Molekule Air Pro review

by laurenewaechter

Live Science Verdict

Brimming with high-tech features, the Molekule Air Pro air purifier is an impressively powerful and thoughtfully designed piece of kit — but it is also noisy, pricey and requires some of the most expensive filter replacements we have ever seen.


  • +

    Sleek, unobtrusive design

  • +

    Powerful air cleaning performance

  • +

    Detailed air quality readings

  • +

    Easy to use and assemble


  • More expensive than other air purifiers

  • Costly filter replacements

  • Noisy at high fan speeds

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When scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, chances are you have stumbled upon an advert for the Molekule Air Pro, an air purifier that promises to blow the competitors out of the water with its patented PECO technology (PhotoElectroChemical Oxidation). This unique appliance has gained a legion of fans thanks to an extensive social media campaign ― but does the Molekule Air Pro live up to the hype? And if so, is it really worth the $999.99 price tag?

Based on the specifications alone, this sleek appliance could be one of the best air purifiers on the market. The Molekule Air Pro is cleared by the FDA as a Class II medical device under the 510(k) program, meaning that this air purifier has been shown to destroy bacteria, viruses, mold, and other harmful airborne particles. That is because it features a unique PECO-HEPA Tri-Power filter that combines the efficiency of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Absorbing) filtration with PECO  technology that “breaks down pollutants at a molecular level.” The Molekule Air Pro looks good, too ― and it comes with detailed air quality readings.

On the other hand, Molekule’s credibility has been overshadowed by murky advertising. As reported by the New York Times, the brand was forced to retract several of its claims, including the one where they claimed that HEPA filters breed bacteria and release them back into the air.

So is the Molekule Air Pro worth investing in? To answer this question, we put it through extensive testing, looking into its performance, design, and ease of use. But is it one of the best air purifiers or best air purifiers for allergies? Read on to find out.

Molekule Air Pro air purifier review

Molekule Air Pro: Design

The Molekule Air Pro air purifier, disassembled

The Molekule Air Pro is easy to assemble. (Image credit: Anna Gora)
  • Stylish, user-friendly design
  • Heavy, but compact and portable
  • App setup may be problematic

Key specs

Dimensions (inches): 23.1 (H) x 10.9 (W)

Dimensions (centimeters): 58.6 (H) x 27.8 (W)

Weight:  22.9 lbs (10.38 kg)

Filters: PECO-HEPA Tri-Power filter

Max noise: 65 dB

Max power use: 123 watts

Coverage: Up to 1000 sq ft (92.9 sq m)

Modes: 2 auto modes, 6 fan speeds

Warranty: 2-year limited 

Energy Star Certified: no

Smart features: app, voice control

The Molekule Air Pro is easy to set up — at least at the beginning. Upon unboxing the air purifier, gently push down on the top of the unit and turn it counterclockwise to release the core. Unwrap the PECO filter that sits inside the shell, pop it back in, and then push the core down until it locks into place. The whole process takes seconds, and you can’t get it wrong.

However, setting up the Molekule app is more complex. It took us only one attempt to successfully pair the Molekule Air Pro with the app on our phone, but we struggled with connecting the purifier to our Wi-Fi network. The app either connected to the internet just to immediately disconnect straight after, or did not even display the network. It took a few restarts, one factory reset of the device, and at least five attempts at establishing a connection before we could link the purifier to the Wi-Fi and fully access the app. Judging by some user reviews we saw online, we were not the only ones battling the app setup. However, once we managed to get it up and running, we experienced no further issues with connectivity. 

The Molekule Air Pro strikes a great balance between style and functionality. This tower air purifier weighs a respectable 23 lbs (10.38 kg), but it is surprisingly sleek and compact, and it comes with a neat faux leather handle that makes it easy to move the unit around. The Molekule Air Pro also features a relatively long cord (nearly 6 feet, or 1.8 meters) and a cord wrap-around fixture at the bottom of the unit to keep it hidden from view. We also liked its stylish looks. With its toned-down colors and soft edges, this air purifier is unobtrusive and easy on the eye.

