Title:
Compressible encasement tray for bedding and method for selectively modifying bedding product with such a tray
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bedding product for use as a mattress topper has a tray formed by a bottom sheet of compressible material with a generally rectangular frame attached at the periphery of a surface thereof, formed by rails of compressible material. The tray has a generally rectangular recess therein formed by the rails, which can be filled with inserts of selected firmness characteristics, to give the overall bedding product selected characteristics related to firmness.



Inventors:
Bryant, Steve (Loganville, GA, US)
Olinski, Ross (Des Plaines, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/373908
Publication Date:
08/26/2004
Filing Date:
02/25/2003
Assignee:
The Spring Air Company
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/691
International Classes:
A47C27/14; (IPC1-7): A47C27/00; A47C17/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CONLEY, FREDRICK C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHIFF HARDIN, LLP - Chicago (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:

We claim as our invention:



1. A bedding product comprising: a tray having outer dimensions matched to dimensions of a standard size mattress, said tray consisting of a bottom sheet of compressible material having a surface with an outer periphery, and a plurality of rails of compressible material attached to said outer periphery and forming a substantially rectangular frame with a central, open recess.

2. A bedding product as claimed in claim 1 wherein said rails are attached to each other by an attachment selected from the group consisting of glue and double-sided adhesive tape and are adhered to said bottom sheet by an attachment selected from the group consisting of glue and double-sided adhesive tape.

3. A bedding product as claimed in claim 1 wherein said compressible material of said bottom sheet is the same as said compressible material of said rails, except as to density.

4. A bedding product as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least one of said compressible material of said bottom sheet and said compressible material of said rails consists of foam.

5. A bedding product as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least one of said compressible material of said bottom sheet and said compressible material of said rails consists of polyester densified fiber.

6. A bedding product as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least one of said inserts is a zoned insert.

7. A bedding product as claimed in claim 1 wherein said compressible material of said rails has a higher density than said compressible material of said bottom sheet.

8. A bedding product comprising: a tray having outer dimensions matched to dimensions of a standard size mattress, said tray consisting of a bottom sheet of compressible material having a surface with an outer periphery, and a plurality of rails of compressible material attached to said outer periphery and forming a substantially rectangular frame with a central, open recess; and a plurality of inserts, respectively having selected firmness characteristics, disposed in said recess.

9. A bedding product as claimed in claim 8 wherein said rails are attached to each other by an attachment selected from the group consisting of glue and double-sided adhesive tape and are attached to said bottom sheet by an attachment selected from the group consisting of glue and double-sided adhesive tape.

10. A bedding product as claimed in claim 8 wherein said compressible material of said rails has a higher density than said compressible material of said bottom sheet.

11. A bedding product as claimed in claim 8 wherein the inserts in said plurality are attached to each other in succession.

12. A bedding product as claimed in claim 8 wherein said inserts are disposed in said recess with no direct attachment to said rails.

13. A bedding product as claimed in claim 8 wherein said inserts are attached to each other in succession and are disposed in said recess with no direct attachment to said rails.

14. A bedding product as claimed in claim 8 wherein said plurality of inserts includes a bottommost insert, and wherein said bottommost insert is attached to said bottom sheet of said tray.

15. 4. A bedding product as claimed in claim 8 wherein at least one of said compressible material of said bottom sheet and said compressible material of said rails consists of foam.

16. A bedding product as claimed in claim 8 wherein at least one of said compressible material of said bottom sheet and said compressible material of said rails consists of polyester densified fiber.

17. A bedding product as claimed in claim 8 wherein at least one of said inserts is a zoned insert.

18. A bedding product as claimed in claim 8 wherein said inserts are selected from the group consisting of 1½″×½″ CV, 2″×1″ CV, 1½″×¾″ XL 21 ILD CV, 1″ latex, 2″ visco, 1″ XL 21 ILD, ⅞″×⅜″ convoluted foam, 1″ visco.

19. A method for making a bedding product comprising the steps of: providing a tray consisting entirely of compressible material, having a tray bottom and a rectangular peripheral frame attached to said tray bottom with a central, substantially rectangular opening therein; inserting a plurality of inserts in said opening, having respectively different firmness characteristics, to produce a bedding product having selected overall bedding product firmness characteristics.

20. A method as claimed in claim 19 comprising employing compressible material for said frame having a higher density than said compressible material of said bottom sheet.

21. A method as claimed in claim 19 comprising attaching said rails to said bottom sheet by an attachment selected from the group consisting of glue and double-sided adhesive tape.

