Title:
Modular Foundation for a Mattress
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bedding foundation for ensuring lightweight and easy delivery, and assembly. The foundation comprises modular components which are easily produced and assembled. The foundation consists of multiple joints, which are connected by a series of rods running parallel and/or perpendicular to one another. The foundation may be elevated by a series of plastic leg supports or casters. The foundation may be covered along its top side by a panel and/or surrounded on one or more sides by a fabric cover.



Inventors:
Salermo, Erick (San Antonio, TX, US)
Application Number:
14/990266
Publication Date:
07/14/2016
Filing Date:
01/07/2016
Assignee:
SALERMO ERICK
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C19/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CUOMO, PETER M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gunn, Lee & Cave, P.C. (San Antonio, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A bedding foundation comprising: a. a first corner piece connected to a second corner piece; b. said first corner piece connected to a first interlocking piece; c. said first interlocking piece connected to a second interlocking piece; d. said second corner piece connected to said second interlocking piece; e. said first interlocking piece connected to a third interlocking piece; f. said third interlocking piece connected to a fourth interlocking piece; g. said second interlocking piece connected to said fourth interlocking piece; h. said third interlocking piece connected to a third corner piece; i. said third corner piece connected to a fourth corner piece; and j. said fourth interlocking piece connected to said fourth corner piece.

2. The bedding foundation of claim 1, wherein a fabric piece covers one or more sides of the bedding foundation.

3. A foundation comprising: a. an upper matrix comprising a first plurality of joints connected by a first series of connecting rods; b. a lower matrix comprising a second plurality of joints connected by a second series of connecting rods; c. the second plurality of joints being equal in quantity to the first plurality of joints; d. each joint from the second plurality of joints corresponding to a joint from the first plurality of joints; and e. each joint from the second plurality of joints connected to the corresponding joint from the first plurality of joints by a column.

4. The foundation of claim 3 further comprising: a. a plurality of casters, each of said casters connected to a joint from the second plurality of joints.

5. The foundation of claim 3 further comprising: a. a cover unit positioned above the upper matrix.

6. The foundation of claim 4 wherein: a. the cover unit comprises one or more segments.

7. The foundation of claim 5 wherein: a. the one or more segments of the cover unit are either stackable or foldable.

8. The foundation of claim 3 wherein: a. one or more of the first series of connecting rods are H-track at least in part; and b. one or more of the second series of connecting rods are H-track at least in part.

9. A foundation joint comprising a hexagonal prism.

10. The foundation joint of claim 9 wherein the hexagonal prism has one or more orifices.

11. The foundation joint of claim 10 wherein at least one of the one or more orifices can receive an H-track.

12. The foundation joint of claim 9 wherein the hexagonal prism is a right prism.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 62/100,975 filed Jan. 8, 2015 and entitled Modular Foundation for a Mattress, which is incorporated by reference herein.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to box frames and mattress foundations.

2. Description of the Related Art

Conventional bedding systems consist of a mattress, a foundation or box spring, and a metal frame or platform. Various sizes are commercially available (e.g., king, queen, full, twin, twin XL). For illustration, a king size bedding system is the size of two twin XL systems side-by-side. Related to this comparison, most king size box springs must be split for shipping and delivery. Not surprisingly, shipping and delivery greatly impacts costs associated with bedding systems. Shipping and delivery are critical considerations to the present invention. Additionally, users often complain about the noise associated with conventional mattress boxes.

A mattress is usually supported by a box spring or foundation, and further elevated by a metal frame. Typically, a box spring is made out of metal and wood whereas a foundation is made entirely out of wood. Both box springs and foundations have evolved through the years and are available in a variety of configurations. Prior configurations, however, have been clunky, heavy, and expensive. The present invention solves these problems.

Since the introduction of foam mattresses (e.g., memory foam, latex, gel-infused, air number), which can be compressed and packaged into small boxes, companies have been selling and shipping foam mattresses via FedEx®, UPS®, and other couriers with greater ease. Box springs and foundations, however, failed to advance, and remain difficult to ship. As alluded to, shipping mattress foundations and box springs is cost prohibitive.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a mattress foundation that can be disassembled and packaged into a small box and shipped efficiently. Certain embodiments include leg supports, which further eliminate the need for a metal frame. By using plastic connector pieces, and a series of lightweight rods, the present invention is easy to produce, transport, and assemble. Additionally, and in most embodiments, it is easy to convert between sizes by changing some of the components.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top, right, and rear side isometric view of a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a bottom, right, and front side isometric view thereof.

