US20130263377A1 - Customizable Pillow and Mattress - Google Patents

Customizable Pillow and Mattress Download PDF

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Publication number
US20130263377A1
US20130263377A1 US13/857,115 US201313857115A US2013263377A1 US 20130263377 A1 US20130263377 A1 US 20130263377A1 US 201313857115 A US201313857115 A US 201313857115A US 2013263377 A1 US2013263377 A1 US 2013263377A1
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insert
inserts
shell
pillow
mattress
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Pending
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US13/857,115
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Gerald E. Wootten, Jr.
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HomTex Inc
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HomTex Inc
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Priority to US13/857,115 priority patent/US20130263377A1/en
Assigned to HOMTEX, INC. reassignment HOMTEX, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WOOTTEN, GERALD E., JR.
Publication of US20130263377A1 publication Critical patent/US20130263377A1/en
Assigned to MB FINANCIAL BANK, N.A. reassignment MB FINANCIAL BANK, N.A. SECURITY INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HOMTEX, INC.
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C23/00Spring mattresses with rigid frame or forming part of the bedstead, e.g. box springs; Divan bases; Slatted bed bases
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C27/00Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas
    • A47C27/001Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas with several cushions, mattresses or the like, to be put together in one cover
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C27/00Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas
    • A47C27/04Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas with spring inlays
    • A47C27/05Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas with spring inlays with padding material, e.g. foamed material, in top, bottom, or side layers
    • A47C27/056Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas with spring inlays with padding material, e.g. foamed material, in top, bottom, or side layers with different layers of foamed material
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C27/00Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas
    • A47C27/12Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas with fibrous inlays, e.g. made of wool, of cotton
    • A47C27/121Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas with fibrous inlays, e.g. made of wool, of cotton with different inlays
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C27/00Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas
    • A47C27/14Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas with foamed material inlays
    • A47C27/148Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas with foamed material inlays of different resilience
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C27/00Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas
    • A47C27/14Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas with foamed material inlays
    • A47C27/15Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas with foamed material inlays consisting of two or more layers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C27/00Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas
    • A47C27/22Spring, stuffed or fluid mattresses or cushions specially adapted for chairs, beds or sofas with both fibrous and foamed material inlays
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C31/00Details or accessories for chairs, beds, or the like, not provided for in other groups of this subclass, e.g. upholstery fasteners, mattress protectors, stretching devices for mattress nets
    • A47C31/10Loose or removable furniture covers
    • A47C31/105Loose or removable furniture covers for mattresses
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G9/00Bed-covers; Counterpanes; Travelling rugs; Sleeping rugs; Sleeping bags; Pillows
    • A47G9/10Pillows

Abstract

A customizable pillow includes at least a first insert, a second insert, and a third insert and an outer shell for receiving the inserts. The first insert represents a maximum amount, the second insert represents a first intermediate amount and a third insert represents a third amount. One of the inserts has a minimum amount. The combination of inserts provides adjustability in equal increments from the minimum amount to a combined amount equal to the sum of the minimum amount, the maximum amount, and any intermediate amounts and one or more of the inserts may be used at a given time by a user. A method of customizing a pillow includes selecting the inserts and putting them inside the shell. A customizable mattress includes a base portion, topping portion and cover layer. The topping portion has one or more inserts of different thicknesses and/or materials.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims priority to provisional application No. 61/620,067, filed Apr. 4, 2012, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • Field
  • The technology described herein relates to a customizable pillow and to a system and method for creating a customized pillow for a user. The technology described herein also relates to a customizable mattress that has renewable parts and to a system and method for creating a customized mattress for a user.
  • Background
  • Many different types of pillows have been designed, including those with inserts that adjust for height, or that use different materials in order to provide the user with a different feel. Pillows of different shapes have been created, or with cut out portions for accepting parts of the user's body, such as shoulders or arms.
  • Mattresses typically are made of a base having coils and foam padding above and around the coils. Other types of mattresses use air bladders that may be filled or emptied in order to provide the user with a different feel. When mattress covers get soiled, frayed, or generally old looking, users often need to replace the mattress to get something that is desirable from an aesthetics point of view. In addition, the materials that form the various layers of the mattress can wear out over time so that a mattress will begin to sag in areas where, for instance, the foam has compressed due to use.
  • Green products have become popular. Mattresses typically are not green because, when the foam padding wears out, or the fabric gets stained, a user needs to dispose of the entire mattress and buy a new one.
  • Pillows used in the United are made in different sizes, including: Standard—20×26 inches; Jumbo—20×28 inches; Queen—20×30 inches; King—20×36 inches; Euro—26×26 inches; and Body—20×54 or 20×60 inches.
  • Pillows may be constructed in several different ways. For example, pillows can be formed of a top sheet of material and a bottom sheet of material that are joined around their outer periphery. They may include a connection means between the top and bottom sheets of material, including stitching, a zipper, or the like. Another type of pillow includes a gusset or sidewall. A gusseted pillow has height added by a piece of fabric, or rib, that is incorporated between the side seams of the top and the bottom sheets of material of the pillow. This additional middle fabric allows the pillow to be thicker and thus contain more filling. Typically the pillow gusset runs ½ an inch to 3 inches. Gusseted pillows have a high loft or thick appearance, and are favored for their luxurious style and comfort.
  • Some pillows may feature piping or braiding for decorative aesthetic visuals. In general these decorative elements do not add nor hinder the feeling of the pillow. In some extreme cases the piping or braiding can be large enough to cause an uncomfortable bump underneath a pillow case, but that is rare. Other decorative elements can include printed fabric on the pillow, the gusset or both.
  • Pillows may be provided with a pillow protector, which is an outer protector that protects the basic inner pillow fabric (which includes the top sheet of material, the bottom sheet of material, and any gusset, if one is provided). Pillow protectors may include a premium smooth zipper so as to not feel the zipper when the pillow protector is closed and in use.
  • Pillows are generally rated by their appearance and comfort. Gusseted sleeping pillows are considered more comfortable than ordinary pillows because the fill maintains a higher loft and the pillow maintains its height all the way to each edge. Gusseted pillows provide superior head and neck support by encouraging head and neck alignment. Gusseted pillows are available in medium, firm and extra firm densities to enhance their ergonomic benefits. Gusseted decorative pillows have a chic and contemporary profile. The gusset on a decorative pillow can be made in a contrasting or coordinating fabric to enhance interior decoration.
