US Classes5/717, With substantial edge, border, or side features5/690, MATTRESS (FOR WHOLE BODY)5/739Having substantial means to form or strengthen the edge, border, or corner of the mattress
Attorney, Agent or Firm
International Class07 A47C023/04 A47C027/14
 This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. Nos. 60/419026, filed 15 Oct. 2002 and naming Richard F. Gladney as inventor, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The invention relates to bedding products, specifically mattresses and mattress foundations.
 2. Description of the Related Art
 Conventional mattress systems typically consist of a foundation or box spring and a mattress. The mattress assembly typically consists of a core, various layers of padding above and below the core, and a cover enveloping the assembly. Additional features or embellishments, such as support bolsters around the perimeter of the core or toppers are also well-known.
 The mattress core may comprise a plurality of coil springs, either individually pocketed or un-pocketed, or one or more layers (or regions) of different foam materials.
 Present mattress systems have a number of drawbacks. Firstly, the need for a separate foundation is costly and presents logistical issues in terms of stocking foundations that match mattresses. Mismatched sets must typically be sold at a discount. Secondly, the complexity of assembling and covering a complete mattress core and padding assembly results in higher than desirable manufacturing costs and demand for skilled labor.
 What is needed is a mattress system that eliminates the need for a separate foundation piece and is simple to manufacture.
 Presently disclosed is a mattress core support system in the form of a padded tray with a rigid bottom surface. The tray is comprised of four foam sides, providing edge support for persons sitting on the edge of the mattress, and containing therein a mattress core. The system is compatible with (and sized for) all standard mattress cores, e.g., coil spring, foam, foam/coil composite, and all known sizes. The mattress avoids the need for flipping and the associated increased cost of a two-sided mattress by including as its bottom member a rigid platform.
 In an exemplary embodiment, the present mattress thus consists of a rigid base platform with four vertical side walls mounted thereon. A standard mattress core may be placed within the confines of the walls and on the platform. The entire assembly may then be topped with a conventional layer of padding and closed by a cover. In an exemplary embodiment, a cover envelopes the entire assembly. In an alternate embodiment, the sides of the vertical walls and the bottom surface of the platform may be pre-finished according to conventional means and the cover attached to the side panels only. This latter attachment may be made by conventional means, as by a zipper, Velcro, or stitching, and with or without additional decoration (such as rope welting) or embellishment (such as a mattress topper).
 More particularly, the invention provides a mattress having a substantially rigid base platform, a parameter sidewall joined to the base platform and defining and interior cavity, an innercore disposed within the cavity and an upholstery layer disposed over a top surface over the innercore.
 In certain optional embodiments the mattress has a substantial rigid base platform that comprises a layer of high density foam or may comprise of plurality layers of foam which provide a composite high density layer to form the base platform. The substantially rigid base platform may be sufficiently rigid to provide a support surface that may be fitted directly onto a bed frame to provide a mattress and bed combination. In certain embodiments, the substantially rigid base platform comprises a wood, cardboard, fiber board, plastic, or foam member that selected to provide support to the innercore. The material selected can depend upon the application at hand, but is typically selected for the purpose of providing sufficient structural support to allow the mattress to be seated directly on top of a bed frame, a platform, or directly to furniture legs, all of which can act as a stand for lifting the mattress into a position so that it is off the floor and more comfortable for the user.
 In certain embodiments the innercore comprises a plurality of spring coils, and the spring coils may be an open coil structure, a fabric encased spring coil structure, or springs disposed in a foam block. Optionally, the innercore may comprise a block of resilient foam, including polyurethane or latex, and may also in some embodiments comprise a waterbed innercore.
 The layer of upholstery may optionally be disposed over the innercore and the parameter wall. In further embodiments, a layer of plain sheeting may be disposed over an exterior face of the substantially rigid base platform to provide a non-upholstered, non-sleeping surface.
 In certain embodiments, the parameter sidewall comprises at least two rigid foam sidewalls and in other embodiments it comprises at least four rigid foam sidewalls. The parameter sidewall may be joined to the substantially rigid base platform by an adhesive joint or by a mechanical joint. Adhesive joints may include glue, tape, and adhesive patches. Mechanical fasteners may include straps, hook and loop fasteners, bolts, hog rings, and other similar devices. Optionally a wire, such as a boarder wire or a helical wire, may be provided for securing the innercore against the substantially rigid base platform. In such embodiments, the wire may be hog ringed, or otherwise pinned to or adjacent the substantially rigid base platform. In other particular embodiments, the mattress may include a pivot located in the sidewalls for the purpose of allowing the mattress to pivot between a reclined and an inclined position.
