Title:
BED SYSTEM HAVING INFLATABLE MATTRESS AND FRAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a bed system that inflatably frames an inflatable mattress, to provide improved firmness, privacy, storage and bed-linen retention.



Inventors:
Cirjak, David Joseph (Burnaby, CA)
Application Number:
12/371758
Publication Date:
12/24/2009
Filing Date:
02/16/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C27/10
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040128768Supertech pillowJuly, 2004Chitale
20070118992Spinal supporting sleep pillowMay, 2007Carlos
20080060133DUAL-STAGE POSITIONING SYSTEMMarch, 2008Farooqui
20090015027POWERED PATIENT SUPPORT AND FASTENING SYSTEM WITH INDUCTIVE BASED POWER SYSTEMJanuary, 2009Lambarth et al.
20090013472CHANNELED MATJanuary, 2009Koffler et al.
20080104764MULTI-AIRBAG INFLATABLE PILLOWMay, 2008Chen
20060026754Loft bed and loft bed systemFebruary, 2006Ward Jr. et al.
20040250350Device for correction of sacral dysfuctions and simultaneous reduction of lumbar lordosisDecember, 2004Leonard
20020029421Viscous liquid cushionsMarch, 2002Sereboff
20090276958CUSTOMIZABLE, CONVENIENT BED UNITNovember, 2009Gururaj
20090205140Infant play environmentAugust, 2009Reese et al.



Primary Examiner:
WILSON, BRITTANY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MR. MICHAEL J. ROMAN (VANCOUVER, BC, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bed system, comprising: a) an inflatable frame defining an aperture; and b) an inflatable mattress shaped to fit within the aperture.

2. A system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the aperture circumscribes the mattress.

3. A system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the mattress fits snuggly within the aperture.

4. A system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the frame firms the mattress.

5. A system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the mattress and the aperture define between them a lateral channel adapted to receive and releasably retain an edge of a bed-linen.

6. A system as claimed in claim 5, wherein the mattress is connected to the frame.

7. A system as claimed in claim 6, wherein the mattress is connected to the frame at a plurality of connection points.

8. A system as claimed in claim 7, wherein the plurality of connection points include spot welds.

9. A system as claimed in claim 5, wherein the aperture extends only partly into the frame, thereby defining a base.

10. A system as claimed in claim 9, wherein the mattress is connected to the base.

11. A system as claimed in claim 10, wherein the mattress is connected to the frame at a plurality of connection points.

12. A system as claimed in claim 11, wherein the plurality of connection points include spot welds.

13. A system as claimed in claim 12, wherein the mattress and the base define between them a ventral channel adapted to receive and releasably retain an edge of a bed-linen.

14. A system as claimed in claim 12, wherein the base is non-inflatable.

15. A system as claimed in claim 14, wherein the base is a sheet attached to the frame.

16. A system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the interior volume of the mattress and the interior volume of the frame are connected for at least one of: a) simultaneous inflation; b) simultaneous deflation; and c) pressure distribution.

17. A system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the frame extends sufficiently above the mattress along at least one portion of the frame perimeter so as to create a privacy wall.

18. A system as claimed in claim 17, wherein the wall comprises storage pockets.

19. A system as claimed in claim 18, wherein the storage pockets recess within the wall.

20. A system as claimed in claim 18, wherein the storage pockets depend from the wall.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to inflatable beds, such as beds suitable for temporary deployment when hosting guests or visiting as guests, and compact storage in between times. More specifically, the present invention relates to inflatable mattresses supported by a frame.

2. Description of Related Art

Inflatable mattresses have become popular as a way to create temporary sleeping arrangements, while making minimal demands for storage in between uses. Many homes have one tucked away for convenient deployment when overnight visitors arrive. Additionally, travelers often pack them for camping—or for visiting, so as to be less of a burden on their hosts. In particular, an inflatable mattress is suitable for a travelling child, not only because such a mattress supports the child's light weight easily, but also because it can be reassuringly familiar as part of the child's own home when in unfamiliar surroundings.

Though useful, conventional inflatable mattresses have shortcomings. Essentially an airbag, an inflatable mattress lacks the firmness and support of a more complete bed system, one having a frame for example. However, the addition a rigid frame would tend to make the bed system more cumbersome for both storage and transport.

