Title:
Foldable mattress frame for baby furniture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foldable mattress includes an inflatable supporting frame for retaining a predetermined air therewith, and a reinforcing frame supported on the inflatable supporting frame. The reinforcing frame includes a plurality of reinforcing platforms each having a top platform surface, wherein when the inflatable supporting frame is deflated, the reinforcing platforms are adapted to be overlappedly folded up to form a compact unit, and when the inflatable supporting frame is inflated, the top platform surfaces of the reinforcing platforms are reinforced to correspondingly align on the inflatable supporting frame to form a flat resting surface for the baby to lie thereon, while the inflatable supporting frame functions as an air cushioning support for substantially supporting a weight of the baby.



Inventors:
Hsia, Ben M. (Northridge, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/009763
Publication Date:
06/15/2006
Filing Date:
12/09/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C27/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080047777CHEERING STICKFebruary, 2008Chang et al.
20090038076FLEXIBLE LITTERFebruary, 2009Giduck
20100000016Infant Support Structure With Accessibility FeatureJanuary, 2010Aiken et al.
20090031494Sleep sofa wherein seat and back cushions provide bedding surfaceFebruary, 2009Pine
20060162083BED TRAPEZE LIFT WITH BED CONTROLS, LIGHTS AND PATIENT TRANSFERABILITYJuly, 2006Heimbrock
20080028529COMBINATION TRAVEL PILLOW/PILLOW ENHANCERFebruary, 2008Abell
20040123383Vibrating infant bedJuly, 2004Nguyen
20040172064Treatment table with an aroma dispenserSeptember, 2004Macdonald
20090015027POWERED PATIENT SUPPORT AND FASTENING SYSTEM WITH INDUCTIVE BASED POWER SYSTEMJanuary, 2009Lambarth et al.



Primary Examiner:
MENEZES, MARCUS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVID AND RAYMOND PATENT FIRM (MONTEREY PARK, CA, US)
Claims:
1. 1-20. (canceled)

21. A foldable mattress for a baby, comprising: an inflatable supporting frame, having a uniform thickness, for retaining a predetermined air therewithin; and a reinforcing frame, which is supported on said inflatable supporting frame, comprising: a plurality of reinforcing platforms spacedly and transversely extended on a top surface of said inflatable supporting frame, wherein each of said reinforcing platforms has a top platform surface; and an edge connector connecting two corresponding edges of every two said reinforcing platforms to allow said reinforcing platform overlapping on said adjacent reinforcing platform, wherein when said inflatable supporting frame is deflated, said reinforcing platforms are overlappedly folded up to form a compact unit, and when said inflatable supporting frame is inflated for applying a stretching tension on said reinforcing frame, said top platform surfaces of said reinforcing platforms are reinforced to correspondingly align on said inflatable supporting frame to form a flat resting surface for said baby to lie thereon, while said inflatable supporting frame functions as an air cushioning support for substantially supporting a weight of said baby.

22. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 21, wherein each of said reinforcing platforms comprises an elongated unit transversely affixed on said top surface of said inflatable supporting frame in such a manner that when said inflatable supporting frame is inflated for applying said stretching tension on said reinforcing frame, said resting surface is formed that said top platform surfaces of said reinforcing platforms are spacedly aligned edge to edge for said baby to lie thereon.

23. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 21, wherein each of said reinforcing platforms comprises a plurality of discrete units spacedly and longitudinally affixed on said top surface of said inflatable supporting frame in such a manner that when said inflatable supporting frame is inflated for applying said stretching tension on said reinforcing frame, said resting surface is formed by aligning said top platform surfaces of said reinforcing platforms for said baby to lie thereon.

24. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 21, wherein said inflatable supporting frame comprises a top layer defining said top surface thereon, a bottom layer overlappedly connected to said top layer and defining an air chamber therebetween, and an least an air valve communicating with said air chamber said for retaining said air therewithin in such a manner that said inflatable supporting frame is adapted to be inflated through said air valve for retaining a predetermined air pressure in said air chamber and to be deflated for releasing said air within said air chamber.

25. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 22, wherein said inflatable supporting frame comprises a top layer defining said top surface thereon, a bottom layer overlappedly connected to said top layer and defining an air chamber therebetween, and an least an air valve communicating with said air chamber said for retaining said air therewithin in such a manner that said inflatable supporting frame is adapted to be inflated through said air valve for retaining a predetermined air pressure in said air chamber and to be deflated for releasing said air within said air chamber.

26. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 23, wherein said inflatable supporting frame comprises a top layer defining said top surface thereon, a bottom layer overlappedly connected to said top layer and defining an air chamber therebetween, and an least an air valve communicating with said air chamber said for retaining said air therewithin in such a manner that said inflatable supporting frame is adapted to be inflated through said air valve for retaining a predetermined air pressure in said air chamber and to be deflated for releasing said air within said air chamber.

27. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 24, wherein said inflatable supporting frame further comprises at least an air divider integrally formed within said air chamber to substantially divide said air chamber into a plurality of individual air compartments, wherein said air valve is formed on each of said individual air compartments for retaining said air therewithin, so as to selectively adjust a softness of each of said individual air compartments corresponding to said reinforcing frame.

28. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 25, wherein said inflatable supporting frame further comprises at least an air divider integrally formed within said air chamber to substantially divide said air chamber into a plurality of individual air compartments, wherein said air valve is formed on each of said individual air compartments for retaining said air therewithin, so as to selectively adjust a softness of each of said individual air compartments corresponding to said reinforcing frame.

29. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 26, wherein said inflatable supporting frame further comprises at least an air divider integrally formed within said air chamber to substantially divide said air chamber into a plurality of individual air compartments, wherein said air valve is formed on each of said individual air compartments for retaining said air therewithin, so as to selectively adjust a softness of each of said individual air compartments corresponding to said reinforcing frame.

30. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 21, wherein said inflatable supporting frame comprises a plurality of air bladders transversely aligned with side-by-side to support said reinforcing frame, wherein each of said air bladders has an air chamber and an air valve communicating with said air chamber for retaining said air therewith, so as to selectively adjust a softness of each of said air bladders corresponding to said reinforcing frame.

31. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 22, wherein said inflatable supporting frame comprises a plurality of air bladders transversely aligned with side-by-side to support said reinforcing frame, wherein each of said air bladders has an air chamber and an air valve communicating with said air chamber for retaining said air therewith, so as to selectively adjust a softness of each of said air bladders corresponding to said reinforcing frame.

32. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 23, wherein said inflatable supporting frame comprises a plurality of air bladders transversely aligned with side-by-side to support said reinforcing frame, wherein each of said air bladders has an air chamber and an air valve communicating with said air chamber for retaining said air therewith, so as to selectively adjust a softness of each of said air bladders corresponding to said reinforcing frame.

33. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 21, further comprising a holding pocket affixing on said top surface of said inflatable supporting frame to alignedly receive said reinforcing platforms in said holding pocket so as to retain said reinforcing platforms on said top surface of said inflatable supporting frame in position.

34. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 28, further comprising a holding pocket affixing on said top surface of said inflatable supporting frame to alignedly receive said reinforcing platforms in said holding pocket so as to retain said reinforcing platforms on said top surface of said inflatable supporting frame in position.

35. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 29, further comprising a holding pocket affixing on said top surface of said inflatable supporting frame to alignedly receive said reinforcing platforms in said holding pocket so as to retain said reinforcing platforms on said top surface of said inflatable supporting frame in position.

36. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 31, further comprising a holding pocket affixing on said top surface of said inflatable supporting frame to alignedly receive said reinforcing platforms in said holding pocket so as to retain said reinforcing platforms on said top surface of said inflatable supporting frame in position.

37. The foldable mattress, as recited in claim 32, further comprising a holding pocket affixing on said top surface of said inflatable supporting frame to alignedly receive said reinforcing platforms in said holding pocket so as to retain said reinforcing platforms on said top surface of said inflatable supporting frame in position.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates to baby furniture, and more particularly to a foldable mattress frame for baby furniture which utilizes air as a supporting medium so that the mattress frame functions as an air cushion for providing optimal support corresponding with the weight of the baby while the mattress frame can be easily folded and unfolded for convenient transportation and storage purposes.

2. Description of Related Arts

A conventional baby furniture, such as a baby bed, generally comprises a mattress frame embodied as a baby bed for the baby to be rested thereon. However, this kind of conventional baby furniture obviously suffers from several undesirable discrepancies.