 In other aspects it will be understood that the systems herein include a bed assembly that comprises a mattress as described above as well as a platform assembly that provides some type of flat surface for supporting the mattress.
 Still further features may be added and modifications made as the application requires. For example, in certain embodiments, the mattresses described herein include a layer of a fire resistant or a retardant material that, may in certain optional embodiments, lie beneath a layer of upholstery and provide a barrier that reduces or prevents inflammation of the interior materials of the mattress. In still other embodiments, the mattresses described herein may be two-sided mattresses and may come in any suitable shape and size, including California King, king, Olympic Queen, queen, and twin. It will further be understood that the assemblies described herein may be employed in other applications, including futons, couches, or any other type of seating furniture.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The present disclosure may be better understood and its numerous features and advantages made apparent to those skilled in the art by referencing the accompanying drawings.
 FIG. 1 depicts a portion of a foam tray assembly, according to one embodiment of the present invention.
 FIG. 2 depicts a foam tray assembly with a spring coil core in place, according to one embodiment of the present invention.
 FIG. 3 depicts an exploded view of the mattress 10 depicted in FIG. 1;
 FIG. 4 depicts a process of applying an upholstery layer over a top surface of the mattress; and
 FIG. 5 depicts the mattress assembly 10 of FIG. 1 atop of a frame support.
The use of the same reference symbols in different drawings indicates similar or identical items.
 The embodiments illustrated herein are merely provided for the purpose of describing the invention, and the invention is not to be limited to the embodiments presented. It will apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that various modifications, additions and subtractions can be made to the mattresses, processes and beds described herein without departing from the scope of the invention.
 FIG. 1 shows a corner portion of a tray support constructed according to one embodiment of the present invention. Rigid platform 10 forms a base on which side walls 20 (two of four shown) are mounted. The well or cavity defined by the attachment of the walls 20 to platform 10 provides a space in which a conventional mattress core can be inserted without further attachment to the rest of the tray structure. The conventionally separate foundation or box spring piece may be entirely eliminated as platform 10 provides sufficient mechanical support for the mattress assembly.
 Side walls 20 are constructed from a dense natural and/or synthetic foam material of the type commonly used in the bedding arts. The foam may be (but is not limited to) latex, polyurethane, or other foam products commonly known and used in the bedding and seating arts and having a suitable density. A typical density is about, but not limited to 1.0 to 3.0 and more typically 1.5 to 1.9, and 20 to 60 ILD, and more typically 20 to 35. One example of such a foam is the high density polyurethane foam, such as manufactured by Foamex Corporation in Linwood, Ill. Alternatively, any foam having a high indent load deflection (ILD) would be satisfactory for use as rails, headers and footers, as well as optionally the base platform 60. Although a specific foam composition is described, those skilled in the art will realize that foam compositions other than one having this specific density and ILD can be used. For example, foams of various types, densities, and ILDs may be desirable in order to provide a range of comfort parameters to the buyer.
 The size of the siderails can vary according to the application, but each rail typically measures 3-10 inches (7.5-25 cm) in thickness. The depicted side rails are equal in length and width, and their length is chosen to correspond to the length of the size of mattress desired. For a regular king size or Queen size mattress, the length of rails should be about 78.5 inches (200 cm), although the length can vary to accommodate the width of the header or footer, it the header or footer is to extend across the full width of the base platform 60. Similarly, the header/footer piece typically has a thickness of about 3-10 inches (7.7-25 cm), and the width is chosen to correspond to the width of the size of mattress desired. In the case of a regular king size mattress the width would be about 74.5 inches (190 cm), and for a queen size mattress, the width would be about 58.5 inches (149 cm), depending on how the foam rails are arranged to form the perimeter sidewall.
 Side walls 20 are mounted or attached to platform 10 by conventional means, such as (but not limited to) gluing, stapling, heat fusion or welding, or stitching.
 Platform 10 may consist of another panel of rigid foam, or it may comprise a wooden, cardboard, or plastic structure selected to provide support to the mattress core. Depending on the mattress core selected and its inherent stiffness, stiffer or more compliant base platforms 10 may be chosen. The relatively rigid layer may have a high density polyurethane foam layer (20-170 ILD), or several foam layers (20-170 ILD each), that alone or in combination, provide a density and rigidity suitable for the application. Such a choice, as well as the choice of the means and methods for attaching side walls 20 to platform 10, are well within the skill of an ordinary practitioner.
 FIG. 2 shows an exemplary embodiment of a tray support with a coil spring mattress core 40 in place. Note that, for clarity, top padding layers 50 and the cover have been removed. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that various combinations of top padding, covers, and toppers are compatible with the system disclosed herein. Accordingly, the invention is not limited to any means of finishing the mattress and includes all such means and materials within its scope.
