Title:
APPARATUS FOR A PILLOW CONVERTIBLE TO A SOFT TOY FIGURE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus is disclosed for a pillow that converts into a highly-developed, three-dimensional toy figure that, in certain embodiments, has a life-like shape. The apparatus includes a pillow or a hollow body with one or more clasping mechanisms. When engaged, the clasping mechanisms shape the apparatus into the soft, toy figure. When disengaged, the clasping mechanisms allow the apparatus to serve as a pillow with a soft, comfortable, relatively-flat surface for sleeping. Certain embodiments of the apparatus include an internal cavity that houses an extractable blanket to provide additional bedding.



Inventors:
Smoot, Jacob C. (Kaysville, UT, US)
Smoot, Reid S. (Kaysville, UT, US)
Application Number:
11/862090
Publication Date:
07/31/2008
Filing Date:
09/26/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H33/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kunzler Bean & Adamson (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A soft pillow apparatus that converts into a toy figure, the soft pillow apparatus comprising: a pillow comprising an outer layer and an inner layer, the outer layer enclosing the inner layer; and at least one clasping mechanism attached between the two sides of the pillow, the clasping mechanism having two sides, the two sides being capable of being engaged to cinch the pillow and of being disengaged to allow the pillow to assume its natural shape, the natural shape of the pillow being configured to serve as a pillow, the cinched pillow displaying the profile of a toy figure.

2. The soft pillow apparatus of claim 1, wherein the inner layer is comprised of a cushioning material.

3. The soft pillow apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an internal cavity within the pillow, the internal cavity having an opening in one end of the pillow.

4. The soft pillow apparatus of claim 2, further comprising a closure mechanism disposed along the opening of the internal cavity, wherein the closure mechanism closes the internal cavity when the closure mechanism is engaged and the closure mechanism exposes the internal cavity when the closure mechanism is disengaged, wherein the closure mechanism is one of a zipper, a corresponding pair of hook and loop strips, snaps, buttons, and a series of eyelets and hooks.

5. The soft pillow apparatus of claim 2, further comprising a blanket attached to the pillow and configured to compress and to fit into the internal cavity, and further configured to extend from the pillow when fully spread out.

6. The soft pillow apparatus of claim 5, wherein the blanket is attached to the pillow by one of a zipper, a corresponding pair of hook and loop strips, snaps, and buttons, such that the blanket may be detached from the pillow.

7. The soft pillow apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least one extremity attached to the pillow, the extremity having a soft filling and contributing to the profile of the toy figure displayed by the cinched pillow.

8. The soft toy apparatus of claim 7, wherein at least one extremity is one of a head a tail, an arm, a leg, a wing, and a wheel.

9. The soft pillow apparatus of claim 1, wherein a first side of the two sides of the clasping mechanism is comprised of a loop and a second side of the two sides of the clasping mechanism is comprised of a strap, the strap configured to be threaded through the loop, to double back on itself, and to be connected to itself, after passing through the loop, by one of at least one hook, at least one corresponding pair of hook and loop strips, at least one buckle, at least one snap, and at least one button, so as to cinch the pillow.

10. The soft pillow apparatus of claim 1, wherein the toy figure displayed by the cinched pillow is one of an animal, a vehicle, an imaginary creature, and a doll.

11. A soft toy apparatus that converts to bedding, the soft toy apparatus comprising: a hollow body having a top layer and a bottom layer, the top layer attached to the bottom layer, thereby forming an internal cavity, the internal cavity having an opening in one end of the hollow body; a blanket attached to the hollow body and configured to compress and to fit into the internal cavity, and further configured to extend from the hollow body when fully spread out; and at least one clasping mechanism attached between the two sides of the hollow body, the clasping mechanism having two sides, the two sides being capable of being engaged to cinch the hollow body and of being disengaged to allow the hollow body to assume its natural shape, the natural shape of the hollow body being configured to serve as a pillow, the cinched hollow body displaying the profile of a toy figure.