Another shortcoming is that such mattresses are typically deployed wherever space permits—after guestrooms are already fully occupied—for example in the middle of a family room or a living room. This deployment can provide little privacy and significant distraction. Furthermore, without a nightstand or similar furniture, the user has limited options for storing small possessions through the night, for example a watch. Such items might be placed on the floor adjacent the mattress, available for access during the night but also vulnerable to loss or damage. Alternatively, such items might be placed on furniture across the room, but thus not accessible during the night.

Another shortcoming is that bed linens used on an inflatable mattress become loose and dirty too easily. They are typically wrapped underneath the mattress and sandwiched against the floor below in order to be secured in place; however, as the bed moves, they can easily become dislodged. In the course of such movement, the linens also tend to attract dirt from the floor, or in the case of camping, from the ground.

Accordingly, what is needed is an inflatable mattress that provides for improved firmness, privacy, storage and linen-handling, while still being conveniently storable between uses.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to this need.

According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a bed system having an inflatable frame defining an aperture and an inflatable mattress shaped to fit within the aperture.

Desirably, the aperture circumscribes the mattress and the mattress fits snuggly within the aperture, such that the frame firms the mattress.

The mattress may be connected to the frame, to better keep the two together during storage and to better keep them in place during use. In this regard, the mattress may be connected to the frame at a plurality of connection points, those connection points including spot welds for example.

The aperture may extend only partly into the frame, so as to provide a base for the mattress to rest upon. The mattress may be connected to the base, for example at a plurality of connection points, including spot welds. The base may be non-inflatable, for example a simple sheet attached to the frame.

The mattress and the aperture define between them a lateral channel adapted to receive and releasably retain an edge of a bed-linen. Additionally, the mattress and the base define between them a ventral channel adapted to receive and releasably retain an edge of a bed-linen.

The interior volume of the mattress and the interior volume of the frame may be connected to exchange inflation media, for the purpose of at least one of simultaneous inflation, simultaneous deflation and pressure distribution.

The frame may extend sufficiently above the mattress along at least one portion of the frame perimeter so as to create a privacy wall. The wall might include storage pockets, for example recessed within the wall or depending from the wall.

Further aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon considering the following drawings, description, and claims.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention will be more fully illustrated by the following detailed description of non-limiting specific embodiments in conjunction with the accompanying drawing figures. In the figures, similar elements and/or features may have the same reference label. Further, various elements of the same type may be distinguished by following the reference label with a second label that distinguishes among the similar elements. If only the first reference label is identified in a particular passage of the detailed description, then that passage describes any one of the similar elements having the same first reference label irrespective of the second reference label.

1. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric top-front-right view of an embodiment of a bed system according to one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the bed system of FIG. 1, viewed from the section plane 2-2;

FIG. 3 is an exploded isometric top-front-right view of the bed system of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is an exploded isometric top-front-right view of a second embodiment of a bed system according to the invention.

2. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

(a) Structure of Specific Embodiments

The structure of the invention will now be illustrated by explanation of specific, non-limiting, exemplary embodiments shown in the drawing figures and described in greater detail herein.

FIGS. 1 through 3 show a bed system according to one embodiment of the present invention, generally illustrated at 10.

The bed system 10 includes an inflatable frame 12 having an aperture 14 and an inflatable mattress 16 shaped to fit within the aperture 14.

Desirably, the aperture 14 circumscribes the mattress 16 and the mattress 16 fits snuggly within the aperture 14, such that the frame 12 firms the mattress 16, such as by constraining lateral movement and spreading.

The mattress 16 may be connected to the frame 12, to better keep the mattress 16 and frame 12 together during storage and to better keep them in place during use. In this regard, the mattress 16 may be connected to the frame 12 at a plurality of connection points 20, those connection points 20 including spot welds 22 for example.

The mattress 16 and the aperture 14 define between them a lateral channel 18 adapted to receive and releasably retain an edge of a bed-linen.

