Review of the Membrane Solutions MSA3 HEPA Air Purifier

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Overall Design




Ease of Use





  • Sleek, attractive and stylish design.
  • Multi-layer filtration system is very effective.
  • Touch-button controls are easy to use.
  • Very quiet operation.
  • Only uses 44 watts at maximum settings.


  • No remote or smart features.
  • Front panel doesn't seem to line-up perfectly.

When spending time indoors, clean air is something that many of us take for granted. However, indoor air quality may not be as ideal as you think it is. In fact, dust, pollen, hair, dander and other impurities are everywhere, regardless of how often you clean your home.

Sure, you may have a whole home ventilation system with a clean filter in place, but most of the time, this isn’t enough. While many may not think of them as a necessity, placing a quality HEPA air purifier in your living area can bring favorable effects.

Even if you don’t suffer from allergies or asthma, an air purifier can even make a difference when it comes to cleaning. In fact, when using one, you’ll likely notice less dust, hair and other impurities settling on surfaces around the home.

But which air purifier should you own? While there are hundreds, if not thousands to choose from, a basic HEPA air purifier can make a noticeable impact.


Take the Membrane Solutions MSA3 HEPA Air Purifier for example. It’s an affordable option, yet it’s packed with all the favorable features we tend to look for. Designed for large rooms and overall simplicity, we were lucky enough to test it out for ourselves.

Today we’re going to get our hands on it and take a deep dive. We’ll share our experience using it and determine how effective it actually is. In the end, we’ll have a good idea of whether it’s worthy of owning or simply skipping over. Let’s get right into it.

Appearance and Form Factor

At first glance, you’ll notice the Membrane Solutions MSA3 has a fairly straightforward design. With a slightly curved appearance, it’s sleek, minimalist and quite nice looking. Measuring 21.5 inches tall, 13.1 inches wide and 7.7 inches deep, it’ll fit most rooms nicely. And while it weighs in at 13.7 pounds, it’s not exactly heavy but it does have a nice amount of heft to it.

Located on the top of the backside is a small indentation that’s using as a handle to move around when needed. It’s a bit shallow, but still works well enough. Needless to say, it’s pretty simple to maneuver it to wherever it’s needed.


The front sides have a vent that runs vertically. This is where the air is pulled into the filtration system as it exhausts clean air through the grate on the top.

Control Interface

On the front of the housing, near the top vent is the control panel. Here, there’s a series of touch-activated buttons that enable all of the air purifier functions with an LED for each one.


The power button is located to the right with the lock, light, sleep, turbo and reset buttons following to the left. Below these six buttons is a timer with 1-8 hour increments. In the center is the fan speed button, offering selections between high, medium and low. On the far right is an LED indicator that shows the remaining filter life.

We found that all of the controls are extremely simple and very straightforward. The touch-sensitivity is perfect; you don’t have to press hard as a gentle touch is all that is needed to control each button.


We love the inclusion of a sleep mode. Often times, air purifiers can be loud and annoying with the array of lights they have. By activating sleep mode, the fan inside the MSA3 adjusts to its lowest setting, which is also the quietest setting. In addition, all of the LEDs won’t glow so the unit won’t disrupt your sleep cycle.

While you can always manually turn down the fan speed and turn of all of the lights with other buttons, the sleep button does this all in one push. Simply put, it offers a streamlined way to adjust the air purifier to its ideal settings before you head to bed.

Another favorite feature of ours is the filter time indicator. While most other air purifiers rely on a guessing game in terms of filter lifespan, the MSA3 will calculate the precise time a filter change is needed based on operating time. The three blue bars will eventually diminish after about 1700 hours of use. Once this happens, press and hold the filter reset button for 3 seconds. It will then emit a beep, and the filter time will be reset.


Filtration System

To access the filter, the front panel comes off by pulling the top sides and letting it snap out of place. Once removed, the filter is a single piece that can be interchanged without any complication. Simply pull on the piece of fabric and it’ll easily come out. You’ll then see the actual fan embedded into the main body.


