Title:
Seating/sleeping systems and methods
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A seating/sleeping system includes: a lower support layer; a cushion that is located above the support layer and that is supported by the support layer, the cushion being configured to support buttocks of a person sitting on the seating/sleeping system; a back support layer that is located above the lower support layer, the back support layer being configured to support a back of a person sitting on the seating/sleeping system; and an air mattress that is connected to the seating/sleeping system and that is located within the seating/sleeping system, the air mattress configured to be inflated while remaining connected to the seating/sleeping system.



Inventors:
Worman, Joyce A. (Covington, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/168848
Publication Date:
01/11/2007
Filing Date:
06/28/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C27/08
View Patent Images:
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20080127422Fluidized support bedJune, 2008Joy
20050015884Self-interlocking resinous frame for sleeping mattressesJanuary, 2005Conaway et al.
20080183048Electronic timed caller mattressJuly, 2008Zhang



Primary Examiner:
GARRETT, ERIKA P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sami O. Malas (Marietta, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. - A seating/sleeping system comprising: a lower support layer; a cushion that is located above the support layer and that is supported by the support layer, said cushion being configured to support buttocks of a person sitting on the seating/sleeping system; a back support layer that is located above the lower support layer, the back support layer being configured to support a back of a person sitting on the seating/sleeping system; and an air mattress that is connected to said seating/sleeping system and that is located within said seating/sleeping system, said air mattress configured to be inflated while remaining connected to said seating/sleeping system.

2. - The seating/sleeping system of claim 1, wherein said seating/sleeping system is a sofa.

3. - The seating/sleeping system of claim 1, wherein said air mattress is configured to be inflated by an air pump.

4. - The seating/sleeping system of claim 1, further comprising: an air pump located inside the seating/sleeping system.

5. - The seating/sleeping system of claim 4, wherein the air pump is coupled to a rechargeable battery.

6. - The seating/sleeping system of claim 4, wherein the air pump is coupled to the air mattress.

7. - The seating/sleeping system of claim 1, wherein the air mattress is located below the support layer.

8. - The seating/sleeping system of claim 1, further comprising a user interface configured to activate the air pump.

9. - The seating/sleeping system of claim 1, wherein said air mattress comprises a vinyl shell.

10. - The seating/sleeping system of claim 1, further comprising a mattress cover that covers a majority of the air mattresses' outer surface.

11. - A method comprising: removing at least a portion of an air mattress that is connected to a seating/sleeping system from within said seating/sleeping system; and inflating said at least a portion of said mattress while it remain connected to said seating/sleeping system.

12. - The method of claim 11, further comprising opening a door of a storage compartment of the seating/sleeping system prior to removing said air mattress from within said seating/sleeping system.

13. - The method of claim 11, wherein said seating/sleeping system is a sofa.

14. - The method of claim 11, wherein the said at least a portion of the air mattress is inflated via an air pump.

15. - The method of claim 14, wherein said air pump is located within said seating/sleeping system.

16. - The method of claim 14, wherein the air pump is coupled to a rechargeable battery.

17. - The method of claim 14, wherein the air pump is coupled to said at least a portion of the air mattress while the air mattress is located within the seating/sleeping system.

18. - A method comprising: deflating an air mattress that is connected to a seating/sleeping system; and placing said mattress inside said seating/sleeping system while it remains connected to said seating/sleeping system.

19. - The method of claim 18, further comprising opening a door of a storage compartment of the seating/sleeping system prior to placing said air mattress inside said seating/sleeping system.

20. - The method of claim 18, wherein said seating/sleeping system is a sofa.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Some existing seating/sleeping systems (e.g., sleeper sofas) include built-in beds. However, such seating/sleeping systems are typically uncomfortable, heavy, expensive and/or difficult to convert into beds. Therefore there exists a need for systems and methods that address these and/or problems associated with existing seating/sleeping systems.

