Title:
Modular Bedding System and Method of Assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A three-piece combination bedding system made from a plurality of differing foundations, a plurality of differing support base elements and a plurality of differing comfort layers. By selecting one of each of the three different pluralities, many different combinations of bedding systems may be created having many different firmness or comfort levels to suit individual consumer preferences and price points.



Inventors:
Mossbeck, Niels S. (Carthage, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/460018
Publication Date:
12/13/2007
Filing Date:
07/26/2006
Assignee:
L&P PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY (South Gate, CA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/716, 5/690
International Classes:
A47C27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CONLEY, FREDRICK C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOOD, HERRON & EVANS, LLP (CINCINNATI, OH, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A modular bedding system comprising: a plurality of foundations, at least some of said foundations having a rigid border portion; a plurality of support base elements, at least some of said support base elements including a resilient flexible core surrounded on its sides by an upholstered fabric covering material; a plurality of comfort elements; and said bedding system being operative to create a modular bed by selection of one of said plurality of foundations, selection of one of said plurality of support base elements and placement of that selected one support base element atop said selected one foundation, and selection of one of said plurality of comfort elements and placement of that one selected comfort element atop said one selected support base element.

2. The bedding system of claim 1 wherein said plurality of support base elements are roll packed, said selected one support base element being adapted to be unrolled before placement atop said selected one foundation.

3. The bedding system of claim 1 wherein said plurality of comfort elements are roll packed, said selected comfort element being adapted to be unrolled before placement atop said one selected support base element.

4. The bedding system of claim 1 wherein the plurality of differing support base elements includes at least one having a resilient flexible core containing rows and columns of metal springs.

5. The bedding system of claim 1 wherein at least some of the support base elements are of differing heights.

6. The bedding system of claim 1 wherein at least some of the foundations are of differing heights.

7. The bedding system of claim 1 wherein at least some of the comfort elements are of differing heights.

8. The bedding system of claim 1 wherein at least some of the foundations are collapsible.

9. The bedding system of claim 1 wherein the support base elements and comfort elements are adapted to be secured together.

10. A modular bedding system comprising: a plurality of foundations; a plurality of differing resilient characteristic support base elements, each of said support base elements including a resilient flexible core surrounded on its sides by an upholstered fabric covering material, said differing resilient characteristic being the result of differing materials contained within the interior of the flexible core of at least selected ones of said plurality of support base elements; a plurality of differing resilient characteristic comfort elements, each of said comfort elements including an upholstered fabric covering on the top and side border surfaces, said differing resilient characteristic of said comfort elements being the result of differing materials contained within the interior of at least selected ones of said plurality of comfort elements; and said system being operative to create a modular bed by selection of one of said plurality of foundations, selection of one of said plurality of support base elements and placement of said selected one support base element atop said selected one foundation, and selection of one of said plurality of comfort elements and placement of that one selected comfort element atop said one selected support base element.

11. The bedding system of claim 10 wherein said plurality of support base elements are roll packed, said selected one support base element being adapted to be unrolled before placement atop said selected one foundation.

12. The bedding system of claim 10 wherein said plurality of comfort elements are roll packed, said selected comfort element being adapted to be unrolled before placement atop said one selected support base element.

13. The bedding system of claim 10 wherein the plurality of differing support base elements includes at least one having a spring core containing metal springs.

14. The bedding system of claim 10 wherein at least some of the support base elements are of differing heights.

15. The bedding system of claim 10 wherein at least some of the foundations are of differing heights.

16. The bedding system of claim 10 wherein at least some of the comfort elements are of differing heights.

17. The bedding system of claim 10 wherein at least some of the foundations are collapsible.

18. The bedding system of claim 10 wherein the support base elements and comfort elements are adapted to be secured together.

