Monday, April 26, 2021

Molekule Air Mini

One-minute review

Air purifiers certainly come in many shapes and sizes, but the Molekule Air Mini is definitely one of the more stylish ones. This miniature cylinder is great for small spaces such as a kid’s bedroom or a home office. Its bigger siblings will be great for larger spaces, so if you’re looking for a bedside air purifier, then the Molekule Air Mini is a good starting point.

The white design will either blend in or stand out from your environment, but no matter where you set it up, you can leave the Molekule Air Mini alone to do its thing. That’s precisely what you want in an air purifier, and the fact that the Air Mini’s filter runs through a whole six months before you ever need to look at it again is another huge bonus.

The downside of the Molekule Air Mini is that this particular model lacks smart integration or a companion app, which are features only found in the Molekule Air Mini+ (among other improvements). If you want to see any kind of feedback on just how good your air purifier is, you’re going to have to fork out the extra $100 to pick up the Molekule Air Mini+ instead. But if you just want to set up an air purifier and trust that it’s doing its job well, then the Molekule Air Mini is just what you need.

Price and availability

The Molekule Air Mini is available now from Molekule directly, priced at $399 (around £287; AU$513).

With this price you’ll get the one filter included in the box, which will last you for six months. Molekule also has a filter subscription model, priced at $99 per year for two filters. That’s extremely reasonable, given the shelf life of each filter.

Design

One thing that Molekule is particularly passionate about is reducing their environmental impact, and that starts with the packaging itself. The box itself is made from recycled cardboard, and the number of instructional booklets is kept to just one.

Molekule Air Mini

(Image credit: Molekule)

Inside the box you’ll find the Molekule Air Mini snugly tucked away in a small bag. Removing it from the bag reveals the futuristic-looking air purifier, in dazzling white and grey tones. Molekule have also been careful not to apply any additional finishing or paint to the Air Mini, so as not to introduce foreign particles into the home. On the side of the Air Mini is a vegan leather carrying handle, which allows you to quickly pick it up and relocate it to another room.

 

Molekule Air Mini

(Image credit: Molekule)

At the top is where you’ll find the only control button, which you can long press to wake up the Air Mini or put it in standby, or tap it to cycle through one of five fan speeds. For normal use we found that fan speed two or three was enough to gradually cycle through the air in a room, but for quicker purification we would crank it all the way up to speed five.

There’s also a hidden light that indicates the status of your filter, and the Air Mini will warn you in advance when it’s time to order a replacement. Should you fail to do so, the Air Mini will eventually shut down and flash a warning sign to replace the worn filter. You can still continue to use the device with limited effect, but you will need to replace the filter for proper air purification.

The true magic of the Molekule Air Mini lies in its PECO filter, which differs greatly from a lot of other air purifiers on the market. Most purifiers use a HEPA filter, which contains several layers of materials that are capable of trapping particles between each layer. The Molekule Air Mini works on a much different principle, based on technology developed by Molekule directly.

Molekule’s PECO filter works by drawing air in, and then using light to activate the  nanocatalyst-coated filter to destroy pollutants and break them down to their basic molecular components. This not only allows the Molekule Air Mini to break down impurities that are much smaller than those passed through a HEPA filter, but it also doesn’t release any harmful pollutants or ozone back into the air. It’s a truly fascinating process that certainly will put anyone at ease who’s worried about what’s in the air around them.

The one downside of the Molekule Air Mini is that you’ll have to forego any kind of smart home integration or companion app. Those features are reserved for the Molekule Air Mini+, priced at $100 higher. You’ll just have to trust that the Air Mini is doing its job, as there’s no way to check the air quality or track its performance. We really wish that at least the app integration was included, so that we’re able to monitor the performance of the Air Mini as it cleans the air.

Performance

The Molekule Air Mini is rated at being able to clean an area of around 250 sq ft, which is more than enough for a mid-sized room. We switched it on fan speed three in our bedroom and left it running over the course of a week, positioned on a bedside table.

What we found was that during the week we would wake up less often in the morning with a stuffy nose from dust being blown into the room from the shared building air conditioning units. During the day, when food smells from the kitchen would normally waft into the bedroom, the Molekule Air Mini was more than capable of making the room odorless over the course of an hour or so. For more immediate cleaning needs, we could crank the fan speed up to five and have the room smelling fresh again in less than twenty minutes.

Molekule Air Mini

(Image credit: Molekule)

The end result is that the Molekule Air Mini works, even if you can’t quite measure how well it’s doing its job. The lack of smarts may make the $399 asking price a bit on the steep side, but truly if you want a stylish air purifier that can handle pretty much any kind of air pollutant you throw at it, then this little guy is a must in your home.

Should I buy the Molekule Air Mini?

Molekule Air Mini

(Image credit: Molekule)

Buy it if…

You want hassle-free air purifying
The Molekule Air Mini is simple to set up and forget about, and can confidently clean small spaces in a short amount of time

You want something compact
Small and portable, the Air Mini is easy to transport to different rooms, and never needs to be reconfigured in any way.

Don’t buy it if…

You want to monitor your air quality
You’ll have to splurge the extra $100 to get the Air Mini+ if you truly want to see what’s being cleaned in your air.

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