Title:
Multi-chamber airbed
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multi-chamber airbed reduces the effect of weight movement by one or more persons sleeping or sitting on the airbed. In the multi-chambered airbed of the present invention, there are at least two chambers inside the airbed, each chamber having its own air valve and representing its own portion of the airbed. The chambers are completely sealed off from each other by a barrier or septum within the airbed. Thus, when one person shifts his or her weight on the portion of the airbed over one chamber, air does not flow to the other chamber or portion of the airbed.



Inventors:
Schulte, Robert (Augusta, KS, US)
Casto, Douglas R. (Wichita, KS, US)
Barnett, Patrick J. (Derby, KS, US)
Application Number:
10/225588
Publication Date:
12/19/2002
Filing Date:
08/21/2002
Assignee:
The Coleman Company, Inc. (Wichita, KS)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C27/10; (IPC1-7): A47C27/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20020112286Patient movement aidAugust, 2002Upton et al.
20040237198Protecting shield for performing the insertion of a tube during emergency rescuing or anesthesiaDecember, 2004Yang
20080184488RAPID INTERVENTION DRAG STRETCHER DEVICESAugust, 2008Fee et al.
20020104161PLAYPEN FRAMEAugust, 2002Kuo
20090119837Changing Table Guard for InfantMay, 2009Benezra
20080172791Surgical support for patient limbJuly, 2008Walczyk
20070294823Apparatus For Transferring A Person From A Wheelchair To A Fixed SeatDecember, 2007Hay
20040172763Non-slip outdoor cushionSeptember, 2004Sachs et al.
20070022534Removable and adjustable bed skirtFebruary, 2007Richards
20040103478Fluid supply apparatus for a mattressJune, 2004Ellis et al.
20070056111SELF-INFLATING NURSING PILLOWMarch, 2007Lastman



Primary Examiner:
SANTOS, ROBERT G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEYDIG, VOIT & MAYER, LTD. (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An airbed, comprising: a top sheet having a sleeping surface and being sized so that two people may lay side by side on the top sheet, so that a first person may lay on a first portion of the top sheet while a second person is laying on a second portion of the top sheet; a bottom sheet connected along edges of the bottom sheet to the top sheet so as to form a vessel for containing gas; and an interior barrier located in the vessel, the internal barrier creating first and second chambers in the vessel, the first chamber being situated under the first portion of the top sheet, and the second chamber situated under the second portion of the top sheet.

2. The airbed of claim 1, wherein the top sheet and the bottom sheet are connected by side trim.

3. The airbed of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of coils, each coil being attached to the top sheet and the bottom sheet.

4. The airbed of claim 1, further comprising a first air valve for the first chamber and a second air valve for the second chamber.

5. The airbed of claim 1, wherein the internal barrier creates an enclosure, separate from the top sheet and the bottom sheet, that forms the second chamber.

6. The airbed of claim 1, wherein the first chamber is positioned within the second chamber.

7. The airbed of claim 1, further comprising a first plurality of coils extending between a top of the first chamber and a bottom of the first chamber.

8. The airbed of claim 7, further comprising a second plurality of coils extending between a top of the second chamber and a bottom of the second chamber.

9. An airbed, comprising: a top sheet having a sleeping surface and being sized so that two people may lay side by side on the top sheet, so that a first person may lay on a first portion of the top sheet while a second person is laying on a second portion of the top sheet; a bottom sheet connected along edges of the bottom sheet to the top sheet so as to form a vessel for containing gas; a first chamber in the vessel being situated under the first portion of the top sheet; and a second chamber in the vessel situated under the second portion of the top sheet.

10. The airbed of claim 9, wherein the top sheet and the bottom sheet are connected by side trim.

11. The airbed of claim 9, further comprising a plurality of coils, each coil being attached to the top sheet and the bottom sheet.

12. The airbed of claim 9, further comprising a first air valve for the first chamber and a second air valve for the second chamber.

13. The airbed of claim 9, wherein the first chamber is positioned within the second chamber.

14. The airbed of claim 9, further comprising a first plurality of coils extending between a top of the first chamber and a bottom of the first chamber.