FIG. 3 is a top, left, and rear side isometric view of a combination of components of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of some of the components depicted in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the combination of components depicted in FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a right plan view of the combination of components depicted in FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a segment of a connecting bar of the invention.

FIG. 8 is perspective view of a segment of a connecting bar of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following is a description of the preferred embodiments of a mattress foundation that can be easily assembled/disassembled, packaged and/or otherwise transported.

FIG. 1 illustrates a box frame 20 generally having a series of joints connected by rods and columns supported by caster wheels and covered by a cover. More specifically, the box frame 20 of FIG. 1 comprises pairs of joints 22, which are oriented either upwardly and downwardly. Each joint 22 oriented upwardly is connected to a joint 22 oriented downwardly by a column 26.

FIG. 1 further illustrates a variety of metal rods connecting the joints 22. For instance, some of the joints are connected by corner connecting rods 28. Other joints are connected by long cross rods 30, short cross rods 32, or side rods 34.

Where a first upward joint 22 is connected to a second upward joint 22 by a particular connecting rod 28, 30, 32, 34, a first downward joint 22 (connected to the first upward joint 22 via a first column 26) is connected to a second downward joint (connected to the second upward joint 22 via a second column 26) by the same type of connecting rod. For example, where a first upward joint 22 is connected to a second upward joint 22 by a first corner connecting rod 28, the first lower joint 22 is connected to the second lower joint 22 by a second corner connecting rod 28.

FIG. 1 further illustrates casters 36 connected to each of the joints 22 oriented downwardly. Some embodiments will include casters for easy movement of the box frame. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 also includes a cover 38 positioned above and generally flush with the top of the upper joints 22 and the series of connecting rods 28, 30, 32, 34 that connect the upward joints 22. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the cover 38 comprises nine similar panels that are secured to one another. The cover unit may be constructed from a number of materials including plastic and/or cardboard. The cover unit may also be constructed of fabric and held in place by rods or other means. For shipment and transit, the cover unit is ideally collapsible, foldable, stackable or otherwise easy to transport. These characteristics should not be construed as limiting, however.

FIG. 2 illustrates a different perspective of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1. Although FIG. 2 does not expressly illustrate unique elements that were not otherwise depicted in FIG. 1, FIG. 2 generally illustrates the complete network of nine pairs of joints 22 and the series of connecting rods and columns between the joints. An observer will recognize, however, that FIG. 2 illustrates that eight of the nine pairs of joints 22 mirror one another, and that the two center joints paired at the center of the box frame are generally mirrored but perpendicular to one another—in this particular embodiment.

FIG. 3 illustrates some of the attributes of a joints 22 paired and connected by a column 26. Each of the joints 22 illustrated in FIG. 3 are hexagonal prisms (eight faces). Each joint 22 comprises an external face 50, an internal face 52 (not shown in FIG. 3) opposite the external face 50, two H-faces (not shown in FIG. 3), a column face 56 (not shown in FIG. 3), a long rectangular face 58 (not shown in FIG. 3), and two short rectangular faces 60 (not shown in FIG. 3). In addition to its eight faces, each joint 22 further comprises two rounded triangular orifices 62, two ovular orifices 64, and a rectangular orifice 66. By including the rounded triangular orifices 62 and ovular orifices 64, the user is able to reduce the weight of each joint—while maintaining structural integrity—and, therefore, the weight of the overall box frame 20. Each joint 22 comprises a big bolt hole 68 (not shown) that runs from the long rectangular face 58 into the rectangular orifice 66. The big bolt hole 68 allows for a big bolt 70 to be threaded into the joint 22 and in some instances through one or more connecting rods, as discussed below.

As illustrated, the column 26 passes from the rectangular orifice 66 of a first joint 22 through the column hole 76 (not shown in FIG. 3) of the column face 56 through the column hole 76 of the column face 56 of the paired joint 22 and into the second rectangular orifice 66. The column 26 maintains appropriate vertical separation between the paired joints 22 and reduces lateral shifting between the upper tier of joints and the lower tier of joints.

