Title:
Beds and mattresses
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bed or mattress including a plurality of springs which, or some at least of which, are movable in their axial directions so as to vary the compression of the springs or some at least of said springs, without materially or substantially changing the position of the upper surface of the bed or mattress. The bed or mattress will include a base formed as a single structure or of a plurality of sections movable independently of one another so that the compression of the springs may be varied in selected areas or in a selected area of the bed or mattress.



Inventors:
Spinks, Simone Paul (Cawood, North Yorkshire, GB)
Clare, David (South Yorkshire, GB)
Application Number:
10/567796
Publication Date:
11/16/2006
Filing Date:
08/24/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/727
International Classes:
A47C23/04; A47C23/043
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SANTOS, ROBERT G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hoffmann & Baron LLP (Syosset, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A bed or mattress including a plurality of pocketted springs and a base to which said springs or some at least of said springs are directly or indirectly secured, said base being movable in the axial direction of said springs so as to vary the compression of said springs or some at least of said springs, an upper surface of said bed or mattress remaining in the same horizontal plane or substantially the same horizontal plane regardless of the degree of compression of said springs or some at least of said springs and the position of said base.

2. A bed or mattress according to claim 1, wherein said pocketted springs are single pocketted springs, double pocketted springs, pocketted springs arranged in end-to-end and co-axial relationship, or a combination thereof.

3. A bed or mattress according to claim 1, wherein said pocketted springs are arranged in rows each surrounded or partially surrounded by fabric or other suitable material.

4. A bed or mattress according to claim 1, wherein two rows, three rows or more are each surrounded by a single piece of fabric or other suitable material.

5. A bed or mattress according to claim 3, wherein the rows of springs or some of the rows of springs are secured directly to said base.

6. A bed or mattress according to claim 3, wherein adjacent rows of springs or groups of rows of springs are adhesively secured together and a bar or other means is located between said rows or groups of rows of springs.

7. A bed or mattress according to claims 1, wherein said base is formed of a plurality of sections movable independently of one another so that the compression of the springs may be varied in selected areas or in a selected area of said bed or mattress.

8. A bed or mattress according to claim 1, wherein said base is formed as a single structure.

9. A bed or mattress according to claim 7, wherein said base or a part or parts of said base is/are moved in the axial direction of the springs by one or more air bags, screw motors, electric motors, or by means of jack handle(s) or by any other suitable means.

10. A bed or mattress according to claim 2, wherein said pocketted springs are arranged in rows each surrounded or partially surrounded by fabric or other suitable material.

11. A bed or mattress according to claim 10, wherein the rows of springs or some of the rows of springs are secured directly to said base.

12. A bed or mattress according to claim 10, wherein adjacent rows of springs or groups of rows of springs are adhesively secured together and a bar or other means is located between said rows or groups of rows of springs.

13. A bed or mattress according to claim 2, wherein said base is formed of a plurality of sections movable independently of one another so that the compression of the springs may be varied in selected areas or in a selected area of said bed or mattress.

14. A bed or mattress according to claim 5, wherein said base is formed of a plurality of sections movable independently of one another so that the compression of the springs may be varied in selected areas or in a selected area of said bed or mattress.

15. A bed or mattress according to claim 6, wherein said base is formed of a plurality of sections movable independently of one another so that the compression of the springs may be varied in selected areas or in a selected area of said bed or mattress.

16. A bed or mattress according to claim 2, wherein said base is formed as a single structure.

17. A bed or mattress according to claim 5, wherein said base is formed as a single structure.

18. A bed or mattress according to claim 8, wherein said base or a part or parts of said base is/are moved in the axial direction of the springs by one or more air bags, screw motors, electric motors, or by means of jack handle(s) or by any other suitable means.

19. A bed or mattress according to claim 17, wherein said base or a part or parts of said base is/are moved in the axial direction of the springs by one or more air bags, screw motors, electric motors, or by means of jack handle(s) or by any other suitable means.

Description:

This invention relates to beds and mattresses, and more particularly to beds and mattresses incorporating a plurality of springs, the aim of the invention being to provide a sprung bed or mattress in which the firmness of the bed or mattress may be varied by varying the compression of the springs of the bed or mattress, or some at least of said springs.

There has been several prior proposals for providing such beds or mattresses, but such prior proposals have all been complex in nature—see for example U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,739,409 (Johnson) and 2,724,842 (Rogovy). Both of these prior United States patents proposed complicated and expensive constructions for varying the compression of the springs of a bed or mattress, and the present invention seeks to obviate the drawbacks and disadvantages of these and other proposals.

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a bed or mattress including a plurality of springs which, or some at least of which, are movable in their axial directions so as to vary the compression of the springs or some at least of said springs, without materially or substantially changing the position of the upper surface of the bed or mattress.

The springs may be coil springs, pocketted springs, double pocketted springs, helical springs, or any other suitable springs.

The bed or mattress will preferably include a base to which the springs, or some of the springs, may be directly or indirectly secured, said base being movable in the axial direction of the springs so as to vary the compression of said springs or some at least of said springs, an upper surface of said bed or mattress remaining in the same horizontal plane or substantially the same horizontal plane regardless of the degree of compression of said springs or some at least of said springs and the position of said base.

The base may be formed as a single structure or alternatively the base may be formed of a plurality of sections movable independently of one another so that the compression of the springs may be varied in selected areas or in a selected area of said bed or mattress.

The springs will be arranged in rows each surrounded or partially surrounded by fabric, or alternatively two rows, three rows, or more may each be surrounded or partially surrounded by a single piece of fabric or other material. Alternatively, the rows of springs or some of said rows of springs may be secured directly to said base. In yet a further alternative, adjacent rows of springs or groups of rows of springs may be adhesively secured together and a bar or other means may be located between said rows or groups of rows of springs.

