifiers

Molekule Air Purifier: Air Mini Air Mini+ Air Air Pro
Photo:
Max. Coverage Area: 250 square feet 250 square feet 600 square feet 1000 square feet
Power Output: 20 – 55 Watts 20 – 55 Watts 20 – 80 Watts 61 – 153 Watts
Filters: PECO-Filter PECO-Filter PECO-Filter + Pre-filter PECO-Filter
Filter Lifespan: 6 Months 6 Months 6 And 3 Months 6 Months
Filter Price: $75 $75 $80 + $60 Pre-filter $150
Noise Levels: 39-62 dB 39-62 dB 41-65 dB 33-64 dB
Air Purifier Price: $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars 4.8 out of 5 stars 4.8 out of 5 stars 4.9 out of 5 stars
Availability: Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

Molekule Air Purifier Reviews

The real question everybody has if the Molekule air purifier live up to the hype. Are ‘NASA-technology’ and ‘art gallery design’ just hyped-up words, or do Molekule units really do the job of cleaning the air so well?

To answer that, we need to look at the specifications. We’ll go through the coverage area, airflow, CADR rating, noise levels, and before moving to the individual Molekule Air Mini, Air Mini+, Air, And Air Pro reviews.

But first, let’s begin with the very thing that makes Molekule units so special – the PECO filtration technology:

PECO Filtration Technology

Ok, let’s get acquainted with the PECO filtration technology. Be warned: This might get a bit technical, even physics-heavy. You can skip down to the Molekule reviews if you wish.

Here’s what a standard air cleaner 4-stage filtration system looks like: Prefilter (for large particles)  +  Activated Carbon filter (for odors) + HEPA filter (for smallest particles) + UV-C light filter (to kill bacteria, viruses).

Instead of all those filters, the Molekule air purifier use only one: the PECO filter.

Here’s EPA take on previous technology – the PCO filters:

“PCO purifiers use a UV lamp along with a substance, called a catalyst, that reacts with the light. They are intended to destroy gaseous pollutants by converting them into harmless products.” (EPA’s Air Purifier Guide, 2014)

That was already said in 2014 by EPA about PCO (Photo Chemical Oxidation). In the following years, Molekule perfected PCO technology. The result was a pristine PECO filter. Here’s how it looks like:

molekule air with peco filter and vegan handle
Molekule managed to create the advanced PECO filter, based on 25 years of R&D.

How Does PECO Filter Work?

Standard air purifier filters merely collect air pollutants such as allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses, and so on.

Molekule PECO filters, on the other hand, destroy these air contaminants. Here’s how it does just that:

  1. Strong UV light creates free radicals (Photo part of PECO).
  2. Catalyst, with help of UV light, breaks down pollutants at a molecular level (Electrochemical Oxidation part of PECO). 
  3. The resulting water, carbon dioxide, and minor trace elements are released back into the room.

If we put the whole process in a chemical reaction language, here’s how it would look:

Free Radical (OH.) + Oxygen (O2) + Virus (C, O, H, N) → Carbon Dioxide (CO2) + Water (H20) + Trace Elements

PECO filter, however, is not completely perfect. Here’s where the PECO filter is bad:

At removing large particles from the air. 

Solution: All Molekule units have a pre-filter installed before the PECO filter. That pre-filter effectively removes all the large particles PECO filter is unable to remove.

All this might sound a bit complex. Here’s an easy-to-understand illustration that shows how the PECO filter differs from the HEPA filtration system:

molekule destroys particles, ozone, chemical, bacteria, mold, allergens and viruses in indoor air, thereby improving air quality

How Good It Actually Is And What Air Pollutants Does PECO Destroy?

Here’s the thing:

“There is no standard measurement for the effectiveness of PCO cleaners.” (EPA)

With old HEPA filtration, we have CADR ratings that indicate how well the filter performs. PCO is a new technology, and PECO newer still. That’s why the standard of PECO effectiveness is still being developed.

To remedy that a bit, Molekule was confident enough to agree to a study of ‘formaldehyde removal’. Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (VOC). The study looked at how quickly can Molekule Air (#3 review down below) remove this VOC from indoor air, and thereby improve air quality:

measuring effectiveness of molekule air purifiers by formaldehyde removal in graph vs time

The result is very encouraging. Molekule Air removed a total of 90% of formaldehyde in only 8 hours. 

Based on this result, and the destroy-not-capture PECO filter principle of action, we can deduce that Molekule units remove a wider array of airborne contaminants than standard HEPA filters.