Each joint 22 also comprises small bolts and nuts 72 that pass through small bolts and nut holes 74 (not shown in FIG. 3). The small bolts and nuts 72 are useful for securing the connecting rods that pass through the H-track orifices 78 (not shown in FIG. 3) and into the joint 22. One who is skilled in the art will recognize that small bolts and nuts 72 are not exactly expressly necessary as other means for securing the connecting rods in place may suffice.

It should be further noted from FIG. 3 that the space created within the rectangular orifice 66 in between the column 26 and big bolt 70, a gap resembling an H-prism exists. The gapped H-prism allows for additional connecting rods to extend perpendicularly into and/or through the joint 22.

FIG. 4 illustrates a different perspective of one of the joints 22. FIG. 4 illustrates some of the attributes previously discussed, but not otherwise illustrated from FIG. 3. For instance, FIG. 4 illustrates one of the H-faces 54, the column face 56, both of the short rectangular faces 60, as well as the column hole 76 and one the H-track orifices 78. FIG. 4 does not illustrate a column or any connecting rods passing through the joint 22.

FIG. 5 illustrates a top plan perspective of a joint 22. The perspective illustrated in FIG. 5 reflects the long rectangular face 58 as well as the big bolt 70 as it rests in the big bolt hole 68 (not shown in FIG. 5).

FIG. 6 illustrates the paired joints 22 previously illustrated in FIG. 3, but from a different perspective. FIG. 6, in particular, illustrates the joints generally from the perspective of one of the sides of H-faces 54 and short rectangular face 60. FIG. 6 illustrates the small bolts and nuts 72 as they pass through the small bolts and nuts hole 74 as well as the H-track orifices 78.

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate two ends for potential connecting rods. More specifically, FIG. 7 illustrates one end of a connecting rod. The connecting rod is an H-track, shaped so that it will fit through an H-track orifice 78 of a joint 22. The end portion of this particular connecting rod comprises two eye holes 80 which align with the small bolts and nut holes 74 of a joint 22 when the connecting rod is correctly positioned. Once positioned, small bolts and nuts 72 pass through the small bolts and nut holes 74 and through the eye holes 80. The small bolts and nuts 72 generally secure the connecting rod to the joint 22.

FIG. 8 illustrates an alternative end of a connecting rod. The connecting rod is an H-track, shaped so that it will fit through a rectangular orifice 66 of a joint 22 that is oriented perpendicularly to the connecting rod. The end portion of this particular connecting rod comprises an H-track column hole 82 which aligns with the big bolt hole 68 of a joint 22 when the connecting rod is correctly positioned. Once positioned, a big bolt 70 passes through the big bolt hole 68 and through the H-track column hole 82. The big bolt 70 generally secures the connecting rod to the joint 22.

In alternative embodiments, the present invention consists of centerpieces, interlocking pieces and corner pieces that are connected by a series of rods to form a generally rectangular shaped foundation. These characteristics should not be construed as limiting, however. In certain embodiments, the foundation may include leg supports and/or a fabric cover. Further embodiments share similar attributes but differ in others. In the embodiments discussed below, a queen and full size foundations consist of the same number of corners, interlocks, and center support pieces: four, six, and two, respectively. Twin and twin XL sizes as illustrated below, on the other hand, generally consist of four corners, four interlocking pieces, and no center pieces. To further distinguish the embodiments described below, the queen and full size systems consist of thirty-four rods, whereas the twin and twin XL sizes consist of twenty rods. Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that these numbers may be adjusted and include more or less rods and more or less connecting pieces. And of course, certain embodiments may exist so as to make available king and other size bedding systems.

The two embodiments discussed here may be described from the perspective of the top view and bottoms views, which are generally symmetrical to one another. For convenience, two pieces may be said to be “connected” when those pieces are connected by a top rod and bottom rod—the top rod and bottom rod running parallel to one another.

Certain embodiments consist of four corners, six interlocking pieces, and two center pieces. These plastic pieces connect a grid-like series of rods. Each plastic piece, be it corner, interlocking, or center, runs vertically upright in generally uniform height from the bottom of the foundation to the top of the foundation. Each of the four plastic corner pieces is connected, at 90°, to the two interlocking pieces adjacent the particular corner piece. Accordingly, and in this particular embodiment of the invention, each plastic corner piece receives four rods.

