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This patent application is based on and claims convention priority on German Patent Application No. 20 2005 016 203.5 having a filing date of 13 Oct. 2005, which is incorporated herein in its entirety by this reference.
1. Technical Field
The invention relates to a mattress, a lounger, a chair or the like with a lower layer on which an upper layer is arranged.
2. Related Art
Mattresses are employed to enhance sleeping, sitting and lying comfort. As such, they serve as supports for sleeping or resting, but also as cushioning. Such mattresses are not only employed for sleeping, sitting and lying furniture, but also for seats, loungers or beds in vehicles. In addition, the mattresses addressed here can also be used for therapeutic and medicinal purposes in sick beds and reclining chairs.
It is already known that sleeping, lying and sitting comfort can be improved for various purposes by using solid or liquid substances, but also by heating elements, vibrators, light and/or acoustic means. These are usually placed on or under a mattress. It is difficult, however, to retain the substances or means at the intended position on or under the mattress. Furthermore, the substances or means result in elevated regions of the known mattress.
The object of the invention is to provide a mattress which results in a permanent enhancement of sleeping, lying and sitting comfort in a simple and effective matter.
A mattress which achieves this object is a mattress for a bed, lounger or a chair, with a lower layer on which an upper layer is arranged, characterized in that the upper layer is formed by a plurality of filled cushions arranged in a grid-like pattern. Accordingly, the upper layer is formed by a plurality of filled cushions that are arranged in a grid-like pattern. Preferred are in each case a plurality of cushions which are arranged next to one another as well as one after another. The resulting arrangement is preferably one in which at least part of the upper layer's surface area, preferably its entire surface area, is formed by a plurality of cushions. Pursuant to the invention, the filled cushions are fitted in a tight arrangement to each other on all sides in the manner of paving stones, thus providing the upper layer with a continuous surface area.
The cushions may be provided with any kind of filling, it being possible to arrange special fillings exactly where they are desired. The arrangement of adjacent cushions in the style of paving stones effectively prevents any slipping or shifting of the cushions. Special fillings do not create any crevices in the top side of the upper layer, which therefore remains essentially smooth and flat. By virtue of the individual cushions, which exhibit a relatively small base area in relation to the overall surface area of the upper layer, the elastic or spring characteristics of the upper layer are not impaired but instead remain at least virtually unaffected by the cushions.
All adjacent cushions preferably have the same or approximately the same base area, in particular having a square shape. However, it is also conceivable to combine cushions having different geometric base areas and/or to have parts of the upper layer formed by larger cushions, while the other parts of the upper layer are composed of smaller cushions. In this manner it is possible to produce customized lying, sleeping and sitting comfort through the corresponding arrangement and combination of the plurality of cushions.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, all cushions have an approximately cuboid-shaped configuration. Like the arrangement of paving stones in a pavement, this configuration makes it possible to form an upper layer having a smooth surface with the smallest possible gaps (joints).
The cushions may have a wide variety of fillings, it being also possible to combine cushions having different fillings. One type of preferred filling is that employing an organic material, such as straw, flowers, fruit or pips. It is also conceivable to use a filling made of inorganic materials, such as minerals. A mixture of organic and inorganic materials can also be used for the filing. The filling can also comprise a fluid material, for example either curative waters or gases. In this case the filling is accommodated in an additional fluid-tight wrapping. But the filling can also be formed from active means, such as heating elements, lights or vibrators. The filling can also consist of a tone generator for supplying acoustic signals or even music. The filling of the cushions comprising the aforementioned materials and means can extend across the entire surface of the upper layer. However, it is also possible to have the aforementioned fillings arranged in only some cushions. Cushions having different fillings can be distributed at various positions of the upper layer as desired. Inasmuch as some cushions have none of the aforementioned organic or inorganic materials, they can be filled merely with a padding of foam material, for example. It is also conceivable that the cushions having fillings made of the aforementioned organic and inorganic materials and means can be filled out with padding made of foam plastic, for example.
Each cushion has a cover which is made of a permeable material, in particular a woven textile. If appropriate, a person can lie directly on the cushions having such a cover. The cover of at least some cushions has one—or more if necessary—closeable openings. This makes it easy to fill the cushions. The covers are exchangeable and can be washed or dry-cleaned.
