COMPOSITE FLEXIBLE FRAME MATTRESS

A mattress is disclosed comprising a flexible frame for bearing uniaxial compressive stress from a human body pressed onto the frame. The frame traverses the breadth and length of the mattress in evenly-spaced repeating patterns which defines hollow recesses filled with materials like silicone gel, memory foam, coils, and springs. The flexible frame in some embodiments, has a higher compressive strength than does the traditional material(s) filled the recesses defined by the frame. The indentation force deflection (IFD) rating varies slightly across small, repeating regions the surface of the mattress. These regions provide lumbar, thoracic, and pelvic support to a user. A user may move about on the mattress during the night to adjust the areas of the small regions pressing most firmly against the body, selectively adjusting both the position of the body and the pressure points of the mattress to maximize comfort.

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Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to mattresses, and more particularly relates to mattresses comprising a plurality of flexible materials.

2. Description of the Related Art

Mattresses are well-known to those of skill in the art, including air mattress, waterbeds, coil/spring mattresses, memory foam mattresses, etc. Mattresses often comprise flexible skins or outer frames reinforced with urethane plastic, vinyl, rubber and the like, for protecting compressible inner materials.

As users lay for long periods of time upon traditional mattresses, certain portions of their bodies become fatigued. Irregularly shaped portions of their bodies may bear greater amounts of surface pressure than other portions of their bodies, causing discomfort which cannot be easily relieved by mattresses with surface areas of uniform compressive strength, as no matter where a user moves, the compressive strength remains unchanged. It is for this reason that users change positions on the mattress throughout the night, requiring some degree of conscious effort, and interfering with deep levels of sleep.

Many users have preferences for mattresses of varying densities and thickness, and some users' bodies become agitated by certain types of mattresses, including spring and air mattresses. Thus, mattresses of many species proliferate on the open market, with an unmet demand for mattresses of species yet to be conceived or reach fabrication.

Traditional mattresses provide users with no means of reducing the pressure, density, or indentation force deflection (IFD) rating (a measurement of the property of firmness) of particularized regions of the mattress used by users for lumbar, thoracic, cervical or clavicle support. Many users find after time that they wish to adjust uniformly applied mattress pressure to relieve fatigue to certain areas of their bodies during sleep. Users become discomforted by pressure applied constantly and uniformly to any portion of their bodies.

There exists a need for a composite mattress comprising a plurality of flexible materials of varying IFD ratings for bearing uniaxial compressive stress from a human body, such that a user may move about on the mattress during night to selectively adjust the position of their body on regions of varying firmness to maximum comfort to the body.

Mattresses currently available in the industry do not make use of varied materials to change the IFD ratings of particularized regions of a mattress surface.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

From the foregoing discussion, it should be apparent that a need exists for a composite mattress made of materials with non-uniform IFD ratings. Beneficially, such an apparatus would overcome the many of the difficulties with prior art by providing a mattress with slight variations in the IFD rating of particularized small, repeating regions of the mattress surface.

The present invention has been developed in response to the present state of the art, and in particular, in response to the problems and needs in the art that have not yet been fully solved by currently available mattresses. Accordingly, the present invention recites a composite mattress comprising: an integrated flexible frame defining a plurality of hollow cellular recesses of uniform size and volume having open top ends, the cellular recesses evenly spaced apart from one another across the breadth and the length of a top surface of the mattress, wherein the flexible frame is fabricated as a single piece; and memory foam filling the hollow cellular recesses of the flexible frame, the memory foam providing compressive strength to the surface of the mattress and lateral support to the flexible frame.

The flexible frame may further comprise a lateral sidewall circumscribing a perimeter of the mattress.

An indentation force deflection (IFD) rating of the memory foam may be less than an IFD rating of the flexible frame, or may be more than an IFD rating of the flexible frame. The flexible frame may comprise silicone gel.

The mattress may comprise a plurality of flexible frames.

The flexible frame may be fabricated from an impermeable and flexible material, and wherein the cellular recesses are isolated atmospherically from one another and ambient air, wherein the cellular recesses house one of: permeable, viscoelastic polyurethane foam, permeable, silicone gel, and bed springs.

The flexible frame may form a regular, repeating pattern across the top surface of the mattress. The regular repeating pattern may be honeycomb.

A second composite mattress is recited comprising: an integrated flexible frame defining a plurality of hollow cellular recesses of uniform size and volume having open top ends, the cellular recesses evenly spaced apart from one another across the breadth and the length of a top surface of the mattress, wherein the flexible frame is fabricated as a single piece.

The cellular recesses may partially envelope one or more of viscoelastic polyurethane foam, silicone gel, water, bed springs, and inflatable pressurized bladders.

The cellular recesses may house a plurality of cylindrical bladders positioned in an orthogonal orientation to the top surface of the mattress body for absorbing uniaxial weight of a user's body.