12. The soft toy apparatus of claim 11, wherein the hollow body also has a layer of soft filling between at least one of the top layer and the bottom layer and the internal cavity.

13. The soft toy apparatus of claim 11, further comprising a closure mechanism disposed along the opening of the internal cavity, wherein the closure mechanism closes the internal cavity when the closure mechanism is engaged and the closure mechanism exposes the internal cavity when the closure mechanism is disengaged and wherein the closure mechanism is one of a zipper, a corresponding pair of hook and loop strips, snaps, buttons, and a series of eyelets and hooks.

14. The soft toy apparatus of claim 11, wherein the blanket is attached to the hallow body by one of a zipper, a corresponding pair of hook and loop strips, snaps, and buttons, such that the blanket may be detached from the hallow body.

15. The soft toy apparatus of claim 11, further comprising at least one extremity attached to the hollow body, the extremity having a soft filling and contributing to the profile of the toy figure displayed by the cinched hallow body.

16. The soft toy apparatus of claim 15, wherein at least one extremity is one of a head a tail, an arm, a leg, a wing, and a wheel.

17. The soft toy apparatus of claim 11, wherein a first side of the two sides of the clasping mechanism is comprised of a loop and a second side of the two sides of the clasping mechanism is comprised of a strap, the strap configured to be threaded through the loop, to double back on itself, and to be connected to itself, after passing through the loop, by one of at least one hook, at least one corresponding pair of hook and loop strips, at least one buckle, at least one snap, and at least one button, so as to cinch the hollow body.

18. The soft toy apparatus of claim 11, wherein the toy figure displayed by the cinched hollow body is one of an animal, a vehicle, an imaginary creature, and a doll.

19. A soft pillow apparatus that converts to a toy figure, the soft pillow apparatus comprising: a pillow comprising an outer layer and an inner layer, the outer layer enclosing the inner layer; an internal cavity within the pillow, the internal cavity having an opening in one end of the pillow, the opening having a closure mechanism that is engaged to close the internal cavity and is released to expose the internal cavity, the closure mechanism being one of a zipper, a corresponding pair of hook and loop strips, snaps, buttons, and a series of eyelets and hooks. a blanket attached to the pillow and configured to compress and to fit into the internal cavity, and further configured to extend from the pillow when fully unfurled; at least one clasping mechanism attached between the two sides of the pillow, the clasping mechanism having two sides, the two sides being capable of being engaged to cinch the pillow and of being disengaged to allow the pillow to assume its natural shape, the natural shape of the pillow being configured to serve as a pillow, the cinched pillow displaying the profile of a toy figure; and at least one extremity attached to the pillow, the extremity having a soft filling, being one of a head, a tail, an arm, a leg, a wing, and a wheel, and contributing to the profile of the toy figure displayed by the cinched pillow.

20. The soft pillow apparatus of claim 19, wherein the inner layer is comprised of a cushioning material.

21. The soft pillow apparatus of claim 19, wherein the blanket is attached to the pillow by one of a zipper, a corresponding pair of hook and loop strips, snaps, and buttons, such that the blanket may be detached from the pillow.

22. The soft pillow apparatus of claim 19, wherein a first side of the two sides of the clasping mechanism is comprised of a loop and a second side of the two sides of the clasping mechanism is comprised of a strap, the strap configured to be threaded through the loop, to double back on itself, and to be connected to itself, after passing through the loop, by one of at least one hook, at least one corresponding pair of hook and loop strips, at least one buckle, at least one snap, and at least one button, so as to cinch the pillow.

23. The soft pillow apparatus of claim 19, wherein the toy figure displayed by the cinched pillow is one of an animal, a vehicle, an imaginary creature, and a doll.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/886,628, entitled “APPARATUS FOR A SOFT TOY CONVERTIBLE TO BEDDING” and filed on Feb. 8, 2007 for Jacob C. Smoot and Reid S. Smoot, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a pillow that can be shaped into a toy figure and more particularly relates to a pillow that can be shaped into a toy figure that may also internally store a blanket that may be extracted to serve as bedding.