  • Pillows may be filled with many different types of material, such as natural and synthetic materials. Natural materials include cotton, wool, duck or goose down and feathers, and buckwheat, among other natural materials. Cotton filling provides a firmer, flatter pillow that holds its shape reasonably well. Cotton is also cooler and “breathes” better than other materials. Wool provides a fuller feeling pillow and wool is also durable, maintains warmth and absorbs moisture away from the surface of the pillow. Down pillows are the softest and provide a “light as air” feeling. Down filled pillows can be “squished” and reshaped often and the down should not bunch or clump. Down feather pillows offer a lightweight, softer way for side sleepers to feel comfort throughout the night. Down consists of the small feathers found underneath outer feathers on birds. Since down is smaller, it lacks the barbules that can poke out through a feather pillow. The fibers hold warm air close to a person's head and work as an insulator. Down pillows are durable and will retain their shape over time.
  • Natural buckwheat filling is useful for people who are allergic to feathers or to synthetic materials. The even support means no more cramps or muscle tension, both of which are known to contribute to headaches and stress. Chiropractors around the world recommend this natural therapy for spinal health and well-being. Buckwheat is not actually ‘wheat,’ but a fruit related to the rhubarb plant. The hull or outer skin of the fruit is used as filling in the pillows.
  • Synthetic pillow filling materials include foam, fiber, latex and polyester. In the case of polyester, the filling can be 100% polyester or a polyester/cotton blend. Polyester fibers are often arranged in three-dimensional clusters that help the pillow hold its shape and provide optimal neck support. Examples of types of polyester fill include: Cluster Fiber, Dry Fast Foam, Rebond, Memory Foam, Closed Cell Foam, Latex Rubber Foam, Supreem, Evlon, High Resilience Foam, Polyurethane, Micro-Air Bead Pillow, and Geofoam. Cluster fiber is small clusters of polyester that is fluffable like down. Memory Foam is polyurethane with additional chemicals increasing its viscosity and density. Memory foam conforms to the head and neck, returning to its previous shape once the pressure is removed. This visco-elasticity allows for easy adaptation to head movements during the night. Foam within the pillow has hundreds of holes that provide adequate air circulation and prevent moisture collection. Synthetic materials have some benefits over natural fibers; they are allergy and odor free, they tend to last longer and they are generally more affordable. Dust mites are three times less likely to survive on a foam pillow.
  • There are different types of materials that can be used in pillow covers, including cotton, polyester, wool, acrylic, T-spun polyester, filament polyester, stitch bond polyester; vinyl, olefin, PVC, Easy care polycotton, percale, Egyptian cotton, sateen, tencel, tencel blends, microfibers, combinations of any of the above-noted types of materials, as well as many other known types of materials. The thread count of the pillow cover may be relevant depending upon the type of filling inside the pillow cover. Thread count refers to the number of yarns woven together in one square inch of fabric. Thread counts vary, the higher the count the better the fabric. Finer threads usually result in a much smoother and softer fabric.
  • In considering mattress construction, there are four basic types of materials used in making mattresses: steel springs, foam (memory, poly, latex and soy), cover materials (cotton, polyester, bamboo) and plastic/canvas in air and water beds. Foam is the common ingredient used in every type of mattress. Softer foams are used in the cover and in the top layers of the mattress for cushioning. Firmer foams are used on the sides and either beneath the spring unit or in place of the spring unit.
  • Most foam is petrochemical based meaning that it is made from oil. One type of popular foam is memory foam because it conforms to your body and reduces pressure points. But memory foam is a soft material and isn't meant to be supportive. So it works best when layered over a firm, supportive material. Foams of all types can range in densities.
  • Mattress materials differ depending on not just the type of mattress but on the placement in the mattress. A modern mattress will consist of three layers of materials: the core or support layer, the comfort layer and the quilt layer. Each layer is made of different materials.
  • The core support layer is arguably the most important part of your mattress. Below are the most common materials found in the support section of mattresses today: Water Chambers (as in water beds), Air Chambers, Foam Cores including memory, latex and poly foam, coils, and innersprings, among other materials. Coils are measured in quarter increments. The lower the number of coils, the thicker the spring. In general, higher-quality mattress coils have a 14-gauge (1.63 mm) diameter. Coils of 14 to 15.5-gauge (1.63 to 1.37 mm) give more easily under pressure, while a 12.5-gauge (1.94 mm) coil, the thickest typically available, feels quite firm.
  • Connections between the coils help the mattress retain its shape. Most coils are connected by interconnecting wires; encased coils are not connected, but the fabric encasement helps preserve the mattress shape. Types of mattress coils include bonnell, marshall, offset, and continuous coils.
  • The comfort layer takes care of a user's hips and shoulders. The comfort layer includes all the material between the support layer and the quilt layer. It cushions the body from the firm support section below. Below are the most common materials in the comfort layer to help relieve pressure on your body: convoluted foam; polyurethane foam; soy foam; latex foam; Memory foam; polyester fiber; cotton fiber; wool fiber; nonwoven fiber pads; pocket coils; and gel infused foams. Different combinations of each are very common in order to provide a variety of feels and price points.
  • The quilt layer is the uppermost layer of the mattress and usually consists of polyurethane foam, fiber, and less common, latex foam. Its purpose is to provide the initial softness for the body. The quilted layer if often made of light foam or fibers stitched to the underside of the ticking. It provides a soft surface texture to the mattress and can be found in varying degrees of firmness. The protective fabric cover which encases the mattress and foundation is called ticking. It is usually designed to coordinate with the foundation border fabric and comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. Mattress fabrics can be knits, damask or printed wovens, or inexpensive nonwovens. Most ticking is made with polyester yarns. More expensive mattress fabrics may contain a combination of polyester with rayon, cotton, silk, wool or other natural yarns.
  • Organic materials may be used in mattresses and pillows. Such materials in a mattress can be made with several materials derived from natural plants and fibers. These include cotton, hemp, bamboo, jute, ramie, soy silk, nettle fiber and calico. Many of these fibers are derived from vegetables and plants that have been cultivated without the use of chemicals and pesticides. These materials may also be blended with biodegradable laminates and colored with non-toxic dyes.