SUMMARY

Seating/sleeping systems and methods are disclosed. An embodiment of a seating/sleeping system includes: a lower support layer; a cushion that is located above the support layer and that is supported by the support layer, said cushion being configured to support buttocks of a person sitting on the seating/sleeping system; a back support layer that is located above the lower support layer, the back support layer being configured to support a back of a person sitting on the seating/sleeping system; and an air mattress that is connected to said seating/sleeping system and that is located within said seating/sleeping system, said air mattress configured to be inflated while remaining connected to said seating/sleeping system.

An embodiment for using a seating/sleeping system includes: removing at least a portion of an air mattress that is connected to a seating/sleeping system from within said seating/sleeping system; and inflating said at least a portion of said mattress while it remain connected to said seating/sleeping system.

Another embodiment for using a seating/sleeping system includes: deflating an air mattress that is connected to a seating/sleeping system; and placing said mattress inside said seating/sleeping system while it remains connected to said seating/sleeping system.

These and other embodiments are described in more detail below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Many aspects of the invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present invention. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.

FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of a seating device.

FIG. 2A-2F depict respective views of respective embodiments of seating devices.

FIG. 3 depicts a side view of an embodiment of a seating device with an air mattress having been inflated.

FIG. 4 depicts a side view of an alternate embodiment of a seating device with air mattresses having been inflated.

FIG. 5 depicts example locations on a seating device for an air mattress(es) to exit from the base.

FIG. 6A depicts a side view of an embodiment of a seating device with an internal air pump.

FIG. 6B depicts a side view of an embodiment of a seating device with an external air pump.

FIG. 7A depicts a non-limiting example of a seating device comprising two seating devices each with an air mattress.

FIG. 7B depicts a non-limiting example of a seating device.

FIG. 8A depicts a method for deploying an air mattress(es).

FIG. 8B depicts a method for retracting an air mattress(es).

FIG. 9 depicts a method for manually deploying the air mattress(es).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As will be described in greater detail herein, an embodiment of the present invention comprises one or more air mattress(es) located inside a seating device (e.g., couch, sofa, love seat, etc.). The seating device may be configured to seat one or more people (e.g., may have one or more cushions) and may have a seat-back and/or one or more arm-supports. The seating device may comprise one or more of the following components, among others: a frame (e.g., wood frame), padding (e.g., polyester padding), springs (e.g., metal springs), and/or a shell (e.g., cloth, leather, and/or vinyl), for example.

The air mattress(es) may be deployed automatically (e.g., responsive to the press of one or more buttons) or manually. Preferably, this is accomplished by locating an air mattress inside a base of the seating device along with an air pump. The user may then inflate the air mattress by activating an air pump (located inside or outside the seating device) to deploy the air mattress(es). The air pump may include a battery (e.g., rechargeable battery) that enables the air mattress to be inflated without having the air pump connected to an external power supply (e.g., electric wall socket).

The air mattress may comprise one or more air chambers. Furthermore, the air mattress may comprise one or more materials including, for example, plastic, vinyl, and/or rubber, among others. The air mattress may be attached to the seating device either directly or indirectly (e.g., via a mattress cover that covers the air mattress and that is attached to the seating device). When uninflated, the air mattress may be rolled and/or folded. As the air mattress is inflated it may unroll and/or unfold due to air pressure.

Note that an embodiment of the invention may incorporate one or more of the following elements (where feasible), depending on a desired implementation

a single-seat seating device

a multi-seat seating device.

a plurality of seating devices.

a single air mattress located in a seating device.

a plurality of air mattresses located in a seating device.

a single pump located in a seating device.

a plurality of pumps located in a seating device.

a single pump located outside a seating device.

a plurality of pumps located outside in a seating device.

one or more pumps that are pre-connected to respective air mattresses.

one or more pumps that are connected to respective air mattresses by a user.

a user interface (e.g., button or switch) located on a seating device.

a user interface located on a remote control device.

a plurality of air mattresses that exit simultaneously from a seating device.

a plurality of air mattresses that exit sequentially from a seating device.

a plurality of air mattresses in a seating device that are independently inflated.

a plurality of air mattresses that retract simultaneously from a seating device.

a plurality of air mattresses that retract sequentially from a seating device.

a plurality of air mattresses in a seating device that are independently deflated.

Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of a seating/sleeping system 10. The seating/sleeping system 10 comprises a seating device 11 (e.g., sofa, love seat, couch, chair, etc.), an air mattress(es) 12, and an air pump 13. The seating device 11 contains the one or more air mattresses 12. The air pump 13 is connected to the air mattress(es) 12 and may be located inside and/or outside the seating device 11.

FIG. 2A depicts a side view of one embodiment of a seating/sleeping system 10 comprising a seating device 11 and an air mattress 12. The seating device 11 comprises a base 22, a back 23, and a cushion 21. The base 22 supports the seating device 11 on the floor and may contain one or more air mattress(es) 12. The back 23 attaches to the base 22. The cushion 21 is located on the base 22 and may be removed to deploy the air mattress(es) 12.

FIG. 2B depicts a front view of an example embodiment of a seating/sleeping system 10-1. The seating/sleeping system 10-1 is a single seating device 11-1 (e.g., chair, etc.). The seating/sleeping system 10-1 comprises a base 22 containing one or more air mattress(es) 12, a back 23 attached to the base 22, and a cushion 21 located on the base 22. The cushion 21 may be removed from the seating device 11-1.

FIG. 2C depicts a front view of another example embodiment of a seating/sleeping system 10-2. The seating/sleeping system 10-2 is a multi-seat seating device 11-2 (e.g., couch, love seat, etc.). The seating/sleeping system 10-2 comprises a base 22 containing one or more air mattress(es) 12, a back 23 attached to the base 22, and a cushion 21 located on the base 22. The cushion 21 may be removed from the seating device 11-1.

FIGS. 2D and 2E depict respective views of a seating/sleeping system 10 wherein a seating device 11 includes arm-rests 24. Note that in one embodiment, an air pump for inflating an air mattress 12 may be located within an arm-rest 24.

FIG. 2F depicts a front view of a seating/sleeping system 10 wherein a seating device 11 includes a plurality of air mattresses 12. Note that the plurality of air mattresses 12 may be configured to exit simultaneously or sequentially from a seating device 11 (e.g., upon inflation). Furthermore, the plurality of air mattresses 12 that be configured to retract simultaneously or sequentially into the seating device 11. In addition, the plurality of air mattresses 12 may be configured to inflate and/or deflate independently of each other.

FIG. 3 depicts a side view of an embodiment of a seating/sleeping system 10-1 with an air mattress 12 having been inflated. The air mattress 12 is inflated, for example as described in method 80 (FIG. 8) or method 90 (FIG. 9). The air mattress 12 is connected to the base 22 by connection 31. In a non-limiting example, the air mattress 12 is covered with a cover (e.g. cotton/polyester bed sheet) such that the air mattress 12 deploys ready to use. In such an embodiment, the connection 31 may be connected to the cover of the mattress 12.

FIG. 4 depicts a side view of an alternate embodiment of a seating/sleeping system 10-1 with air mattresses 12-1 and 12-2 having been inflated. The air mattress 12 is inflated, for example as described in method 80 (FIG. 8) or method 90 (FIG. 9). The air mattress 12 is connected to the base by connection 31. In this example, the air mattress 12-1 is shown level with the base of the seating device 11 and may be used in lieu of a box-spring or a lower air mattress to support the air mattress 12-1. The air mattress 12-2 is also inflated and is connected to the base 22 by connection 41. In this example, the air mattress 12-2 is located across the top of the base 22 and the air mattress 12-1 to form a top air mattress of the seating/sleeping system 10-1.

