Spring is nearly here, despite snowy forecasts even down South. But our allergens haven’t gotten the note that we’re not ready for them yet, and my entire family is sneezy, itchy, and cranky. And after my son’s allergies got so bad we ended up in an ambulance to the ER, I knew it was time for a real-deal air purifier for us. So when Molekule asked if we’d like to try out their air purifier, I was game.

With four kids, a dog, and a constantly open back door that’s letting in the neighbor’s wandering dog too (yes, for real), a serious machine like this is what it would take for us to really keep our air clean in my house.

It’s expensive though, so here’s what we think about whether or not it’s worth the spendy price tag.

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Related: The air purifier and humidifier combo that could help you sneeze (and dust) less

Inside view of the new Molekule Nano air purifier

What is Molekule?

Let’s talk first things first: this thing is gorgeous. As in, stunning. As in, friends come over and gasp, What is that cool machine? In fact, one of the few places that sells it is MoMA (yes, the art museum). So, it’s a conversation piece. As it should be, for the price.

Now, let’s talk air. The EPA says that our indoor air is actually 5x more polluted than our outdoor air. I believe it, too. I’m terrible about opening up the windows and letting fresh air in our house.

So, the thing that makes Molekule special, in terms of actual air purification, is that it uses a new process called PECO to destroy pollutants at the molecular level. Basically, everything from allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses and chemicals are eliminated from your air (not trapped in a filter). So your air is legitimately cleaner.

In fact, the Molekule can trap VOCs and viruses that are 1000x smaller than anything a HEPA filter can trap, making this a must-have for anyone with a compromised immune system.

The Molekule Nano uses a simple screen to control your settings.

Setting it up

When I first opened up my Molekule to get it set up, I chose the option to connect it to my wifi and the app on my phone (which is totally optional). That way, I can now control it remotely. It asked me the size of my room — I have it set up in a corner between my open-concept kitchen (with all those powerful food smells) and living room, where my family spends 90% of our at-home time — so I chose the largest room option.

At that point, it did an initial clean. Kind of like an air reset for your home. The sound was similar to a loud fan, and the initial cycle ran for up to 48 hours. There was a distinct smell — a sweet, clean smell to the air or the machine, I’m not sure which.

After the initial set-up cycle, I choose to switch my mode to Silent, with other options being Auto (a low hum) and Boost (a louder, not-quite-hair-dryer-level noise). In silent mode, I truly cannot hear it, and I’m very sensitive to sound. In Boost mode, I had to ask my kids to come closer so I could hear them (again, very sensitive to sound).

From this point on, there’s very little maintenance. The other filters I’ve used time out and turn off, so I’m regularly having to go check to see if they’re still on. Others required me to refill water tanks. Molekule requires none of that. In fact, the only thing you have to do is change the filters and your purchase includes a free 1-year filter subscription, so they will just automatically show up at your door. After that first year, you can buy a subscription for replacement filters directly from Molekule.

How well did it work?

The first thing I’ve noticed is that there is much less dust and pet hair on our hardwood floors when I sweep. Noticeably less.

As for allergens, I think it is helping. My spring allergies (which are mild) have been less severe since we’ve had Molekule running. My son’s allergies (which can be extreme) are still getting to him a bit when he forgets his medicine. So if your family suffers from serious reactions to seasonal allergies this will help, but it won’t likely get you off your Zyrtec.

But the other night, when our neighbors started a particularly smoky bonfire in their backyard and it blew our direction, filling our house with a smoky smell, I flipped our Molekule to boost. Within just a few minutes, our air smelled back to normal. I was surprised and impressed.

That being said, it’s pricey. Like, higher than pretty much every other air purifier I’ve tried or even seen. For us, it would be an investment that we’d need to weigh carefully, especially if we’re all still taking allergy meds. Though to be fair, I’m not sure there’s any air purifier that could do that (unless we all stayed inside and never ventured out at all ala A Quiet Place).

Bottom line: If you have a compromised immune system and really need clean air, if you have pets and can afford a luxury air filter, or if you have bad seasonal allergies and really need some relief, the Molekule is definitely something to consider as great way to eliminate those toxins without having to worry about an ugly appliance sitting in the corner of your room.

You can purchase the Molekule at their website or at a handful of shops including Sprout and MoMA. Thanks, Molekule, for sending us a unit to try out.

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