  • Different sizes of beds include: Crib/Toddler: 27¼ in.×51⅝ in; Single/Twin: 39 in.×75 in.; Single/Twin XL: 39 in×80 in.; Double/Full: 54 in.×75 in.; Double/Full XL: 53 in.×80 in.; Queen: 60 in.×80 in.; Eastern King: 76 in×82 in.; California King: 72 in.×84 in. Other sizes are also available.
  • Mattresses are often provided with foundations. There are three main types of foundation. A box-spring consists of a rigid frame containing extra-heavy-duty springs. This foundation contributes to softer support and a bouncier mattress. Because box-springs can allow mattresses to sag, many manufacturers add high-density block foam underneath the coils or provide a rigid foundation instead. A traditional wood foundation is usually made of softwood, such as pine, or hardwood. It usually has seven or eight support slats disposed below paperboard or beaverboard. This foundation, called a zero-deflection unit or an “Ortho Box” in the bed industry, increases the feeling of firmness and stability. A grid foundation is a combination of steel and wood. Typically the measurements of a foundation will be about 1-2″ shorter than the measurement of a mattress.
  • SUMMARY
  • In accordance with the teachings described herein, a customizable pillow is described, as well as a method customizing a pillow. In addition, a customizable mattress is described.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pillow case or shell for use with the example apparatus, showing alternative closures—one along the length of one side of the shell and the other along an end of the shell;
  • FIG. 2 is a side view of an exterior of a pillow case or shell for use with the example apparatus, showing a closure along one side of the case;
  • FIG. 3 a is a cross-sectional side view of a hollow interior of a pillow case or shell for use with the example apparatus, showing a closure along one side of the case and showing two interior panels, as well as a gusseted pillow case design;
  • FIG. 3 b is a cross-sectional side view of a hollow interior of a pillow case or shell for use with the example apparatus, showing a closure along one side of the case and showing two interior panels, with the pillow case being constructed with a single seam around the perimeter;
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a hollow interior of a pillow case or shell for use with the example apparatus, showing a closure along one side of the case and showing one interior panel, with the pillow case being constructed with a single seam around the perimeter;
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an example apparatus in expanded view, which includes a shell or pillow case having an opening that is closeable by a closure, and a plurality of inserts that range from 5 ounces weight to 30 ounces weight, with one or more of the inserts being insertable into the opening of the shell to vary the weight and thus height of the pillow, with the weights applying to, for example, a queen size pillow, and with the inserts having a substantially rectangular configuration;
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternative example apparatus in expanded view, which includes a shell or pillow case having an opening that is closeable by a closure and a plurality of inserts that range from ½ inches height to 3 inches height, with one or more of the inserts being insertable into the opening of the shell to vary the height of the pillow, and with the inserts having a tapered configuration at the ends of the inserts;
  • FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side view of an example apparatus having all four inserts from FIG. 5 inserted into a shell so that the total weight of the pillow is 65 ounces and the pillow is substantially rectangular because the inserts are substantially rectangular, with the shell being hollow without any inner panels;
  • FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional side view of an example apparatus having all four inserts, similar to those in FIG. 5, inserted into a shell so that the total weight of the pillow is 65 ounces, with the pillow being tapered at the ends because the inserts are contoured into a taper at the ends, and with the shell being hollow without any inner panels;
  • FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIG. 5 having two inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having two inner holding member in the form of panels;
  • FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIG. 5 having three inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having two holding members in the form of inner panels;
  • FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIG. 5 having one insert inserted into the shell, with the shell having a single holding member in the form of an inner panel;
  • FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIG. 5 having two inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having a single holding member in the form of an inner panel;
  • FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIG. 5 having four inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having three holding members in the form of inner panels;
  • FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIG. 5 having four inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having two holding members in the form of inner panels;
  • FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIG. 6 having two inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having no inner holding members;
  • FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having one insert inserted into the shell, with the shell having no inner holding members;
  • FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having one insert inserted into the shell, with the shell having no holding members;
  • FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having two inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having no holding members;
  • FIG. 19 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having one insert inserted into the shell, with the shell having no holding members;
  • FIG. 20 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having two inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having no holding members;
  • FIG. 21 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having two inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having no holding members;
  • FIG. 22 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having three inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having no holding members;
  • FIG. 23 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having two inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having no holding members;
  • FIG. 24 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having three inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having no holding members;
  • FIG. 25 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having two inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having no holding members;
  • FIG. 26 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having three inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having no holding members;
  • FIG. 27 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having three inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having no holding members;
  • FIG. 28 is a cross-sectional side view of the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6 having four inserts inserted into the shell, with the shell having no holding members;
  • FIG. 29 is a perspective view of an alternative pillow shell for use with the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6, with the closure being shown as a zipper, and with the shell having one or more inner panels that extend across the length of the pillow, but that alternatively could extend across the width;
  • FIG. 30 is a perspective view of an alternative pillow shell for use with the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6, with the closure being Velcro, and with the shell having one or more inner straps that extend across the length of the pillow, but that alternatively could extend across the width;
  • FIG. 31 is a perspective view of an alternative pillow shell for use with the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6, with the shell having one or more inner panels that extend across the width of the pillow, but that alternatively could extend across the length of the pillow, with the panels being substantially full-sized panels;
  • FIG. 32 is a perspective view of an alternative pillow shell for use with the example apparatus of FIGS. 5 and 6, with the shell having one or more inner panels that extend across the length of the pillow, but that alternatively could extend across the width of the pillow, with the panels being substantially full-sized panels;
  • FIG. 33 is a perspective view of the exterior an example mattress according to the invention in an assembled state, with the mattress having an outer shell and which may include a separate foundation;