19. A modular bedding system comprising: a plurality of foundations; a plurality of support base elements having differing resilient characteristics; a plurality of comfort elements having differing resilient characteristics; and said bedding system being operative to create a modular bed by selection of one of said plurality of foundations, selection of one of said plurality of support base elements and placement of said selected one support base element atop said selected one foundation, and selection of one of said plurality of comfort elements and placement of that one selected comfort element atop said one selected support base element.

20. The bedding system of claim 19 wherein at least some of said comfort elements including an upholstered fabric covering on the top and side border surfaces, said differing resilient characteristics of said comfort elements being the result of differing materials contained within the interior of at least selected ones of said plurality of comfort elements.

21. The bedding system of claim 19 wherein at least some of said support base elements including a resilient flexible core surrounded on its sides by an upholstered fabric covering material, said differing resilient characteristics being the result of differing materials contained within the interior of the flexible core of at least selected ones of said plurality of support base elements.

22. The bedding system of claim 19 wherein said plurality of support base elements are roll packed, said selected one support base element being adapted to be unrolled before placement atop said selected one foundation.

23. The bedding system of claim 19 wherein said plurality of comfort elements are roll packed, said selected comfort element being adapted to be unrolled before placement atop said one selected support base element.

24. The bedding system of claim 19 wherein the plurality of differing support base elements includes at least one having a spring core containing metal springs.

25. The bedding system of claim 19 wherein at least some of the foundations are collapsible.

26. The bedding system of claim 19 wherein the support base elements and comfort elements are adapted to be secured together.

27. A method of assembling and creating a bed from a plurality of foundations, a plurality of differing resilient characteristic support base elements and a plurality of differing resilient characteristic comfort elements, at least some of said foundations having a rigid border portion, at least some of said support base elements including a resilient flexible core surrounded on its sides by an upholstered fabric covering material, and at least some of said comfort elements including an upholstered fabric covering on its top and side border surfaces; said method comprising: selection of one of said plurality of foundations; selection of one of said plurality of support base elements and placement of that selected one support base element atop said selected one foundation; and selection of one of said plurality of comfort elements and placement of that one selected comfort element atop said one selected support base element.

28. A method of assembling and creating a bed from a plurality of foundations, a plurality of support base elements, and a plurality of roll packed comfort elements, at least some of said foundations having a rigid border portion, at least some of said support base elements including a resilient flexible core surrounded on its sides by an upholstered fabric covering material, and at least some of said comfort elements including an upholstered fabric covering on its top and side border surfaces; said method comprising: selection of one of said plurality of foundations; selection of one of said plurality of support base elements and placement of that selected one support base element atop said selected one foundation; and selection of one of said plurality of comfort elements, unrolling of that one selected comfort element, and securement of said one selected comfort element atop said one selected support base element.

29. A method of assembling and creating a bed from a plurality of differing foundations, a plurality of differing roll packed support base elements and a plurality of differing roll packed comfort elements, at least some of said foundations having a rigid border portion, at least some of said support base elements including a resilient flexible core surrounded by an upholstered fabric covering material, and at least some of said comfort elements including an upholstered fabric covering on its top and side border surfaces; said method comprising: selection of one of said plurality of foundations; selection of one of said plurality of support base elements, unrolling of that one selected support base element, placement of that selected one support base element atop said selected one foundation; selection of one of said plurality of comfort elements, unrolling of that one selected comfort element and placement of that one selected comfort element atop said one selected support base element.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/804,484 filed Jun. 12, 2006 entitled “Modular Bedding System and Method of Assembly”, which is fully incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a modular bedding system comprising a bedding foundation, a support base and a comfort element selected from a plurality of different foundations, support bases and comfort elements.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Presently, there are many different bedding systems created and utilized throughout the world. One of the most popular of those systems, and the one most commonly seen in the United States, comprises a bedding foundation or box spring, atop which there is placed a mattress with the foundation and mattress usually being sold as a pair with common or matching upholstered coverings.

