Title:
CONVERTIBLE MATTRESS SYSTEM FOR HOTELS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A convertible mattress and bedding system includes first and second bed frames and first and second mattresses. At least one of the bed frames is laterally moveable relative to the other of the bed frames from a one bed configuration to a two bed configuration. Each mattress includes first and second longitudinally extending mattress halves. The first mattress half is connected to the second mattress half by a longitudinally extending hinge and is movable from a folded condition, with the first mattress half disposed above the second mattress half, to an open condition, with the first mattress half disposed laterally adjacent the second mattress half. The first mattress is disposed on the first bed frame in a folded condition and the second mattress is disposed on the second bed frame in a folded condition when the bed frames are in the two bed configuration. The first and second mattress are each disposed on the first and second bed frames in an open condition when the bed frames are in the one bed configuration.



Inventors:
Dimattia, Dino R. (Bristol, CT, US)
Lee, Yi Pei (New Britain, CT, US)
Riss, Daniel M. (Somerset, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/726654
Publication Date:
09/25/2008
Filing Date:
03/22/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C17/00
View Patent Images:
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20030079283Hammock bagMay, 2003Vann
20040200003Gelatinous cushion having economic structureOctober, 2004Kuo
20040055091Ergonomic seatMarch, 2004Sedan
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20090038071WAVE HAMMOCKFebruary, 2009Bass et al.
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Primary Examiner:
TRETTEL, MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALIX, YALE & RISTAS, LLP (HARTFORD, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A convertible mattress and bedding system comprises: first and second longitudinally extending bed frames, at least one of the bed frames being laterally moveable relative to the other of the bed frames from a one bed configuration to a two bed configuration; and first and second mattresses, each mattress including first and second longitudinally extending mattress halves, the first mattress half being connected to the second mattress half by a longitudinally extending hinge, the first mattress half of each mattress being movable from a folded condition, with the first mattress half disposed above the second mattress half, to an open condition, with the first mattress half disposed laterally adjacent the second mattress half; wherein the first mattress is disposed on the first bed frame in a folded condition and the second mattress is disposed on the second bed frame in a folded condition when the bed frames are in the two bed configuration, and the first and second mattress are each disposed on the first and second bed frames in an open condition when the bed frames are in the one bed configuration.

2. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 1 wherein each mattress includes a cover material defining the hinge between a longitudinally extending edge of the first mattress half and a longitudinally extending edge of the second mattress half.

3. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 2 wherein each of the mattress halves includes a supportive inner core, the cover material of the mattress surrounding the inner core of each mattress half.

4. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 1 wherein each bed frame includes a mattress platform to support two mattress halves.

5. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 1 further comprising a rail system, wherein each of the bed frames is connected to the rail system and is laterally moveable therealong between the one bed and two bed configurations.

6. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 5 wherein each of the bed frames also includes a headboard mounted to the rail system.

7. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 5 wherein the rail system includes a locking mechanism to selectively lock the bed frames in either the two bed configuration or the one bed configuration.

8. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 5 wherein the rail system comprises first and second rail assemblies, each of the rail assemblies including: an outer mounting bracket; an extension member slidably mounted within the outer mounting bracket whereby the extension member is laterally extendable and retractable with respect to the outer mounting bracket; and an inner mounting bracket slidably mounted within the extension member whereby the inner mounting bracket is laterally extendable and retractable with respect to the extension member; wherein the first and second bed frames are mounted to one of the outer mounting bracket or inner mounting bracket of the first and second rail assemblies, respectively, and the other of the outer mounting bracket or inner mounting bracket of the first and second rail assemblies is adapted for mounting to a wall of the room.

9. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 8 wherein each of the rail assemblies further includes a plurality of ball bearing slides disposed between the extension member and the outer mounting bracket and the inner mounting bracket; and a plurality of mechanical stop members to prevent separation of the outer and inner mounting brackets from the extension member.

10. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 1 further comprising a retaining mechanism to secure the first and second bed frames together.

11. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 10 wherein the retaining mechanism includes: a flexible metal strip extending from a first end mounted to the first bed frame to a second end defining an opening; and a pin mounted on the second bed frame, the pin being receivable in the opening of the second end of the metal strip to secure the first bed frame to the second bed frame.

12. A convertible mattress and bedding system comprises: first and second longitudinally extending bed frames; a rail system, at least one of the bed frames being connected to the rail system and being laterally moveable therealong relative to the other of the bed frames from a one bed configuration to a two bed configuration; first and second mattresses, each mattress including first and second longitudinally extending mattress halves, and a cover material defining the hinge between a longitudinally extending edge of the first mattress half and a longitudinally extending edge of the second mattress half, wherein, the first mattress half of each mattress is movable from a folded condition, with the first mattress half disposed above the second mattress half, to an open condition, with the first mattress half disposed laterally adjacent the second mattress half; wherein the first mattress is disposed on the first bed frame in a folded condition and the second mattress is disposed on the second bed frame in a folded condition when the bed frames are in the two bed configuration, and the first and second mattress are each disposed on the first and second bed frames in an open condition when the bed frames are in the one bed configuration.

13. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 12 wherein each of the bed frames also includes a headboard mounted to the rail system.

14. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 13 wherein the rail system comprises first and second rail assemblies, each of the rail assemblies including: an outer mounting bracket; an extension member slidably mounted within the outer mounting bracket whereby the extension member is laterally extendable and retractable with respect to the outer mounting bracket; and an inner mounting bracket slidably mounted within the extension member whereby the inner mounting bracket is laterally extendable and retractable with respect to the extension member; wherein the first and second bed frames are mounted to one of the outer mounting bracket or inner mounting bracket of the first and second rail assemblies, respectively, and the other of the outer mounting bracket or inner mounting bracket of the first and second rail assemblies is adapted for mounting to a wall of the room.

15. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 14 wherein the rail system includes a locking mechanism to selectively lock the bed frames in either the two bed configuration or the one bed configuration.

16. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 12 further comprising a retaining mechanism to secure the first and second bed frames together.

17. The convertible mattress and bedding system of claim 16 wherein the retaining mechanism includes: a flexible metal strip extending from a first end mounted to the first bed frame to a second end defining an opening; and a pin mounted on the second bed frame, the pin being receivable in the opening of the second end of the metal strip to secure the first bed frame to the second bed frame.

Description:

BACKGROUND

The present disclosure relates generally to a foldable mattress and convertible bed apparatus. It is more particularly concerned with a system for readily and easily providing a range of different sleeping accommodations for guests in hotels, inns, resorts and the like.

In the hotel industry it is often necessary to equip rooms with a variety of different sized beds to accommodate the preferences and numbers of guests. Large groups seeking overnight accommodations, such as sports teams or wedding parties, often require a specific room arrangement and/or a large number of beds of a particular size. Sometimes, the needs of large groups can be met through the use of portable or roll-away beds or cots. But temporary bedding has special requirements such as a smaller size and lighter frames for mobility and must be stored somewhere when not in use. Moreover, the time and personnel necessary to reconfigure rooms and set-up portable and/or roll-away bedding is substantial, which makes lodging sizeable groups costly and inefficient. However, it is not only large groups of guests that present the problem of insufficient and/or inefficient use of hotel facilities. Corporate clients desiring a room with a single king or larger sized bed must often settle for a room with two smaller-sized double beds. In this scenario, the customer is left feeling dissatisfied having paid for an extra bed that he didn't need or want.

Smaller hotel establishments face special challenges when servicing the needs of large groups. First, smaller hotels often do not have the appropriate numbers of beds in the desired configuration to service large parties. Second, smaller hotels usually lack adequate space to store a large number of roll-away beds or cots when not in use. As a result, the small hotel owner is largely unable to capitalize on the potential revenue generated by large group bookings/reservations.