  • FIG. 34 is a cross-sectional end view of an example mattress according to the invention, with the example mattress having a mattress base, a mattress topping portion 54, and a mattress cover 56 that extends around the mattress base and the mattress topping portion, with the mattress cover being connected to the mattress base via a closure, such as Velcro;
  • FIG. 35 is a cross-sectional end view of an example mattress according to the invention, with the example mattress having a mattress base that incorporates springs, a mattress topping portion that incorporates one or more foam, fiber, or other material layers, and a mattress cover that extends around the mattress base and the mattress topping portion, with the mattress cover being connected to the mattress base via a closure, such as a stretchy periphery much like a fitted sheet;
  • FIG. 36 is a cross-sectional end view of an example mattress according to the invention, with the example mattress having a mattress base of any type, a mattress topping portion that incorporates one or more foam, fiber, or other material layers, including a convoluted foam layer, and a mattress cover that extends around the mattress base and the mattress topping portion and that is connected to the mattress base via a closure, such as Velcro closures that are positioned under the mattress base;
  • FIG. 37 is a cross-sectional end view of an example mattress according to the invention, with the example mattress having a mattress base of any type, a mattress topping portion that incorporates one or more foam, fiber, or other material layers, and a mattress cover that may include a foam, fiber, or other filling inside the entire surface of the cover, with the cover extending around the mattress base and mattress topping portion and that is connected to the mattress base via a closure, such as Velcro closures that are positioned under the mattress base;
  • FIG. 38 is a cross-sectional end view of an example mattress according to the invention, with the example mattress having a mattress base of any type, a mattress topping portion that incorporates one or more foam, fiber, or other material layers, and a mattress cover that may include a foam, fiber, or other filling inside the topping portion of the cover, with the cover extending around the mattress base and mattress topping portion and that is connected to the mattress base via a closure, such as Velcro closures that are positioned under the mattress base;
  • FIG. 39 is an expanded cross-sectional end view of an example mattress according to the invention, with the example mattress having a mattress base of any type, a mattress topping area that incorporates one or more foam, fiber, or other material inserts, and a mattress cover, with a liner being provided to cover the mattress topping area so that inserts may be inserted inside the liner, with the cover extending around the mattress base and mattress topping portion to cover the liner and that is connected to the mattress base via a closure, such as Velcro closures;
  • FIG. 40 is a perspective view of an example mattress according to the invention showing a removable top that is coupled to the mattress topping portion of the mattress, with the removable top being coupled to the sides of the mattress topping portion via any known closure, such as a zipper and with inserts being insertable into the main body of the mattress topping portion;
  • FIG. 41 is a cross-sectional end view of an example mattress according to the invention showing an alternative configuration for the mattress, with a mattress base, one or more inserts, side portions which may be padded, and a top cover which may be padded, with the top cover being connectable to the side portions via Velcro or other attachment mechanisms;
  • FIG. 42 is a cross-sectional end view of an example mattress according to the invention showing an alternative configuration for the mattress, with no mattress base, but with a shell that is used to house the inserts inside the shell, with the shell shown as being optionally padded along all or parts of its sides, with the shell providing a platform for housing the inserts into the shell and having a top cover that may be positioned over the inserts and around the sides of the shell;
  • FIG. 43 is a cross-sectional end view of an example mattress according to the invention showing an alternative configuration that incorporates a scented or chemically treated layer positioned between the cover and the insert, and also showing that the cover itself can be chemically treated or scented;
  • FIG. 44 is a cross-sectional side view of an example pillow according to the invention including a scented sheet or layer of material positioned between two of the inserts inside the pillow, and with the external cover of the pillow being chemically treated; and
  • FIG. 45 is a cross-sectional end view of an example pillow according to the invention including a scented sheet or layer of material positioned between the pillow cover and the top insert.
  • Other combinations incorporating various features described in the drawings are also readily anticipated based upon the drawings and the following disclosure.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The technology described herein relates to both pillows 10 and mattresses 60. The general concept is the same—providing a highly customizable product that may be varied at the whim of the user by selecting new inserts, covers, or materials. The product is also easily recyclable and creates a product with a long life since it may be rejuvenated easily.
  • FIGS. 1-32 and 44-45 depict examples of a first embodiment of the invention that includes a shell or pillow case 12 and various inserts 14 that may be inserted into the shell 12 to alter the shape and feel of the pillow 10. The inserts 14 have specific sizes that allow the user to vary the weight or height of the pillow 10 in even increments in order to provide the user with a large amount of variability. Two examples are described, with one being based upon the weight of the inserts 14 and the other being based upon the height of the inserts 14. Specific sizes are shown because they provide 5 ounces of variability for weights ranging from 5 ounces to 65 ounces, or ½ inch of variability of height for heights ranging from ½ inch to 6½ inches. It is envisioned that other increments could be provided while providing the variability noted, as will be discussed below. In addition, if only three inserts 14 are used, either the larger or smaller insert 14 could be removed from the set to provide variability in a range that is lower than that described herein. Thus, variations of the design disclosed herein are possible, but incremental variation is what is preferred.
  • The figures show a pillow case or shell 12 that can be used for inserting the inserts 14 into the shell 12 so the user can build his or her own pillow 10 based upon his or her own needs. These needs include, but are not limited to, size of the user, sleeping pattern of the user (such as side, stomach, or back sleeper), and material preferences of the user. By providing the type of variability in the inserts 14 as described herein, a user will have a plethora of options in selecting the suitable pillow 10 for their needs. In addition, because the inserts 14 are removable and replaceable, different materials may be used at different times, or different thicknesses or weights can be used at different times. If one of the inserts 14 gets soiled, it can easily be replaced without having to dispose of the entire pillow 10. If a user prefers a cooler pillow 10 in the summer and a pillow 10 that retains heat in the winter, different inserts 14 can be selected based upon individual preferences. Thus, the pillow 10 design described herein has many benefits to a user, including those relating to the “green” movement.
  • The pillow case or shell 12 can be of any configuration and can have any type of known closure mechanism. Examples include gusseted and un-gusseted pillow cases, zippers, Velcro, overlapping fabric panels, or other closures 20. Many different designs are known for pillow cases, all of which may be used with the examples described herein. One example shown herein includes a shell 12 having a top layer or panel 16 and a bottom layer or panel 18, with the top and bottom layers 16, 18 being sewn together around their outer periphery to form a hollow interior into which the inserts 14 may be positioned. A closure 20 is provided along part or all of the outer periphery.
  • The pillow case or shell opening 22 can be along the length, along the width, along a combination of the length and the width, or around the entire or part of the periphery. The opening 22 can be any size and shape, as long as it permits entry of the inserts 14 into the shell 12. The shell 12 can be a stretchy or a non-stretchy material.