In Europe, and in many parts of Asia, one popular bedding system comprises a wooden foundation having a spring core covered by an insulator pad, plus urethane foam, with a cover to which is physically attached an innerspring unit containing conventional spring cores. This foundation, with its attached spring unit, is then covered with a unitary cover. In use, such a system is usually complemented with a separate foam or quilted pad to complete the bedding system.

Another type of bedding system popular in Europe comprises a wooden frame with flexible wooden slats spanning the frame and atop which is placed a conventional two-sided mattress having a urethane foam core or a latex core or a core of conventional innersprings. Alternatively, the two-sided mattresses may be placed upon a conventional adjustable bed base which is either motorized for purposes of adjusting the headrest relative to the body supporting portion of the base or has a ratchet mechanism for accomplishing that adjustment. These two-sided mattresses generally have urethane foam or latex or fiber filling materials on the top and bottom sides of the mattress and within the covering material to enhance the comfort factor of the mattress.

The manufacture and transport of these different styles of bedding systems throughout the worldwide market for these products creates logistical problems relative to the manufacture and transport of the bedding system to the various marketplaces in which the systems are sold. Furthermore, the logistical problems are multiplied by the need to provide consumers with mattresses of differing physical characteristics, such as differing firmness, softness, comfort, etc. to meet individual consumers' requirements.

It has therefore been an objective of this invention to provide a bedding system which minimizes these logistical problems while still providing a variety of comfort and price point bedding systems.

Still another objective of this invention has been to standardize the components from which the bedding system is manufactured, but provide a variety of physical differences, such as firmness, quality, comfort and price points within those individual components such that a consumer may select from among those individual components and obtain a bed having a desired comfort level or comfort feel.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with this invention, a modular bed is made from a three-piece combination of a foundation, a support base or so-called support base element, and a comfort layer or so-called comfort element. Any combination or portion of the three elements of the modular bed may be secured together in any desired fashion.

The modular bed is made from a modular bedding system comprising a plurality of bedding foundations, a plurality of support base elements and a plurality of comfort elements or layers. At least some of the foundations have a rectangular base or frame, preferably a wooden frame, which may have a foam or spring interior or may utilize conventional wooden or plastic slats spanning the frame. At least some of the foundations may have a resilient flexible core surrounded on its sides by an upholstered fabric covering material. Another type of foundation which may be included as one of the foundations of the modular bedding system is a collapsible or foldable box spring or foundation such as those disclosed in pending U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 10/842,820 and 11/423,584, both of which are fully incorporated herein.

The support base element, which in many respects acts as a mattress (but does not have the traditional foam, fiber and quilt covering materials), rests atop the foundation. At least some of the support base elements have a resilient flexible spring core comprising aligned rows and columns of springs. Regardless of the material of the core, the core may be covered with an upholstered fabric covering material on the sides and over a portion of the top and bottom of the support base element. This fabric upholstered covering material is preferably attached to a non-skid decking material. Some of the support base elements may include a pocketed spring core in which each spring is individually pocketed, as is known in the art. The support base elements used in the modular bedding system of the present invention may be different heights and/or comprise different interiors, thereby imparting different resilient characteristics to the support base elements. At least some of the support base elements are made of differing heights although comprising the same interior to vary the firmness of the support base element or layer. The support base elements have different degrees of firmness depending upon the composition or make-up of the support base elements. At least some of the support base elements may be roll packed at the manufacturing facility and shipped as consumer-ready products.

The comfort layer or element may be made of different materials and/or may be different heights. Such a comfort element may be in the form of a thin quilted pad 20 or 30 millimeters in thickness up to a thick luxury pad of approximately 75 millimeters in thickness containing memory urethane foam, latex, or even short pocketed coil springs, as well as fiber pads or combinations of these elements. At least some of the comfort elements are made of differing heights although comprising the same interior to vary the firmness of the comfort element or layer. This comfort element may also be roll packed at the manufacturing facility and shipped as a consumer-ready product.

