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This Application is a continuation patent application of co-pending patent application Ser. No. 11/051,935 filed on Feb. 3, 2005 which claimed the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/541,988 filed on Feb. 5, 2004.
This invention relates to pillow rests for traveling and, more particularly, to a travel pillow device which is supported around the headrest of a vehicle seat and which includes a pair of releasably attachable pillow members that extend around the seat headrest and over a persons shoulders, on opposite sides of the head, thereby allowing the person to tilt their head slightly to the left or right so that the side of their head rests comfortably on one of the pillow members.
When traveling in a car or airplane, and particularly when traveling longer distances, passengers sometimes like to take a nap or simply rest comfortably. The seats in an automobile or airplane, while typically made for general comfort and safety of passengers, are not ideally suited for napping or relaxing for extended periods of time. While the headrest of an automobile seat is generally suited for comfort and safety while seated upright and looking forward, there is no provision for comfortably supporting the head when leaning to the side in a resting or napping position. In many instances, passengers in automobiles fall asleep with their head resting against the side window or door casing. Not surprisingly, most passengers do not stay in this position very long due to the resulting discomfort. Also, when the vehicle passenger first begins to fall asleep, and the neck muscles relax, the lack of sufficient head and neck support sometimes results in a sudden bobbing and jerking of the head which wakes the passenger.
In an attempt to overcome the problems of discomfort when traveling as a passenger in an automobile or airplane, some people place a small pillow to the side of their head. And, while use of a pillow is certainly more comfortable than resting one's head against the window or door structure, it is often difficult to maintain the pillow in comfortable position. Usually, as the person moves their head, the pillow falls and must be repositioned for comfort. The constant need to adjust and reposition the pillow can be annoying and will, in most instances, disrupt the person's rest.
Accordingly, their remains an urgent need in the field of travel for a pillow device which is particularly adapted for use on an automobile seat and which will remain in adjusted position while allowing a passenger to selectively rest their head to the right or left side without having to reposition the pillow.
The present invention is directed to a travel pillow which includes a pair of symmetrical pillow members. Each pillow member has an enlarged lower portion and an upper portion which narrows towards a top end. A strap extends from the top end of each pillow member and is structured and disposed for adjustable attachment to the corresponding strap of the other pillow member. In a preferred embodiment, hook and loop fasteners are provided on the straps for adjustable and releasable attachment of the straps. In use, the straps are secured behind the headrest of an automobile seat to adjustably position and support the pillow members on the opposite sides of the head of a person occupying the seat. The pillow members are structured to extend over the user's shoulders, with the lower portions converging towards one another and below the user's chin. The pillow members are adjustably positionable to accommodate for variations in individual user size, ranging from smaller children to larger adults.
Considering the foregoing, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a travel pillow which allows a user to comfortably rest their head, to the left or right side, while the pillow remains in an adjusted position.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a travel pillow which is adapted for use in virtually any make and model automobile, and wherein the travel pillow is specifically structured to be supported about the headrest of a seat in an automobile.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a travel pillow which is specifically structured to allow a person to comfortably rest their head when traveling in an automobile, and wherein the travel pillow is adapted for use by individuals of all ages, ranging from young children to large adults.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a travel pillow which is structured to be supported about the headrest of an automobile seat, and wherein the position of the travel pillow relative to the headrest and user is adjustable to accommodate for personal preference, comfort and the size of the individual.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention are more readily apparent with reference to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
For a fuller understanding of the nature of the present invention, reference should be made to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating use of the travel pillow of the present invention on an automobile seat;
FIG. 2 is a top perspective view illustrating the manner of releasable and adjustable attachment of the left and right pillow members;
FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of the travel pillow of the present invention, showing the left and right pillow members secured together, at the top straps, and with the lower portions of the pillow members converging towards one another; and
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view showing the travel pillow secured about the headrest of an automobile seat, and wherein adjustable positioning of the pillow members is illustrated in phantom lines.
Like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
The travel pillow is shown throughout the several views of drawings and is indicated generally as 10. The travel pillow 10 is defined primarily by a pair of symmetrical left and right pillow members 12, 14, respectively. Each pillow member 12, 14 includes a lower portion 20 and an upper portion 22. The upper portion 22 narrows as it curves inwardly towards a top end 24. The right pillow member 12 has a strap 30 extending from its top end 24, and the left pillow member 14 has a strap 32 extending from its top end 24. The straps 30, 32 are structured for releasable, adjustable attachment to one another to effectively secure the left and right pillow members 12, 14 together in a generally horseshoe configuration, as best seen in FIG. 3. In a preferred embodiment, hook and loop fasteners, or like means, are provided on the straps 30, 32 for releasable and adjustable attachment of the straps. More specifically, as seen in FIG. 2, an upper facing side 34 of strap 30 is provided with a hook or loop fabric component 36, while the underside 35 of strap 32 is provided with a corresponding hook or loop fabric component 38 for releasable attachment to the hook or loop fabric component 36.
In use, the straps 30, 32 are secured together and positioned behind the headrest of a vehicle seat (see FIGS. 1 and 4) with the left and right pillow members 12, 14 extending around the front side of the headrest and for positioning over the shoulders of the user. As seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, the lower portions of the left and right pillow members converge towards one another to position the pillow members 12, 14 along the sides of the user's neck and extending partially across the upper chest. Depending upon the particular preference of the user, as well as the size of the individual user, the positioning of the left and right pillow members 12, 14 can be adjusted to raise or lower the pillow members relative to the headrest and user. Referring to FIG. 4, various positions of the pillow members are shown. With the straps 30, 32 positioned in completely overlying relation, as seen in FIG. 3, the pillow members 12, 14 are maintained at a higher level. This positioning of the left and right pillow members is particularly suited for a taller adult. By repositioning the straps 30, 32 in partially overlying relation, the pillow members 12, 14 will drop lower on the front side of the vehicle seat. As seen in FIG. 4, the left and right pillow members can be adjusted to a intermediate position for shorter adults and larger children, while the lowest position is ideally suited for younger children.
In a preferred embodiment, the left and right pillow members 12, 14 are formed to have an outer casing including a top side and a bottom side which are stitched about a peripheral seam. The outer casing is stuffed with a polyester filler or other suitable pillow stuffing. The outer casing may be made to be removable or, alternatively, removable covers may be provided for the left and right pillow members, to facilitate washing and replacement.
While the instant invention has been shown and described in accordance with a preferred and practical embodiment thereof, it is recognized that departures from the instant disclosure are contemplated within the spirit and scope of the present invention.