Thus, there is a need for a convertible bedding system that will offer the hotel industry increased flexibility and convenience to better meet the demand for special sleeping arrangements by “large group” and other specialty niche consumers.

SUMMARY

There is provided a convertible mattress and bedding system comprising first and second bed frames and first and second mattresses. At least one of the bed frames is laterally moveable relative to the other of the bed frames from a one bed configuration to a two bed configuration. Each mattress includes first and second longitudinally extending mattress halves. The first mattress half is connected to the second mattress half by a longitudinally extending hinge and is movable from a folded condition, with the first mattress half disposed above the second mattress half, to an open condition, with the first mattress half disposed laterally adjacent the second mattress half. The first mattress is disposed on the first bed frame in a folded condition and the second mattress is disposed on the second bed frame in a folded condition when the bed frames are in the two bed configuration. The first and second mattress are each disposed on the first and second bed frames in an open condition when the bed frames are in the one bed configuration.

Each mattress includes a cover material forming the hinge between a longitudinally extending edge of the first mattress half and a longitudinally extending edge of the second mattress half. Each of the mattress halves includes a supportive inner core, with the cover material of the mattress surrounding the inner core of each mattress half.

The convertible mattress and bedding system further comprises a rail system, where each of the bed frames is connected to the rail system and is laterally moveable therealong between the one bed and two bed configurations. Each of the bed frames may also include a headboard mounted to the rail system.

The rail system comprises first and second rail assemblies, each of the rail assemblies. Each of the rail assemblies includes an outer mounting bracket. An extension member is slidably mounted within the outer mounting bracket, whereby the extension member is laterally extendable and retractable with respect to the outer mounting bracket. An inner mounting bracket is slidably mounted within the extension member, whereby the inner mounting bracket is laterally extendable and retractable with respect to the extension member. The first and second bed frames are mounted to one of the outer mounting bracket or inner mounting bracket of the first and second rail assemblies, respectively. The other of the outer mounting bracket or inner mounting bracket of the first and second rail assemblies is mounted to a wall of the room. The rail system may include a locking mechanism to selectively lock the bed frames in either the two bed configuration or the one bed configuration.

The convertible mattress and bedding system may further comprise a retaining mechanism to secure the first and second bed frames together. The retaining mechanism includes a flexible metal strip having a first end mounted to the first bed frame. A pin mounted on the second bed frame is receivable in an opening in the second end of the metal strip to secure the first bed frame to the second bed frame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present disclosure may be better understood and its numerous objects and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art by reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partly in diagrammatic form, of a first embodiment of a convertible bedding system, showing the bed frames in an extending position;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view, partly in diagrammatic form, of a second embodiment of a convertible bedding system, with the mattresses of FIG. 1 removed;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view, partly in diagrammatic form, of the first embodiment showing the bed frames in a contracted position;

FIG. 4 is a simplified, cross-sectional view of a portion of one of the mattresses, showing the mattress in a folded condition;

FIG. 5 is a simplified, cross-sectional view of a portion of one of the mattresses, showing the mattress in an unfolded condition;

FIG. 6 is a front view of the bed frames and one of the folding mattresses, depicting the first phase of the conversion of a double bed to a king bed;

FIG. 7 is a front view of the bed frames and both of the folding mattresses, depicting the second phase of the conversion of a double bed to a king bed;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged cross sectional view of a rail system; and

FIG. 9 is an enlarged perspective view of a retaining mechanism.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With reference to the drawings, wherein like numerals represent like elements throughout the various views, a convertible mattress and bedding system in accordance with the present disclosure is generally designated by the number 10. The convertible mattress and bedding system 10, 10′, shown diagrammatically in FIG. 1, generally employs two standard sized double bed frames 12, 12′ each of which have a mattress platform 14, 14′. Casters or wheels 16 are mounted on each leg 18 of the frame 12, 12′, and may or may not be lockable. As explained below, the bed frames 12, 12′ are easily moved such that the system 10, 10′ may be configured as either two double beds or one plus-sized king bed. The system 10, 10′ also includes two mattresses 20, 20′ (FIG. 2).