The comfort layer or element may be removably secured to one of the support bases using any number of known devices including zippers. The modular bedding system is operative to create a modular bed.

One advantage of this three-piece combination modular bedding system is that it may be customized to easily fit individual wants and needs in terms of comfort, firmness, softness, etc. Furthermore, the consumer is able to exchange the comfort element or comfort layer without having to replace the support base and foundation and similarly is able to replace the support base without having to replace the foundation. Generally, the foundation will last longer than the support base, and the support base will last longer than the comfort layer or comfort element.

From the retailers' perspective, bedding systems manufactured from this type of three-piece combination creates a wide variety of price points and bedding types with a minimum of inventory. Furthermore, when the support bases and comfort elements are roll packed, as they may be when made in accordance with this invention, a large inventory of varying products may be maintained in inventory while requiring for relative little floor space.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other objects and advantages of this invention will be more readily apparent from the following description of the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a modular bed made in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of some of the components from which the modular bed of FIG. 1 may be selected and constructed;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the foundation portion of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of the support base element portion of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged perspective view of the comfort element portion of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a plurality of the combination of components from which the modular bed of FIG. 1 may be assembled illustrating the manner in which those components may be displayed and merchandised;

FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of a modular bed using additional components of the bedding system of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the underside of the comfort element of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a collapsible bedding foundation which may be used in the bedding system of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the modular bed of FIG. 7 showing the comfort element partially secured to the support base element; and

FIG. 10A is an enlarged view of the encircled area 10A of FIG. 10.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

With reference first to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a modular bed 10 manufactured from a three-piece combination of a bedding foundation 12, a support base element 14, and a comfort element 16. Each component of this three-piece combination is a modular component selected from a plurality 18 of foundations 12 (see FIG. 2), a plurality 20 of support base elements 14, and a plurality 22 of comfort elements 16. In FIG. 2, only three of the plurality of foundations 12 are illustrated and similarly, only three of the plurality of support base elements 14 are illustrated. In FIG. 2, four comfort elements 16 are illustrated in the plurality 22 of comfort elements 16, but this number is arbitrary and could, as well, be much greater in number. In practice, by way of example, in order to make modular bed 10, one foundation 12 is selected, one support base element 14 is selected, and one comfort element 16 is selected. The selected support base element 14 is then placed atop the selected foundation 12 followed by a comfort element 16 placed atop the support base element 14 to create a complete modular bed 10 manufactured from modular components, 12, 14 and 16.

With reference now to FIG. 3, there are illustrated three different foundations, 12, 12a and 12b, which may be utilized in the practice of this invention. All of these foundations are, per se, well known in the bedding industry and consequently, have not been illustrated and described in detail herein. The first of these foundations comprises a conventional wooden frame 24 interiorly of which there is a core 26 comprising a plurality of conventional coil springs 28, insulator pad 30 covering the top and bottom surfaces of these coil springs and a non-skid fabric covering 32 covering the top insulator pad 30. Any type of springs of any desired density or height may be used inside the core 26. An upholstered fabric covering 34 covers the sides of the wooden frame 24 and extends over a portion of the top and beneath a portion of the bottom of the wooden frame 24. This upholstered covering 34 extends inwardly from the outer edge of the wooden frame 24 for a short distance as, for example, 75 millimeters, and is attached, as by sewing, to the periphery of the non-skid fabric deck 32.

The second of the plurality of foundations 18 illustrated in FIG. 3 is a conventional slatted base foundation 12a having a rectangular wooden frame 36 between the opposite sides of which extend a plurality of wooden slats 38. The top surfaces of these slats 38 are located in the top plane of the frame 36 and define the top surface of the slatted base 12a. This too is a conventional form of base or foundation for supporting a mattress and, per se, is well known to the bedding trade.