This particular embodiment may be further characterized as having a shorter side and a longer side. On either shorter side of the foundation, two corner pieces are separated by an interlocking piece. Each of those two corner pieces is connected to the interlocking piece on opposite sides. Also, each of said interlocking pieces connects to a center piece at 90° from either corner piece. As for either longer side of the foundation, there are two corner pieces separated by two interlocking pieces. That arrangement of pieces may be characterized as a straight line comprising corner piece-interlocking piece-interlocking piece-corner piece. Each of the two longer side interlocking pieces connects to a corresponding center piece. Said corresponding centerpiece connects to an opposite longer side interlocking piece. The two centerpieces of this embodiment are connected to one another. Thus, each centerpiece connects to two longer side interlocking pieces which are on opposite longer sides; a shorter side interlocking piece opposite; and the other center piece opposite said shorter side interlocking piece.

In an alternative embodiment, the foundation consists of four plastic corner pieces and four interlocking pieces all of which are connected by rods. This particular embodiment, which has no center pieces, may be characterized as having a shorter side and a longer side. Along the shorter side of the invention, the invention comprises two corner pieces connected to one another. On the longer sides of the foundation, two corner pieces are separated by two interlocking pieces. The longer side may be characterized as having a sequence of corner piece-interlocking piece-interlocking piece-corner piece. In addition to connections with the adjacent corner and interlocking pieces, each interlocking piece is connected to an additional interlocking piece on the immediately opposite interlocking piece on the other longer side of the foundation.

Although the present invention may be constructed in various forms and with various pieces, certain preferred embodiments will share some or all of the following similar pieces. These pieces, as described below, should not be considered limiting, but merely illustrative. Those of skill in the art will recognize these pieces may be constructed and combined in a various other combinations and/or configurations.

Center Piece: The center piece has a bottom end that is generally identical to a top end. Each of these two ends may receive four rods. Rods are received and securely fastened along the top and bottom sides of the center piece at alternating 90° angles—forming a cross when viewed from above or below. Certain embodiments of the center piece (corner pieces, or interlocking pieces, as well) include a locking mechanism (e.g., pull apart ball bearing release) for securing the rods in place. Each center piece runs from the bottom of the foundation to the top of the foundation. Also, the receiving portions of the center pieces have a gothic like curvature for ensuring additional structural integrity.

Corner Piece: The corner piece has a bottom end that is generally identical to a top end. Each of these two ends may receive two rods. Each corner piece receives rods running perpendicular to one another when viewed from above and below. In preferred embodiments the corner pieces are curved so as to avoid jagged or sharp edges. Also, the receiving portions of the corner pieces have a gothic like curvature for ensuring additional structural integrity. Additionally, in preferred embodiments of the invention, the corner piece is flat on its top and bottom sides. That is, the bottom and top sides of the corner is of a flush plane.

Interlocking Piece: The interlocking piece has a bottom end that is generally identical to a top end. Each of these two ends may receive three rods. By having flush surfaces, materials such as blankets or other bedding more easily cover the foundation as discussed below. Also, the receiving portions of the interlocking pieces have a gothic like curvature for ensuring additional structural integrity. In certain embodiments of the invention, the outer side of the interlocking piece is a flush surface and the top and bottom sides of the interlocking pieces are flush surfaces.

Rod: The rod may vary in length between various embodiments and within a particular embodiment. The rods are lightweight and frequently made of material such as fiber glass or aluminum. Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that these materials should not be construed as limiting. The primary limitation on material is that the final structure must support the weight of a mattress and people resting above. In most embodiments, each rod is of a fixed length and has two ends. Each of said ends is typically identical to the other end and may be characterized as having a tenon—as commonly used in wood working applications. The tenon like end of a rod in certain embodiments will have a hole on two opposing sides to correspond with the locking mechanism used in certain embodiments with the other connecting pieces, (e.g. center, corner, and interlocking) of the foundation.

Accordingly, the receiving portions of the other pieces resemble a mortise. The length of the rod in most embodiments will be of a uniform shape and dimension, however, this is not limiting. In most embodiments, that shape will be a rectangular prism: of course, the shape may come in triangles or circles etc. in other embodiments. As discussed above, the length of the rod will frequently correspond with the size of the foundation.

Fabric Cover: In certain embodiments of the invention, the foundation may be surrounded on one or more sides with a special fabric cover. In some of those embodiments this cover will be waterproof, and in some cases, one-hundred percent waterproof. In most embodiments in which the cover is used, the cover will fit snugly around five of the six sides of the foundation.