In a preferred embodiment of the mattress, the lower layer is made of a preferably single-piece lower mattress layer. This mattress layer can be made of foam plastic or some other known mattress design, such as a spring mattress core. The lower layer, which may vary in thickness, is preferably somewhat thicker than the height of the cushions. The lower layer thus forms an elastic base of support for the cushions, with the elastic or spring characteristics of the upper layer being maintained by the tight arrangement of the cushions in the longitudinal and transverse direction in the same manner as that of a paved surface. Such a mattress is essentially formed by two full-surface layers, specifically the lower layer and the upper layer comprising closely successive cushions arranged in a grid-like pattern and extending continuously across the entire surface of the lower layer. As an alternative, however, the mattress may also have additional layers, which can be elastic, but are essentially inelastic.
Pursuant to a preferred further development of the mattress, the cushions are attached to the lower layer, which is of a one-piece design, but which may also comprise several adjacent components. This attachment can, for example, be achieved by hook and loop fasteners arranged at the bottom side of each cushion and/or at the top of the lower layer. The lower layer has, at least on its top side, a cover layer made of a woven woolen material with which the micro-hooks of the hook and loop fasteners under the cushions can engage, with the result that the lower layer does not require any additional means for making a connection with the cushions. As an alternative, it is also conceivable for the cushions to be connected to each other only, or in addition, at their side surfaces by means of snap fasteners, hook and loop fasteners or the like. The cushions can also be bound together.
Further dependent claims relate to additional configurations of the mattress according to the invention.
Preferred exemplary embodiments of the mattress will be described in more detail according to the drawings, which show:
FIG. 1 is a top view of the mattress with a partial cutaway section of the outer cover.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial cross-section through the mattress of FIG. 1.
The mattress shown in the figures is intended for a bed. The bed can be used for personal, commercial or even therapeutical purposes. The mattress lies on a suspension of the bed, for example a slatted frame. Such a mattress has a rectangular base area with an essentially flat top side 10 on which the person in bed lies, it also being possible for a bedspread (not shown in the figures) to be drawn over the mattress as necessary.
The shown mattress has a lower layer 11 and an upper layer 12. Therefore, the shown mattress essentially has a two-layer configuration. But it is also conceivable for the mattress to have the one upper layer 12 only, or more than two layers, with at least one layer being configured in the matter of the upper layer 12.
The lower layer 11 extends across the full surface of the entire mattress. As an alternative, the lower layer 11 can also be formed from two or three lower support components, each of which runs across the entire width of the mattress and which lie closely to one other in succession in the longitudinal direction of the mattress. The lower layer 11 forming the lower part of the mattress can be made of foam plastic or another material or combination of materials generally used for mattresses, such as a spring interior. In the exemplary embodiment shown, the lower layer 11 has a thickness that is somewhat greater than half the thickness or height of the mattress itself, meaning that the upper layer 12 is thinner than the lower layer 11. The lower layer 11 shown here has a core 13 that forms part of the mattress and which is made of foam plastic or other material, which can be multi-layered if necessary, and an outer sheathing 14. The sheathing 14 preferably encompasses the core 13 completely, but can also be configured to sheath the core 13 only partially. The sheathing 14 is provided with a usual lateral opening (not shown in the figures), which, for example, can be opened and closed by a zipper in order to remove the sheathing 14 from the core 13 for washing as necessary. The sheathing 14 is preferably completely made from the same material, specifically a woven fabric, it being possible for at least the top side 15 of the sheathing 14 facing the upper layer 12 to have a woolen surface structure that is suitable for making a clinging connection with the micro-hooks of a hook and loop fastener. But it is also conceivable that the sheathing 14, including its top side 15, is completely made of a smooth material. In this case, strips, points or the like are glued or otherwise attached to the top side 15 of the sheathing 14 in order to form part of the connection means.
The upper layer 12 according to the invention is configured in a special manner. It comprises a plurality of filled cushions 16 having a relatively small surface area. In the shown exemplary embodiment, each filled cushion 16 is of equal size and exhibits an approximately square base area 17. Each of the identically configured cushions has an approximately cuboid shape whose thickness is smaller than the width or length of the respective filled cushion 16. The filled cushions 16 are arranged over the lower layer 11 in a grid-like pattern, specifically such that a plurality of cushions 16 lie closely adjacent to one another in the longitudinal and transverse direction of the mattress. As a result, there is no, or no appreciable, crevice space between adjacent filled cushions 16. By virtue of their close succession, the filled cushions 16 form a continuous upper layer 12 across the entire surface of the mattress. The upper layer 12 thus exhibits a structure on its top side 18 which corresponds to a pattern of laid paving stones.