In a first embodiment, shown in FIG. 1, the system 10 includes headboards 24, that are connected by a rail system 22, and may also include footboards. In this embodiment, the bed frames 12, 12′ are mounted to the headboards 24. In a second embodiment 10′, shown in FIG. 2, the bed frames 12, 12′ are connected by the rail system 22. It is an aspect of the system 10, 10′ that the headboards 24 and bed frames 12, 12′ of the first embodiment 10 or the bed frames 12, 12′ of the second embodiment 10′ may be moved relative to each other along the rail system 22 and subsequently locked in place. A locking mechanism 26 of the rail system 22 engages when the rail components of the rail system 22 are in either the extended position (i.e. when the bed frames are apart, FIGS. 1 and 2) or the contracted position (i.e. when the bed frames are together, FIG. 3). It should be understood that the locking mechanism 26 helps prevent the bed frames 12, 12′ from being moved relative to one another unintentionally.

Either system 10, 10′ may also include a retaining mechanism 28 located at or near the foot of the bed frames 12, 12′. If present, the retaining mechanism 28 may be located on the footboards (not shown). The structure of the retaining mechanism 28 is explained in greater detail below.

Each mattress 20, 20′ includes two mattress halves 30, 30′ that each have an inner supportive core 32 formed from springs, foam or any such material or combination of materials known in the bedding art. The cover material 34 of the mattress 20, 20′ extends from the first mattress half 30 to the second mattress half 30′, forming a longitudinally extending hinge 36 connecting the two mattress halves 30, 30′ along one of the longitudinal edges of each mattress half 30, 30′. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, when the mattress and bedding system 10, 10′ is configured as two double beds, each mattress 20, 20′ is in a folded condition, with the first mattress half 30 disposed above the second mattress half 30′. The weight of each mattress half 30, 30′ is sufficient to maintain the mattress 20, 20′ in the folded configuration without the need for fasteners or other methods of securing the mattress halves 30, 30′ together. In the folded configuration, mattresses 20, 20′ have the appearance of a conventional box spring/mattress bedding system.

One aspect of the mattress and bedding system 10, 10′ is the formation of a plus-sized king bed by locking together two standard sized double bed frames 12, 12′. It should be understood that both the rail system 22 and the retaining mechanism 28 facilitate the conversion from two standard sized double beds to a plus-size king bed and maintain the plus-sized king configuration once the conversion is completed. The casters 16 further aid the movement of the bed frames 12, 12′ along the floor surface. Once the bed frames 12, 12′ have been secured in the plus-sized king configuration, the mattresses 20, 20′ can then be converted to plus-sized king bedding.

FIGS. 1, 6 and 7 illustrate the conversion process, e.g. the sequence of events where two standard sized double mattresses 20, 20′ are converted to plus-sized king bedding. The rail system locking mechanism 26 is unlocked and the headboards 24 and bed frames 12, 12′ of the first embodiment 10 or the bed frames 12, 12′ of the second embodiment 10′ are pushed together, with the rail components of the rail system 22 moving from the extended position to the contracted position, and the rail system locking mechanism 26 is locked. One of the mattresses 20, 20′ is removed from the associated bed frame 12, 12′ and the other mattress 2020 is unfolded such that it extends across both bed frames 12, 12′. The mattress 12, 12′ that had been removed is placed on top of the other mattress 20′, 20 and is unfolded such that it extends across both bed frames 12,12′. Preferably, at least the upper mattress 12, 12′ is positioned such that the surface having the hinge 36 is uppermost. When the plus-sized king bed configuration is completed, the two mattresses 20, 20′ give the appearance of a conventional box spring/mattress bedding system.

