Mattress Encasement

A mattress encasement and method protect against the migration of bed bugs into and out of a mattress. The mattress is encased within encasement members constructed of a material resistant to the migration of bed bugs through the material. The encasement members are joined together along perimetric edges by the engagement of a zipper provided with a peripheral length greater than a perimetric length of each perimetric edge. With the zipper engaged fully along its peripheral length, the difference between the peripheral length of the zipper and the perimetric lengths overlaps an inner segment of the zipper adjacent one terminal end of the zipper with an outer segment of the zipper adjacent the other terminal end of the zipper, to complete a barrier against the migration of bed bugs into and out of the encased mattress through either one of the terminal ends of the zipper.

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Description

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/418,588, filed Dec. 1, 2010, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference thereto.

The present invention relates generally to mattress encasements and pertains, more specifically, to a mattress encasement construction and method that enables ease of installation and convenient removal of at least a portion of the mattress encasement for cleaning or laundering purposes while providing protection against the migration of bed bugs and dust mites into or out of a mattress, when the mattress encasement is fully installed over the mattress.

Bed bugs have plagued human populations for centuries and much effort has been directed toward coping with bed bug infestation. More recently, bed bugs have become more prevalent and have reached almost epidemic proportions. Products are available currently in the form of various mattress encasements designed either to prevent bed bug infestation or to confine bed bugs within an already infested mattress. Many of these products also protect against dust mites and the infiltration of fluids and other unwanted matter into an encased mattress.

The present invention is directed to a mattress encasement and method that protect against the migration of bed bugs into and out of a mattress, as well as against infiltration of fluids and dust mites. As such, the present invention attains several objects and advantages, some of which are summarized as follows: Provides a mattress encasement that is fluid proof and dust mite proof, as well as bed bug proof; enables increased ease of installation and convenient removal of at least a portion of a mattress encasement for cleaning or laundering purposes; allows installation of an effective mattress encasement without requiring lifting or otherwise manipulating a mattress to be encased; provides a construction that facilitates cleaning or laundering through the simple, selective removal of at least a portion of the mattress encasement from an encased mattress, while still protecting against the migration of bed bugs through the mattress encasement when the mattress is fully encased; establishes a positive barrier against the migration of bed bugs and dust mites into or out of an encased mattress; provides a practical construction capable of exemplary performance over an extended service life.

The above objects and advantages, as well as further objects and advantages, are attained by the present invention, which may be described briefly as a mattress encasement for protecting against at least the migration of bed bugs into and out of a mattress encased therein, the mattress encasement comprising: a lower encasement member dimensioned and configured for enveloping a corresponding lower portion of a mattress, the lower encasement member including a lower perimetric edge having a lower perimetric length, the lower encasement member being constructed of a material resistant to the migration of bed bugs through the lower encasement member; an upper encasement member dimensioned and configured for enveloping a corresponding upper portion of a mattress, the upper encasement member including a perimetric edge having an upper perimetric length, the upper encasement member being constructed of a material resistant to the migration of bed bugs through the upper casement member; and a peripheral fastener for selective joining of the upper perimetric edge with the lower perimetric edge fully along the upper and lower perimetric edges to establish a closed mattress encasement about an encased mattress; the peripheral fastener having a peripheral length between a first terminal end and a second terminal end, the peripheral length being greater than each of the upper and lower perimetric lengths such that upon engaging the peripheral fastener fully along the peripheral length of the peripheral fastener, a difference between the peripheral length of the peripheral fastener and the upper and lower perimetric lengths will establish an inner terminal segment of the peripheral fastener extending adjacent the first terminal end of the peripheral fastener, and an outer terminal segment of the peripheral fastener extending adjacent the second terminal end of the peripheral fastener, with the inner and outer terminal segments overlapping one another to complete a barrier against migration of bed bugs into and out of the encased mattress through either one of the first and second terminal ends of the peripheral fastener.

In addition, the present invention provides a method for protecting against at least the migration of bed bugs into and out of a mattress encased within a mattress encasement, the method comprising: enveloping a lower portion of the mattress within a lower encasement member dimensioned and configured for receiving the lower portion of the mattress, the lower encasement member including a lower perimetric edge having a lower perimetric length, the lower encasement member being constructed of a material resistant to the migration of bed bugs through the lower encasement member; enveloping an upper portion of the mattress within an upper encasement member dimensioned and configured for receiving the upper portion of the mattress, the upper encasement member including a perimetric edge having an upper perimetric length, the upper encasement member being constructed of a material resistant to the migration of bed bugs through the upper casement member; joining the upper perimetric edge with the lower perimetric edge with a peripheral fastener to establish a closed mattress encasement about an encased mattress; providing the peripheral fastener with a peripheral length between a first terminal end and a second terminal end greater than each of the upper and lower perimetric lengths; and engaging the peripheral fastener fully along the peripheral length of the peripheral fastener, such that a difference between the peripheral length of the peripheral fastener and the upper and lower perimetric lengths establishes an inner terminal segment of the peripheral fastener adjacent the first terminal end of the peripheral fastener, and an outer terminal segment of the peripheral fastener adjacent the second terminal end of the peripheral fastener, with the inner and outer terminal segments overlapping one another to complete a barrier against migration of bed bugs into and out of the encased mattress through either one of the first and second terminal ends of the peripheral fastener.