2. Description of the Related Art

Although children are known to fall asleep almost anywhere, putting a child down for a nap, or for bed, can be challenging. Often a child requires a favorite stuffed animal and a favorite blanket, in addition to a pillow. Whether travelling a great distance, stopping for a visit with family and friends, or simply staying at home, accommodating a child's particular needs for sleeping aides can be a cumbersome burden.

Packing and unpacking multiple sleeping accoutrements is a burden, to say nothing of keeping track of them, even around the house. Should a particularly favorite stuffed toy, blanket, or pillow be left behind or lost, large investments of emotion, time, and some money may be required to help the child overcome the loss and return to his normal sleeping pattern.

Attempts have been made to overcome the problems created by children's proclivity to multiply their sleeping aids. Inventors have proposed pillows with extractable blankets, stuffed toys with extractable blankets, or even a combination of all three. However, inventions that combine the functionalities of a stuffed toy and a pillow fall into one of two categories, each with its particular problems.

Inventions that combine the functionalities of stuffed toy and pillow invariably make a pillow double as a stuffed toy or a stuffed toy double as a pillow. Inventions that make the pillow double as a stuffed toy do not offer much of a stuffed toy. Pillows doubling as stuffed toys are rather two-dimensional objects that lack the three-dimensional shaping that stimulates a child's imagination and curiosity. They also lack the three-dimensional shaping that makes a toy life-like and capable of inspiring the emotional attachment necessary to make a good sleep aid.

Inventions that make stuffed toys double as pillows have a high degree of three-dimensional shaping, but acquire that shaping at a cost to softness, becoming rigid and inflexible. These three-dimensional pillows are rather lumpy and hard. They do not make good pillows.

Furthermore, previous inventions including a stowable blanket exacerbate the comfort issue by including a zipper to insure that a blanket stowed in a stuffed toy or pillow remains in the body hosing the blanket. A zipper or other closing mechanism helps to keep track of the blanket and to insure that the blanket does not become lost. However, previous inventions place the zipper in the middle of the body housing the blanket, rather than along a corner or edge of the body housing the blanket. A zipper in the middle of the body housing the blanket experiences much greater stresses and strains than it would along a corner or an edge, causing the zipper to break or to wear out early. Furthermore, a zipper across the face of the body housing the blanket—as opposed to along a corner or edge—can become an uncomfortable annoyance when that body is used as a pillow.

Future attempts to address children's bedding require an apparatus that can overcome the problems of unshapely stuffed toys and hard and lumpy pillows with annoyingly placed and easily compromised zippers. Furthermore, an apparatus that will solve the problems of children's bedding must be attractive and durable. To be attractive as bedding, the apparatus must provide a soft and comfortable pillow. However, the stuffed toy of the apparatus must also be shapely and life-like in three dimensions to inspire the affection and attachment necessary to endure the apparatus to a child as a sleeping aid.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

From the foregoing discussion, it should be apparent that a need exists for an apparatus that can serve as a pillow, a stuffed toy, and possibly a blanket, where the pillow is soft and comfortable and the stuffed toy is shapely and life-like in three dimensions. Beneficially, such an apparatus would include a means for shaping the stuffed toy that would not compromise the softness of the pillow and may include a zipper discreetly disposed along a corner or edge of the apparatus to insure that a blanket stowed in the apparatus would remain in the apparatus.

The present invention has been developed in response to the present state of the art and, in particular, in response to the problems and needs in the art that have not yet been fully solved by currently available attempts to provide children with a pillow, a stuffed toy, and possibly a blanket in a single apparatus that result in uncomfortable pillows or unshapely stuffed toys. Accordingly, the present invention has been developed to provide an apparatus for a soft and comfortable pillow, possibly with an extractable blanket, that converts into a soft and shapely toy figure, thereby overcoming many or all of the above-discussed shortcomings in the art.