 Conventional coil spring core 40 may be comprised of conventional helical or semi-helical springs known and used in the art today. The springs may also be encased in a fabric material, either individually in pockets, in groups, or in strings joined by fabric, all of which are well-known in the bedding art. For many years, one form of spring assembly construction has been known as Marshall construction. In Marshall construction, individual wire coils are each encapsulated in fabric pockets and attached together in strings which are arranged to form a closely packed array of coils in the general size of the mattress. Examples of such construction are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 685,160, U.S. Pat. No. 4,234,983, U.S. Pat. No. 4,234,984, U.S. Pat. No. 4,439,977, U.S. Pat. No. 4,451,946, U.S. Pat. No. 4,523,344, U.S. Pat. No. 4,578,834, U.S. Pat. No. 5,016,305 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,621,935, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.
 A foam core module may also be substituted for coil spring mattress core 40. The foam core module is, in some embodiments, a monolithic block of a single type of resilient foam selected from foams having a range of densities (themselves well-known in the art) for supporting one or more occupants during sleep. In one embodiment, foam core is made of any industry-standard natural and/or synthetic foams, such as (but not limited to) latex, polyurethane, or other foam products commonly known and used in the bedding and seating arts having a density of 1.5 to 1.9 and 20 to 35 ILD. Although a specific foam composition is described, those skilled in the art will realize that foam compositions other than one having this specific density and ILD can be used. For example, foams of various types, densities, and ILDs may be desirable in order to provide a range of comfort parameters to the buyer.
 In an alternative embodiment, the foam core may comprise one or more horizontal layers of multiple types of foams arranged in a sandwich arrangement. This sandwich of different foams, laminated together, may be substituted for a homogeneous foam block of a single density and/or ILD.
 In a further embodiment, the foam core may comprise one or more vertical regions of different foam compositions (including vertical regions having multiple horizontal layers), where the different foams are arranged to provide different amounts of support (also referred to as "firmness" in the art) in different regions of the sleeping surface.
 Accordingly, the invention is not limited to any particular type of foam density or ILD or even to a homogenous density/ILD throughout the foam core. Furthermore, the invention is not limited to any particular type of core.
 The mattress may then be finished as is customary for a one-sided mattress, The innercore is typically covered with padding layers on the top and bottom surfaces, and the whole assembly is encased within a ticking, often quilted, that is sewn closed around its periphery to a border or boxing. After assembly the mattress can be covered by any other decorative covering or pillow-top.
 In an exemplary embodiment, a conventional mattress cover envelopes the entire assembly. In an alternate embodiment, the sides of the vertical walls and the bottom surface of the platform may be pre-finished according to conventional means and the cover attached to the side panels only. This latter attachment may be made by conventional means, as by a zipper, Velcro, or stitching, and with or without additional decoration (such as rope welting) or embellishment (such as a mattress topper).
 In summary, FIG. 2 illustrates a mattress support comprising a wall member and a platform member, wherein said wall member is attached to the top surface of said platform member to define a well disposed to receive a mattress core. Said wall member may comprise one or more segments each attached to said platform. Said wall member segments may also be attached to each other. Said mattress support may also comprise a top padding member attached to said wall member and a cover enveloping said top padding member, said wall member, and said platform member and secured thereto.
 FIG. 3 depicts an exploded view of one mattress according to the invention. Specifically, FIG. 3 depicts a mattress assembly that includes a substantially rigid base platform 60, foam side-rails 62, a foam header/footer-piece 64, adhesive tape strips 68 and adhesive patches or dots 70. Not shown is the innercore assembly 40 shown in FIG. 2.
 In one process for assembling the mattress depicted in FIG. 3, the rigid base platform 60 has adhesive patches or dots 70 disposed around its parameter edge. The adhesive strips 70 or dots 70 may be commercially available adhesive products of the type sold by the 3M Corporation of Minneapolis, Minn. For example, a double-sided adhesive tape, such as 9692, 9695 or 6035, all of which are manufactured by 3M may be suitable. In the process depicted in FIG. 3, the adhesive patches 70 are shown as squares of adhesive material laid on the base platform or deck 60. To this end, the adhesive material is cut into square sections of the appropriate size and applied individually to the upper surface of the base platform 60. However, the shape and size of the patches 70 may vary according to the application and different shapes and sizes may be employed. It has been found to be advantageous to employ discrete patches of adhesive material as it facilitates the assembly process. In one practice the adhesive patches 70 are provided as a stack of square patches, each having individual backing and each capable of being peeled off the stack and applied to the base platform 60. During the assembly process, individual squares of adhesive material are peeled off the stack and applied to the base platform 60, or optionally to the side rails or header/footer, or both. Once the adhesive bonds to the base platform, the backing material may be peeled away leaving the adhesive material as the depicted patch 70 which is ready to join to the foam side rail or the header/footer pieces. Further and optionally, the interior cavity formed by the perimeter sidewall may have adhesive material joined thereto for the purpose of securing the innercore unit to the interior of the tray support.