The invention will be understood more fully, while still further objects and advantages will become apparent, in the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded pictorial view of a mattress encasement constructed in accordance with the present invention and shown with a mattress to be fully encased;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view showing the mattress encasement in place encasing the mattress;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevational view showing a section of the mattress encasement with portions located as shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevational view showing a section of the mattress encasement with portions partially closed over a mattress;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevational view showing a section of the mattress encasement with portions fully closed over a mattress; and

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7.

Referring now to the drawing, a mattress encasement constructed in accordance with the present invention is shown at 10 and is seen in FIG. 1 to include fully separated upper and lower members, shown in the form of portions 12 and 14, respectively, the portions 12 and 14 being dimensioned and configured for encasing corresponding portions of a mattress 16 when the portions 12 and 14 are joined together, as seen in FIGS. 3, 7 and 8. Mattress 16 includes a top 16T, a bottom 16B, and sides 16S extending around a predetermined perimeter 18. Upper portion 12 includes a sleep surface 20 on a top panel 22 and upper side panels 24 depending from top panel 22 and extending downwardly to an upper perimetric edge 25 having a perimetric length UL, while lower portion 14 includes a bottom panel 26, and lower side panels 28 extending upwardly from bottom panel 26 to a lower perimetric edge 29 having a perimetric length LL equal in length to that of perimetric length UL.

Both the upper portion 12 and the lower portion 14 are constructed of a material at least resistant, and preferably impervious to the migration of bed bugs through the portions 12 and 14. As seen in FIG. 2, at least the top panel 22 is constructed of a fabric 30, such as a knitted or woven fabric, that provides a comfortable sleep surface 20, the preferred fabric being a polyester interlock knit fabric having a thickness of about twenty-five mils. A fluid-resistant layer in the form of a fluid-proof film 32 is laminated or otherwise joined or adhered to fabric 30 along lower face 34 of the top panel 22 to establish a barrier against fluids which otherwise could enter mattress 16 through top panel 22. Film 32 is constructed of a synthetic polymeric material, the preferred material being a polyurethane film having a thickness of about one mil.

In order to fully encase mattress 16 within mattress encasement 10, the two portions 12 and 14 are joined together selectively by a peripheral fastener, shown in the form of a zipper 40, which extends all the way around the complete perimeter 42 of the portions 12 and 14, and perimeter 18 of mattress 16, to close that perimeter 42. Perimeter 42, and zipper 40, are spaced downwardly from the top panel 22 so as to avoid any engagement with a person resting on the sleep surface 20, and any concomitant discomfort. In the preferred construction, zipper 40 is placed at a distance of about four to six inches downward from sleep surface 20. Upon installation of mattress encasement 10, lower portion 14 is placed beneath mattress 16, and a lower portion of mattress 16 is enveloped within lower portion 14, with lower side panels 28 extending upwardly from bottom panel 26. Then, upper portion 12 is fitted over an upper portion of mattress 16 to envelop the upper portion of mattress 16 within upper portion 12 of mattress encasement 10, so that upper portion 12 is juxtaposed with lower portion 14 of mattress encasement 10. Then, zipper 40 is engaged to join the two portions 12 and 14 and close the perimeter 42. Zipper 40 is of the type in which the zipper actuator tab 44 on the zipper slider 46 can be depressed upon closing of the zipper 40 to lock the zipper slider 46 against movement and thereby lock zipper 40 closed.

When it is desired to remove upper portion 12 for cleaning or laundering purposes, zipper 40 is operated to disconnect the upper portion 12 from the lower portion 14, thereby separating upper portion 12 from lower portion 14 for selective removal of upper portion 12 from mattress 16, without the necessity of lifting or otherwise maneuvering mattress 16.