Molekule’s ability to destroy air pollutants on a molecular level enables all units to remove/destroy these unwanted air pollutants:

16 air pollutants that molekule completely destroys on a molecular level

All in all, the PECO technology might be new, but it works very well. In fact, it surpasses all the conventional HEPA filters.

Let’s look at the bread-and-butter of all air purifier specifications:

Air Purifier Specs – Coverage Area, CADR Rating, Power Usage, And Noise Levels

Coverage Area And CADR

Molekule units have 3 different maximal coverage areas for 3 different room sizes:

  • Air Mini and Air Mini+ for small rooms (up to 250 sq ft).
  • Molekule Air for standard-sized rooms (up to 600 sq ft).
  • Air Pro for large rooms (up to 1,000 sq ft).

In short, you can buy a Molekule unit for a room of any square footage. 

These coverage areas are usually calculated based on CADR rating and ACH of 2. However, Molekule doesn’t list the CADR rating in their specification sheets.

Power Usage

Molekule power usage also needs to be considered. Conventional air purifiers are powered by up to 100W but they only create airflow. Molekule has to create airflow + power the UV lights for PECO filtration.

That UV light should increase energy usage; however, Molekule Air uses only 80W even at the highest speed. It’s apparent that all, apart from Air Pro, Molekule air purifiers were design to conserve energy and be eco-friendly as possible.

Air Pro is an exception: At the highest speed, it uses 153W. That’s quite a lot for an air purifier. We need to take into account the UV lights and the big 1,000 sq ft coverage area; these 2 things do boost the energy consumption past 100W.

Noise Levels

It’s a common misconception that Molekule produces the world’s quietest air purifiers. Looking at the design of Molekule Air, it does look like a quiet device. 

However, the reality is that Molekule units aren’t the most silent overall. Air Mini and Air Mini+ produce 39 dB at the lowest speed setting, and 62 dB at the highest speed setting. Molekule Air, the arguably best Molekule air purifier, can produce 65 dB at the highest speed. These are not ideal levels.

Special Molekule Add-Ons

When people compare Air Mini and Mini+ specification sheets they wonder one thing:

“What’s the difference between the two?”

Specs-wise they are pretty much identical. What they differ in are the special Molekule add-ons, such as particulate matter sensor. These add-ons do not increase the effectiveness of Molekule purifiers but they do bring some convenience and peace of mind.

Molekule add-ons include:

  1. Particulate matter sensor. Accurately measures how clean (or dirty) indoor air is.
  2. Particle level indicator. Indication of how many airborne particles you have with 4 levels (Good, Moderate, Bad, Very Bad).
  3. Auto-Protect. Based on matter sensor and particle indicator, the Auto-Protect protocol changes the fan speed according to the indoor air quality.

In short, these add-ons automate Molekule operations. Everybody loves them, but not all 4 Molekule devices have them. Only 2 come equipped with all 3; Air Mini+ and Air Pro.

With all that in mind, let’s finally look at Molekule reviews:

1. Molekule Air Mini Review (Air Purifier For Small Rooms)

molekule air purifier for small room
Max. Coverage Area: 250 sq ft
Filters: PECO-Filter
Filter Lifespan: 6 Months
Power Output: 20 – 55 Watts
Noise Levels: 39-62 dB
Dimensions: 12″ x 8.26″

(Height x Width)

Weight: 7.3 lbs
Price: $$$$
Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Molekule Air Mini is a small room PECO filtration air purifier. It’s incredibly compact (12” high and 8.26” wide) and lightweight (under 8 lbs). With a coverage area of 250 sq ft, it’s perfect for kids’ rooms.

Despite being so small, it’s capable of removing all kinds of air pollutants; from dust, pollen, smoke, allergens, to bacteria and even viruses. The secret is, obviously, the small PECO filter that needs to be replaced every 6 months or so. Due to tubular shape, the air can enter the Molekule Air Mini from all sides (360° air intake).

It has an eco-friendly handle made out of natural wool felt. You can easily move Molekule Air Mini around.

The Air Mini is the classic model; however, it does not include the convenient Molekule add-ons. That’s why they made the Air Mini+ (#2 review). Nonetheless, it’s the most inexpensive of all Molekule air purifiers. That’s why people with several kids buy several of them; one for each kid’s room.

