Title:
Face cradle pillow
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A face cradle pillow includes a headrest base section, a semi-circular contour or bowl, a neck support member, an adjustable headrest panel, and a rear pillow support member. The face cradle pillow provides a cloud like comfort gently cradling and supporting the user's head. In actual use, the user's head is supported in the semi-circular bowl that prevents the user's face from physically contacting the sides of the pillow headrest base section.



Inventors:
Phillips, Carmen Luisa (Carson, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/442877
Publication Date:
11/30/2006
Filing Date:
05/30/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/636
International Classes:
A47G9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KELLEHER, WILLIAM J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Vernon R. Yancy & Associates (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A pillow, comprising: a base section, the base section having a front end and a rear end, the base section being further having a semi-circular bowl, the bowl being configured to support the user's head and limit head movement while in use; and an adjustable headrest panel inserted in the semi-circular bowl, the adjustable headrest panel being configured for the user's desired comfort; wherein the pillow prevents the user's face from contacting pillow and provides therapeutic head and back support.

2. The pillow of claim 1, further comprising a neck support member attached to the base section front end, the neck support having a downward taper from the base section attachment point towards the user's upper back.

3. The pillow of claim 1, further comprising a rear pillow support member attached to the base section rear end, the rear pillow support member provides support to the top of the user's head.

4. The pillow of claim 1, wherein the base section is made of a material selected from the group consisting of memory foam, polyurethane foam, and goose down feathers.

5. The pillow of claim 1, wherein the adjustable headrest panel is made of memory foam.

6. A pillow providing therapeutic support and a head cradle preventing the user's face from contacting the pillow, comprising: a base section, the base section having a front end, a rear end, a first side and a second side, the base section being configured with a semi-circular bowl, the bowl sloping from the rear end section towards the front end section; a neck support attached to the base section front end; a rear pillow support member attached to the base section rear end; and an adjustable headrest panel member, the headrest panel inserts into the base section bowl forming a comfortable support for the user's head; wherein the base section is attached to the slant portion with a back bone foundation support device.

7. The pillow of claim 6, where in the base section is made of a durable and supportive cushion.

8. The pillow of claim 6, wherein the base section is made of a material selected from the group consisting of memory foam, polyurethane foam, and goose down feathers.

9. The pillow of claim 6, where in the adjustable headrest panel member is made of memory foam.

10. The pillow of claim 6, wherein the neck support is made of a material selected from the group consisting of memory foam, polyurethane foam, and goose down feathers.

11. The pillow of claim 6, wherein the rear pillow support member is made of a material selected from the group consisting of memory foam, polyurethane foam, and goose down feathers.

12. The pillow of claim 6, wherein the neck support member comprises a long slant configured to taper into a downward sloping wedge.

13. The pillow of claim 6, wherein the adjustable headrest panel is inserted into a funnel cut out of the base section, providing adjustment for head height while sleeping.

14. The pillow of claim 6, wherein the rear end support member is configured to provide level neck support.

15. The pillow of claim 6, wherein the rear end support member is configured to provide high neck support.

16. A method for cradling a users face to prevent facial pillow contact while sleeping, comprising of the steps of: providing a pillow having a base section, a neck support attachment, a rear pillow support member, and an adjustable head support member; adjusting the head support member for the user's desired comfort level; and lying on one's back resting the user's head in the base section, the head being supported by the rear support member and the adjustable head support member, wherein, the head is cradled to prevent turning onto either facial side, and the head is prohibited from face contact with the pillow.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the pillow base section is made of a material selected from the group consisting of memory foam, polyurethane foam, and goose down feathers.

18. The method of claim 16, where in the adjustable headrest panel member is made of memory foam.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/685,643, filed May 27, 2005, the subject matter being incorporated herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to pillows for sleeping comfort, and more specifically to head and body restraint pillows for providing therapeutic support, and for preventing facial skin degradation while the user is sleeping.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventional bed pillows are filled with feathers, down, air, synthetics and other mediums to provide sleep comfort and head support. Specialized pillows have been developed for providing comfort while sleeping, spine and neck support therapy, and full body support devices that aid the lower back and hips. Early pillows served to prop up the head when a person would sleep, or to serve as a support to bolster other parts of the body. Recently, pillows have taken on a vast assortment of ornamental designs and properties to overcome the above mentioned therapeutic concerns, as well as, reducing insomnia.