  • The shell 12 may include holding members 24 such as inner panels 24 that serve to help hold the various inserts 14 in position inside the shell 12. The holding members 24 can extend across the width or length of the shell 12. They can be partial panels, full size panels, straps, or other mechanisms for holding the inserts 14 inside the shell 12. Any number of inner holding members 24 may be utilized. In addition to panels, straps may be provided that connect to the various inserts 14 with Velcro or other attachment means (not shown). In one example, the space between the holding member 24 may be equal to the thickness of the inserts 14 such that only certain sized inserts 14 will fit within each space defined between the holding members 24. Velcro could be used between the inserts 14 (not shown) to couple the inserts 14 together so they don't move relative to one another inside the shell 12. An additional sleeve could be used for coupling the inserts 14 together, with the sleeve being insertable into the shell 12 (not shown).
  • FIG. 1 depicts an example shell 12 that has a closure 20 on the end and along the side of the pillow 10. The pillow shell 12 depicted has a gusset 26 around the pillow 10. The pillow shell 12 is substantially rectangular. While two different zipper closures 20 are shown, typically one or the other will be used.
  • FIG. 2 depicts an example shell 12 that includes a top panel 16 and a bottom panel 18, with the panels 16, 18 being sewn together around their outer periphery. A seam 28 is provided around the outer periphery of the two panels 16, 18. A zipper closure 20 is shown positioned along one end of the pillow shell 12. It could alternatively be positioned along the length, along three of the four sides of the pillow 10, or around the entire perimeter of the pillow, if desired.
  • FIG. 3 a depicts a hollow interior 30 of a pillow shell 12 that has gusseted side sections 26. This pillow shell 12 has a top panel 16, a bottom panel 18, and side sections 26. The side sections 26 have a closure 20 in the form of a flap 32 and a Velcro strip 34 that mates with a Velcro strip 34 that is provided on the top panel 16. FIG. 3 a also depicted internal panels 24 that serve as holding members and that extend between the gussets 26. The Velcro closure 20 may extend along the side of the shell 12 as well as along the end of the shell 12. FIG. 3 b is similar to FIG. 3 a, but does not have a gusset and instead only has a top panel 16 and a bottom panel 18 and a seam 28 sewn between the two. A similar Velcro closure 20 is provided. Variations of this closure 20 mechanism will be readily recognized by those of skill in the art.
  • FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 3 b, but only includes a single inner holding member 24 that extends between the ends and/or sides of the hollow interior 30 of the shell 12. FIG. 4 also shows a zipper closure 20 positioned along one end of the shell 12.
  • Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the inserts 14 have substantially the same peripheral size as the shell 12, although this is not absolutely required. For example, the inserts 14 could have a smaller peripheral size than the shell 12. FIG. 5 depicts an example that is based upon the weight of the inserts 14 and FIG. 6 depicts an example that is based upon the height of the inserts 14. Four inserts 14 are shown and all may be used together, or individual combinations or individual inserts 14 may be used inside the shell 12 to provide a great amount of variability. The inserts 14 may be made of the same or different materials, as will be described in greater detail below. The inserts 14 may be contoured, if desired. The inserts 14, when used in combinations, are stacked on top of each other and inserted into the shell 12 and the user can select how the inserts 14 are positioned relative to one another, e.g., which insert 14 goes on top, bottom, or center. If one or more inner holding members are positioned inside the shell 12, the user may insert one or more of the inserts 14 between the holding members and the shell 12.
  • FIG. 5 shows inserts 14 based upon weight. The inserts 14 shown in FIG. 5 provide variability from 5 ounces weight to 65 ounces weight in 5 ounce increments. Insert A is 5 ounces, insert B is 10 ounces, insert C is 20 ounces, and insert D is 30 ounces. The various combinations include:
      • 5 ounces—5 ounce insert
      • 10 ounces—10 ounce insert
      • 15 ounces—5 ounce and 10 ounce inserts 14 together
      • 20 ounces—20 ounce insert
      • 25 ounces—5 ounce and 20 ounce insert together
      • 30 ounces—20 ounce and 10 ounce inserts together or 30 ounce insert alone
      • 35 ounces—5 ounce, 10 ounce, and 20 ounce inserts together or 30 ounce and 5 ounce inserts together
      • 40 ounces—10 ounce, 20 ounce, and 30 ounce inserts together
      • 45 ounces—5 ounce, 10 ounce, and 30 ounce inserts together
      • 50 ounces—20 ounce and 30 ounce inserts together
      • 55 ounces—5 ounce, 20 ounce, and 30 ounce inserts together
      • 60 ounces—10 ounce, 20 ounce, and 30 ounce inserts together
      • 65 ounces—5 ounce, 10 ounce, 20 ounce, and 30 ounce inserts together.
  • In general use, a pillow weight range of 25-45 ounces is suitable for a stomach sleeper. A pillow weight range of 35-55 ounces is suitable for a back sleeper, and a pillow weight range of 50-65 ounces is suitable for a side sleeper in the context of a queen size pillow 10. These weights will increase slightly in the context of larger or smaller pillows. The weights themselves are not critical and will vary based upon the size and shape of the pillow 10.
  • The example inserts 14 shown in FIG. 5 have a substantially rectangular shape, which when combined together or used alone will provide a substantially rectangular shape for the pillow 10. Other shapes may alternatively be used. For example, the insert 14 can be substantially rectangular in a center portion and then may taper to a thinner profile 36 at the ends of the inserts 14. This will provide a pillow 10 profile that is thinner at the ends than in the center, which can provide variability for a sleeper who sleeps on both his or her stomach and side or back, since a stomach sleeper generally prefers a thinner pillow 10 and a side and back sleeper generally prefer a thicker pillow 10. An example of this is shown in FIG. 8.