Molekule Air Mini

Pros
  • Small and very compact (weighs less than 8 lbs)
  • Effectively destroys air pollutants thanks to PECO filter (including bacteria and viruses)
  • Perfect for kids rooms
  • Most inexpensive Molekule air (you can buy several of them for several kids rooms)
  • Amazing design that will earn you all kind of bragging rights
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with Molekule add-ons such as Auto-Protect
  • Not appropriate for 250+ sq ft rooms

2. Molekule Air Mini+ Review (Upgraded Air Mini With Molekule Add-Ons)

small molekule air mini plus
Max. Coverage Area: 250 sq ft
Filters: PECO-Filter
Filter Lifespan: 6 Months
Power Output: 20 – 55 Watts
Noise Levels: 39-62 dB
Dimensions: 12″ x 8.26″

(Height x Width)

Weight: 7.3 lbs
Price: $$$$
Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

As we’ve pointed out, there is no difference between Molekule Air Mini and Air Mini+ if you just look at the quantitative specifications. 

Air Mini+ is a small, compact, portable air purifier for small rooms. It has that amazing pre-filter + PECO filter filtration system Molekule is known for.

The + in Air Mini+ signifies the Molekule add-ons. Inclusion of all Molekule add-ons – particulate,  matter sensor, particle level indicator, and auto-protect – separate Air Mini+ for the basic Air Mini.

These add-ons effectively automate the air purifier. That’s much more convenient and user-friendly.

You also get a handle out of vegan leather. 

All in all, Air Mini+ is better than Air Mini but does come at a $100 higher cost.

Air Mini+

Pros
  • Best small Molekule air purifier for small rooms
  • Has all 3 Molekule add-ons for convenient use
  • Same quantitative specifications as Air Mini
  • Comes with a vegan leather handle
Cons
  • Has a higher price than Molekule Air Mini
  • Not appropriate for larger rooms

3. Molekule Air Review (Most Popular Molekule Air Purifier)

most popular molekule air purifier
Max. Coverage Area: 600 sq ft
Filters: PECO-Filter + Pre-filter
Filter Lifespan: 6 Months + 3 Months (Pre-filter)
Power Output: 20 – 80 Watts
Noise Levels: 41-65 dB
Dimensions: 23″ x 8.25″

(Height x Width)

Weight: 18 lbs
Price: $$$$
Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Molekule Air is the most recognized and most popular Molekule air purifier. You have probably seen it all over the internet just because it has such a distinctive and elegant look.

Under that beautiful design is the powerful PECO filter, powered by up to 80W. You can put it in any room up to 600 sq ft and see in real-time how all air pollutants, from dust, smoke, mold, pollen, bacteria, and even viruses, are destroyed by the photoelectrochemical oxidation.

Leather handle and 18 lbs total weight make the Molekule Air very portable. People usually put it in the room they are currently in. Even more popular is to buy 2 Molekule Air units and put one in a living room and a second one in the bedroom.

That’s how you can ensure you will enjoy the highest air quality.

All in all, Molekule Air is the best-selling Molekule air purifier and well worth the cost.

Molekule Air

Pros
  • Most recognizable and popular best-selling Molekule model
  • PECO filtration system is powered by up to 80W
  • Can significantly improve air quality in up to 600 sq ft rooms (living room, bedroom)
  • Given the advanced purification filter, it’s well worth the cost
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with Molekule add-ons
  • Not appropriate for very small or very large rooms

4. Molekule Air Pro Review (Molekule Air For Large Rooms)

molekule air plus for larger rooms
Max. Coverage Area: 1000 sq ft
Filters: PECO-Filter
Filter Lifespan: 6 Months
Power Output: 61 – 153 Watts
Noise Levels: 33-64 dB
Dimensions: 23.1″ x 10.9″

(Height x Width)

Weight: 22.9 lbs
Price: $$$$
Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars

Air Pro is the most powerful Molekule air purifier. It’s significantly bigger than Air Mini and Molekule Air units and can remove all kinds of air pollutants in spaces up to 1,000 sq ft. It’s quite tall; more than 23”.

Air Pro is powered by up to 153W. That’s considerably higher wattage than most air purifiers, conventional and even Molekule unit. That may not be optimum for the environment; however, if you need to really purify the air in a 1,000 sq ft master bedroom, you need quite a lot of power to do that.

The best thing about Air Pro is the inclusion of Molekule add-ons. Only Air Mini+ and Air Pro come with the:

  1. Particulate matter sensor. 
  2. Particle level indicator. 
  3. Auto-Protect.

These 3 additions make operating the Air Pro easy and fun. The handle is vegan leather. 