Accordingly, the mattress frame generally comprises a supporting board and a cushion layer overlapped on the supporting board for the baby to lie thereon. However, the supporting board, which is made of wood or other rigid material, tends to be extremely inflexible. It is worth to mention that the weight of the baby is substantially supported by the rigid supporting board. As a result, depending on the quality of the mattress frame, it would rather be too soft or too hard for the purpose of supporting a baby. As a matter of published medical opinions, a mattress frame for the purpose of supporting a baby should neither be too soft nor too hard, in that if that is the case, it is liable to adversely impede normal growth and development of a baby's backbone. In relation to this discrepancy, if the parents eventually found that the mattress frame is not suitable for their baby, especially when the baby rapidly grows up, he would be left no option but to replace a new one. In other words, the parents need to spend extra money in picking another though not necessarily a better one.

In terms of weight, the conventional mattress frame inevitably bears considerable amount of weight. From engineering point of view, in order to provide secure support to the baby, rigid and strong materials have to be employed so that the strength of the overall baby bed can be guaranteed. These rigid and strong materials inevitably increase the overall weight of the mattress frame. As a result, it is a conflict between the overall weight of the mattress and the provision of a secure and strong supporting structure. Those skilled in the art, as a matter of fact, prefer the latter at the expense of the former. There is nothing intrinsically wrong to prefer safety, however, one should not simply to ignore the other side of the tension so that the relevant area of technology could be further developed.

In addition, the mattress frame is not designed to be portable so that they are inconvenient to transport and store. As a matter of fact, some sorts of foldable baby beds have been developed to address this problem. However, they generally suffer from other problems of insecure or unsafe structure, being still bulky when folded, complicated folding mechanism, and/or shorter life span.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

A main object of the present invention is to provide a foldable mattress for a baby furniture, which utilizes air as a supporting medium so that the foldable mattress functions as an air cushion for providing optimal support corresponding to the weight of the baby.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a foldable mattress for a baby furniture, which utilizes air as a principal supporting medium, so that it provides better supporting performance than such conventional supporting mediums as strains, foams, springs, and the likes.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a foldable mattress for a baby furniture, wherein the foldable mattress can be easily unfolded for transportation and storage purpose and folded for usage, so as to enhance the portability of the foldable mattress.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a foldable mattress for a baby furniture, wherein the foldable mattress has an inflatable frame capable of being adjustably inflated with a predetermined amount of air, so that the supporting performance, such as hardness and conversely, softness, of the foldable mattress can be selectively adjusted by means of air pressure corresponding to the weight of the baby.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a foldable mattress for a baby furniture, wherein the foldable mattress comprises a plurality of supporting platforms formed on the inflatable frame to form a supporting surface for the baby to lie thereon, so as to overcome such discrepancies of inflexibility and instability as mentioned in the background of the present invention.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a foldable mattress for a baby furniture, wherein the folding operation of the foldable mattress is quick and easy that by simply deflating the inflatable frame so as to collapse and fold the foldable mattress into a compact structure for transportation and storage purpose.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a foldable mattress for a baby furniture, wherein the adjustment of the supporting performance, such as hardness of the foldable mattress, can be accomplished easily and conveniently by the parents without rearranging any related objects in the vicinity of the baby furniture/the foldable mattress. In other words, the foldable mattress is capable of providing maximum convenience to the parents.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a foldable mattress for a baby furniture, which utilizes air as a supporting agent, so that the foldable mattress is capable of providing secure support to the baby, yet not requiring substantial weight for maintaining its stability, as in the case of the conventional baby furniture. In other words, the present invention resolves the inherent tension between weight and rigidity and security as mentioned in the above discussion of prior arts. Moreover, the foldable mattress, which depends on air as a supporting medium, is light and therefore easy to be transported.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a foldable mattress for a baby furniture, which does not involve any complicated mechanical components or processes for its operation, so as to minimize the manufacturing cost of the present invention. After all, the main supporting medium utilized in the present invention, air, is free for all.

Accordingly, in order to accomplish the above objects, the present invention provides a foldable mattress for a baby, comprising:

an inflatable supporting frame for retaining a predetermined air therewith; and

a reinforcing frame, which is supported on the inflatable supporting frame, comprising a plurality of reinforcing platforms each having a top platform surface, wherein when the inflatable supporting frame is deflated, the reinforcing platforms are adapted to be overlappedly folded up to form a compact unit, and when the inflatable supporting frame is inflated, the top platform surfaces of the reinforcing platforms are reinforced to correspondingly align on the inflatable supporting frame to form a flat resting surface for the baby to lie thereon, while the inflatable supporting frame functions as an air cushioning support for substantially supporting a weight of the baby.