 Although the depicted adhesive material is preferred, in other embodiments other type of fast-setting adhesive, suitable for reliably and securely fastening together pieces of foam material may be employed. Moreover, other fastening techniques, such as spray glue, mechanical fasteners, stitching or hook and loop fasteners, may be employed as well. The adhesive tape has a width that is equal to or less than the width of the rails 62, 64, and is provided as individual strips having lengths that are complementary to the length of each of the rails. In one practice, the adhesive dots are applied by contacting the adhesive face of the patch against the base platform 60 and peeling the backing material away from the adhesive material leaving the adhesive material 70 fixed to the base platform 60. Once the adhesive patches 70 are in place along the portion of the perimeter where the header/footer-piece 64 or a side-rail 62 will go, the foam header/footer 64 or side-rail 70 may be seated over the adhesive patches and pressure applied to the side-rail or header/footer piece 64 so that it contacts the adhesive patches 70. An adhesive joint forms between the base platform 60 and the side-rail 62 or header/footer 64.
 In sequence, the separate side-rails 62 and header/footer-pieces may be joined to the adhesive patches 70 and once in position an adhesive tape strip, such as the depicted strips 68, may be attached around the exterior edges and ends of the side-rails header/footer pieces to more securely hold the sidewall parameter in place and together. Once the parameter sidewall is formed, the inner spring assembly, whether it is foam or spring or a combination of the two, may be placed inside the cavity formed interior to the side-rails and header and footer-pieces. The foam encased mattress may be made in any size, including standard bedding sizes, such as king size, California king size, queen, size, twin size, etc. according to the method of the invention, by shaping the major component parts as appropriate. Desired firmness of the mattress 10 may be selected by choosing any desired firmness of the innerspring core or unit.
 As shown in FIG. 4, a subsequent step may occur wherein an upholstery layer 72 is disposed over the assembled innercore and parameter sidewall. In one practice, the upholstery layer 72 is stitched to upholstery material stapled or otherwise joined to the exterior surface of the parameter sidewall. In this way, the upholstery layer, as well as any intermediate padding, acts to hold the innercore within the cavity defined by the parameter sidewall. Thus, in this embodiment, no extra adhesive, such as spray glue or mechanical fasteners, such as hog rings, need to be employed to keep the innercore in place. However, in optional embodiments, particularly when an open coiled spring assembly is employed or a pocketed coil spring assembly is employed, a wire extending about a parameter of the innercore may be employed for holding or securing the innercore against the base platform. The wire may be a border wire, a helical wire, or any other type of suitable wire, including, but not limited to, portions of the helical wire springs that may be exposed other otherwise available for this purpose. The wire assembly may extend around a portion of the parameter of the innercore or may extend transversely through the innercore. Either way, the wire may be secured to or adjacent the base platform 60 for the purpose of securing the innercore against the rigid base platform 60. Examples of certain types of border wires are known in the art and described for example in U.S. Patent entitled Bed Having Reduced Sagging, naming Richard F. Gladney as inventor. In other embodiments, the innercore 40 may be secured within the cavity defined by the parameter sidewall as the application demands or permits.
 Turning to FIG. 5, the bed and frame assembly of the invention are depicted wherein the mattress depicted in FIG. 1 and described above is laid directly upon a bed frame 78 and no intermediate box-spring or foundation is employed. In this preferred embodiment, the tray support provides a sufficiently rigid base 60 that it can be placed directly over a platform or, depending on the rigidity of the construction, directly on to a bed frame. To this end, exterior surface of the platform base 60 provides a non-sleeping surface which comprises the substantially rigid layer of material covered by a thin layer of a non-woven sheeting. Optionally, a rigid border may be provided around the peripheral edge of the lower non-sleeping surface to provide additional support as well as to provide a suppor structure that can rest in the bed frame or optionally, to which furniture legs may be direclty attached for the purpose to raising the mattress off the bedroom floor.
 The order in which the steps of the present method are performed is purely illustrative in nature. In fact, the steps can be performed in any order or in parallel, unless otherwise indicated by the present disclosure.
 While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspect. For example, the mattress may include a fire resistant fabric beneath the quilting layer to provide fire resistant properties. Further, the mattress may be adjustable for allowing a user to include the mattress for supporting a seated position. Therefore, the appended claims are to encompass within their scope all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit of this invention.