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Title:
Anti-Microbial Mattress and Improved Support Core
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A mattress includes a liquid impermeable layer and at least one anti-microbial layer. A support core with expanded polystyrene beads is also disclosed.


Inventors:
Boyd, Dennis (Chesterfield, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/533178
Publication Date:
03/20/2008
Filing Date:
09/19/2006
Assignee:
Boyd Flotation, Inc. (Maryland Heights, MO, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/699, 5/738, 5/690
International Classes:
A47C27/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20090064409Crib having noiselessly opening changing tableMarch, 2009Carpenter et al.
20040098806Shaped body, in particular for a seat cushionMay, 2004Stender et al.
20050115003Internal contour foam mattressJune, 2005Torbet et al.
20040261186Methods for manufacturing encased mattressesDecember, 2004Gladney
20100061501CRITICALITY PREVENTION DEVICES AND METHODS IN NUCLEAR FUEL PRODUCTIONMarch, 2010Vandergheynst
20060085913Movable bedApril, 2006Kawakami et al.
20040221388Patient moving apparatus having sheet gripper with user inputNovember, 2004Votel
20060288481Bed skirt enhancing deviceDecember, 2006Hampton
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HUSCH & EPPENBERGER, LLC (190 CARONDELET PLAZA, SUITE 600, ST. LOUIS, MO, 63105-3441, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A mattress comprising: a support core; an anti-microbial fabric layer for partially covering a portion of the support core; a liquid impermeable layer below the anti-microbial fabric layer; said anti-microbial fabric layer being completely removable from the liquid impermeable layer so that the anti-microbial fabric layer may be removed from the liquid impermeable layer for washing.

2. The mattress as set forth in claim 1 further including a removable, anti-microbial top cover removably secured to one of the anti-microbial fabric layer or the liquid impermeable layer.

3. The mattress as set forth in claim 2 wherein the anti-microbial top cover is quilted.

4. The mattress as set forth in claim 3 wherein the top cover includes anti-microbial fiber batting.

5. The mattress as set forth in claim 3 wherein the top cover includes a washable foam batting.

6. The mattress as set forth in claim 1 wherein the liquid impermeable layer is a plastic such as polyvinyl chloride.

7. The mattress as set forth in claim 1 wherein the liquid impermeable layer constitutes a barrier to body ash.

8. The mattress as set forth in claim 1 further including a secondary support layer disposed below the liquid impermeable layer.

9. The mattress as set forth in claim 8 wherein the secondary support layer consists of a sleep surface unit selected from the group consisting of an innerspring unit, a foam support unit, an air support unit, and a flotation support unit.

10. The mattress as set forth in claim 1 wherein the liquid impermeable layer is disposed above the support core.

11. The mattress as set forth in claim 1 wherein the liquid impermeable layer is disposed below the support core.

12. The mattress as set forth in claim 1 wherein at least some of the materials constituting the mattress are fire resistant.

13. The mattress as set forth in claim 1 wherein the support core includes a plurality of expanded polystyrene beads.

14. The mattress as set forth in claim 13 wherein the expanded polystyrene beads are partitioned into sections.

15. The mattress as set forth in claim 14 wherein the beads are partitioned by means of belts.

16. The mattress as set forth in claim 14 wherein the beads are partitioned by means of baffles.

17. The mattress as set forth in claim 1 wherein the support core includes a support core component selected from the group consisting of polyurethane foam, latex foam, memory foam, a fluid filled chamber, a gel layer, particulated foam, fiber, fiber with an oxygenating capability, polyethylene foam, an innerspring, and magnets.

18. A mattress comprising: a resilient container defining an interior volume, said resilient container having a length and a width sufficient to support a human user; a plurality of expanded polystyrene beads filling a substantial part of the interior volume.

19. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 further including a conventional mattress disposed below the mattress formed by the beads in the resilient container.

20. The mattress as set forth in claim 19 wherein the mattress formed by the beads in the resilient container is removably secured to the conventional mattress.

21. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 further including a plurality of baffles disposed in the resilient container to partition the interior volume into sections.