Panel: In certain embodiments of the invention, the foundation may be generally covered along its top face by a panel. Although the dimensions of the panel are not necessarily limited by the dimensions of the corresponding mattress or the foundation, the edges of the panel will, in most embodiments, be flush with the edges of the foundation. Also, it is anticipated that most often, the cover will be of a recyclable material and will be characterized as a folding thermoplastic panel with locking system. In some instances, the panel will be characterized as a grid-like structure. If both a fabric cover and panel are included in a particular embodiment, the panel will most frequently be placed over the foundation, and the fabric cover will be placed over the foundation and panel.

Leg Support: In certain embodiments of the invention, the foundation will be elevated by leg supports. Use of these legs supports will eliminate the need for a metal frame between the ground and the foundation. These leg supports are lightweight and of great structural integrity. In some embodiments, the leg supports are identical to one another, although this is not limiting. For those embodiments including leg supports, there will be a leg support for each of the connecting pieces (e.g. corner, center, and interlocking). In the embodiments discussed in detail above, there will be twelve or eight leg supports depending on the given size of the foundation. Of course, and as discussed above, because various embodiments may include different numbers of corner pieces, center pieces, or interlocking pieces, the number of leg supports may vary as well. Although those connecting pieces have been discussed above as being symmetrical latitudinally, that is, they have been characterized as having identical top and bottom portions, the greatest distinction between the top and bottom portions is that in those embodiments in which the invention includes leg supports, the bottom of each connecting piece will have a hole or receiving component to ultimately receive its corresponding leg support. The receiving component between the respective connecting pieces and leg supports may vary between embodiments. The leg support might be threaded on the end to be received by a threaded hole or receiving component of the connecting piece. However, in other embodiments, the leg support may simply slide right into a receiving portion of each connecting piece. Alternatively, the leg support and receiving component of each connecting piece may have one or more locking mechanisms. Those familiar in the art will recognize the various possibilities.

In most embodiments incorporating leg supports, the leg supports will be characterized as having two ends—a top end and a bottom end. The top end of the leg support will connect to one of the respective connecting pieces in the foundation. The bottom end of the leg support, however, will remain securely on the ground or some other surface to support the weight of the bedding system. In most embodiments, the top end of the leg support will be narrower than that of the bottom end. In certain embodiments, the leg support will appear similar to that of a cone or a rounded cone.

In certain embodiments, this invention is made of durable material, which may include metal, plastic, fiberglass, or a number of other materials. Metal can come from machined aluminum, aluminum weldment or castings, or similar steel or alloy. Molded or machine plastic can be used with recommended strengthening and stiffening features like ribs or other sectioning techniques. In a preferred embodiment, the materials will be of very lightweight. The particular thickness and other dimensions of the materials are not particularly important, so long as the pieces are necessarily durable for the purpose of securing and stabilizing a mattress and one or more persons above. In most embodiments, the invention will include various nuts, bolts, screws, etc. for securing leg supports or rods to connecting pieces. The length and width of the rods and pieces may be of varying dimension. The use of nuts, bolts, screws, etc. is not expected in most embodiments, however.

Once the respective rods, connecting pieces, leg supports and cover of the invention (or any combination or absence thereof) is produced, those pieces that have produced can be packaged into a box for shipping and delivery. Given the lightweight and size of these pieces, the size and weight of the overall shipped product is easy to transport. The ultimate consumer or user can easily remove the pieces from the packaging and quickly assemble. In most embodiments, the user can do so without the need for screws or tools. As discussed above, the user can take the rods and quickly secure them and fasten them into the appropriate connecting pieces (e.g. corner, center, interlocking). Once the ultimate grid-like series of rods are secured within the appropriate connecting pieces, the user may attach the leg supports (if included with a particular foundation). If leg supports were not included, the foundation may be placed on top of a metal frame. Then the user may cover the foundation with the fabric cover and/or panel (if included with the particular foundation). Once these steps have been followed, as appropriate, the user may place a mattress above the foundation.

It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that numerous variations and/or modifications may be made to the invention as shown in the specific embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as broadly described. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive. Other features and aspects of this invention will be appreciated by those skilled in the art upon reading and comprehending this disclosure. Such features, aspects, and expected variations and modifications of the reported results and examples are clearly within the scope of the invention where the invention is limited solely by the scope of the following claims.