These and other objectives, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, the accompanying drawings, and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a foldable mattress for a baby furniture according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the foldable mattress for a baby furniture according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the foldable mattress in a folded position according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates a first alternative mode of the inflatable supporting frame of the foldable mattress according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates a second alternative mode of the inflatable supporting frame of the foldable mattress according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is an alternative mode of a reinforcing frame of the foldable mattress according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings, a foldable mattress according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated, wherein the foldable mattress is adapted for incorporating with a baby furniture, such as a baby bed, to support the baby.

According to the preferred embodiment, the foldable mattress comprises an inflatable supporting frame 10 for retaining a predetermined air therewithin and a reinforcing frame 20 supported on the inflatable supporting frame 10.

The reinforcing frame 20 comprises a plurality of reinforcing platforms 21 each having a top platform surface 211, wherein when the inflatable supporting frame 10 is deflated, the reinforcing platforms 21 are adapted to be overlappedly folded up to form a compact unit, as shown in FIG. 3, and when the inflatable supporting frame 10 is inflated, the top platform surfaces 211 of the reinforcing platforms 21 are reinforced to correspondingly align on the inflatable supporting frame 10 to form a flat resting surface 201 for the baby to lie thereon, while the inflatable supporting frame 10 functions as an air cushioning support for substantially supporting a weight of the baby.

According to the preferred embodiment, the inflatable supporting frame 10 comprises a top layer 101, a bottom layer 102 overlappedly connected thereto and defining an air chamber 11 therebetween, and an air valve 12 communicating with the air chamber 11 for retaining the air therewithin in such a manner that the inflatable supporting frame 10 is adapted for being inflated through the air valve 12 for retaining a predetermined air pressure in the air chamber 11 and being deflated for releasing the air within the air chamber 11, as shown in FIG. 2.

The inflatable supporting frame 10 is preferably made of material which is strong, flexible, elastic yet air-impermeable. The inflatable supporting frame 10 should be not only durable to provide secure support to the baby but also flexible to facilitate folding and unfolding for the foldable mattress when the inflatable supporting frame 10 is deflated. Thus, the inflatable supporting frame 10 should be air-impermeable so that the air, once inflated into the air chamber 11 through the air valve 12, will not be leaked until the inflatable supporting frame 10 is intentionally deflated through the air valve 12. And the inflatable supporting frame 10 should be elastic to allow the inflation and deflation thereof. Accordingly, the inflatable supporting frame 10 is preferably made of plastic or leather having a predetermined elasticity in order to fulfill the above objects.

As shown in FIG. 1, the reinforcing platforms 21, each having an elongated structure, are spacedly and transversely affixed on the top layer 101 of the inflatable supporting frame 10 so as to retain the position of each of the reinforcing platforms 21 on the inflatable supporting frame 10. Accordingly, when the inflatable supporting frame 10 is inflated, the resting surface 201 is formed by aligning the top platform surfaces 21 of the reinforcing platforms 21 while the baby lies on the resting surface 201.

In order to form the resting surface 201 on the inflatable supporting frame 10 to support the weight of the baby, each of the reinforcing platforms 21 is preferably made of rigid but flexible material such as plastic or bamboo so as to provide an optimum level of hardness for the baby to lie on the foldable mattress. Customarily, a cushion layer is overlapped on the resting surface 201 of the foldable mattress to provide a soft and comfort feeling for the baby to lie thereon.

As shown in FIG. 2, the reinforcing frame 20 further comprises means 22 for coupling the reinforcing platforms 21 to align with each other in an edge to edge manner so as to ensure the reinforcing platforms 21 to align on the inflatable supporting frame 10 to form the resting surface 201. The coupling means 22 comprises an edge connector 221 connecting two corresponding edges of each two reinforcing platforms 21 together so as to allow the reinforcing platforms 21 to be overlappedly folded together when the inflatable supporting frame 10 is deflated. Accordingly, the edge connector 221 can be an adhesive tape affixing to the edges of the reinforcing platforms 21 or a connecting string sewing along the edges of the reinforcing platforms 21.

It is worth to mention that when the inflatable supporting frame 10 is inflated, the air pressure retained within the air chamber 11 applies a stretching tension exerting on the reinforcing frame 20 to reinforce the alignment of each of the reinforcing platforms 21, so as to prevent the reinforcing platforms 21 from being folded up accidentally. Once the inflatable supporting frame 10 is deflated, the stretching tension is released such that the reinforcing platforms 21 are capable of being folded up, as shown in FIG. 3.