22. The mattress as set forth in claim 21 wherein at least one of the baffles has opening formed therein to allow limited movement of beads from one section to another.

23. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 further including a cover over the resilient container.

24. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 wherein at least some of the beads have a first diameter and at least some of the beads have a second diameter.

25. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 wherein at least some of the beads have a first density and at least some of the beads have a second density.

26. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 wherein at least some of the beads have a first weight and at least some of the beads have a second weight.

27. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 wherein at least some of the beads have a first value of a preselected physical characteristic and at least some of the beads have a second value of said characteristic, said beads having the first value being primarily disposed in a first section of the mattress, and said beads having the second value being primarily disposed in a second section of the mattress.

28. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 further including a base for the mattress and at least one belt for removably securing the mattress to the base, said belt further partitioning the mattress into at least two sections.

29. The mattress as set forth in claim 28 further including a hook and pile fastener on the mattress.

30. The mattress as set forth in claim 29 wherein the hook and pile fastener secures the mattress to the base.

31. The mattress as set forth in claim 29 wherein the hook and pile fastener secures the mattress to a second mattress.

32. The mattress as set forth in claim 28 wherein the base includes a layer of support foam.

33. The mattress as set forth in claim 28 further including a cover surrounding the mattress and at least a portion of the base.

34. The mattress as set forth in claim 33 wherein the cover is removable.

35. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 wherein the container is formed with three separate sections to prevent migration of beads from one section to another.

36. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 wherein the container is tufted.

37. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 further including a closeable opening into the container to permit the addition or removal of beads into and from the interior volume.

38. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 wherein the resilient container is disposed above a main support core of the mattress.

39. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 wherein the mattress includes a top quilted panel, the resilient container being disposed below the top quilted panel.

40. The mattress as set forth in claim 18 wherein the resilient container is removably disposed inside a mattress cover.

41. The mattress as set forth in claim 40 wherein the mattress cover includes a slide fastener which is openable to allow access to the resilient container.

42. A mattress comprising: a top cover formed of an anti-microbial material that is permeable to liquid; a liquid impermeable layer removably secured to the top cover, said liquid impermeable layer being disposed below the top cover so that a human user does not lay directly on the liquid impermeable layer; a support core disposed below the liquid impermeable layer, so that the liquid impermeable layer prevents liquid moving through the top cover to the support core.

43. The mattress as set forth in claim 42 wherein the top cover is washable and removable from the support core.

44. The mattress as set forth in claim 42 wherein the liquid impermeable layer is removably secured to the top cover by a first fastener.

45. The mattress as set forth in claim 44 wherein the top cover is secured to the remainder of the mattress by a second fastener.

46. The mattress as set forth in claim 42 wherein the support core includes a support core component selected from the group consisting of polyurethane foam, latex foam, memory foam, a fluid filled chamber, a gel layer, particulated foam, fiber, fiber with an oxygenating capability, polyethylene foam, an innerspring, and magnets.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a mattress for beds, futons and the like.

2. Prior Art

There is an increasing awareness of the impact of dust mites, bacteria, and mold within a mattress and its effects on the ability to sleep comfortably and efficiently. Dust mites carry disease and can cause allergic reactions when they (or their residue) come in contact with the mattress user. Studies have shown the weight of an innerspring mattress doubles every ten years due to live dust mites, dead dust mites, and dust mite feces. The mattress is second only to the garbage disposal in microbiological growth within the home (toilet is third). Sixty-eight percent (68%) of those in a recent survey with allergies indicated they had a difficult time obtaining a restful night's sleep.

Moisture from perspiration causes a natural environment for biological growth. This particularly evident in waterbeds and air mattresses where there is a disparity between the person's body temperature and the temperature of the water mattress or air mattress. The average person perspires one pint of fluid during an 8-hour sleep period. A warm moist environment is ideal for microbe proliferation.

Dust mites feed on fungus, body ash (dead skin cells flaking off the body), and natural fibers such as cotton, wool, silk and rayon. These fibers are ideally used for absorbing moisture to maintain a dry hygienic sleep surface. Unfortunately these fibers, while reducing the moisture laden environment that will control mildew and mold, attract dust mites that feed on these natural fibers.

