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This application claims priority from U.S. provisional application 60891215, filed Feb. 22, 2008.
This invention relates to mattresses, mattress toppers and mattress covers, and more particularly to an improved mattress, mattress topper and mattress cover.
So called “memory foam” mattresses have become popular, where the mattress is made from visco elastic foam, commonly referred to as memory foam, a high density foam product.
While comfortable to sleep on, mattresses made of such foam have several points about which user complaints are raised. First, the mattresses have no firmness and can be difficult to get out of for some, especially those who are less agile. Second, some users also complain that the mattresses are too hot, especially in warmer weather or climates, resulting from the insulating properties of the foam. Further, the weight of the high density foam can result in a very heavy mattress that can be difficult to move or position.
In accordance with the invention, an improved mattress employs an outer memory foam layer with an inner gel or elastomeric layer.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved mattress.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved mattress topper.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide an improved mattress cover.
The subject matter of the present invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. However, both the organization and method of operation, together with further advantages and objects thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with accompanying drawings wherein like reference characters refer to like elements.
FIG. 1 is a side sectional view of a mattress in accordance with the invention; and
FIG. 2 is a top view illustrating the gel layer of the mattress;
The system according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises a memory foam outer layer with a gel or elastomer inner layer. When configured as a mattress, a thicker and thinner foam layer may be employed on opposite sides of the mattress, with a gel or elastomer layer in between, to provide different cushion and insulation properties to the mattress, depending on which side is used as the top.
Referring now to FIG. 1, a side sectional view of a mattress in accordance with the invention, the mattress 10 comprises a first layer 12 of memory foam, and a second thinner layer 16 of memory foam, with a central gel web layer 14 positioned therebetween. The outer surfaces of one or both of the foam layers 12, 16 may be provided with a cover layer 18, 20, suitably of a “breathable” polyurethane, or a thermo-mechanically expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), to provide a breathable yet moisture proof layer.
While the illustration of FIG. 1 does not include side panels to the mattress, it will be understood that the mattress sides may be provided with panels of foam, fabric or the like to present an aesthetic appearance to the mattress as well as for protecting the layers and their assembly from tampering and dust and dirt.
An advantage provided by the mattress configuration is that the mattress may be positioned with either layer 12 or layer 16 as the top layer, to give a firmer or softer mattress. With thinner layer 16 as the top, the mattress is firmer, and as a result of the thinner foam, more likely to provide a cooler sensation to the user. The mattress can thus be position with the thinner layer as the top during summer or in warmer climates.
Alternatively, for a softer configuration, the mattress is positioned for use with thicker layer 12 as the top layer (by flipping the mattress over). This position may also be desirable in colder climates or in winter, providing a more insulative experience than with the thinner layer side up.
The configuration of the gel web layer 14 may be in the form of a web of diamond shaped cells or, as in FIG. 2, a top view illustrating the layer 14 in the preferred embodiment, hexagonal cells. In FIG. 2, the top foam layer 12 is peeled away to show the placement and configuration of layer 14 relative to layers 12, 16. Further, other shapes such as rectangles, oblong shapes, circles, etc., may be employed for the shape of the cells. The cells comprise walls 22 and open areas 24 therebetween, providing support yet enabling a reduced overall weight to the mattress. The shape of the cells helps determine the firmness of the layer 14, which also contributes to the overall response of the mattress. Layer 14 is suitably a gelatinous elastomer or gelatinous viscoelastomer. Suitable compositions for the gelatinous layer are such as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,456,072, 5,362,834, 5,334,646, 5,191,752, 4,913,755, 5,334,646, 4,369,284, 5,262,468, 4,618,213, 5,336,708. The gels described in these patents that can be suitable are typically 100 parts by weight of a high viscosity triblock copolymer and 200 to 1600 (approximately) parts plasticizing oil by weight (e.g., mineral oils), with changes in the amount of oil changing the flexibility of the gel.
In addition to use as a stand alone mattress, the concept of the present invention may be applied to use as a mattress topper, wherein a somewhat thinner set of layers is employed for positioning on top of an existing mattress. For example, a stand alone mattress in accordance with the invention is 5 or 6 inches in thickness, while a mattress topper is 3 inches thickness.
Still further, the configuration may be employed as a mattress pad, with the addition of a side skirt adapted to fit around at least the corners of an existing mattress, so as to maintain the pad in position on top of a mattress.
Suitably the memory foam employed is a 4 or 5 or 6 pound foam.
While a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. The appended claims are therefore intended to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.