The volume of one or more of the cellular recesses defined by the flexible frame may vary from a volume of one or more secondary cellular recesses defined by the flexible frame.

The inflatable mattress may further comprise a planar pad disposed across the top surface of the mattress comprising one of viscoelastic polyurethane foam, and silicone gel.

A method of manufacturing a composite mattress with a flexible frame is also recited, the steps of the method comprising: fabricating an integrated flexible frame as a single piece defining a plurality of hollow cellular recesses of uniform size and volume having open top ends from one of silicone gel and memory foam, the cellular recesses evenly spaced apart from one another across the breadth and the length of a top surface of the mattress; and filling the cellular recesses with one of silicone gel and memory foam.

The indentation force deflection (IFD) rating of the memory foam is less than an IFD rating of the flexible frame. An indentation force deflection (IFD) rating of the memory foam may be more than an IFD rating of the flexible frame.

These features and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order that the advantages of the invention will be readily understood, a more particular description of the invention briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments that are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational sectioned perspective view of a composite mattress with a flexible frame in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2A is a top sectioned perspective view of a composite mattress with a flexible frame in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2B is a side perspective view of a composite mattress with a flexible frame in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3A is a top sectioned perspective view of a composite mattress with a flexible frame in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3B is a side perspective view of a composite mattress with a flexible frame in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of a honeycomb flexible frame in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of a triangular flexible frame in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational perspective view of a bed comprising a composite mattress with a flexible frame in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is a flow chart illustrating the steps of a method for fabricating a composite mattress with a flexible frame in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Many of the functional units described in this specification have been labeled as modules, in order to more particularly emphasize their implementation independence. Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment,” “in an embodiment,” and similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, all refer to the same embodiment.

Furthermore, the described features, structures, or characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. In the following description, numerous specific details are provided to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the invention. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize, however, that the invention may be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other methods, components, materials, and so forth. In other instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of the invention.

The schematic flow chart diagrams that follow are generally set forth as logical flow chart diagrams. As such, the depicted order and labeled steps are indicative of one embodiment of the presented method. Other steps and methods may be conceived that are equivalent in function, logic, or effect to one or more steps, or portions thereof, of the illustrated method. Additionally, the format and symbols employed are provided to explain the logical steps of the method and are understood not to limit the scope of the method. Although various arrow types and line types may be employed in the flow chart diagrams, they are understood not to limit the scope of the corresponding method. Indeed, some arrows or other connectors may be used to indicate only the logical flow of the method. For instance, an arrow may indicate a waiting or monitoring period of unspecified duration between enumerated steps of the depicted method. Additionally, the order in which a particular method occurs may or may not strictly adhere to the order of the corresponding steps shown.

FIG. 1 is a side elevational sectioned perspective view of a composite mattress 100 with a flexible frame in accordance with the present invention. The composite mattress 100 comprises a flexible frame 102, a lateral wall 104, a bottom pad 106, and a polyurethane surface 108.

The flexible frame 106 comprises an integrated piece, formed during a single fabrication process, for bearing uniaxial compressive stress from a human body pressed onto the flexible frame 102. The flexible frame 102 traverses the breadth and length of the mattress 100 in evenly-spaced repeating patterns which defines hollow recesses.

In various embodiments, the flexible frame 102 is fabricated from silicone gel, memory foam, or flexible, compressible alloy or elastomeric materials known to those of skill in the art.

In some embodiments, these hollow recesses are interconnected. In other embodiments, these hollow recesses are isolating laterally, partially or wholly from one another such that each recess and its defining members form a cell.

The hollow recesses, or cells, are filled with any of one, or any combination, of traditional materials used in mattress 100 fabrication, including silicone gel, memory foam, coils, springs, or any combination of the above.

Memory foam comprises viscoeleastic polyurethane foam, and is also well-known to those of skill in the art. Memory foam may vary in density and thickness, but has an open cell structure that moulds to the body shape of a user laying upon them. The ability of memory foam to mould beneath its users relieves uncomfortable pressure points on the users' bodies which are agitated by other types of mattresses, including spring and air mattresses. Thus, memory foam mattresses have been known to reduce the severity of bedsores caused by continued use of other types of mattresses.

The flexible frame 102, by design, in some embodiments, has a higher compressive strength, or IFD rating, than does the traditional material(s) filling the hollow recesses. Thus, the firmness of the surface region of the mattress varies across small, repeating regions. These regions provide lumbar, thoracic, cervical and pelvic support to a user. A user may move about on the top surface of the mattress 100 during night to adjust the areas of the small regions pressing most firmly against the body, selectively adjusting the position of the body to maximize comfort.

Because even memory foam mattresses pressure certain points on users' bodies more than others, memory foam mattresses provide users with no means of reducing the pressure, density, or indentation force deflection (IFD) rating (a measurement of the property of firmness) of particularized regions of the mattress used by users for lumbar, thoracic, or clavicle support.