Recent reports indicate that cosmetic therapy treatments for the face as well as facial cosmetic surgery have become highly sought after remedies and procedures maintaining and/or improving a persons facial presentation. Cosmetic surgery may include financial investment in one of two categories, i.e., surgery for the aging face and surgery for the non-aging face. Every year millions of dollars are spent by consumers for facial creams and treatments, many of which are applied before a person goes to sleep. However, an ordinary pillow has proved to be the worst enemy of your face. Night after night the pillow breaks down facial muscles and facial skin for those who sleep on their stomachs or sides. Thus, making facial skin more susceptible to facial tissue wrinkling and sagging, rubbing off expensive creams and treatments applied prior to going to bed, and defeating cosmetic procedures done to areas of the face and neck.

Pillow designers reiterate that on average the typical human head, weighing approximately seven to eleven pounds, exerts an equivalent pressure on the facial muscles while one sleeps, thus weakening and breaking down facial muscles. The seven to eleven pounds of pressure resting on the face can result decreased blood flow to the facial derma cells, therein leading to sagging skin and increased facial lines or creases. As such, various pillow designers have developed pillows that are intended to relieve facial damage. For example, one pillow offers a satin pillow case cover that reduces pillow case wrinkles that can press into the skin and cause wrinkles or sleep creases to delicate parts of the face and neck. Another pillow is designed to relieve pressure points on the jaw and ear when the user sleeps on their stomach or side. Still another pillow is designed to curve around the user's head, allowing the pillow to bear the weight of head and not the face.

Further, a great number of women, and men, are concerned with preserving a youthful look and preventing further aging and damage to their face. As a result of these concerns, the multi-billion dollar cosmetic industry provides products for facial treatments, moisturizers, and creams which are applied at night to remedy aging or damaged skin. Unfortunately, when the consumer buries their face in the typical pillow during sleep the facial products are rubbed off and prevented from absorbing into the user's facial skin, thus not allowing the therapeutic work as intended.

Accordingly, there is a need for a new pillow that prevents harmful contact to the users face while providing therapeutic support to the head, neck and spine, as well as, providing head support preventing a person from sleeping on either side of their face. The present invention provides the user a device and method for sleeping on the back and preventing rolling over onto the side of the face.

INVENTION SUMMARY

Briefly, and in general terms, this invention is directed to a pillow that provides therapeutic head and neck support, and more particularly a head support device that comfortably limits facial contact with the pillow surface while the user sleeps.

In one aspect of the present invention a face cradle pillow is provided which includes a base section, the base section having a front end, and a rear end. The base section is configured with a semi-circular contour or bowl shape that slopes from the rear end section towards the front end section. The face cradle pillow further includes a neck support member attached to the base section front end, a rear pillow support member attached to the base section rear end, and an adjustable headrest panel member located in the center of the base section. The adjustable headrest panel inserts into the base section bowl forming a comfortable support member for the user's head while lying on the pillow. The headrest panel is adjustable for the user's desired comfort and head height positioning. A backbone, foundation support member provides a sturdy and supportive foundation for the face cradle pillow.

The preferred embodiment of the face cradle pillow includes a long slant rectangular neck support member that provides a declining wedge foundation from the user's neck down to the upper back. The neck support member is also configured for comfort and therapeutic aspects, as well. The material for the base section, neck support, and rear pillow support is preferably memory foam. However, other materials such as polyurethane foam, goose feathers, goose down, and hypoallergenic foam may be used to accomplish the desired intent of the present face cradle pillow. It is further preferable that the adjustable headrest panel member is made of memory foam or other form retaining material.

In another aspect of the face cradle pillow, the neck support member forms a short slant from the base section to the user's upper back, therein creating a higher neck support position. The adjustable headrest panel extends beyond the base section top surface ridge lines by approximately 1 inch to support the user's head.

In a further aspect of the preferred embodiment of the face cradle pillow, the tapering of the semi-circular contour creates a bowl shape which blends with the ridge edges and the neck support member to form the bowl that keeps the user's head from turning over onto the face.

In still another aspect of the pillow invention, a method for cradling a users face to prevent wear on the user's face includes the steps of providing a pillow having a base section, a neck support attachment, a rear pillow support member, and a means to adjustably support the user's head while the user is lying on their back. Wherein, the user's head is prevented from turning to either side by the base section bowl, thus prohibiting facial contact with the pillow.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of a pillow embodying the face cradle according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the headrest base section of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the face cradle pillow of FIG. 1 illustrating the bowl formation and the adjustable headrest panel;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the face cradle pillow with a rear pillow support member;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the face cradle pillow with a rear pillow support member providing level head support and a long slant neck support member;

FIG. 6 is another alternative embodiment of the long slant neck support member of the present invention with a cylindrical rear pillow support attachment for high neck support;

FIG. 7 is a side view of another alternative embodiment of the present invention including a detachable neck support member for high neck support; and

FIG. 8 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the headrest panel of the present invention having a tubular headrest panel support member.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is directed to a pillow having a cradle or bowl like section to support the users head and prevent the head from rolling unto one side or the other of the user's face. In addition, the invention provides neck and upper back support to the user. As illustrated in the figures, the advantage afforded the user is the ability to receive a restful and comfortable sleep while preventing facial contact with the pillow during sleep or rest.

