Apex TC-531 Massage Chair Review

This product has been discontinued by the manufacturer. Check out other Apex massage chairs we've reviewed.

Apex TC-531 Review
  • Overall Massage Quality
  • Customization Options
  • Ease of Use


The Apex TC 531 Massage Chair is an excellent chair for people who suffer from chronic leg pain or have limited space to work with. Add 1 star if this describes you! It also ranks as an average massage chair for anyone looking for a great massage at a budget price.

Apex TC-531 Massage Chair Review - Chair Institute

Apex TC 531 Massage Chair

Do you love the idea of owning a massage chair, but don’t have a lot of space in your home to work with? 

Does your job require you to spend hours on your feet?

Wouldn’t you love to come home to a soothing, relaxing massage at the end of a long day?

If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, then our Apex TC-531 massage chair review that follows will give you plenty of reasons to smile. Read on and find out why the TC-531 might be the perfect massage chair for you.

Apex TC 531 Massage Chair Overview

Any Apex TC-531 review worth its salt has to begin by mentioning two remarkable things about this chair.

Apex TC-531 Massage Chair Review Recline - Chair Institute

First, this is a massage chair designed for your home. Not only does it have a fun, beautiful look, but the designers took pains to minimize the chair’s footprint, meaning that even if your space is limited, this chair will fit!

Second, many of the Apex TC 531 massage chair’s features are designed to provide therapeutic benefits to the legs. In fact, the chair comes with surprising features on that front that you won’t find on massage chairs costing twice as much.

Features of the Apex TC 531 Massage Chair

Space Saving & Aesthetics

Taking a page out of Human Touch’s playbook, the Apex TC 531 massage chair has been aesthetically designed to cover up the fact that it is actually a massage chair.

Apex TC-531 Massage Chair Review Space Saving - Chair Institute

First, the ottoman pivots so that the leg massage ports can be hidden from view when not in use, making the chair appear to be just another furniture in your room.

But, Apex took it a step further. Where most massage chairs require lots of space to recline fully, the TC 531 is designed to move forward on its base instead of backward like many massage chairs.

As a result, the Apex TC 531 massage chair only needs less than four inches of space to recline fully. If you live in an apartment or a small home, that’s a real space saver!

Multi-Function Leg Rest 

You can tell that the design team put a lot of thought and effort into providing maximum therapeutic benefit to people who suffer from chronic foot and leg pain because so many of the chair’s features are centered on this area.

Apex TC-531 Massage Chair Review Leg Rest - Chair Institute

Besides having foot rollers to massage the soles of the feet, the ottoman can be configured to work as a vibrating rest pad as well as a front and rear calf massager.

While many massage chairs can deliver a good rear calf massage, the Apex TC 531 massage chair is the only model that also offers a front calf massage, at the time of writing this review.

New features like these are typically introduced to high-end massage chairs. So, to see something like this on a low-priced model is quite rare and a real treat!

If that weren’t enough, the TC 531 goes even a step beyond that. It also offers calf heating elements to provide a more comfortable, more therapeutic calf massage than even much more expensive models. Where your legs are concerned, this chair punches well above its weight class!

Super Long L-Track Design


As a low-priced chair, it’s surprising to see that the quad rollers run along an L-Track design.

The L-track is a recent innovation that extends the benefits of a standard S-track and is typically featured by more expensive massage chairs. Plus, the L-track of the TC 531 is 43 inches long. That’s long enough to enjoy a deep tissue massage from head to hip!

If you suffer from chronic pain on your lower back, glutes or hamstrings and do not want to spend over $3000 for an L-track massage chair, the Apex TC-531 makes an excellent choice.

Two-Stage Zero-Gravity

The design team added a two-stage zero-gravity feature to the Apex TC 531 massage chair to further improve the overall massage experience delivered by the chair. With the Zero-G positions, the chair can recline and elevate the legs either in line with or slightly higher than the heart. In effect, the body’s weight presses more firmly onto the rollers, thus increasing comfort and relaxation.


Extra Cushions

The Apex TC 531 massage chair is plush and comfortable, and you can flip over or remove the back pad to give you a different experience. The extra cushions serve as a convenient, low-tech way of reducing or increasing the intensity of the massage. If you prefer a stronger massage even with the highest setting on, it’s a simple matter of removing the secondary cushion or back pad.

Limited Customization Options

Here’s where we begin to see the limitations of the TC 531. With such a great emphasis placed on the legs, trade-offs had to be made to keep the costs low, so this model comes with only four pre-set programs:

Apex TC-531 Massage Chair Review Gray - Chair Institute
  • 30-Minute Comfort - a long, relaxing whole back and neck massage
  • Ease - combines kneading of shoulders and upper back, and tapping and kneading of the middle back
  • Energy - a kneading massage centered on massaging the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
  • Spa - a relaxing whole body massage with particular emphasis on the neck and shoulders.

The Apex TC 531 massage chair offers Kneading, Tapping and Shiatsu massage, which can be manually operated either exclusively or in any combination. That ability opens up more customization options if you’re willing to play with the controller a bit.

Easy to Use

The remote of the TC 531 is quite easy to operate, but at least part of that is because there are relatively few options to choose from. Nonetheless, even with somewhat limited customization options, you’ll find yourself pleased with the quality of the massage it is capable of delivering.

Pros & Cons of the Apex TC 531 Massage Chair

The Apex TC 531 gets a lot of things right. The two biggest pros would be its focus on saving space and design aesthetics, as well as the relentless effort on delivering complete leg therapy.

Having said that, our Apex TC-531 review would not be complete if we wouldn't highlight the chair’s shortcomings – and it does have a few.

What's Missing in the Apex TC 531 Massage Chair

When you combine these with the fact that the number of customization options is somewhat limited, you end up with a chair that just may not appeal to some segments of the market.

Apex TC-531 Massage Chair Review Conclusion

Having read our Apex TC-531 massage chair review, you either fell in love with the chair or despised its very existence. Whatever it gets right, it exceptionally hits the mark. However, it does lack a number of the features that are considered standard on most massage chairs.

That said, if you’re in the market for a good, general massage, have limited space and budget, or suffer from chronic leg and foot pain, the Apex TC 531 massage chair is a compelling choice, and should be in your shortlist. But, if you’re looking for extras and options galore, then this chair just might not be the right “fit” for you.


HomeMassage ChairsBrandsApexApex TC-531 Massage Chair Review

  • Chair Institute
  • January 5, 2021
  • Apex

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