Zipper 40 is a very fine-toothed zipper which, when closed, prevents the migration of bed bugs through the zipper 40. In order to preclude such migration at the termination 48 of the zipper 40, when the zipper 40 is fully closed, mattress encasement 10 is provided with a barrier arrangement 50. To that end, zipper 40 has a peripheral length PL extending between first and second terminal ends 56 and 58, the peripheral length PL being greater in length than the perimetric lengths UL and LL of each of the perimetric edges 25 and 29 of the respective upper and lower portions 12 and 14 such that the difference between the length PL and each of the lengths UL and LL establishes a barrier arrangement 50 that includes overlapping terminal segments 52 and 54 of zipper 40, segment 52 being an inner segment, adjacent terminal end 56, and segment 54 being an outer segment, adjacent terminal end 58. Upon placement of mattress 16 within upper portion 12 and lower portion 14 of mattress encasement 10, terminal ends 56 of inner segment 52 are joined together at zipper slider 46. Zipper slider 46 then is advanced along zipper 40 until zipper slider 46 travels completely around perimeter 42. FIGS. 4 and 5 show the mattress encasement 10 as the two portions 12 and 14 are being brought into juxtaposition around mattress 16. FIG. 6 shows the slider 46 after the slider has traveled almost completely around the perimeter 42 and is about to pass over terminal ends 56 of inner segment 52 as slider 46 approaches terminal ends 58 of outer segment 54 to overlap inner segment 52, which terminal ends 58 are at termination 48 of zipper 40.

Once slider 46 reaches termination 48 at terminal ends 58 of outer segment 54, as seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, the overlapping inner and outer segments 52 and 54 form a barrier that precludes any bed bugs which might have been able to bypass zipper 40 at either the terminal ends 56 or the termination 48 at terminal ends 58 from migrating into or out of mattress 16 by virtue of the intimate engagement between the overlapped inner and outer segments 52 and 54. However, as an added measure, the illustrated preferred embodiment includes a barrier construct shown in the form of a barrier block 60 of a resiliently compressible foamed synthetic polymeric material, such as a polyurethane foam, which, when compressed between the overlapped inner and outer segments 52 and 54 assures that no bed bug can migrate into or out of mattress 16 along the overlapped inner and outer segments 52 and 54 once zipper 40 is fully closed. In the preferred construction, zipper 40 is stitched to the two portions 12 and 14 of mattress encasement 10, and barrier block 60 is secured to one of the two portions 12 and 14 by common stitching, here shown as stitching 62 which secures barrier block 60 to upper portion 12. With the zipper 40 fully closed, barrier block 60 is squeezed between overlapping segments 52 and 54 to establish a tight seal against the migration of bed bugs into or out of mattress 16, along overlapping segments 52 and 54. In the illustrated embodiment, an effective length LO of the overlapping segments 52 and 54 is about six inches.

When it is desired to remove the upper portion 12 from the lower portion 14, zipper actuator tab 44 is lifted to unlock zipper slider 46, and zipper 40 then is opened along the entire perimeter 42. The upper and lower portions 12 and 14 then are free to be separated without the necessity to lift or otherwise manipulate mattress 16.

It will be seen that the present invention provides a mattress encasement and method which are simple and convenient to use and which are effective in protecting against bed bugs, as well as against dust mites and penetration of a mattress by fluids or other unwanted matter. Accordingly, the present invention attains all of the objects and advantages summarized above, namely: Provides a mattress encasement that is fluid proof and dust mite proof, as well as bed bug proof; enables increased ease of installation and convenient removal of at least a portion of a mattress encasement for cleaning or laundering purposes; allows installation of an effective mattress encasement without requiring lifting or otherwise manipulating a mattress to be encased; provides a construction that facilitates cleaning or laundering through the simple, selective removal of at least a portion of the mattress encasement from an encased mattress, while still protecting against the migration of bed bugs through the mattress encasement when the mattress is fully encased; establishes a positive barrier against the migration of bed bugs and dust mites into or out of an encased mattress; provides a practical construction capable of exemplary performance over an extended service life.

It is to be understood that the above detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention is provided by way of example only. Various details of design, construction and procedure may be modified without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention, as set forth in the appended claims.

Claims

1. A mattress encasement for protecting against at least the migration of bed bugs into and out of a mattress encased therein, the mattress encasement comprising:

a lower encasement member dimensioned and configured for enveloping a corresponding lower portion of a mattress, the lower encasement member including a lower perimetric edge having a lower perimetric length, the lower encasement member being constructed of a material resistant to the migration of bed bugs through the lower encasement member;
an upper encasement member dimensioned and configured for enveloping a corresponding upper portion of a mattress, the upper encasement member including a perimetric edge having an upper perimetric length, the upper encasement member being constructed of a material resistant to the migration of bed bugs through the upper casement member; and
a peripheral fastener for selective joining of the upper perimetric edge with the lower perimetric edge fully along the upper and lower perimetric edges to establish a closed mattress encasement about an encased mattress;
the peripheral fastener having a peripheral length between a first terminal end and a second terminal end, the peripheral length being greater than each of the upper and lower perimetric lengths such that upon engaging the peripheral fastener fully along the peripheral length of the peripheral fastener, a difference between the peripheral length of the peripheral fastener and the upper and lower perimetric lengths will establish an inner terminal segment of the peripheral fastener extending adjacent the first terminal end of the peripheral fastener, and an outer terminal segment of the peripheral fastener extending adjacent the second terminal end of the peripheral fastener, with the inner and outer terminal segments overlapping one another to complete a barrier against migration of bed bugs into and out of the encased mattress through either one of the first and second terminal ends of the peripheral fastener.

2. The mattress encasement of claim 1 wherein the encased mattress has a predetermined perimeter, and the upper and lower perimetric lengths are dimensioned to extend fully along the entire perimeter of the encased mattress.

3. The mattress encasement of claim 2 wherein the peripheral fastener comprises a fine-toothed zipper.

4. The mattress encasement of claim 1 wherein the upper encasement member includes a layer of fluid-resistant material.

5. The mattress encasement of claim 1 wherein the mattress includes a top, a bottom, and depending sides extending between the top and the bottom, the upper encasement member includes a top panel and upper side panels extending downwardly a distance to the upper perimetric edge such that the upper perimetric edge is spaced downwardly from the top panel.

6. The mattress encasement of claim 1 wherein the mattress includes a top, a bottom, and depending sides extending between the top and the bottom, the upper encasement member includes a top panel and upper side panels extending downwardly a first distance to the upper perimetric edge, the lower encasement member includes a bottom panel and lower side panels extending upwardly from the bottom panel a second distance to the lower perimetric edge, and the first distance is less than the second distance.

7. The mattress encasement of claim 1 including a block of resiliently compressible material interposed between the overlapping inner and outer terminal segments of the peripheral fastener to establish a further barrier against migration of bed bugs into and out of the encased mattress through either one of the first and second terminal ends of the peripheral fastener.

8. A method for protecting against at least the migration of bed bugs into and out of a mattress encased within a mattress encasement, the method comprising:

enveloping a lower portion of the mattress within a lower encasement member dimensioned and configured for receiving the lower portion of the mattress, the lower encasement member including a lower perimetric edge having a lower perimetric length, the lower encasement member being constructed of a material resistant to the migration of bed bugs through the lower encasement member;
enveloping an upper portion of the mattress within an upper encasement member dimensioned and configured for receiving the upper portion of the mattress, the upper encasement member including a perimetric edge having an upper perimetric length, the upper encasement member being constructed of a material resistant to the migration of bed bugs through the upper casement member;
joining the upper perimetric edge with the lower perimetric edge with a peripheral fastener to establish a closed mattress encasement about an encased mattress;
providing the peripheral fastener with a peripheral length between a first terminal end and a second terminal end greater than each of the upper and lower perimetric lengths; and
engaging the peripheral fastener fully along the peripheral length of the peripheral fastener, such that a difference between the peripheral length of the peripheral fastener and the upper and lower perimetric lengths establishes an inner terminal segment of the peripheral fastener adjacent the first terminal end of the peripheral fastener, and an outer terminal segment of the peripheral fastener adjacent the second terminal end of the peripheral fastener, with the inner and outer terminal segments overlapping one another to complete a barrier against migration of bed bugs into and out of the encased mattress through either one of the first and second terminal ends of the peripheral fastener.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein the encased mattress has a predetermined perimeter, and the method includes dimensioning the upper and lower perimetric lengths to extend fully along the entire perimeter of the encased mattress.

10. The method of claim 8 wherein the mattress includes a top, a bottom, and depending sides extending between the top and the bottom, and the upper encasement member includes a top panel and upper side panels extending downwardly a distance to the upper perimetric edge, and the method includes spacing the upper perimetric edge downwardly from the top panel.

11. The method of claim 8 including interposing a block of resiliently compressible material between the overlapping inner and outer terminal segments of the peripheral fastener to establish a further barrier against migration of bed bugs into and out of the encased mattress through either one of the first and second terminal ends of the peripheral fastener.

Patent History

Publication number: 20120137434
Type: Application
Filed: Nov 28, 2011
Publication Date: Jun 7, 2012
Applicant: PRECISION CUSTOM COATINGS LLC (Totowa, NJ)
Inventor: Shailendra Dusaj (Towaco, NJ)
Application Number: 13/304,805

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Adapted To Contact Mattress (5/499)
International Classification: A47G 9/00 (20060101); A44B 19/02 (20060101);