By way of explanation and example, the present invention will be described in detail below. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention is not limited to the specific structure described herein, as will be evident to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art.

FIG. 1 is top view of a pillow embodying a face cradle according to the present invention. The face cradle pillow 18 includes a headrest base section 20, a semi-circular contour 30, a neck and back support member 32, and a headrest panel 38. The face cradle pillow 18 of the present invention provides a cloud like comfort gently cradling and supporting the user's head. In actual use the user's head is supported in the semi-circular contour (or bowl) 30 and prevents the user's face from physically contacting the sides of the pillow headrest base section.

In a preferred embodiment, as referenced in FIG. 2, the headrest base section 20 is a rectangular cube-like shape having the semi-circular bowl 30 that slopes downward from the rear end 24 of the base and the front end 22 of the base section 20 towards the center of the base section. The frontward sloping bowl is configured to support the user's head on either side, neck, and shoulders while the user is lying on their back. While the invention is preferably used on a bedding surface, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the pillow of the present invention can be used on other flat surfaces, i.e., flooring, bedding mats and in conjunction with sleeping bags.

The face cradle pillow headrest base section 20 may be made of memory foam material for cushioned support and comfort. However, other soft, supportive materials can be used as well. The face cradle pillow semi-circular bowl 30 includes an adjustable headrest panel 38 allowing the user to adjust the height at which the most comfort is experienced while lying on the face cradle pillow 18. For example, if the user desires to watch television while lying down, the cradle headrest panel 38 can be adjusted higher within the base section 20 for desired head elevation. To adjust the height, simply turn and push down on the adjustable headrest support panel member 38.

The headrest base section 20 is designed with a circular funnel cut-out, wherein the adjustable headrest panel 38 is inserted into the base section cutout for the cradle head support. FIG. 3 is a side view of the face cradle pillow 18 depicting the headrest base section with a bowl 30 or cradle cut-out and the adjustable headrest panel 38. The headrest panel 38 is configured to be approximately 2 inches from the base section top surface. The diameter of the headrest panel 38 is intended to be wider than the diameter of the funnel shaped cut-out for a tight fit during adjustment. The wide diameter headrest panel 38 is inserted into the narrow part of the funnel base, thus providing a gripping means against the base section 20 for adjusting the panel 38 to the desired height. At all levels of panel adjustments, e.g. height and depth, there will be a grip and hold means to support the user's head weight.

The adjustable head rest panel 38 is covered with a stretch fabric and connected through a hole in the base section plastic covering. In another aspect of the present invention, the headrest panel 38 is configured to be removable from the face cradle pillow 18.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the face cradle pillow 18 having a neck support member 32. The neck support member 32 is generally a rectangular based pillow member that provides a wedged foundation to the user's neck and upper back. The neck support member 38 is configured to connect to the base section front end 22 bowl for a matched fit between the two members. The neck support member 32 is fixedly attached to the base section front end 22, such that the pillow assembly will not separate due to the user's movement during sleep. In one embodiment, the neck support member 32 is configured with a flat panel that extends from the base section 20 connection point and tapers into a wedge towards the user's upper back area, see FIGS. 3 and 4. A rear pillow support member 42 is attached to the base section rear end 24 to further support the user's head. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the rear pillow support member 44 provides a cylindrical top for a high neck positioning. FIG. 3 depicts a rear pillow support member 42 that provides for level neck positioning. Mounted on the neck support member bottom section 42, the rear end pillow support member is formed and tapered to coincide with the base section 20 bowl 38. The neck support member panel 42 allows for additional therapeutic support to the base of the neck

In another embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the rear pillow support member may be configured with additional padding on the panel 42, wherein that section increases cushioning to the head and base of area. The headrest base section 20 and the attachment sections are typically made of materials that provide a cushion, comfort, and are durable. For example, memory foam is a material that is comfortable to lay on, and durable enough to maintain its supportive qualities after repeated usage. However, the pillow base and attachments of the present invention may be made from other materials having the same or similar qualities of memory foam. For example, polyurethane foam, goose feathers, and goose down may be used to accomplish the desired intent of the present face cradle pillow. Those skilled in the art of the invention will appreciate that hypoallergenic foam may be used for the face cradle pillow for users having facial sensitivities.

In another embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 6, a cylindrical top neck support member 44 comprises a rounded cylindrical top neck roll end on a rectangular body. This embodiment does not include the sloping wedge of FIGS. 4 and 5. The rectangular neck support is designed for users that desire higher neck support. The cylindrical top neck support member 44 is distinguished because the cylindrical top is higher than the lower offset headrest base section front end 22. In practice, the user's head descends deeper into the cradle bowl of the headrest base section 20.