The third foundation 12b illustrated in FIG. 3 is a conventional adjustable base for supporting a mattress. This base or foundation also comprises a frame (not shown), the sides of which are encased within an upholstered covering 40. This upholstered covering 40 extends inwardly from the sides of the frame (not shown) for a short distance and is sewn or otherwise attached to a non-skid fabric decking material 44. The decking material 44 is preferably a non-woven fabric material having a non-skid material applied thereto.

While only certain different styles of bed bases or bedding foundations have been illustrated and described herein, persons skilled in this art will appreciate that any number of differing adjustable, non-adjustable bed bases may be used in the practice of this invention.

With reference now to FIG. 4, there are illustrated three different styles of support base elements, 14, 14a and 14b, which may be used in the practice of this invention. These support base elements may be likened to conventional mattresses except that they generally include no soft comfort filling materials, such as urethane foam or non-woven fabric padding, on the top of the innerspring cores.

Each of the support base elements 14, 14a, 14b includes an innerspring core assembly 50, 50a and 50b, respectively. In the illustrated embodiment, the innerspring core assembly 50 of the support base 14 comprises a plurality of interlaced knotted, or so-called, Bonnell coil springs. This spring core per se is well known in the bedding industry. The innerspring core assembly 50a of the support base 14a comprises a plurality of interlaced or interconnected unknotted coils or so-called LFK coil springs. This spring assembly per se is also well known in the trade. And the innerspring core assembly 50b of the support base 14b is comprised of a plurality of pocketed coil springs contained within fabric covering materials, as is conventional in the bedding industry. The top and bottom surfaces of the innerspring core assemblies 50 and 50a are covered by a conventional flexible sheet of insulator material 52, 52a, respectively. The innerspring core assembly 50b of the support base 14b requires no insulator sheet of flexible covering material since the springs are all contained within the fabric encasement material which completely covers all of the surfaces of the coil springs encased within the fabric pockets.

The top and bottom surfaces of the support base elements 14, 14a and 14b may be covered by a sheet of flexible decking material 54, 54a, 54b, respectively. This decking material is most commonly a sheet of non-woven fabric material having a coating applied thereto so as to prevent the support base element from sliding relative to the foundation and the comfort layer 16, 16a, 16b, 16c from sliding relative to the support base element.

The sides of each support base element 56, 56a and 56b are covered by an upholstered fabric material which wraps around the side surfaces of the support base element and extends inwardly a short distance on the top and bottom surfaces as, for example, 75 millimeters, to a point at which the upholstered covering is sewn or otherwise fixedly secured to the fabric decking 50, 54a, 54b, respectively.

As mentioned hereinabove, these support base elements differ from conventional mattresses in that they contain little or no filling material, such as urethane foam, latex or fiber filling materials between the insulator pads 52, 52a and 52b and the decking material 54.

With reference now to FIG. 5, there are illustrated four different styles or modifications of comfort elements or comfort layers. These comfort elements 16, 16a, 16b and 16c are all quilted elements encased on the top and sides and preferably, the bottom within an upholstered fabric covering 60, 60a, 60b, 60c, respectively. Alternatively, the bottom surface of the comfort element may be covered by an unupholstered covering material as, for example, a non-woven decking material, but it is preferred that the bottom surface be of the same upholstered fabric as the top and side surfaces such that the comfort element may be periodically flipped over from one side to the other when it is assembled on a bedding system.

In the illustrated embodiment, the comfort element 16 contains a so-called memory foam 62. The comfort element 16a contains a core of short pocketed coil springs 63 covered on the top and bottom surfaces by a thin ply 64 of urethane foam or fiber or a combination of the two and encased within the upholstered fabric covering 60a. The third of the four comfort elements 16b illustrated in FIG. 5 contains a latex foam core 66 contained within the upholstered fabric covering 60b. And the fourth comfort element 16c contains a standard polyurethane foam core 68 contained within the upholstered fabric covering 60c. These core materials are simply representative, though, of comfort filling materials which may be used in the comfort element or comfort layer. Additionally, each of these core materials may be complemented or supplemented by a fiber pad to add additional resilient padding material to the comfort element.