  • FIG. 6 depicts an example that is similar to that of FIG. 5, but the inserts 14 are configured based upon pillow 10 height. Insert 1 is ½ inch thick, insert 2 is 1 inch thick, insert 3 is 2 inches thick, and insert 4 is 3 inches thick. These inserts 14 provide ½ inch variability from ½ inch to 6½ inches of thickness. The example shell 12 shown includes a shell 12 having a zipper along one side of the shell 12. Other closure 20 mechanisms could be used. The various combinations include:
      • ½ inch thick—½ inch insert
      • 1 inch thick—1 inch insert
      • 1½ inch thick—½ inch insert and 1 inch insert together
      • 2 inches thick—2 inch insert
      • 2½ inches thick—½ inch insert and 2 inch insert together
      • 3 inches thick—3 inch insert
      • 3½ inches thick—½ inch insert and 3 inch insert together
      • 4 inches thick—1 inch insert and 3 inch insert together
      • 4½ inches thick—-½ inch insert, 1 inch insert, and 3 inch insert together
      • 5 inches thick—2 inch insert and 3 inch insert together
      • 5½ inches thick—½ inch insert, 2 inch insert, and 3 inch insert together
      • 6 inches thick—1 inch insert, 2 inch insert, and 3 inch insert together
      • 6½ inches thick—½ inch insert, 1 inch insert, 2 inch insert, and 3 inch insert together
  • FIG. 7 shows the example apparatus of FIG. 5 with all four inserts 14 inserted into the shell 12 and with the lowest weight insert 14 a being positioned on top and the highest weight insert 14 d being positioned on the bottom. As discussed above, other arrangements for the inserts 14 may be utilized. This may be particularly desirable when the inserts 14 are made of different materials. The user may prefer to have a cotton fiber fill as the top insert 14 during the summer and a memory foam insert 14 as the top insert 14 during the winter, for example.
  • FIG. 8 shows an example apparatus of FIG. 5 with all four inserts 14 inserted into the shell 12, but with each of the inserts 14 being contoured so that they form a curved upper surface to the pillow 10. While all of the inserts 14 are shown as being contoured, if desired, only the top insert 14 could be provided with a contour, for example. Both FIGS. 7 and 8 include a hollow shell 12 that does not have any holding members 24.
  • FIGS. 9-15 show a variety of examples where one or more holding member 24 is positioned inside the hollow interior 30 of the shell 12. While the holding member 24 shown is an inner panel that extends lengthwise, any type of holding member 24 could be substituted for the holding member 24 shown. The holding member 24 could extend widthwise as well. FIG. 9 shows an example pillow 10 like that of FIG. 5 with two inserts 14 positioned inside the shell 12. The shell 12 includes two holding members 24, so one of the holding members 24 is positioned between the inserts 14 and the other holding member 24 is positioned between the top panel 16 of the shell 12 and the top insert.
  • FIG. 10 depicts a shell 12 having two inner holding members 24 and three inserts 14. An first insert 14 is positioned between the top panel 16 of the shell 12 and the top holding member 24. A second insert 14 is positioned between the two holding members 24, and a third insert 14 is positioned between the bottom panel 18 of the shell 12 and the lower holding member 24.
  • FIG. 11 depicts a shell 12 having one inner holding member 24 and a single insert. The insert 14 is shown positioned between the holding member 24 and the bottom panel, but could be positioned between the top panel 16 and the holding member 24.
  • FIG. 12 depicts a shell 12 having one inner holding member 24 and two inserts 14. The top insert 14 is positioned between the top panel 16 and the holding member 24 and the bottom insert 14 is positioned between the holding member 24 and the bottom panel 18 of the shell 12. If desired, both inserts 14 could be positioned between the top panel 16 and the holding member 24.
  • FIG. 13 depicts a shell 12 having three inner holding members 24 and four inserts 14. An insert 14 is positioned between each of the holding members 24 and between the top panel 16 of the shell 12 and the holding member 24 and the bottom panel 18 of the shell 12 and the holding member 24. In this example, the spaces provided are sized to accept only the sizes of inserts 14 shown, but could be size to accept any size insert, if desired.
  • FIG. 14 depicts a shell 12 having two inner holding members 24 and four inserts 14. Two of the inserts 14 are positioned between the holding members 24. One of the inserts 14 is positioned between the top panel 16 and the top holding member 24. The other insert 14 is positioned between the bottom panel 18 and the lower holding member 24.
  • FIG. 15 depicts the example shown in FIG. 6 as including two inserts 14 and no holding members 24 positioned inside the shell 12. The 3 inch insert 14 is positioned on top of and adjacent the 1 inch insert 14 to provide a 4 inch tall pillow 10.
  • A variety of examples are depicted in FIGS. 16-28 showing all possible combinations when four inserts 14 are utilized. These combinations are identified in the chart shown in FIG. 46 for the example of FIG. 5. It should be noted that while 5, 10, 20, and 30 ounces have been selected for the example shown in FIG. 5 herein, different weights could alternatively be used. For example, 3, 6, 12, and 24 ounces could be used. In addition, more than four inserts 14 could be used, or less than four inserts 14 could be used. The examples described above could also work, with less adjustability with 10, 20, and 30 ounce inserts 14, or with 1 inch, 2 inch, and 3 inch inserts 14, for example. An example of a pillow 10 having five inserts 14 could include 3, 6, 12, 24 and 48 ounces, for example. Or instead of having a 48 ounce insert, a 16 ounce insert 14 could be provided. Another example would include a combination of 2, 4, 8, 16, and 24 ounce inserts 14. A pillow 10 having these inserts 14 would provide adjustability from 2 to 54 ounces in 2 ounce increments.
  • In some examples, two of the same size insert 14 could be included, such as two 12 oz. or 8 ounce inserts 14. The inserts 14 should provide the user with the opportunity to increase from a minimum characteristic or amount to a maximum characteristic or amount in equal increments. As is evident, any number of variations are possible.
  • FIGS. 29-32 depict a variety of examples of how inner holding members 24 can be attached to the interior of the pillow shell 12, as well as different techniques for providing an opening 22 in the shell 12. FIG. 29 shows a longitudinally extending single panel 24 with an opening 22 that is provided on three of the four sides of the pillow 10. A zipper closure 20 is used to close the opening 22 in the shell 12. FIG. 30 shows two longitudinally extending straps 24 with an opening 22 that is provided on three of the four sides of the shell 12. Velcro fasteners 34 are provided in order to close the shell 12. FIG. 31 depicts a widthwise panel 24 extending inside the pillow opening 22. The opening 22 is provided on three of the four sides. A closure 20 mechanism is not show. Any type of closure 20 may be used. FIG. 32 is similar to FIGS. 31 and 29, but depicts a longitudinal panel 24 that extends substantially across the width of the opening 22. Again, any type of closures 20 can be used. Zipper and Velcro have already been discussed. Alternatives may include buttons or other mechanical fasteners, such as hook and eye fasteners, among other known fasteners.