By way of example, in the preferred embodiment the headrest base section 20 has a rectangular foundation measuring approximately 11 inches wide at the base section front end and rear end. The base section top surface further comprises a 2 inch ridge at the first side and second side, wherein the semi-circular contour dips from the ridge edge at the first side and at the second side towards the center of the base section at a center height of approximately 3½ inches at the base section front end. The first side and second side are approximately 8 inches in depth and 5 inches height. The base section top surface semi-circular contour has a diameter approximately 7 inches, wherein the users head is placed. The headrest panel has a diameter of approximately 9 inches and extends beyond the base section top surface ridge lines by approximately 1 inch. The tapering of the semi-circular contour creates a bowl shape which blends with the ridge edges and the neck support member to form the bowl that keeps the user's head from turning over, further preventing either side of the face to contact the pillow.

The neck support member has a rectangular foundation measuring approximately 6½ inches width and 9 inches depth (for the long slant neck support member 48). The height at the neck support rear end measures 4 inches to attach slightly above the base section front end semi-circle high point. The neck area on both sides of the base section should extend flat approximately ½ inch from both the base section first side and the second side. These measurements form a generous hole for the user's head, while the measurements of the neck area members allow space for turning the head but impeding complete turning movement. Specifically, this configuration does not allow the user's face to come into contact with the pillow because of the high ridge designs.

With reference to FIGS. 5 and 6, a long slant neck support member 48 is configured to taper into a downward sloping wedge from the attachment point of the headrest base section 20 and the long slant neck support member 48. The long slant neck support member 48 provides gradual declining support from the base of the user's neck down onto the upper back spinal column. As shown in FIG. 5, the long slant neck support member 48 includes a dipped neck line for positioning the user's neck below the ridge of the headrest base section.

In FIG. 7, a detachable pillow support member 42 is removeably attached to the base section rear-end 24. The attachment is inserted for a high neck positioning while the user is lying on there backs. A tubular member 50 is configured to be inserted into the detachable pillow support member 42 for providing a higher offsetting ridge.

The preferred embodiment of the face cradle pillow and the various attachments therein, are made of a combination of foam material, lining, batting at the base, and a fabric cover encasing. Backbone support for the face pillow 18 is provided by a support strip and plastic canvas that is attached to the base sections of the headrest base section, the neck support section, and the rear pillow support member 44. The backbone adds durability to the face cradle pillow.

Reports indicate that ordinary pillows can be the user's worst enemy. Quite often the user awakens from sleep to find their face buried into a pillow, or laying on their side with the eye, cheek, chin and neck being smashed down into the pillow. This contact with the pillow drags down the facial structure and in some cases cause premature aging. In addition, an ordinary pillow will rub off billions of dollars worth of creams and moisturizers that millions of people invest in each year to keep youthful face and skin. As a person ages the collagen and elastic fibers in the skin break down. So, when the face is burrowed into a pillow, putting pressure on these fibers for several hours at a time, the skin is increasingly less likely to snap back and, typically, the face will show more wrinkling and sagging. An important concept of the present invention is that the face cradle pillow will not allow the user to sleep on the face, therein also relieving neck pain caused by the use of regular pillows. The dual advantage of protecting the face while the user sleeps and supporting the user's neck and upper back is a profitable and comforting investment. Another feature of the face cradle pillow is its portable size that allows for use at home and during travel away from home.

FIG. 8 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the headrest panel of the present invention. A face cradle pillow having a tubular bowl shaped opening 52 that further includes a tubular headrest panel member 50. The tubular headrest panel is inserted in to a horizontal cutout for adjustable head support and added comfort.

A method for cradling a users face to prevent facial pillow contact while sleeping includes providing a pillow having a base section, a neck support attachment, a rear pillow support member, and a head support member to adjustably support the user's head while the user is lying on one's back resting the user's head in the base section, the head being supported by the rear support member and the adjustable head support member, wherein, the head is cradled to prevent turning onto either facial side, and the head is prohibited from face contact with the pillow

A method for cradling a users face to prevent facial pillow contact while sleeping, includes of the steps of providing a pillow having a base section, a neck support attachment, a rear pillow support member, and an adjustable head support member; adjusting the head support member for the user's desired comfort level; and lying on one's back and resting the user's head in the base section. The user's head is supported by the rear support member and the adjustable head support member, wherein, the head is cradled to prevent turning onto either facial side, and the head is further prohibited from face contact with the pillow.

While the specification describes particular embodiments of the present invention, those of ordinary skill can devise variations of the present invention without departing from the scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is not intended that the invention be limited except as by the appended claims.