The apparatus to convert a pillow to a soft toy figure is provided with a pillow and at least one clasping mechanism. The pillow has a layer of cushioning material. The two sides of the clasping mechanism are attached between two sides of the pillow. When the two sides of the clasping mechanism are disengaged, the pillow assumes its natural shape and serves as a pillow. However, when the clasping mechanism is engaged, it shapes the pillow by cinching its layer of cushioning material. In certain embodiments, multiple clasping mechanisms are used to further shape the pillow. The clasping mechanism or clasping mechanisms, thereby, shape the pillow into the shape of a soft toy figure. The toy figure may be an animal, a vehicle, an imaginary creature, a doll, or other figure recognizable by a child.

In certain embodiments, the apparatus may also include an internal cavity within a hollow body or pillow. The internal cavity may have an opening in one end of the pillow or hollow body. A blanket may be attached to the pillow or the hollow body. The blanket may either stow in the internal cavity or be extracted to be used as bedding material. Certain embodiments may also include an extremity or extremities attached to the pillow or the hollow body with a soft filling. The extremities contribute to the profile of the soft toy figure and may include a head, a tail, an arm, a leg, a wing, or a wheel.

In certain embodiments, the apparatus may also include a closure mechanism along one edge of the apparatus to insure that a stowed blanket remain inside the apparatus. Certain embodiments may also include a mechanism for attaching and detaching the blanket form the apparatus. These mechanisms may include zippers, corresponding pairs of hook and loop strips, snaps, buttons, and series of eyelets and hooks, or by other suitable mechanisms known to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art in light of this disclosure.

The two sides of the closure mechanism(s) of the apparatus may be formed with a first side constituting a loop and a second side constituting a strap. In such embodiments, the strap is configured to be threaded through the loop and to double back on itself, so as to cinch the pillow or the hollow body. In the engaged position, the strap is connected to itself, after passing through the loop. The strap may be connected to itself hooks, corresponding pairs of hook and loop strips, snaps, and buttons, or by other suitable mechanisms known to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art in light of this disclosure.

Reference throughout this specification to features, advantages, or similar language does not imply that all of the features and advantages that may be realized with the present invention should be or are in any single embodiment of the invention. Rather, language referring to the features and advantages is understood to mean that a specific feature, advantage, or characteristic described in connection with an embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, discussion of the features and advantages, and similar language, throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, refer to the same embodiment.

Furthermore, the described features, advantages, and characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that the invention may be practiced without one or more of the specific features or advantages of a particular embodiment. In other instances, additional features and advantages may be recognized in certain embodiments that may not be present in all embodiments of the invention.

These features and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order that the advantages of the present invention will be readily understood, a description of the invention will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments that are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a soft pillow in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the underside of a pillow with engaged clasping mechanisms in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a soft toy figure in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a front, top-perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention with a blanket extracted from an internal cavity of the embodiment; and

FIG. 5 is a rear, bottom-perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention with a closure mechanism, a blanket, and an attachment mechanism.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment,” “in an embodiment,” and similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, all refer to the same embodiment.

Furthermore, the described features, structures, or characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. In the following description, numerous specific details are provided to give a thorough understanding of embodiments of the invention. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize, however, that the invention may be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other methods, components, materials, and so forth. In other instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of the invention.

Those of skill in the art will recognize that suitable materials are not limited to those described. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the manufacturing material, toy shape, and many other factors will cause the actual dimensions of the soft toy and blanket dimensions to vary. In addition, the apparent dimensions herein are provided only to clearly illustrate the invention and should not be construed as limiting the invention in any way.

FIG. 1 depicts one embodiment of a soft pillow apparatus 100 in accordance with the present invention. The pillow apparatus 100 may have an outer layer enclosing a cushion. The pillow apparatus 100 may be a hollow body with an internal cavity as discussed below. Although the pillow may have a cut resembling an animal, a vehicle, an imaginary creature, a doll, or the like, the pillow's shape provides a comfortable, relatively-flat surface for sleeping.