22. A method as claimed in claim 19 comprising attaching said plurality of inserts to each other in succession to form an insert combination, and disposing said insert combination in said recess.

23. A method as claimed in claim 22 comprising disposing said insert combination in said recess with no direct attachment to said frame.

24. A method as claimed in claim 19 comprising disposing said plurality of inserts in said recess with no direct attachment to said frame.

25. A method as claimed in claim 19 comprising employing inserts in said plurality with respectively different firmness characteristics selected from the group consisting of density and compressibility.

26. A method as claimed in claim 19 comprising selecting said inserts in said plurality from the group consisting of 1½″×½″ CV, 2″×1″ CV, 1½″×¾″ XL 21 ILD CV, 1″ latex, 2″ visco, 1″ XL 21 ILD, ⅞″×⅜″ convoluted foam, 1″ visco.

27. A method as claimed in claim 19 comprising employing foam material as said compressible material for at least one of said tray bottom and said frame.

28. A method as claimed in claim 19 comprising employing polyester densified fiber material as said compressible material for at least one of said tray bottom and said frame.

29. A method as claimed in claim 19 comprising employing a zoned insert as at least one insert in said plurality of inserts.

30. A method as claimed in claim 19 wherein said plurality of inserts includes a bottommost insert, and comprising the step of attaching said bottommost insert to said tray bottom.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention is directed to a encasement tray of compressible material suitable for use as a mattress topper, as well as to a method for selectively modifying a bedding product using such a tray.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] Various types of bedding products are known which have a frame or frame-like structure with a recess therein, with an insert being disposed in the recess to give the overall bedding product desired features. U.S. Pat. No. 1,371,362, for example, discloses a mattress having a rectangular box spring frame with a central recess. A top cushion is supported by springs in the rectangular frame. An inner mattress section is removably fitted in the recess, resting on slats, which are a part of the rectangular frame. The inner mattress also contains spiral springs, which have a different spring constant from the springs in the outer frame, so that the outer frame affords more resistance to compression, to better accommodate persons seated at the edge of the mattress.

[0005] A mattress with a removable insert is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,107,558 wherein a one-piece base of hollow fibers or polyurethane foam is provided with a rectangular recess at an upper side thereof, in a region, which supports the torso of a person lying on the mattress. This recess is filled by a removable insert, which is formed as a fabric envelope containing fragmentized polyurethane foam and polypropylene beads, or superimposed layers of foamed plastic material having different specific gravities and/or hardnesses.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 5,704,085 discloses an edge support for a mattress in the form of an upholstery topper composed of multiple layers, including at least one foam layer. This foam layer has a firming edge of foam around its perimeter, again for the purpose of providing more support at the edge of the mattress.

[0007] A mattress is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,069,415 having a basic metal spring assembly with fabric padding at the top surface thereof. The padding includes a marginal portion proceeding around the periphery of the top of the mattress, which is filled with filler material so as to give this marginal region more resistance to compression. The padding is covered with fabric stitched together so as to form a central region surrounded by the aforementioned marginal region.

[0008] Although the above products in some instances, allow a certain amount of selectivity in the material or layers which will be used as inserts, in most cases the structure is fixed at the time of manufacture, and the components of different densities or compressibility are thus built into the overall structure, or at least cannot be easily removed or interchanged. Moreover, the products themselves are intended to serve as a mattress in a bed, rather than as an accessory or attachment to a mattress.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] It is an object of the present invention to provide a mattress topper, having dimensions adapted to any of the standard-sized mattresses which are commercially available which provides edge support for a conventional mattress and which also allows selectivity in the characteristics of the central portion.

[0010] It is also an object of the present invention to provide a method for making such a mattress topper, which affords selectivity in the respective characteristics between the central portion of the topper and a peripheral portion.

[0011] It is a further object of the present invention to provide such a method and mattress topper for use with a conventional mattress of uniform compressibility, which allow customization of that conventional mattress to provide a selected combination of densities and compressibility characteristics.

[0012] It is a further object to provide such a method and mattress topper which reduce the overall cost of inventory and/or manufacture.

[0013] The above objects are achieved in accordance with the present invention in a mattress topper having a tray formed by a bottom topper sheet of compressible material, with four side rails of compressible material affixed at the periphery of one of the large faces thereof, to form a rectangular frame with a central rectangular recess therein. The rails preferably are formed of material with a relatively high density, so as to provide edge support when the tray is placed on a conventional mattress.