With reference now to FIG. 6, there is illustrated a merchandising floor display which may be used in the marketing of the modular bedding system 10. This display comprises a plurality of foundations 12, 12a, 12b, all of which may be the same or all of which may differ. Additionally, the display includes a plurality of roll packed support bases 14, 14a, 14b displayed in a container 70 atop a conventional fork lift-style of wooden pallet 74. Similarly, the comfort elements 16, 16a, 16b, 16c are roll packed and displayed in a retail facility in a container 72 atop a conventional fork lift-style of wooden pallet 74.

With reference to FIG. 7, there is illustrated a modular bed 10′ manufactured from a three-piece combination of a bedding foundation 12′, a support base element 14′, and a comfort element 16′. As illustrated in FIG. 9, bedding foundation 12′ may be moved or collapsed from an erected condition shown in FIG. 10 into a collapsed position shown in FIG. 9. Such a foldable box spring or foundation is disclosed in pending U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 10/842,820 and 11/423,584, which are fully incorporated by reference herein. As shown in FIG. 6, bedding foundation 12′ may be displayed and sold with any of the other bedding foundations described above.

FIG. 7 illustrates a support base element 14′ which is similar to but slightly different than the other support base elements described above. Support base element 14′ has a pair of longitudinally extending, spaced linear half zippers 74 on the upper surface 76 thereof between the upholstered covering 78 and the fabric non-skid decking material 80. Although such half zippers 74 are illustrated as being in one location they may be at any desired location and be any desired length or configuration. For example, more than two half zippers 74 may be incorporated into the support base element 14′. Any of the support base elements 14, 14a or 14b may have such half zippers incorporated therein to aid in securing and retaining one of the comfort elements to one of support base elements.

FIG. 7 illustrates a comfort element 16′ which is similar to but slightly different than the other comfort elements described above. Comfort element 16′ has a pair of longitudinally extending, spaced linear half zippers 82 on the lower surface 84 thereof. Although such half zippers 82 are illustrated as being in one location they may be at any desired location and be any desired length or configuration. For example, more than two half zippers 82 may be incorporated into the comfort element 16′. Any of the comfort elements 16, 16a, 16b or 16c may have such half zippers incorporated therein to aid in securing and retaining one of the comfort elements to one of support base elements.

FIGS. 10 and 10A illustrate the method of securing and retaining comfort element 16′ to support base 14′. The zipper halves 74 and 82 are placed next to one another and a person pulls the zipper handle 86 in the direction of arrow 88 to secure the zipper halves 74 and 82 together, just like in any other conventional zipper. If desired, any other method or device may be used for securing a selected comfort element to a selected support base element.

In order to assemble or create the three-piece combination bedding system 10 of this invention, one bedding foundation 12, 12a, 12b, which may be a fixed or adjustable foundation, is selected along with one support base 14, 14a, 14b and one comfort element 16, 16a, 16b, 16c. The one selected support base 14 is unrolled from its roll pack and placed atop the selected bedding foundation 12. Similarly, the selected comfort element 16 is unrolled and placed atop the previously unrolled support base 14. Presumably, there would be support bases and comfort elements of differing firmness and price points available in the displays 70, 72 for selection and incorporation into a bedding system having the desired firmness, softness and feel characteristics desired by a particular consumer.

In the event that after use, the consumer desires to replace either the comfort element 16 or the support base 14, either because of wear or because of a change in the desired firmness or softness characteristics, that consumer may simply remove the used comfort element or used support base and replace either or both without having to replace the foundation.

One of the primary advantages of this invention resides in the fact that it facilitates minimalization of floor space required in a retail establishment while still providing a very large inventory of possible bedding systems available for sale by that retail establishment.

While I have described only a limited number of embodiments of this invention, persons skilled in this art will appreciate the changes and modifications which may be made without departing from the spirit of this invention. Therefore, I do not intend to be limited except by the scope of the following appended claims.