  • FIG. 44 shows an alternative example pillow 10 that utilizes a sheet of treated material 40 positioned between the inserts 14 of the pillow 10. The treated material 40 may be a scented material that is used for pleasure. It could be a medicated material that is used in the case that the user has a cold in order to help them breather better. Any number of different types of treated materials 40 may be used. The sheet of treated material 40 is shown as having the same approximate size as the insert 14, but it could be smaller, larger, or could be a partial sheet with openings in the sheet 40 (not shown).
  • FIG. 45 is similar to FIG. 44, but depicts the treated sheet 40 positioned between the top panel 16 of the shell 12 and the upper insert 14 a. FIG. 45 also depicts an alternative example pillow shell 12 that is chemically treated 42. The pillow shell 12 could be chemically treated with a material 42 that helps improve health and wellness, or helps improve one's body. For example, the pillow shell 12 could be chemically treated with a material 42 that improve the function of the metabolism, or helps to reduce cellulite. Any type of performance enhancing chemical could be applied to the pillow 10. Alternatively, this type of performance enhancing chemical could also be applied to sheets or other bedding (not shown). For example, “diet” sheets could be provided that help a user to lose weight by boosting metabolism or other means, or that help to reduce cellulite could be used. In addition, these sheets, could also be scented in order to cover up any chemical smell. In addition to bedding, clothing (not shown) could be coated in this manner For example, yoga pants could be chemically treated to help reduce cellulite or to help a wearer in other known areas. Any type of chemical that can permeate the skin and be transmitted from a fabric to cause health benefits may be utilized.
  • The pillows 10 anticipated for use with the invention are any type of sleeping pillow 10, including, but not limited, to standard, queen, and king size. The ounces may be varied based upon the size of the pillow 10, with the ounce designation described above for use with the queen size pillow 10.
  • The shell 12 may be made of any known type of fabric, including cotton, polyester, bamboo rayon, tencel, lyocell, rayon, or any other know fabric of combinations of material. The shell 12 could be quilted, if desired. The shell 12 could include a fiber layer to provide some thickness to the cover. One or both sides of the shell 12 may be quilted or include a fiber or other type of fill layer. When quilted or enclosing a fiber or fill layer, the shell 12 may include an inner shell layer and an outer shell layer (not shown).
  • The inserts 14 may be made of any known type of material. The insert 14 may also be covered in a shell 12 or, in some cases, may not need a shell 12. Any type of fiber, foam, natural materials, or other materials may be used in the inserts 14. It is known that some materials react to temperature, such as body heat. These types of materials may be used. Some materials may feel cooler or warmer to the skin of the user and the examples above anticipate use of these materials. Materials can be used in combination, such as fibers can be used together in inserts 14 with foam, for example.
  • The apparatus may be sold as a kit (shown best in FIGS. 5 and 6) with a single type of material for each of the inserts 14, with replacement inserts 14 being sold as individual replacements so that a user can select different materials for positioning against their skin once they determine the proper weight or height of the pillow 10 using the initially provided inserts 14. Alternatively, the inserts 14 can be sold on a piece by piece basis so that if a user is smaller, they may only need three inserts 14 instead of four. Alternatively, the apparatus may be sold as a kit with the inserts 14 being made of different materials. That way a user can select which type of insert material they want positioned against their skin. Any number of alternatives are possible for marketing purposes. Different types of foams or fibers or other materials that may be utilized are described in the background section and herein may be utilized. While not shown, a separate storage bag can be provided for any inserts 14 that are not utilized.
  • FIGS. 33-42 depict an alternative example according to the invention that relates to customizable mattresses 50. At least one mattress manufacturer currently sells customizable mattresses by providing an air bladder that can be expanded to the appropriate thickness and firmness for a user by turning a dial and operating a pump to fill the bladder with more air. The user does not have the option of selecting the type of foam or fiber, or other materials that the mattress is made of, or of selecting a type of cover for the mattress. The instant example mattress 50 provides the user with many more options for mattress customization than are currently available. For example, the example mattress 50 allows the user to select the various portions of a mattress to build their own mattress 50 based upon their desires and needs.
  • Examples of portion of a mattress include, but are not limited to a base portion 52 of the mattress 50, a topping portion 54 of the mattress 50, and a cover 56 for the mattress 50, all of which or some of which may be used. The example mattress 50 can be rejuvenated at the whim of the user so that the user always feels like they have a new bed, or a mattress that never gets old.
  • FIG. 33 depicts an exterior of the example mattress 50 shown in combination with a foundation 58. As is evident, the example mattress 50 looks like a standard mattress.
  • FIG. 34 depicts the general concept of having a mattress base portion 52 coupled to a mattress topping portion 54 and covered by a mattress cover 56. The mattress cover 56 may be removable from the mattress topping portion 54 and mattress base 52 so that it can be laundered or replaced and can be attached to the mattress 50 using any known technique, such as using Velcro or snaps or other attachment techniques 60. FIG. 34 shows the mattress cover 56 being attached to the bottom of the sides of the mattress base 52 with Velcro 60. Other examples show the mattress cover 56 extending under the mattress base 52, being attached at the top edge of the mattress 50, or being attached along a portion of the sides of the mattress 50. The invention is not limited to a means for attaching the mattress cover 56 or to a location for attaching the mattress cover 56 to the mattress 50.
  • The mattress base 52 can be any type of configuration. For example, it can include springs 62 or be made of a foam material. The user may be permitted to select from different spring counts or sizes, or different types of foam, or other types of material.
  • The mattress topping portion 54 can be a variety of inserts 64, or a single insert 64. The mattress topping portion 54 can be foam, fiber, beads, other material, or combinations of materials, such as a combination of foam chips and fiber, for example. Examples of types of materials that may be used alone or in combination are described herein and in the background section hereof.