In the shown exemplary embodiment, six filled cushions 16 lie next to one another in the transverse direction of the mattress, while eleven filled cushions 16 follow one another closely in the longitudinal direction of the mattress. Depending on the side of the mattress as well as the size of the filled cushions 16, the number of successive cushions 16 in the longitudinal and transverse direction may vary. Since the filled cushions 16 in the shown exemplary embodiment have a square base area and lie next to each other in rows and columns, the corners of any four adjacent cushions 16 always abut each other. As a result, there is no bonded, or lapping, arrangement of the filled cushions 16 similar to that common in brick walls, i.e. the joints between the cushions run continuously from one end or one side of the upper layer to the other. If such a bonded system is desired, cushions 16 of different sizes can be used to form the upper layer 12, in particular square and rectangular-shaped cushions that are grouped with respect to each other so that a bonded arrangement is achieved between adjacent filled cushions 16. As a result, few if any corners of four filled cushions 16 will meet as in the case shown in the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1.
Each filled cushion 16 has a filling 18 and a cover 19 which preferably encloses the cushion 16 completely. In the shown exemplary embodiment, the cover 19 of each cushion is provided with a closeable opening 20. The closeable opening 20 is located in the region of a bottom side 21 of each cushion 16. But the opening 20 can also be located in the region of a side surface. The opening can be closed by a zipper 22 or other closing means, such as hook and loop fasteners, snap fasteners, or hook fasteners.
Each filled cushion 16 is detachably connected to the lower layer 11. To this end the bottom side 21 of each filled cushion 16 is assigned at least one connecting means 23. The connecting means 23 can be a hook and loop fastener, for example. Such a fastener has a micro-hook part and a loop part. One of these two parts is assigned to the bottom side 21 of the respective filled cushion 16, while the other part is located on the top side 15 of the lower layer's 11 sheathing 14. The parts of the connection means 23 are appropriately attached to the cover 19 of the respective cushion 16 and to the sheathing 14 of the lower layer 11, for example by sewing or adhesive bonding. If the sheathing 14 of the lower layer 11 is made of a textile material, in particular one with a woolen surface, no loop part of the connecting means needs to be attached to the top side 15 of the lower layer's 11 sheathing 14. A satisfactory connection can be made if the bottom side 21 of each filled cushion 16 has a micro-hook part which can hook into the preferably woven textile material of the lower layer's 11 sheathing 14. In this case, only micro-hooks need to be arranged under the filled cushions 16 in order to form a part of the connection means 23.
The lower layer 11 and the upper layer 12, the latter being formed by the cushions 16 arranged tightly adjacent to one another, are surrounded by an outer cover 24. The outer cover thus forms the outer side of the mattress, providing additional support and a permanent stabilization of the filled cushions 16 on the lower layer 11. Due to the presence of the outer cover 24, under some circumstances it is then possible to omit the connecting means 23 for the detachable attachment of the filled cushions 16 to the lower layer 11. The outer cover 24 of the mattress is provided, at least on the top side 10, with a textile material that is comfortable for lying, sitting and/or sleeping. In order to provide access to the lower layer 11 and in particular to the upper layer 12 of the mattress formed by the filled cushions 16, the outer cover 24 has at least one closeable opening 25. In the shown exemplary embodiment, the opening 25 is located on an upright edge surrounding the mattress, with the opening 25 extending at least continuously across three upright side surfaces of the mattress. The opening 25 can be closed by a zipper 26, it also being possible to provide other conventional closing means, such as hook and loop fasteners, snap fasteners or string fasteners.
The outer cover 24 of the mattress can be provided at least on its top side 10 with decoration and/or thin supplementary cushioning. This supplementary cushioning can be designed in the style of a quilt in order to improve the aesthetic effect of the top side 10 of the mattress.