The present invention teaches such a means. By design, the species of memory foam used in filling the hollow recesses or cells may comprises memory foam that has a higher, or lower, IFD rating than the rating of the flexible frame 102 defining the filled recesses. The memory foam filling the recesses not only provides compressive strength to the top surface of the mattress against uniaxial forces pushing downward, but also provides lateral support the flexible frame 102 itself.

The dimensions of the mattress 100 may vary across differing embodiments from only ten inches to more than ten feet. The mattress 100 may conform to the dimensions of commonly denominated mattresses, including twin, queen, king, California king, NBA King, and the like. The density, thickness, and firmness of the mattress 100 is a function of the averaged firmness of the flexible frame 102 and material filling the hollow recesses. The firmness, or IFD rating, may vary greatly from one embodiment to another, as measured by standards well-known to those of skill in the art.

The cells defined by the flexible frame 102 may be inflatable, and/or made of impermeable and flexible materials well-known to those of skill in the art. Hollow cylindrical bladders may be insertable and removable into the cells.

In some embodiments, in place of memory foam, the cells, or hollow recesses, are filled with one of silicone gel, water, pressurized air, and bed springs.

The mattress 100 may be covered with a pad, however the cells are positioned in close enough proximity to the top surface of the mattress 100 so as to affect, change, influence and/or impart value to the IFD ratings of the surface of the mattress 100.

FIG. 2A is a top sectioned perspective view of a composite mattress 200 with a flexible frame 102 in accordance with the present invention. The mattress 200, in the shown embodiment, comprises a flexible frame 102, a plurality of recesses 202, a plurality of horizontal members 204, memory foam 206, silicone gel 208, and a polyurethane surface 108.

The horizontal members 205 comprise zig-zagging horizontal members of the mattress 200 running across the breadth of the mattress 200 from one lateral side to an opposing lateral side. In these embodiments, the hollow recesses 202 exist between the horizontal members 204.

In the shown embodiment, the recesses 202 defined by the flexible frame 102 are filled after the flexible frame 102 is manufactured with a compressible material. As shown, in some embodiments, the recesses 202 are filled with memory foam 206. In other embodiments, the recesses 202 are filled with silastic or silicone gel 208. The recesses 202 may also be filled with water, inflatable pneumatic bladders, bedsprings or coils, and the like. In some embodiments, a plurality of recesses 202 in the mattress 200 are filled in alternating fashion with different mattress materials. For example, a recess 202a may be filled with memory foam 206, while a recess 202b may be filled with silicone gel 208, etc.

FIG. 2B is a sectioned side perspective view of a composite mattress 250 with a flexible frame 102 in accordance with the present invention. The mattress 250 comprises a flexible frame 102, the flexible frame 102 comprising a plurality of horizontal members 204.

As shown, the horizontal members 204 extend through the height of the mattress 250. From any sectioned side perspective view, the horizontal members 204 are evenly spaced apart.

FIG. 3A is a top sectioned perspective view of a composite mattress 300 with a flexible frame 102 in accordance with the present invention. The mattress 200, in the shown embodiment, comprises a flexible frame 102, a plurality of recesses 202, and a plurality of horizontal members 204.

Like mattress 200, the horizontal members 204 comprise zig-zagging horizontal members 204 of the mattress 300 running across the breadth of the mattress 200 from one lateral side to an opposing lateral side. However, these horizontal members 204 oppose on another in the direction of travel across the breadth of the mattress 300. In these embodiments, the hollow recesses 202 exist between the horizontal members 206.

FIG. 3B is a sectioned side perspective view of a composite mattress 350 with a flexible frame 102 in accordance with the present invention. The mattress 350 comprises a flexible frame 102, the flexible frame 102 comprising a plurality of horizontal members 206.

As shown, the horizontal members 204 extend through the height of the mattress 350. Because of the opposing rise-over-run nature of the horizontal member 204, from this sectioned side perspective view, the horizontal members 206 are unevenly spaced apart.

FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of a honeycomb flexible frame 400 in accordance with the present invention. The flexible honeycomb frame 402 comprises honeycomb-shaped cells or recesses.

The honeycomb recesses may be filled, wholly or partially, of viscoelastic polyurethane foam, silicone gel, and/or other materials well-known to those of skill in the art and commonly used the manufacture of mattresses.

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of a triangular flexible frame 500 in accordance with the present invention. The flexible frame 500 comprises a plurality of triangular-shaped cells 504 defining hollow recesses 502.

The flexible frame 102 forming the mattress 100 may comprises any regularly repeating shape or pattern, or even irregularly shaped patterns. Honeycomb and triangular patterns are shown as actual and demonstrative embodiments.