[0014] The recess can be filled with multiple layers or sheets of different materials, having respectively different densities, compressibility characteristics (ILD=internal load deflection), etc., so that by appropriately selecting these inserts, the overall characteristics of the topper can be selected. In general, characteristics will be selected to produce a desired firmness or feel. Since the tray with the inserts is used on a conventional mattress this allows the conventional mattress to be converted or customized as desired.

[0015] In the inventive method, a foam topper tray of the type described above is first produced, and multiple inserts of respectively different types are made available. Depending on the overall characteristics of the completed product that are desired, inserts are selected and placed in the recess in the tray to create a mattress topper with customized characteristics.

[0016] The inventive method and topper reduce costs by allowing layers of reduced size to be used, improving the ease of manufacture, reducing overall manufacturing costs and allowing fewer material SKUs (shop keeping units) to be kept in inventory.

[0017] The topper tray is manufacturable with different dimensions, the dimensions being selected to match the dimensions of various types of commercially available mattresses, such as king size, queen size, twin size, etc. These dimensions are standard size in the industry and are well known to those of ordinary skill in the art.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a topper tray constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

[0019] FIG. 2 is an exploded view showing the components of the topper tray and a number of inserts used in accordance with the inventive topper tray and method.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0020] As shown in FIG. 1, a topper tray 1 has a bottom topper sheet 2 with a top surface, and four rails 3 disposed at the periphery of the top surface of the topper sheet 2. The topper sheet 2 and the rails 3 can be composed of foam material or polyester densified fiber (PDF). Combinations of foam and PDF can be used. The foam material used for the rails 3 is preferably of a relatively high density, so as to afford a higher resistance to compression at the edge regions. When the topper tray 1 is placed on a conventional mattress, therefore, the topper tray 1 will provide support at the edges thereof for a person sitting on the edge of the mattress.

[0021] The topper sheet 2 may be formed of the same higher density material as the rails 3, however, this is not necessary to produce the desired edge support and therefore preferably the topper sheet 2 will be formed of a compressible material of lower density than the rails 3. Since lower density material is, in general, less expensive than a higher density material, this will reduce the overall cost.

[0022] The rails 3 are attached to the top surface of the topper sheet 2 in a suitable manner, such as by adhesive or double-sided tape, and also are suitably attached to each other at their respective ends. Preferably the topper sheet 2 is a ½ inch 1.2# topper. The rails 3 preferably are composed of VPF-1.65# 50 ILD foam grade. The rails 3 preferably have a cross-section of approximately 2½ inches by 2½ inches.

[0023] The outer dimensions of the topper tray 1 are matched to those of standard-size mattresses which are commercially available, since the topper tray 1 is intended to be placed on top of such a conventional mattress. The topper tray 1 thus will be available in different sizes, respectively corresponding to these conventionally sized mattresses. Examples of such conventional sizes are twin (37½″×74″) twin XL (37½″×79″), full (52½″×34″), full XL (52½″×79″), queen (59½″×79″), king (75½″×79″) and cal king (71½″×83″).

[0024] As shown in FIG. 2, multiple inserts 4, 5 and 6 (or more or fewer) are disposed in the central recess in the topper tray 1 formed by the rails 3. The dimensions of the inserts 4, 5 and 6 will thus be equal to the dimensions of the topper sheet 2, less the widths of the rails 3. The inserts 4, 5 and 6 will be adhered to each other, such as by spot gluing double-sided tape, etc., but will not be adhered to the rails of the topper tray 1. The inserts thus will be fitted into the recess formed by the rails 3 in the topper tray 1 without any direct attachment to the rails. The bottommost insert 4 may be attached to the topper sheet 2, but this is not always necessary.

[0025] The inserts 4, 5 and 6 are suitable selected to provide the combination of the topper tray 1 with the inserts with desired characteristics as to compressibility, density, water permeability, etc.

[0026] Examples of suitable inserts for the inserts 4, 5 and 6 are 1½″×½″ CV, 2″×1″ CV, 1½″×¾″ XL 21 ILD CV, 1″ latex, 2″ visco, 1″ XL 21 ILD, ⅞″×⅜″ convoluted foam, or 1″ visco.

[0027] One or more of the inserts 4, 5, 6 may be zoned, i.e., it can have regions thereof, such as a head region or torso region, of different firmness than other regions thereof.

[0028] The inserts 4, 5 and 6 are combined to have a height or thickness approximating the height of the rails 3. Preferably all of the combinations will have a natural crown of ½″ or more.

[0029] Although modifications and changes may be suggested by those skilled in the art, it is the intention of the inventors to embody within the patent warranted hereon all changes and modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of their contribution to the art.