The Molekule Air Pro air purifier, view from the top

A small circular display is located at the top of the Molekule Air Pro. (Image credit: Anna Gora)

However, there are a couple of downsides to the Molekule Air Pro — first, the funky smell. During the first day or two of using the air purifier, it produced an unpleasant chemical odor. The user manual did say that it was normal and that the smell would dissipate naturally. Indeed, the odor was gone after approximately 48 hours, but we found it strong enough to be a nuisance.

The second downside was the maintenance. The filters in the Molecule Air Pro need to be replaced every six months and they are not cheap. A one-off purchase for one filter costs $174.99, while a subscription for two replacements a year will set you back $279.98 annually. These are probably the most expensive filter replacements we have ever seen. With most air purifiers you can spend less than $100 in maintenance costs per year, and even those on the more expensive side often require several different replacement filters, not just a single HEPA filter.

Molekule Air Pro: Features

  • PECO-HEPA Tri-power filter 
  • Pollutant-destroying PECO technology
  • Detailed air quality readings
  • Two automatic modes and six manual fan speeds

The Molekule Air Pro features a PECO-HEPA Tri-power filter — a modified HEPA filter able to capture minuscule airborne pollutants, such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander — and PECO technology shown to break down organic matter into harmless gases and water vapor. According to the brand, the Molekule Air Pro can destroy a wide range of allergens, toxic compounds from smoke, VOCs (volatile organic compounds, harmful chemicals from household products and natural sources), and even some bacteria and viruses.

An air quality reading in the Molekule Air Pro.

The Molekule Air Pro displays detailed air quality readings.  (Image credit: Anna Gora)

The Molekule Air Pro features a circular touchscreen located on the top of the unit. This bright and intuitive display provides detailed real-time air quality readings and updates you on the filter life. It says exactly how much particulate matter is in the air, breaking it down into 1-micron, 2.5-micron, and 10-micron particles, VOCs, carbon dioxide and relative humidity. In the app, you can also view handy graphs illustrating how the levels of air pollutants change over time. We liked that feature — it made it easy to identify what caused the spikes in air pollution. The app will also report the “top 3 offenders in your air”, giving a good overview of past and present issues with the air quality. If you are very data-driven or concerned about a specific air pollutant, the Molekule Air Pro will impress you here.          

The Molekule Air Pro also features six manually controlled fan speeds and two automatic modes: Auto Protect and Quiet. The Auto Protect mode automatically adjusts fan speeds based on air particle levels, while Quiet mode operates fans at lower speeds that are quieter.  These settings can be adjusted both on the display and in the app.

Molekule Air Pro: Performance

  • Sensitive sensors
  • Excellent at reducing smoke
  • Loud at high settings

The Molekule Air Pro impressed us with its sensitive air quality sensors and powerful fans. This air purifier swiftly kicked into action every time we cooked, used cleaning products or sprayed cosmetics, removing odors quickly and efficiently. There was only one caveat — it was very noisy doing so. When the Molekule Air Pro operates at high speeds it sounds almost like a vacuum cleaner, generating up to a whopping 66 decibels (dB). At its lower speeds, it still makes a distracting mechanical hum, but it is quieter — generating roughly 30 dB, equivalent to a loud whisper.

An air quality sensor in the Molekule Air Pro

An air quality sensor is located at the bottom of the Molekule Air Pro. (Image credit: Anna Gora)

The Molekule Air Pro did appear efficient, but it was up to our air particle monitor to determine its air cleaning performance. First, we conducted an ambient air test in a medium-sized living room, placed roughly in the center. We measured the air quality before and after running the air purifier on its auto settings for 15 and 30 minutes. The results were underwhelming. After 15 minutes, the Molekule Air Pro removed 49% of particles measuring 0.3 microns and 57% of pollutants measuring 2.5 microns (no 10-micron particles were detected). After half an hour, these values rose slightly — 67% and 60%, respectively. We obtained similar results when we repeated the test in a different room. However, both the air purifier and air particle monitor indicated good air quality at the time of testing, so these numbers may not fully reflect the capabilities of the Air Pro.