The interior volume of the mattress 28 and the interior volume of the frame 30 may be interconnected to permit exchange of their respective inflation media, typically air. Such an interconnection 36 would permit at least one of: simultaneous inflation, simultaneous deflation and pressure redistribution, the effect depending on whether the connection was substantially unrestricted (for example implemented with an unobstructed duct), or restricted by a valve 38, either directionally (for example implemented with a check valve), or pressure-dependently (for example implemented with regulator, relief, or reducing valve).

The frame 12 may extend sufficiently above the mattress 16 along at least one portion of the perimeter of the frame 12 so as to create a privacy wall 32. The privacy wall might include storage pockets 34, for example a recessed pocket 34a recessed within the privacy wall 32 or a hanging pocket 34b depending from the privacy wall 32.

FIG. 4 shows a second embodiment of the bed system, generally illustrated at 10′, in which the aperture 14′ extends only partly into the frame 12′, so as in effect to provide a base 24′ for the mattress 16 to rest upon. The mattress 16 may be connected to the base 24′, for example at a plurality of connection points 20′, including spot welds 22′. The base 24′ may be non-inflatable, for example implemented as a flexible sheet attached to the frame 12′. The mattress 16 and the base 24′ define between them a ventral channel 26′ adapted to receive and releasably retain an edge of a bed-linen.

(b) Operation of Specific Embodiments

With reference now to FIGS. 1 to 4, the operation of these specific embodiments of the invention will now be described.

FIGS. 1 to 3 show the first embodiment of the bed system 10, in which the aperture 14 passes through the frame 12.

A user first removes the bed system 10 from storage, namely the inflatable frame 12 and the inflatable mattress 16. With the spot welds 22 connecting the frame 12 to the mattress 16 at the connection points 20, the frame 12 and the mattress 16 are conveniently together for storage, inflation and use.

The user then inflates the frame 12 and the mattress 16, typically with a manual or electric air pump of the sort conventionally used to inflate air mattresses. The frame 12 and the mattress 16 might be inflated in succession; however, with the interior volume of the frame 30 and the interior volume of the mattress 28 interconnected at the interconnection 36, the pump might be connected to just one of the frame 12 and the mattress 16 to simultaneously inflate both.

The frame 12 and the mattress 16 are inflated to the desired pressure—or their respective desired pressures in the case that the interconnection 36 includes a valve 38 or the case there is no interconnection 36. With the aperture 14 circumscribing the mattress 16 and the mattress 16 fitting snuggly within the aperture 14, the inflated frame 12 firms the inflated mattress 16.

Bed-linens may be set in place, with edges of the bed-linens conveniently tucked into the lateral channel 18 formed between the mattress 16 and the aperture 14 as desired. With the privacy wall 32 inflated above the mattress 16, the user can store small possessions in the storage pockets 34.

When the user has finished with the bed and wishes to store it again, it is a simple matter to deflate the frame 12 and the mattress 16 for compact storage. Such deflation might be conducted in succession or simultaneously, in the case that there exists an interconnection 36 between the interior volume of the frame 30 and the interior volume of the mattress 28.

FIG. 4 shows the second embodiment of the bed system 10′, in which the aperture 14′ passes only part way into the frame 12′ thereby defining a base 24′. In operation, the base 24′ supports the rest of the bed system 10′ should the user wish to move the bed system 10′ from one location to another in its inflated condition. The base 24′ also forms a ventral channel 26′ with the mattress 16, to enable bed-linens to be more deeply tucked in and to protect bed-linens from the floor.

(c) Description Summary

Thus, it will be seen from the foregoing embodiments and examples that there has been described a way to inflatably frame an inflatable mattress to provide improved firmness, privacy, storage and bed-linen retention.

While specific embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated, such embodiments should be considered illustrative of the invention only and not as limiting the invention as construed in accordance with the accompanying claims.

It will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes, modifications and substitutions can be made to the foregoing embodiments without departing from the principle and scope of the invention expressed in the claims made herein.

For example, although the frame 12 and the mattress 16 are described as being inflated with air, another medium, including another gas, liquid (e.g. water) or solid (e.g. sand), might be appropriate depending on the circumstances and desired effect. Furthermore, the frame 12 and the mattress 16 might be inflated with two different media.

Additionally, the connection points 20/20′ might be either permanent (as spot welds) or temporary (as complementary couplers, for example snaps).