In order to set up the foldable mattress of the present invention, the user, such as parents, is able to inflate the inflatable supporting frame 10 via the air valve 12 to retain a predetermined air within the air chamber 11. Once the inflatable supporting frame 10 is inflated, the reinforcing platforms 21 automatically form the resting surface 201 thereon. Accordingly, when the baby supports on the foldable mattress, the inflatable supporting frame 10 functions as an air cushion that automatically self-adjusts to deform corresponding to the weight of the baby. It is worth to mention that the user is able to adjust the softness of the foldable mattress by adjusting the amount of air within the air chamber 11. In other words, the foldable mattress becomes harder to support a heavy baby by inflating more air inside the air chamber 11. In medical sense, the air cushion as a supporting medium can prevent the foldable mattress becoming too hard so as to damage the backbone/body of the baby. Conversely, the air cushion can also prevent the foldable mattress becoming too soft so as to make the body of the baby being maintained in an unhealthy position on the bed.

When the parent needs to transport or store the foldable mattress, he/she can simply release the air within the air chamber 11 through the air valve 12 so as to deflate the inflatable supporting frame 10. After that, the reinforcing platforms 21 are adapted to be overlappedly folded to form a compact structure for transportation or storage purpose, as shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 4 illustrates a first alternative mode of the inflatable supporting frame 10A to support the reinforcing platforms 21 of the reinforcing frame 20, which further comprises at least an air divider 14A integrally formed within the air chamber 11A to substantially divide the air chamber 11A into a plurality of individual air compartments 111A wherein the air valve 12A is formed on each of the individual air compartments 111A for retaining the air therewithin, so as to selectively adjust a softness of each of the individual air compartments 111A corresponding to the reinforcing frame 20.

As shown in FIG. 4, the air divider 14A is transversely extended between the top and bottom panels 101A, 102A within the air chamber 11A such that the individual air compartments 111A forms as a head supporting portion and a leg supporting portion of the foldable mattress to support the head portion and the leg portion of the baby respectively. It is worth to mention that the parent is able to selectively adjust the air pressure of each of the individual air compartments 111A via the respective air valve 12A to particularly support the desired portion, such as the head portion, of the baby.

FIG. 5 illustrates a second alternative mode of the inflatable supporting frame 10B which comprises a plurality of air bladders 111B transversely aligned with each other to support the reinforcing platforms 21 of the reinforcing frame 20 wherein each of the air bladders 111B has an air chamber 11B and an air valve 12B for retaining the air therewith. As shown in FIG. 5, each of the air bladders 111B can be selectively inflated to adjust the softness of a supporting portion of the reinforcing frame 20 correspondingly so as to particularly support the desired portion, such as the head portion, of the baby.

FIG. 6 illustrates an alternative mode of the reinforcing frame 20C which comprises a plurality of reinforcing platforms 21C evenly and spacedly distributed on the inflatable supporting frame 10, wherein each of the reinforcing platforms 21C, having a top platform surface 211C, forms as a discrete unit affixed on the top panel 101 of the inflatable supporting frame 10 to form the resting surface 201C. The reinforcing frame 20C further comprises means 22C for coupling the reinforcing platforms 21C to align with each other in an edge to edge manner. Accordingly, the coupling means 22C comprises a holding pocket 221C affixed on the top panel 101 of the inflatable supporting frame 10, wherein the reinforcing platforms 21C are alignedly received in the holding pocket 221C so as to retain the reinforcing platforms 21C to align on the inflatable supporting frame 10 in position.

To summarize, the foldable mattress disclosed above utilizes air as a supporting medium to provide body support to, for example, a baby. Since air is light in nature, plus the inflatable supporting frame 10 is foldable upon deflation, the present invention carries the maximum convenience for the user/buyer in transporting and storing. Moreover, the present invention provides the maximum flexibility to its user/buyer as to the usage.

One skilled in the art will understand that the embodiment of the present invention as shown in the drawings and described above is exemplary only and not intended to be limiting.

It will thus be seen that the objects of the present invention have been fully and effectively accomplished. It embodiments have been shown and described for the purposes of illustrating the functional and structural principles of the present invention and is subject to change without departure from such principles. Therefore, this invention includes all modifications encompassed within the spirit and scope of the following claims.