15. The airbed of claim 14, further comprising a second plurality of coils extending between a top of the second chamber and a bottom of the second chamber.

16. An airbed, comprising: a top sheet; a bottom sheet connected along outer edges of the bottom sheet to the top sheet so as to form a vessel for containing gas; a first chamber in the vessel defining a top and a bottom; a second chamber in the vessel defining a top and a bottom; a first plurality of collapsible coils extending from the top of the first chamber to a bottom of the first chamber; and a second plurality of collapsible coils extending from a top of the second chamber to a bottom of the second chamber.

17. The airbed of claim 16, wherein the top sheet and the bottom sheet are connected by side trim.

18. The airbed of claim 16, further comprising a first air valve for the first chamber and a second air valve for the second chamber.

19. The airbed of claim 16, wherein the first chamber is positioned within the second chamber

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to inflatable airbeds; specifically to a multi-chamber airbed.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

[0002] Inflatable airbeds (i.e., “airbeds”) are well known in the art and have proven themselves to be very useful. On the one hand, when there is no need to sleep on the inflatable airbed, the owner may simply deflate the airbed (i.e., let all the air out), fold it up, and then store it away in a closet or basement. On the other hand, when guests arrive or when the owner of the airbed takes a trip to a place where there is no bed to sleep on, the owner may simply inflate the airbed and sleep on it.

[0003] Current inflatable airbeds have a single chamber, meaning that air can travel anywhere inside the airbed since there is no barrier sealing off one portion of the airbed from another. Therefore, when multiple people sleep or sit on the airbed, air is constantly being moved from one portion of the airbed to another as the weight of the person is shifted.

[0004] For example, suppose person A is sleeping on the left side of an inflated queen size airbed. Because there is currently no weight on the right side of the airbed, air would naturally flow toward the unweighted right side of the airbed until an equilibrium pressure condition is established (i.e., the right side cannot hold anymore air). This shifting of air to the right side consequently would cause the right side of the airbed to rise. However, coils within the airbed prevent the right side from rising beyond a certain height.

[0005] Next, suppose person B wants to sleep on the now elevated right side of the airbed. As person B descends onto the right side of the airbed, this new weight causes a redistribution of the air back toward the left side of the airbed where person A is sleeping. Air flows back to the left side of the air bed causing the left side to rise due to the newly added air pressure underneath. This unexpected elevation in the left side of the airbed may even awake person A. Furthermore, each time person A or B moves around during their sleep and causes a shift in weight on the airbed, air will also be shifted arounded inside the entire airbed. This constant movement of air inside the entire airbed in response to weight shifts causes different portions of the airbed to rise and fall until the weight movement stops. This constant rocking, elevation or depression of various portions of the airbed every time one person moves can disrupt a good night's sleep.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] In an exemplary embodiment, the present invention reduces the effect of weight movement by one or more persons sleeping or sitting on the airbed by providing for a multi-chamber airbed. In the multi-chamber airbed of the present invention, there are at least two chambers inside the airbed, each chamber having its own air valve and representing its own portion of the airbed. The chambers are completely sealed off from each other by a barrier or septum within the airbed. Thus, when one person shifts his or her weight on the portion of the airbed over one chamber, air does not flow into the other chamber or portion of the airbed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1 is a perspective cut away view of an embodiment of a multi-chamber airbed in accordance with the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 2 is a front cut away view an embodiment of a multi-chamber airbed in accordance with the present invention.

[0009] FIG. 3 is a perspective cut away view of an alternative embodiment of a multi-chamber airbed in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0010] In the following description, various aspects of the present invention will be described. For purposes of explanation, specific configurations and details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. Furthermore, well known features may be omitted or simplified in order not to obscure the present invention.

[0011] In the exemplary embodiment, there is provided a multi-chamber airbed. In the exemplary embodiment shown, the multi-chamber airbed will be described as a dual chamber airbed (i.e., an airbed with two chambers). One skilled in the art will recognize that the airbed of the present invention can have more chambers if so desired.