It has to be said that Air Pro is the most expensive Molekule unit; given that’s so much larger than others, it’s only reasonable that it should command a higher price. What matters in the end, is that’s it well worth the cost.

Air Pro

Pros
  • Biggest Molekule air purifier for large rooms up to 1,000 sq ft
  • Incredible power of 153 powers the big PECO filter that destroys all species of air pollutants
  • Comes with all 3 Molekule add-ons
Cons
  • It might be expensive because it’s so powerful but it’s worth the cost
  • Using it in 500 sq ft or smaller rooms would be an overkill

Related Molekule Air Questions (FAQ)

There are all kinds of questions that can come up when new tech hits the market. Here we do our best to answer questions relating to all Molekule air purifier units:

Does The Molekule Really Work?

Of course. While conventional air purifiers primarily use HEPA filtration, Molekule air purifiers use advanced PECO filtration technology. 

The photoelectrochemical oxidation process is comprised of a UV light and a catalyst. Combined, they destroy air pollutants like dust, pollen, bacteria, mold, viruses, and so on, on a molecular level.

The effectiveness of Molekule was proven in the following studies, just to name a few:

  • Molekule Air vs. Pollen: Removed 79% of pollen in 10 minutes.
  • Molekule Air vs. Dust: 84% of dust removed in 20 minutes.
  • Molekule Air vs. Smoke: 85% of smoke destroyed in 22 minutes.
  • Air Mini vs. DNA Virus: Removed 98.7% of the PhiX174 virus in 2 hours.

Is Molekule Better Than HEPA?

HEPA filters do work faster. HEPA is a physical barrier, while the Molekule PECO filter has to work with UV light and catalyst. That process is slower.

Apart from that, the Molekule filtration system is better than HEPA in the following ways:

  • Molekule actually destroys air pollutants while HEPA air purifiers only capture them.
  • Molekule PECO filtration alloys for an attractive design; boxy HEPA filters contribute to boxy HEPA air purifier design.
  • Molekule destroys a wider array of air pollutants than HEPA filters.

All in all, Molekule filters are comparable in price, better in performance, but work slower.

How Long Do Molekule Filters Last?

Molekule filters last for about 6 months. That is if you run the air purifiers 24/7. 

Molekule pre-filters, on the other hand, last for about 3 months. These catch larger particles; obviously, the Molekule pre-filter lifespan depends on the concentration of bigger air pollutants in your home.

Comparing the Molekule PECO filter lifespan to ordinary HEPA filters, they both last about 6 months. Some advanced HEPA filters, found in Alen BreatheSmart air purifiers, can have a 9-12 month lifespan.

Is Molekule Air Purifier Safe?

It is. All those UV light, photoelectrochemical oxidation, and free radicals might sound scary, but all these processes are contained in a tiny space inside the PECO filter.

The standard issue with air purifier safety is the production of ozone. EPA reported that some air purifiers might be releasing ozone.

Molekule has declared publically that:

“Molekule’s PECO technology does not generate ozone.”

They underpin this statement with studies conducted at the University of South Florida Clean Energy Research Center and by the University of Minnesota.

How Long Does It Take Molekule To Work?

Molekule starts working (removing air pollutants) the moment you press the ‘On’ button.  You can see results to improved air quality as the result of Molekule air purifier actions in about 2 hours.

Example: Molekule Air changes air about once per hour in 600 sq ft room (ACH = 1). If you place it in a 300 sq ft, it will likely change all the air two times per hour (ACH = 2).

For smaller rooms, Air Mini and Air Mini+ are more appropriate. For bigger rooms, Molekule Air Pro is the right choice.

Does Molekule Kill Mold And Remove Dust?

Molekule removes all air pollutants standard HEPA filters remove and more. It removes both mold and dust by using PECO filtration technology.

In fact, it not only removes mold and mold spores, it literally destroys them on a molecular level with the use of UV light and catalyst (PECO filter).


Ultimate Assessment Of Molekule

All in all, it’s plainly evident that the Molekule air purifiers are the next generation of air purification technology.

Its revolutionary PECO filter is incredible in every way. Truly, NASA would use it in space, if space would have as much air pollutants as our homes.

The higher price point is to be expected with the novel technology. What matters, in the end, is this:

Pretty much everybody loves Molekule.

Molekule air purifiers have a clean design, work well, and even earn you some bragging rights.

The simple thing that so many Molekule owners like to start a conversation with “So listen, I’ve just got this new air purifier and it’s amazing!” is proof of its quality in itself.

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