It has also been discovered that mattresses could be improved in other ways. Many types of materials have been proposed for use in mattresses, such as various kinds of foams, inner springs, air and water chambers, and the like. These materials, for the most part, provide a satisfactory sleep surface. But they are fairly heavy, which makes them expensive to ship and somewhat awkward to move or flip. Many people prefer a sleep support that conforms to their body, which certain of these materials provide in one form or another. But such conforming supports do not usually provide a solid “feel” for the user.

It would be desirable to have a mattress that solves one or more of these problems, to provide the user a better night's sleep.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, in a first embodiment of the present invention, a mattress includes a support core, an anti-microbial fabric layer for partially covering a portion of the support core, and a liquid impermeable layer removably secured to the anti-microbial fabric layer to enclose the support core. The anti-microbial fabric layer is completely removable from the liquid impermeable layer so that the anti-microbial fabric layer may be removed from the liquid impermeable layer for washing.

In a second aspect of the present invention, a mattress includes a resilient container defining an interior volume, said resilient container having a length and a width sufficient to support a human user, and a plurality of expanded polystyrene beads filling a substantial part of the interior volume.

In a third aspect of the present invention, a mattress includes a top cover formed of an anti-microbial material that is permeable to liquid, a liquid impermeable layer removably secured to the top cover, said liquid impermeable layer being disposed below the top cover so that a human user does not lay directly on the liquid impermeable layer, and a support core disposed below the liquid impermeable layer, so that the liquid impermeable layer prevents liquid moving through the top cover to the support core.

Among the various objects and features of the present invention may be noted the provision of an improved mattress with anti-microbial features.

A second feature is the provision of such a mattress that provides a substantially pristine environment conducive to obtaining a better night's sleep.

A third feature is the provision of a mattress that provides a conforming sleep surface with an improved feel.

A fourth feature is the provision of a mattress than is substantially lighter than many conventional types of mattresses.

A fifth feature is the provision of such a mattress that includes a light top support surface with improved feel in combination with an additional support below the top support surface.

Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an expanded view of a mattress of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an expanded view of a second embodiment of a mattress of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a support core of the present invention having expanded polystyrene beads;

FIG. 4 is an alternative embodiment to that of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a third embodiment of an expanded polystyrene bead support core.

Similar reference characters indicate similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Turning to the drawings, a mattress 11 of the present invention may include a removable, washable top cover 13, a support core 15, and a liquid impermeable layer 17 below the top cover. Top cover 13 is preferably secured to a second portion 19 of the cover of the mattress by means of a slide fastener or hook and pile fastener 20 or some other attachment method. Preferably the top surface material of the top cover 13 is made of an absorbent fabric such as a Lyocel, rayon, cotton blend, and or a stretch knit fabric. This portion of the top cover may be quilted using an anti-microbial fiber or a washable foam such as latex as a batting material. The bottom (lower fabric) portion of the top cover 13 can be any fabric, preferably treated to be anti-microbial or using a genetically engineered fiber that is anti-microbial.

Second portion 19 is preferably composed of an anti-microbial fabric that envelops (either alone or in combination with the top cover) the top and sides of support core 15. The support core may be formed of any desired material such as polyurethane foam, latex foam, memory foam, a fluid filled chamber, a gel layer, particulated foam, fiber, fiber with an oxygenating capability, polyethylene foam, an innerspring, and magnets. The expanded polystyrene bead support surface described below makes a particularly good support core.

The bottom layer 17 of the envelope that surrounds the support core is made of a non-porous (to liquids) material such as polyvinyl chloride. The fabric portion of this surrounding envelop is attached to the non-porous layer 17 with a slide fastener, hook and pile fastener, or other detachable mechanism. The fabric portion is preferably removable and washable. The vinyl or other non-porous layer 17 is able to be cleaned with a vinyl cleaner or a household disinfectant. This barrier of non-porous material prevents dust mites, mold, mildew, and/or other micro-organisms from penetrating deeper into the mattress. This non-porous material is also not a food source for the dust mite. It prevents the further penetration of perspiration or other fluids that could become lodged deeper into the mattress. The non-porous layer also stops body ash from sifting deeper into the mattress. This accumulated body ash on this layer is easier to clean once it has collected on the surface of the non-porous material. This second layer could be flipped if desired so that the non-porous layer is on the top and the fabric layer is on the bottom.