When you remove the filter, you’ll notice that the it provides a nice, tight seal around the edge. It does this with an inclusion of foam around the entire perimeter. This way, it’s snug and sealed for air to be drawn through the multi-layer mesh and not around the sides.


While it’s kind-of nice that the filter is all-in-one, it would be nice if each layer was interchangeable. To be fair, most air purifiers have a one-piece filter. But in reality, some layers may wear out quicker than others. The only solution is to change the entire thing. Not to worry, though. Replacement filters are easily attainable, and not that expensive.


Each filter is comprised of multiple layers that effectively trap impurities up to 0.3 microns small. First, there’s a pre-filter. This is designed to trap large particles such as hair, dander and small fibers. Next is the HEPA layer. This is where smoke, allergens, dust and pollen are filtered. Third is the activated carbon layer. It’s designed to eliminate smells and VOCs from chemicals, smoke or pets.


Using the Membrane Solutions MSA3

All of this sounds great, but how does the MSA3 actually work? From unboxing it to actually get it setup and operating, it’s only a 60 second process. Once you have it plugged in, the only thing you’ll need to make sure of is that the plastic covering is removed from the filter. Once you remove it and place it back into the unit, just turn it on and clean, filtered air is immediately produced.

Operation is incredibly simple and best of all, the air purifier runs very quietly. There’s no fan noise, just a “whirly” sound of air running into the filter and out of the exhaust. Even though there’s a wealth of functions and adjustable settings, we never felt like we needed to use a lower fan speed, simply because we wanted it to run quieter.


In fact, even at the highest fan speed, the noise it produces is actually pleasant. Think of it almost as a grey noise in the background, similar to that of a sound machine. Not once did we experience squeakiness or annoying sounds from continuously running it for several days straight.

We kept the MSA3 in a bedroom that our pet dog spends a lot of time in. She’s definitely a prime source for allergens and dander. After running the MSA3 on the low fan speed for a 48 hour period, there was a noticeable impact on the smell inside the room. It seems to work very well as all of the allergens seemed to be diminished as well. There was no sneezing or runny nose in this room that notoriously causes my allergies to flare up.

After 4 days, we examined the filter and found a bit of hair trapped in the pre-filter. And it wasn’t stuck, we simply wiped it clean with a dry towel just to add a bit more longevity in the long run. While this isn’t something you necessarily need to do, we feel that it was simple enough to do, so why not? Just make sure you don’t use any wetness to wipe it down. Getting moisture into the filter or any of the internal components can lead to mildew.


The only small complaint we had was that the front panel didn’t seem to line-up flush with the unit itself. While this is only a very small qualm, it exposes a tiny crack around the edge. In our opinion, it probably doesn’t jeopardize the effectiveness of the air purifier, but it’s a small detail that we felt they could have perfected.

The bottom of the unit is equipped with four rubber nubs that act as feet. This keeps it sturdy, in position, and slightly elevated so it can be placed on carpet, hard floors or anything in-between. Since it doesn’t weigh much, we don’t feel like built-in wheels on the bottom would have been warranted.


Final Thoughts

As you can see, the Membrane Solutions MSA3 is a simple yet seemingly effective air purifier. With it’s one-piece filter and a multitude of settings at your fingertips, we were pleased to find that it’s easy to use, simple to maintain and a breeze to operate.

While there aren’t any smart controls or even a remote included, the controls are laid out in a simple manner. Thankfully, the included instruction manual is very well laid-out and it’s a quick read if you have any issues or questions about how to use or maintain it.

If you’re specifically looking for smart features, take a look at the Membrane Solutions MSA3S. It’s identical in every way but has the ability to pair with your smartphone or tablet for a wealth of “smart” controls that are very intuitive.


Best of all, Membrane Solutions offers free support over the phone or via email if you have any real concerns. In addition, the MSA3 is covered by a 12 month warranty period if there are any defects in material and workmanship under normal use.

All in all, you’re looking at a well-rounded, affordable option that’s ideal for large to medium-sized rooms. A recommended purchase if you’re looking for a simple air purifier that can offer continuous clean air for years to come.

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