FIG. 8 depicts an embodiment of the rail system 22 comprising an assembly of nesting rail components that are telescopically extendable relative to each other. The rail system 22 includes outer and inner mounting brackets 38, 40, one of which is fixedly mounted to the headboard 24, 24′ in the embodiment 10 of FIG. 1 or the bed frame 12, 12′ the embodiment 10′ of FIG. 2, and the other of which is fixedly mounted to a wall 42 of the room. It should be appreciated that the outer mounting bracket 38 may be mounted to either the wall 42 or the bed frame/headboard while the inner mounting bracket 40 being mounted to the other of the headboard/bed frame or the wall 42. Between the outer and inner brackets 38, 40 is an extension member 44 which extends outwardly from within the outer bracket 38 in a telescoping manner. The inner bracket 40 is disposed within the extension member 44 and extends outwardly from the extension member 44 in a telescoping manner. Movement between the extension member 44 and the inner and outer mounting brackets 38, 40 is facilitated by ball bearing slides 46. Mechanical stop members (not shown) prevent separation of the outer and inner mounting brackets 38, 40 from the extension member 44.

One or more rail system 22 may be located at any point along the bed frame 12, 12′. Alternatively, the rail system 22 may located at one or more points of the headboard 24, 24′ that are adjacent the wall surface.

The rail system 22 allows the bed frames 12,12′ or bed frame 12,12′ and headboards 24, 24′ to be moved a pre-determined distance relative to each other. The rail system 22 may optionally include a rail locking mechanism 26 that locks the outer mounting bracket 38, the inner mounting bracket 40 and the extension member 44 of the rail system 22 in either the extended position (i.e. when the bed frames are apart, FIGS. 1 and 2) or the contracted position (i.e. when the bed frames are together, FIG. 3).

The convertible mattress and bedding system 10, 10′ may also provide for an additional retaining mechanism 28 to secure the two bed frames 12, 12′ together. In one embodiment, the retaining mechanism 28 (best seen in FIG. 9) may be located at the foot of the bed frame 12, 12′ or on the footboard. In one embodiment, the retaining mechanism 28 is a length of flexible metal including a first end 48, mounted to one of the bed frames 12, and a curled second end 50. As two bed frames 12, 12′ are pushed together, the curled second end 50 moves across the end of the second bed frame 12′ until it contacts a pin 52 mounted on the second bed frame 12′. The pin 52 biases the second end 50 away from the second bed frame 12′, allowing the pin 52 to slide along the under surface of the second end 50. When the two bed frames 12, 12′ are fully in the contracted position, the pin 52 enters an opening 54 in the second end 50, removing the biasing force and allowing the second end 50 to snap back towards the second bed frame 12′. The retaining mechanism 28 is unlatched by pulling the second end 50 away from the second bed frame 12′ until the pin 52 no longer extends into opening 54. The bed frames 12, 12′ can then be moved from the contracted position.

It should be understood that the rail system 22 and retaining mechanism 28 are not limited to two standard double bed frames 12, 12′ but are suitable for use with any size bed frame and mattress combination.

Overall, the present system 10, 10′ encompasses a mattress and bedding system that can be converted from two standard sized double beds into a plus-sized king bed and locked into place until such time when the double bed configuration is desired. According to the present disclosure, the process of converting the mattress 20, 20′ and bedding system is achieved quickly, with minimal effort, and without the need for extra equipment. Moreover, the convertible mattress and bedding system of the system can simultaneously meet the needs of niche consumers such as large groups and singles without compromising comfort or check in time. The present system offers hoteliers greater flexibility for servicing clients with very different needs and eliminates the scenario where customers pay for a room with an extra bed that will go unused.

It will be appreciated that various of the above-disclosed and other features and functions, or alternatives thereof, may be desirably combined into many other different systems or applications. Also that various presently unforeseen or unanticipated alternatives, modifications, variations or improvements therein may be subsequently made by those skilled in the art which are also intended to be encompassed by the following claims.