An optional third component 23 of the mattress of the present invention is an additional support unit consisting of an innerspring unit, fiber, visco elastic foam, polyurethane foam, latex foam, particulated foam, air chamber(s), flotation chamber(s), or any other sleep support material such as those listed above. This component does not need to be removable or washable due to the other layers that would lie between the sleeper and this support surface. The component 23 shown in FIG. 1 fits within a recess in a support core retainer 25 (which is, of course, optional). And the entire mattress 11 rests, if desired on a platform 27.

Turning to FIGS. 2, 2A, and 2B, a mattress 31 constitutes a second embodiment of the present invention. This embodiment differs from mattress 11 primarily in that the liquid impermeable layer 17 is removably secured directly to top cover 13 by any suitable fastener such as slide fastener 33 shown. Layer 17 still performs the functions described above, but it is located adjacent the top cover 13. The top cover in this embodiment thus includes two fasteners-fastener 20 to removably secure it to component 19, and fastener 33 to removably secure it to the liquid impermeable layer 17. It should be appreciated that top cover 13 preferably is removable and washable, but it need not be removable and washable. In any event, the top cover may be plain or quilted, and be filled with a batting such as an anti-microbial fiber batting or a washable foam batting.

It should also be realized that at least some of the materials constituting the mattress can, if desired, be fire resistant.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the support core 15 includes a plurality of expanded polystyrene beads such as is shown in FIG. 3. In this embodiment, a large number of expanded polystyrene beads 41 are disposed in a cover or container 43. Optionally, as shown in FIG. 3, the beads may be separated into various sections, such as sections 15A, 15B, and 15C shown, by partition baffles 45. Optionally, the partition baffles may be provided with a plurality of holes 47 to allow some migration of beads from one section of the support core to another.

Beads 41 may be of different diameters, densities, and/or weights, and may be placed in different sections of the support core as desired. For example, low weight and density beads with a larger diameter may be placed at the foot of the support core where there is reduced weight displacement, while denser but smaller beads may be placed in the middle section 15B to accommodate the additional weight anticipated for the typical user.

Although the expanded polystyrene beads construction is particularly useful in mattress 11, it may be used with other mattresses. For example, in FIG. 4, an expanded polystyrene bead support core 51 is provided with downwardly extending side panels 53 which function to keep support core 51 positioned on a mattress 55. (Other methods of securement such as elastic bands, etc. could be used to secure the support core 51 to mattress 55. In this embodiment, support core 51 functions as a mattress topper. The cover of support core 51 (or any of the support cores described herein) can be formed of multiple layers, such as an outer stretch knit outer layer 57 and an inner woven or knit fabric layer 59 to contain the expanded polystyrene beads.

Turning to FIG. 5, a dual topper support core 61 is shown. In this embodiment, dual support cores 61A, 61B are disposed over a foam base 63. One or more belts, bands, or the like 65 may optionally be used to secure the cores 61A, 61B in place. The belts may optionally have buckles 67 or other such mechanisms to allow the belt to be fastened or unfastened. If desired, foam base 63 may be of various foams, having differing densities and/or layers as desired, with or without an edge support.

If desired, sections 61A and 61B may be secured together with any suitable fastener, including a hook and pile fastener to reduce the potential for gapping between the two sections. Similarly, a suitable fastener could be added to the bottom of these sections and the top of the foam base 63 to help keep dual support core 61 in place.

A cover (not shown) could be provided for sections 61A, 61B and foam base 63 to provide a more conventional look. Preferably such a cover would have an openable top to allow for manual access to sections 61A, 61B to allow for adjustment of the placement of the beads. Such a cover could be totally removable and washable.

It should be appreciated that the various objects and features of the present invention are achieved in the constructions as set out above. The description and drawings herein are intended to be illustrative only and not limiting. The present invention is defined not by this description, but rather by the following claims.