[0012] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, in the exemplary embodiment, the exterior of the multi-chamber airbed 1 of the present invention may be of any design known in the art. The airbed 1 of the exemplary embodiment shown includes a top sheet 2, a bottom sheet 3, and a side trim 4 wherein the top edges of the side trim 4 are connected to the edges of top sheet 2 and the bottom edges of the side trim 4 are connected to the edges of bottom sheet 3 such that the airbed 1 forms a sealed vessel or container to keep the air or any other gaseous medium inside the airbed 1. The side trim 4 may be connected to the top sheet 2 and bottom sheet 3 by any welding or sealing means known in the art to prevent gas from leaking out at the connection seams. Alternatively, the top sheet 2, bottom sheet 3, and side trim 4 can all be made of one piece so that no welding or sealing is necessary.

[0013] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, there are also coils 5 located throughout the interior of the airbed 1 which are connected on one end to the top sheet 2 and on the other end to the bottom sheet 3. These coils 5 serve to maintain the shape of the airbed 1 by preventing the various portions of the top sheet 2 (or bottom sheet 3) from stretching out too far (for example into a balloon shape) when air is shifted by movement of weight on the airbed 1.

[0014] Also shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, in an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, there is a first chamber 7 and a second chamber 8 created by an internal barrier 6 (or septum). As shown in FIG. 1, the internal barrier 6 creates the second chamber 8 by completely sealing off one portion of the airbed 1 from its neighboring or surrounding portion such that no air or gas from the area outside this sealed off portion can flow into it. In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, this seal is created, for example, by connecting (i.e., sealing or welding) the top edge of the internal barrier 6 to the top sheet 2 and the bottom edge of the internal barrier 6 to the bottom sheet 3.

[0015] Alternatively, in an alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the internal barrier 6 is not connected to either the top sheet 2 or bottom sheet 3 so that the second chamber 8 can move freely within a first chamber 7. Instead, as shown in FIG. 3, the internal barrier 6 is only attached to the side trim 4. In yet another alternative embodiment, the internal barrier 6 may be connected to only one of a top sheet 2 or a bottom sheet 3. In accordance with the present invention, the internal barrier 6 can be arranged or attached in a variety of configurations so long as the internal barrier 6 prevents air from flowing from one chamber to another.

[0016] In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the second chamber 8 is located within the first chamber 7. Alternatively, the first chamber 7 and second chamber 8 of the exemplary embodiment shown can be two separate chambers instead of one being located within the other. For example, the internal barrier 6 can simply be one strip running down the middle of the airbed 1 to internally separate the right half of the airbed 1 from the left half of the airbed 1.

[0017] Furthermore, while it is shown in the exemplary embodiment in FIGS. 1 and 2 that the internal barrier 6 creates a simple rectangular shaped second chamber 8, one skilled in the art will recognize that other shapes of first chamber 7 or second chamber 8 (or other chambers if more than two) are possible. For example, the internal barrier 6 may form chambers the shape of a square, oval, circle, cylinder, or any shapes as desired, including amorphous shapes.

[0018] In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 (and the alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 3), there is also an air valve 9 for each chamber 7 and 8. The air valve 9 may be any air valve known in the art, such as a Double Lock valve, a Boftic valve, etc. As air cannot flow from one chamber to the other, it is necessary that each chamber in the exemplary embodiment shown has its own valve 9 to fill up each chamber individually. Since each chamber has its own air valve 9, the user can fill the first chamber 7 with more air pressure than the second chamber 8, for example, to make one portion of the airbed 1 firmer than the other as desired. Additionally, the user can also choose, for example, to only fill up the first chamber 7 or second chamber 8 instead of inflating the whole airbed 1. In the exemplary embodiment shown, the two air valves 9 may be located anywhere on the top sheet 2, bottom sheet 3, or side trim 4 within their respective chambers.

[0019] The airbed 1, coils 5, and internal barrier 6 may be made of any material such as vinyl, plastic, rubber, etc. which are not permeable to air or gas.