We did get far more impressive results during our smoke tests. First, we burned 10 matches, then we ran the Molekule Air Pro for 15 and 30 minutes on its auto setting. After 15 minutes, the purifier hoovered up a whopping 99.6% of 0.3-micron particles, 99.9% of particles measuring 2.5 microns, and all the pollutants larger than 10 microns. 15 minutes later, the air quality was better than when we started. When we did the match test on the highest setting, all particles were gone after 15 minutes. Next, we burned five incense sticks and repeated the procedure. The Molekule Air Pro removed nearly all particles after 15 minutes, and just like in the match test, the air quality after 30 minutes was better than our baseline readings. 

An air quality score displayed by the Molekule Air Pro.

The Molekule Air Pro displays color-coded air quality scores.  (Image credit: Anna Gora)

Molekule Air Pro: User reviews

The Molekule Air Pro air purifier scores 4.4 out of 5 stars on the company’s website, with 74% of users giving it a full five stars. Positive reviews praise this air purifier for its looks and air-cleaning performance, with many users saying it helped them ease the symptoms of allergies to pollen and pet dander. One buyer commented, “Let me be honest, I initially bought this because it looked cool and everyone I knew had one. Little did I know I was going to sleep better, not get sick as often, and constantly check my app after I sprayed hairspray or perfume in my room. […] I can’t live without it and I will be a lifetime client. Bravo!”. Negative reviews, on the other hand, often cite a spotty Wi-Fi connection and price. 

However, Amazon reviews of the Molekule Air Pro are less impressive. The Molekule Air Pro is rated 3.9 out of 5 stars, with a whopping 19% of one-star reviews. While most customers praise the quality and design of the air purifier, multiple reviews mention excessive noise, high cost and faulty app as major downsides to the Molekule Air Pro. One user said, “My Molekule Pro makes a very loud mechanical humming sound, which I can hear throughout my entire apartment. This is separate from the typical “woosh” sound a fan or purifier would normally make. […] When the speed ramps up, it’s awful.”

Should you buy the Molekule Air Pro?

A filter life indicator displayed by the Molekule Air Pro

The Molekule Air Pro indicates when it is time to change the filter. (Image credit: Anna Gora)

✅ The Molekule Air Pro is a great choice if you are looking for a powerful air purifier capable of handling heavy air pollution. This beast of a machine efficiently removes smoke and various airborne pollutants, thanks to its sensitive sensors and high-powered fans. The Molekule Air Pro can be particularly useful for those who require detailed air quality readings, such as people with severe allergies or respiratory conditions. This air purifier goes above and beyond the industry standard of a single air quality score or basic color-coded indicators.

❌ However, if you are on a budget, the Molekule Air Pro may not be the best option for you. It is one of the most expensive air purifiers on the market and it requires expensive filter replacements. It can be very noisy, too.  

If this product is not for you

If you are looking for an efficient air purifier that will not break the bank, the Levoit Core 600S is a great choice. It offers excellent performance, plenty of smart features and unobtrusive design, all for less than $300 — a third of the price of the Molekule Air Pro.

The RabbitAir A3 is another great option. This beautifully designed air purifier features five different filters and intuitive controls, and it is much quieter than the Molekule Air Pro. Certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the A3 is particularly suitable for people sensitive to pollen and pet dander.

Molekule Air Pro: How we tested

We spent over two weeks testing the Molekule Air Pro, assessing its design, functionality, performance, ease of use, and connectivity with third-party devices. We also measured how loud this air purifier is on different settings using a decibel-counting app, and checked the cost and availability of the PECO-HEPA replacement filter.

Lastly, we conducted a series of performance tests using an industry-grade air particle monitor, a device capable of detecting airborne pollutants as small as 0.3 microns. We started with an ambient air quality test, where we ran the Molekule Air Pro on its auto mode for 15 and 30 minutes, and noted the differences in the air quality readings over time. Next, we performed several smoke tests to see how this air purifier handles severe pollution. We burned matches and incense sticks, then recorded the changes in air quality readings after running the Molekule Air Pro for 15 and 30 minutes on different settings.

Anna Gora

Anna Gora is a health writer at Live Science, having previously worked across Coach, Fit&Well, T3, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide. She is a certified personal trainer, nutritionist and health coach with nearly 10 years of professional experience. Anna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, a Master’s degree in Nutrition, Physical Activity & Public Health from the University of Bristol, as well as various health coaching certificates. She is passionate about empowering people to live a healthy lifestyle and promoting the benefits of a plant-based diet.

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