FIG. 5 depicts example locations on a seating device 11 for an air mattress(es) 12 to exit from the base 22. A storage lid 51 is connected on a top of the base 22 via a hinge 52. The storage lid 51 may be lifted manually or to allow one or more air mattress(es) 12 to exit. Alternatively or in addition to storage lid 51, a storage lid 53 may be connected to the front of the base 22 via a hinge 54. The storage lid 53 may be lifted manually or to allow one or more air mattress(es) 12 to exit. The storage lid 51 and the storage lid 53 may be used together or separately depending on the quantity of air mattress(es) 12 included in the seating/sleeping system 10.

FIG. 6A depicts a side view of an embodiment of a seating/sleeping system 10-3 with an internal air pump 13-1. The air pump 13-1 is located inside the seating device 11 (e.g., in the base or any other suitable location). The air pump 13-1 is connected to the air mattress(es) 12. The air pump 61 may be operated electrically or manually. In a non-limiting example, the air pump 13-1 may operate via electricity and may turn on via a button. The button may be located on either the base 22 or the back 23 of the seating device 11.

FIG. 6B depicts a side view of an embodiment of a seating/sleeping system 10-4 with an external air pump 13-2. The air pump 13-2 is connected to the air mattress(es) 12 when required for inflation and the air pump 13-2 may be operated electrically or manually.

FIG. 7A depicts a non-limiting example of a seating/sleeping system 10-5 comprising two seating devices 11-3 and 11-4 each with an air mattress 12. The seating device 11-3 is equipped with an air mattress 12 on the ground and is level with the base 22 similar to FIG. 3. The seating device 11-4 is equipped with an air mattress 12. In this example, the seating device 11-4 is positioned opposite the seating device 11-3 and the air mattress 12 which is attached to the seating device 11-4 is positioned on top of the air mattress 12 which is attached to the seating device 11-3.

FIG. 7B depicts a non-limiting example of a seating/sleeping system 10-6 comprising two seating devices 11-3 and 11-4 and an air mattress 12. The seating device 11-3 is equipped with the air mattress 12 and is shown with the air mattress 12 having been inflated. In this example, the seating device 11-4 is shown similar to the seating device 11-3 (i.e., a chair), however the seating device 11-4 may be any type of seat (e.g., couch, love seat, etc.). The seating device 11-4 is positioned next to the seating device 11-3. Both the seating device 11-4 and the seating device 11-3 support the air mattress 12.

FIG. 8A depicts a method 80 for deploying air mattress(es) from a seating device. Method 80 comprises pressing a button to activate the air pump (e.g., button may be located on a base, a back, or a hand-rest of the seating device, or may even be located on a remote control) (step 81); inflating the air mattress(es) by the air pump (step 82); and exiting of the air mattress(es) from the interior of the seating device to form a bed (step 83) (see for example FIGS. 3 and 4).

FIG. 8B depicts a method 85 for retracting air mattress(es) into a seating device. Method 85 comprises pressing a button to activate an air pump (step 86); deflating the air mattress(es) by the air pump (step 87); and retracting of the air mattress(es) into the seating device (step 88). The air mattress(es) may be retracted via, for example, one or more springs or elastic bands attached to the air mattress(es) on one end and to the seating device on another end.

FIG. 9 depicts a method 90 for manually deploying the air mattress(es). Method 90 comprises removing the cushion(s) from the seating device (step 91); lifting the storage lid(s) from the seating device (step 92), connecting the air pump to the air mattress(es) (step 93); activating the air pump (step 94), inflating the air mattress(es) by the air pump (step 95); and the exiting of the air mattress(es) from the interior of the seating device to form a bed (step 96) (see for example FIGS. 3 and 4).

In one or more of the above embodiments, an air mattress may be covered with a air mattress cover (e.g., made of cloth) while the air mattress is deflated and stored within the seating device. As the air mattress is inflated, the air mattress covers remains on the air mattress to provide a suitable sleeping surface.

It should be emphasized that the above-described embodiments of the present invention are merely possible examples, among others, of the implementations, setting forth a clear understanding of the principles of the invention. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above-described embodiments of the invention without departing substantially from the principles of the invention. For example, elements of one of above embodiments may be combined with suitable elements of another embodiment. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included herein within the scope of the disclosure and present invention.