The springs will preferably be single pocketted springs, double pocketted springs, i.e. a pocketted spring within a pocketted spring, pocketted springs arranged in end-to-end and co-axial relationship, or a combination thereof

The base or a part or parts of said base may be moved in the axial direction of the springs by means of one or more air bags, screw motors, electric motors, or by means of jack handle(s) or by any other suitable means, the number of such means being a matter of choice.

According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of varying the compression of the springs or some at least of the springs of a bed or mattress including a plurality of springs secured directly or indirectly to a base of said bed or mattress, the method comprising moving the base or at least a part or parts of the base in the axial direction of the springs whilst maintaining an upper surface of the bed or mattress in the same horizontal plane or substantially the same horizontal plane regardless of the degree of compression of the springs and the position of said base.

In order that the invention may be more readily understood, embodiments thereof will now be described, by way of example only, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic representation of a plurality of springs forming part of a bed or mattress according to the invention;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are views similar to FIG. 1, but showing alternative arrangements of the springs;

FIGS. 4 and 5 show how the rows of springs are secured together when forming the bed or mattress;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 1 and shows a base forming a part of the bed or mattress; and

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6, but showing the base or a portion of the base in a different position during compression of some of the springs of the bed or mattress.

Referring to the drawings, and firstly to FIG. 1, there is shown a plurality of pocketed springs arranged in side-by-side rows, one spring of each row being indicated by the reference numerals 2 to 16, it being understood that the whole bed or mattress will comprise more rows of springs than is shown in FIG. 1. As will be seen, each of the springs 2 to 16 are pocketted springs and in fact are double pocketted springs in that each spring comprises an outer spring and an inner spring which is itself a pocketted spring.

The double pocketted springs of each row of springs is enclosed in a shroud of fabric or other suitable material, one of such shrouds being indicated by reference numeral 18, it being understood that all of the other shrouds are identical. Each of the shrouds, such as that which is indicated at 18, is open-ended at its lower end as clearly shown in the drawing, the lower ends of the shroud being secured by suitable means to a rigid or semi-rigid base, not shown in FIG. 1.

Referring now to FIG. 2, it will be seen that two rows 20 and 22 of double pocketed springs are enclosed by a shroud 24, whilst in FIG. 3, three rows 26,28, and 30 are enclosed by a single shroud 32, the ends of the shroud 24 and the ends of the shroud 32 again being secured to a rigid or semi-rigid base of the bed or mattress.

Instead of the shrouds 18, 24, and 32 being discrete shrouds, such shrouds may each be formed as a single continuous shroud.

Referring now to FIG. 4, this shows a plurality of rows of springs such as those shown in FIG. 1 and shows the rows of pocketted springs secured together by adhesive 40A. Bars 40 running down the length of the rows are intended, in co-operation with the adhesive 40A, to prevent the whole row rising when the compression of the springs or some at least of the springs is varied as will be explained hereinafter. The bars are secured by suitable means to the base, the perimeter or other area of the bed or mattress such that they are not movable relative to the upper surface of the bed or mattress.

Although FIG. 4 shows the bars 40 and adhesive 40A at approximately the middle position of the springs—in the uncompressed states—it will be appreciated that such bars and adhesive may in fact be located at any position along the length of the springs, including the lower extremities of the springs.

FIG. 5 shows a view similar to FIG. 4, and illustrates the securing of a number of the rows of pocketted springs to a base, such securement being indicated by reference numerals 42 and being provided to prevent the attached rows from rising when the compression of the springs or some of the springs are varied. Again, the rows of springs are secured together by adhesive.

Referring now to FIG. 6, this shows the rows of springs in FIG. 5 secured to a base forming part of the bed or mattress, the base being indicated generally by reference numeral 50. The base 50 in fact is formed of a number of sections—indicated by reference numerals 50A, 50B, and 50C—the centre section 50B being movable in the axial direction of the springs by means indicated at 52, such means being, for example, one or more air motors, screw motor(s) electric motor(s) or by any other suitable means.

FIG. 6 illustrates the centre section 50B in its inoperative position in which the springs are in their normal uncompressed condition, whereas FIG. 7 shows that the centre section 50B has been raised, thereby compressing the associated springs to the positions shown in the Figure so as to change the firmness of the bed or mattress.

Whilst FIGS. 6 and 7 show only the centre section 50B as being movable, it will be appreciated that the other sections 50A and 50C of the base may also be movable. In fact, the whole base—formed as a single structure—may be movable so as to vary the compression of all of the springs of the bed or mattress. Indeed, the base may be formed such that it is formed of the same number of sections as there are rows of springs, in which case the compression of the springs in each individual row of springs may be changed independently of the springs in all the other rows.

The fact that the rows of springs are secured together by adhesive results in the uncompressed springs not moving upwardly when the base or a part or parts of the base is or are moved.

In addition, where the springs are double pocketted springs, the movement of the inner pocketted spring relative to the outer pocketted spring, without any movement of the outer pocketted spring, results in an increase in the firmness of the bed or mattress.

Thus the invention provides a method of varying the compression of the springs of a bed or mattress without raising or lowering the upper surface of the bed or mattress so as to vary the firmness of the bed or mattress and thereby provide a bed or mattress whose firmness can be adapted to suit varying requirements of individual user of the beds or mattresses.

It will be appreciated that whilst the illustrative examples of the invention have been related to double pocketed springs, the springs may be single pocketed springs or indeed any other type of spring normally associated with beds and mattresses.

Finally, whilst the invention has been related to beds and mattresses, it will be understood that the invention is equally applicable to other items of upholstered units where firmness adjustment is desirable.