I Tried a Molekule Air Purifier to Eliminate Kitchen Odors—Even Bacon

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A Molekule air purifier removes odors, viruses, mold, dander and pollutants from the air—and it'll make your kitchen safer and cleaner.

I love my kitchen, but it’s missing one important feature: ventilation. I don’t have an external window or a range hood over the stove. Not only is it annoying to deal with lingering food odors from frying bacon and broiling salmon, but the particulate matter and smoke are downright dangerous.

In fact, the EPA estimates that indoor air quality can be two to five times worse than outdoor air quality. One of the main contributors to poor indoor air quality? The kitchen. Eek! Fed up with smelling Sunday’s meal prep well into Tuesday and nervous about breathing pollutants, I priced out the cost of a kitchen renovation and the numbers quickly hit four digits. Double eek!

Instead of hiring a contractor, I decided to try the Molekule Air Purifier first, to see if it could eliminate food odors and kitchen pollutants. (Air-purifying plants can also filter home toxins.) Here’s what happened.

What is a Molekule Air Purifier?

Like the best product recommendations, I heard about Molekule Air Purifiers from a trusted friend. My cousin has one in her Portland apartment to filter gasses, dust and odors from new paint and pet dander. Molekules are also used in luxury hotels, like the Ocean House in Rhode Island.

Most air purifiers use traditional HEPA filters, but Molekule spent 25 years researching their own filtration system, called PECO, or photoelectrochemical oxidation. It’s very technical, but it just means free radicals break down pollutants, allergens, mold, bacteria and food smells (yes!) at a molecular level—something a HEPA filter can’t do.

Even better? A 2021 study showed that Molekule’s PECO technology also inactivates flu and coronavirus strains at a rate of 99.99 percent. Nanotechnology allows PECO to destroy pollutants 1000 times smaller than the standard filters must meet to qualify as HEPA. And yes, it’s cleared by the FDA.

Which Size Molekule to Choose

There are four versions of the Molekule Air Purifier. The main difference is size. Since I needed air purification in the kitchen (and wanted to check out the app), I chose the Air Mini+.

Molekule Air Mini

The smallest Molekule air filter is still mighty. It covers up to 250 square feet of space, making it ideal for kitchens and nurseries. The vegan leather handle is easy to transport if you want to move it from room to room to clear the air. It retails for $399.

Molekule Air Mini+

The Molekule Air Mini+ is the same size as the original, but it has a few additional bells and whistles, and costs $499. With this model, there’s a particle sensor and an auto protect mode. Connect it to Wi-Fi to monitor your particle levels and adjust the speed remotely. That means you can watch TV in the living room and turn up the speed to clear out kitchen odors from the couch.

Molekule Air

Bigger spaces need bigger air filtrations systems. The Molekule Air works in spaces up to 600 square feet and costs $799.

Molekule Air Pro

Want to filter the air in your entire house? The Molekule Air Pro works up to 1,000 square feet! It also has auto protect modes and a particle sensor for maximum safeguarding. This model costs $1199.  Spring cleaning just got a whole lot easier.

How We Tested It

Unboxing the Molekule Air Mini+ was easy. The unit arrived already assembled in a stylish cloth bag. I simply had to remove plastic wrapping, twist the base on and plug it in. Since I tested the Air Mini+, I downloaded the app and connected it to my home’s Wi-Fi.

This is the only step in the process where I had a bit of trouble. I had to install and reinstall a few times to get the air filter to read my Wi-Fi connection. But it was worth it. I enjoy monitoring the kitchen’s air particles on the app, so I know when to turn the speeds up and down to clear the air.

The Molekule has five fan speeds. The lowest fan speed is barely audible, and the speed I keep the unit on throughout the day to clear pet dander and dust from the air. When I turn on the oven or saute garlic, I crank it up to five. It’s quieter than a vacuum but not something you’d want to listen to all day.

I’ve tested the Molekule for six months and it lives permanently on the kitchen counter, about two feet from the stove. The white shade and clean lines look minimalist and blend in with the subway tile. I’m not ashamed to have it displayed (unlike some less aesthetically pleasing air filters on the market.)

To really see what the Molekule could do, I turned it up to five and fried a whole pound of bacon. Bacon is something I usually avoid making because it fills my entire kitchen and adjacent living room with smoke and intense odors. Not anymore. After cleaning the kitchen, I left the house for an hour and returned. Not even a whiff of bacon!

I’ve had the same stellar odor-eliminating results when grilling brats and roasting salmon. I’ve also noticed a significant reduction in accumulated dust. The only downside is Molekule works so well, it also blocks fragrance from scented candles! I unplug the machine when I want to have a candle moment.

After about six months of constant use at a level one (cranked up to a three or four for about an hour if I’m cooking something odorous), it was time to change the filter. The display panel indicated a filter change, and I noticed that smells weren’t dissipating as quickly. Changing the air filter was as simple as swapping a water filter, and the old filter was filled with dust and debris. Satisfying.

Are Molekules Worth It?

Molekule Air Purifier Pros

  • It works! The PECO Purification system destroys pollutants, odors and viruses.
  • Clean lines and minimalist aesthetic look good on the kitchen counter.
  • Range of sizes to purify air in spaces from small to large.
  • The Air Mini + is portable—easily moves from the kitchen to the bedroom.
  • Control fan speed and check pollutant levels on the app.
  • Easy screw-off base makes replacing filters easy.
  • Cleared by the FDA.

Molekule Air Purifier Cons

  • There are cheaper air purifiers on the market.
  • The app can be glitchy to set up.
  • Filters are pricey and need to be changed about every six months depending on usage.

Where to Buy It

Molekule Air Purifiervia molekule.com

Interested? Try a Molekule in your kitchen for 30 days, risk-free. If you still smell bacon (we don’t think you will), you can return it for free—even the shipping is covered. Molekule air filters and filter refills are available directly through Molekule.com.

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Megan Wood
As Deputy Affiliate eCommerce Editor, Megan Wood helps Taste of Home readers find the best products to make their lives better, easier, and more joyful. She has 10 years of service journalism and product review experience across a variety of national websites. When she’s not tracking down the best sales and deals, you can probably find her walking her dog.