FIG. 6 is a side elevational perspective view of a bed 600 comprising a composite mattress 100 with a flexible frame 102 in accordance with the present invention. The bed 600 also comprises a sham 604 and headboard 602.

The mattress 600 comprises a top longitudinal end adjacent to the headboard 602, a bottom longitudinal end opposing the top longitudinal end, and left and right lateral sides.

The mattress 100, in the preferred embodiment, is generally rectangular in shape. In alternative embodiments, the mattress 100 may be square, circular, triangular, ovoid, and/or the like.

In some embodiments, the memory foam filling one cell 504 may be of a different firmness, or IFD rating, such that the top surface of the mattress 100 is not of uniform firmness across its breadth or length. Thus a user may position his/her body to receive comfortable lumbar, cervical or thoracic support.

The cells 504 may be filled with impermeable bladders filled pressurized with ambient air, or other gases, including helium, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and the like.

The mattress 100 may comprise an upper or lower gel mat, overlaying or underlying the remaining body of the mattress 100, varying in thickness from one millimeter to more than four feet.

FIG. 7 is a flow chart illustrating the steps of a method for fabricating a composite mattress with a flexible frame in accordance with the present invention.

The method 700 begins with the fabrication of the flexible frame 102, the recesses of which are subsequently filled with memory foam, silicone gel, water, pressurized air, or bedsprings. An upper or lower pad, of memory foam or silicone gel, may be disposed above or under the remaining mattress composite 100.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

Claims

1. A composite mattress comprising:

an integrated flexible frame defining a plurality of hollow cellular recesses of uniform size and volume having open top ends, the cellular recesses evenly spaced apart from one another across a breadth and a length of a top surface of the mattress, wherein the flexible frame is fabricated as a single integrated piece; and
memory foam filling the hollow cellular recesses of the flexible frame, the memory foam providing compressive strength to the surface of the mattress and lateral support to the flexible frame.

2. The composite mattress of claim 1, wherein the flexible frame further comprises a lateral urethane sidewall circumscribing a perimeter of the mattress.

3. The composite mattress of claim 1, wherein an indentation force deflection (IFD) rating of the memory foam is less than an IFD rating of the flexible frame.

4. The composite mattress of claim 1, wherein an indentation force deflection (IFD) rating of the memory foam is more than an IFD rating of the flexible frame.

5. The composite mattress of claim 1, wherein the flexible frame comprises silicone gel.

6. The composite mattress of claim 1, wherein the mattress comprises a plurality of flexible frames.

7. The composite mattress of claim 1, wherein the flexible frame is fabricated from an impermeable and flexible material, and wherein the cellular recesses are isolated atmospherically from one another and ambient air, wherein the cellular recesses house one of:

permeable, viscoelastic polyurethane foam,
permeable, silicone gel, and
bed springs.

8. The composite mattress of claim 1, wherein the flexible frame forms a regular, repeating pattern across the top surface of the mattress.

9. The composite mattress of claim 8, wherein the regular repeating pattern is honeycomb.

10. A composite mattress comprising:

an integrated flexible frame defining a plurality of hollow cellular recesses of uniform size and volume having open top ends, the cellular recesses evenly spaced apart from one another across the breadth and the length of a top surface of the mattress, wherein the flexible frame is fabricated as a single piece.

11. The composite mattress of claim 10, wherein the cellular recesses partially envelope one or more of viscoelastic polyurethane foam, silicone gel, water, bed springs, and inflatable pressurized bladders.

12. The composite mattress of claim 10, wherein the cellular recesses house a plurality of cylindrical bladders positioned in an orthogonal orientation to the top surface of the mattress body for absorbing uniaxial weight of a user's body.

13. The composite mattress of claim 10, wherein the volume of one or more of the cellular recesses defined by the flexible frame varies from a volume of one or more secondary cellular recesses defined by the flexible frame.

14. The composite mattress of claim 10, further comprising a planar pad disposed across the top surface of the mattress comprising one of viscoelastic polyurethane foam, and silicone gel.

15. A method of manufacturing a composite mattress with a flexible frame, the steps of the method comprising:

fabricating an integrated flexible frame as a single piece from one of silicone gel and memory foam, the flexible frame defining a plurality of hollow cellular recesses of uniform size and volume, the cellular recesses having open top ends, the cellular recesses evenly spaced apart from one another across the breadth and the length of a top surface of the mattress; and
filling the cellular recesses with one or more of silicone gel and memory foam.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein an indentation force deflection (IFD) rating of the memory foam is less than an IFD rating of the flexible frame.

17. The method of claim 15, wherein an indentation force deflection (IFD) rating of the memory foam is more than an IFD rating of the flexible frame.

Patent History

Publication number: 20130269113
Type: Application
Filed: Apr 16, 2012
Publication Date: Oct 17, 2013
Inventor: Robert WOOD (Salt Lake City, UT)
Application Number: 13/448,127