In an alternative exemplary embodiment (not shown) of the mattress according to the invention the outer cover 24 is absent. The mattress then comprises only the lower layer 11 and the upper layer 12, which is formed by filled cushions 16 positioned adjacent to one another in the manner of a stone pavement. In this exemplary embodiment, a particularly reliable connection of the filled cushions 16 to the lower layer 11 is required. Inasmuch as the connection means 23 shown in FIG. 2 are not sufficient for this purpose, the invention provides the additional measure of connecting the filled cushions 16 with one another at their adjacent upright side surfaces, again by means of the appropriate connecting means, such as hook and loop fasteners, snap fasteners or even laces. The connection of the filled cushions 16 at the side surfaces can, as an alternative to the connection means 23, also be considered for connecting the filled cushions 16 to the lower layer 11, in particular in the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 with an outer cover. The connection of the cushions 16 to each other can then replace the connection means 23 for the purpose of attaching the cushions 16 onto the lower layer 11. In the presence of an outer cover 24, a connection of the filled cushions 16 to each other and/or to the lower layer 11 can, if necessary, be omitted completely.
Instead of using the closed outer cover 24 to encompass the lower layer 11 and the upper layer 12 formed by the filled cushions 16, it is also conceivable to employ a net or a lattice. Such a net or lattice can be made of electroconductive material in order to provide the mattress with a shield against electromagnetic interference.
It is also conceivable to arrange the upper layer 12 comprising a grid of numerous, closely adjacent filled cushions 16 on a lower layer that is merely a flat textile web, that is, which itself is not designed to be resilient. This lower layer then only serves to provide a detachable connection to the bottom sides 21 of the filled cushions 16. If the filled cushions 16 are connected to each other at their neighboring adjacent side surfaces, it is sufficient for the mattress to be formed by the upper layer 12 only, with a lower layer being omitted entirely. The mattress then consists of the filled cushions 16 lying adjacent to one another to form the upper layer and, if so required, of an outer cover 24.
In all of the previously described exemplary embodiments of the mattress according to the invention, the fillings 18 of the cushions 16 can be constituted in a variety of ways:
For passive fillings 18 organic materials, such as straw, fruit, flowers, leaves and/or pips, can be used. Said materials are preferably dried. The respective filling 18 can also be made of blends of various organic materials, in particular of the aforementioned materials. The materials are arranged in the cover 19 of the cushion 16 such that the filling 18 essentially fills the cover 19 completely, thus giving the cushion 16 a firm yet elastic cuboid shape. If necessary, it may be sufficient to fill the cushion 16 only partially with organic materials of the aforementioned kind. In order that the shape of the cushion 16 is nevertheless as cuboid as possible, filler material can then be employed, such as foam plastic, in particular in the form of small particles. But inorganic materials can also be used as passive fillings 18, in particular minerals. It is also possible to provide a mixture of inorganic and inorganic materials for the filling 18.
Other types of fillings 18 can be formed from a fluid, that is, either a gas or a liquid. Preferred liquids include curative waters. A fluid-based filling is housed in an additional fluid-tight and permanently sealed wrapping, which in turn is surrounded by the cover 19.
It is also possible to accommodate active fillings 18 in the cushions 16. Such a filling may be a heating element, illuminants and/or vibrators, or other kinds of active movement generators. Finally, it is also conceivable to have an active filling 18 of means that emit acoustic tones.
The upper layer 12 of the exemplary embodiments of the mattress described above can be made of cushions 16 having the same fillings 18. But as a rule, the upper layer 12 is composed of cushions 16 having different fillings 18, with the fillings 18, depending on their type, being deliberately arranged at certain positions under the top side 10 of the mattress so that the fillings 18 are able to express their intended characteristics in the vicinity of a specific part of the body of the person lying on the mattress that is meant to be targeted by these intended characteristics. Not all cushions 16 used in the formation of the upper layer 12 must have the aforementioned passive materials or active materials. It is conceivable that only a few specific fillings 18 have such characteristics. The other cushions 16 can then have a filling 18 made of a neutral material, such as foam plastic or other such constituent materials commonly used in mattresses.
The invention is not only suitable for the mattress described in connection with a bed, but also for mattresses of loungers for private and commercial use, as well as in vehicles. The mattress according to the invention can also be used as upholstery in sitting furniture.