The pillow apparatus 100 may include extremities 102a, 102b, 102c, 102d, 102e, 102f. The extremities 102a, 102b, 102c, 102d, 102e, 102f may include a head 102a, arms, legs 102b, 102c, 102e, 102f, a tail 102d, wheels, wings, and other appendages, depending on the embodiment. The pillow apparatus 100 includes at least one clasping mechanism 104a, 104b. The clasping mechanism 104n may be formed with one or more corresponding pair(s) of hook and loop strips, buckle(s), hook(s), snap(s), button(s), zipper(s) or any other such mechanisms readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art in light of this disclosure.

The clasping mechanism(s) 104a, 104b can be engaged or disengaged. When the clasping mechanism(s) 104a, 104b are disengaged, the soft pillow apparatus 100 assumes its natural shape to provide a soft and comfortable head rest and surface for sleeping. When the clasping mechanisms 104a, 104b are engaged, however, they cinch the soft pillow apparatus 100, shaping the soft pillow apparatus 100 to form a three-dimensional, soft, toy figure.

FIG. 2 depicts one embodiment of the underside of a pillow apparatus 200 with engaged clasping mechanisms 204a, 204b in accordance with the present invention. The pillow apparatus may have extremities 202a, 202b, 202c, 202d, 202e, 202f. The extremities 202a, 202b, 202c, 202d, 202e, 202f may include a head 202a, arms, legs 202b, 202c, 202e, 202f, a tail 202d, wheels, wings, and other appendages, depending on the embodiment.

The clasping mechanisms 204a, 204b, may each be provided with a loop 206a, 206b and a strap 208a, 208b. Each loop 206n is attached to a side of the pillow apparatus 200 opposite the side to which the strap 208n is attached. Furthermore, each loop 206n has an opening 210n large enough for its corresponding strap 208n to pass through the loop 206n and double back on the corresponding strap 208n. Alternatively, each clasping mechanism 204n may be formed with one or more corresponding pair(s) of hook and loop strips, buckle(s), hook(s), snap(s), button(s), zipper(s) or any other such mechanisms readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art in light of this disclosure.

When a clasping mechanism 204n is engaged, the corresponding strap 208n is pulled tight, thereby, cinching and rounding the pillow apparatus 200. The fully cinched and rounded pillow apparatus 200, whether by one clasping mechanism 204n or multiple clasping mechanisms 204a-204n, takes on a three-dimensional and, in certain embodiments, a life-like shape, as depicted in FIG. 3. When all of the clasping mechanisms 204a-204n are fully disengaged, the pillow apparatus 200 takes on a shape configured to serve as a pillow, with a comfortable, relatively-flat surface for sleeping. Therefore, clasping mechanisms 204a-204n provide a means for creating a highly-developed, three-dimensional figure, and in some embodiments, a life-like figure, without sacrificing softness and comfort when, the pillow apparatus 200 is configured to serve as a pillow.

Once the clasping mechanism 204n is engaged, the strap 208n is attached to itself by a locking mechanism 212n. The locking mechanism 212n may be formed with one or more corresponding pair(s) of hook and loop strips—as depicted in FIG. 2—buckle(s), hook(s), snap(s), button(s), or any other such mechanisms readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art in light of this disclosure. The soft toy figure formed by the engaged clasping mechanism(s) 204a, 204b may depict an animal, a vehicle, an imaginary creature, a doll, or any other figure easily recognizable by a child.

The pillow apparatus 200 may be a hollow body, with a top layer 214, a bottom layer 216, and a layer of soft filling material 218 in between the top layer 214 and the bottom layer 216. The bottom layer 216 circumscribes an internal cavity 220. The internal cavity 220 has an opening 222 disposed along one end of the hollow body. In certain embodiments, the internal cavity 220 houses an extractable blanket more fully discussed below.

FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of one embodiment of a soft toy FIG. 300 in accordance with the present invention. One or more clasping mechanism(s) substantially similar to those discussed with reference to FIG. 1, FIG. 2, and FIG. 4 provide the soft toy FIG. 300 with its highly-developed, three-dimensional shape and, in certain embodiments—such as the embodiment depicted in FIG. 3—a life-like shape. As depicted in FIG. 3, the soft toy FIG. 300 may have one or more extremities 302a, 302b, 302c, 302e, 302f, which contribute to the overall shape and profile of the soft toy FIG. 300. The extremities 302a, 302b, 302c, 302e, 302f may include a head 302a, arms, legs 302b, 302c, 302e, 302f, a tail, wheels, wings, and other appendages, depending on the embodiment. As a result of the extremities 302a, 302b, 302c, 302e, 302f and the shaping, the soft toy FIG. 300 may depict an animal, a vehicle, an imaginary creature, a doll, or any other figure easily recognizable by a child.

FIG. 4 depicts a front, top-perspective view of a bedding apparatus 400 with a blanket 410 extracted from an internal cavity, where the bedding apparatus 400 is in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 4 depicts an embodiment with extremities 402a, 402b, 402c, 402d, 402e, 402f, where one of the extremities is a head 402a, four of the extremities are legs 402b, 402c, 402e, 402f, and one of the extremities is a tail 402d. FIG. 4 also depicts multiple clasping mechanisms 404a, 404b.

The bedding apparatus 400 of FIG. 4 is provided with a blanket 410. The blanket 410 is attached to the bedding apparatus 400. Furthermore, the blanket may be folded, and/or rolled, and/or stuffed so that it may be stowed in the bedding apparatus 400. In FIG. 4, the blanket 410 is depicted fully extracted from the bedding apparatus 400.

In certain embodiments, the head 402a is filled with a soft material or filling. In such embodiments, the head 402a can serve as a mini-pillow to provide cushioning in addition to the cushioning remaining in the hollow body/pillow once the blanket 410 has been extracted. In one such embodiment, for example, the head 402a is filled with micro-beads. Furthermore, in certain embodiments, the clasping mechanisms 404a, 404b may be engaged once the blanket 410 has been extracted to round and shape the bedding apparatus 400 into a soft pillow, as opposed to a soft toy figure.

FIG. 5 depicts a rear, bottom-perspective view of a bedding apparatus 500 with a closure mechanism 522, a blanket 510, and an attachment mechanism 526, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5 depicts extremities 502c, 502e in the form of legs attached to the bedding apparatus 500. FIG. 5 also depicts a clasping mechanism 504 in the engaged position with a corresponding loop 506 and a corresponding strap 508.

The bedding apparatus 500 is provided with a blanket 510. The bedding apparatus 500 has an internal cavity 520 with an opening 522 at one end of the bedding apparatus 500. Around the perimeter of the opening 522 is a closure mechanism 524. The closure mechanism 224 may be formed with a zipper, as depicted in FIG. 5, a corresponding pair of hook and loop strips, snaps, buttons, a series of eyelets and hooks, or any other such mechanisms readily apparent to one skilled in the relevant art. When the blanket 510 is folded, and/or rolled, and/or stuffed into the internal cavity 520 of the bedding apparatus, the closure mechanism 524 prevents the blanket 510 from working its way outside of the internal cavity 520.

When the blanket 510 is extracted from the internal cavity 520, the blanket 510 remains attached to the bedding apparatus 500 by an attachment mechanism 526. The attachment mechanism 526 keeps the blanket 510 attached to the bedding apparatus 500 when the attachment mechanism 526 is engaged. When the attachment mechanism 526 is disengaged, the blanket 510 is no longer attached to the bedding apparatus 500 and may be removed. In embodiments without an attachment mechanism 526, the blanket 510 is permanently attached to the bedding apparatus 500 and cannot be removed. The attachment mechanism 526 may be formed with a zipper, as depicted in FIG. 5, a corresponding pair of hook and loop strips, snaps, buttons, and other mechanisms that will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art in light of this disclosure.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.