  • As shown in the figures, a user can select between one or more inserts 64 for use with the mattress base 52. FIG. 35 depicts an example where two inserts 64 are used along with a base 52 that has springs 62. An outer padding 66 is provided around the base portion 52. The cover 56 has a stretchy inner periphery 68, much like a fitted sheet, so that the user can slide the cover 56 on and off without the need for Velcro. FIG. 36 depicts an example with three inserts 64 and a foam base 52. The top insert 64 a is convoluted foam. The cover 56 extends around the top and sides and under the mattress base 52 and is coupled to the base with Velcro or another fastener 62.
  • FIG. 37 has a padded cover 56, four inserts 64 and a foam base 52. The padding 70 of the cover 56 extends along the top and sides of the mattress 50. FIG. 38 has a padded cover 56, a single insert 64 and a single base 52 of foam. The cover 56 has padding 70 only on the top of the cover 56. In both FIGS. 37 and 38, the cover 56 is coupled to the mattress base 52 via Velcro 62.
  • FIG. 39 depicts an alternative example where the mattress 50 includes a liner 72 that surrounds the mattress topping portion 54. The liner 72 may be attached to the mattress base 52 in any known manner and has a size sufficient to hold any number of inserts 64. The mattress cover 56 extends over the liner 72 and at least part of the mattress base 52 to provide additional protection and support to the inserts 64.
  • FIG. 40 depicts an alternative example mattress 50 that has a fixed base 74 and an open mattress topping portion 54 that can accommodate any number of different inserts 64. In this example, the top of the mattress topping 54 has a removable cover that is connected to the top of the mattress topping portion 54 with a zipper or other known closure 20. In this example, since multiple heights may be desired for the mattress topping portion 54, the sides of the mattress topping portion 54 include cinching devices 76 that allow the mattress topping portion 54 to be reduced in height. This can help to prevent saggy sides on the mattress 50 when the inserts 64 utilized do not fill up the interior of the mattress 50. The mattress cover 56 in this example is adjustable in height in order to allow a user to vary the height of the mattress 50 based upon the number of inserts chosen. Other known techniques for cinching may be utilized, if desired. Other closures 60 for the top portion 78 may be desired. In this example, a mattress cover 56 is not shown, but could be used in addition to the mattress topping portion 54 and mattress base 52, if desired. Or the mattress topping portion 54 could serve as the mattress cover 56. The mattress topping portion 54 could be coupled to the base 76 in any known manner. For example, the mattress topping portion 54 can sit freely on the base 76, be coupled to the base by Velcro or other known means of attachment 60, or could be sewn to the mattress base 52. When positioned on all the surfaces of the cover 78, the cover 78 will also provide a padded feel to the sides of the mattress 50.
  • The mattress cover 56 is preferably removable and replaceable. This allows the user to periodically replace the cover 56 or to launder the cover, as desired. This also provides the user with different options based upon the season. Perhaps a user will prefer a different type of fabric for the cover in the summer versus winter months. The example mattress 50 provides the user with options not previously provided to a user. The same can be said for the inserts 64 that are positioned under the cover 56. Different types of materials may be preferred in the summer compared to winter months. In this case, the user could easily reconfigure the layers of the mattress 50 so that certain layers were closer to the user's skin during summer months. Then these layers could be positioned lower inside the mattress topping portion 54 during winter months and other insert could be raised higher during winter months, providing the user with many different options in terms of the overall feel of the mattress 50.
  • FIG. 41 depicts an alternative example mattress 50 where side portions 80 of the mattress 50 are included to surround the mattress base 52 and mattress topping portion 54. The side portions 80 may be padded and may be free standing, with the mattress base 52 and mattress topping portion 54 being positioned inside the side portions 80, or with the side portions 80 being mechanically connected to the base 52 and mattress topping portion 54 via Velcro or other known attachment mechanism 60. In this example, the top cover 56 is removably coupled to the side portions 80 around the periphery of the top cover 56 and may be padded.
  • FIG. 42 depicts an alternative example mattress 50 where no separate base is provided. In this example, the mattress 50 is made up of a plurality of different inserts 64 that seat inside an enclosure 82. The enclosure 82 may have free standing sides that are padded or unpadded. The inserts 64 seat inside the enclosure 82. A top cover 56 may be positioned over the enclosure 82 and be removable. The top cover 56 may have sides that extend along at least part or all of the sides of the enclosure 82.
  • FIG. 43 depicts an alternative example mattress 50 like that above, but also incorporating a scented liner 84 that is removable and replaceable. As with the liner described above in connection with pillows 10, the liner 84 may be scented or medicated or otherwise chemically treated. If desired, the cover 56 can be chemically treated with performance enhancing chemicals.
  • In addition, the example customizable mattress 50 is renewable. A user can easily and inexpensively replace inserts 64 or the mattress cover 56 while maintaining the base portion 52. As mattresses wear, foam tends to sag and covers get stained or frayed. The example mattress 50 allows a user to replace worn parts while maintaining existing parts without having to dispose of an entire mattress 50, which ultimately ends up in a landfill. Therefore, the example mattress 50 provides a “green” option to users.
  • The mattress base 52 can have any different types of foundation materials, including springs, air, foam or the like. The springs 62 may be customizable, such as small springs, large springs, number of springs, and the like. The base 52 can have different thicknesses, if desired, to allow a user to customize the overall height using adjustments to the base.
  • The base 52 may be 4-5 inches thick and the mattress topping portion 54 could be 6-8 inches thick. Other thicknesses for the components may alternatively be used. For example, the base 52 could be thicker than the topping portion 54, or the base 52 could be thinner than the topping portion 54.
  • All of the above example mattresses 50 should have proper side support so that the mattress 50 doesn't roll over at the edges (much like the case with waterbeds). To the extent this is not taught in the above disclosure, it is understood that additional side support may be needed and could be provided by separate side portions or by the types of materials used.
  • Any different types of materials may be used with the example mattress 50 and/or pillow 10 as described above and in the background section hereof. Examples of different mattress materials and fabrics provided herein are non-limiting. It is recognized that many of the materials described herein could have applications in both pillow 10 and mattress 50 design. Thus, the disclosures herein that refer to one or the other application should not be limited to a particular application. It is anticipated that there are many other fabrics and materials that are available that may not be described in the Attachments.
  • The fabric of the pillow 10 or mattress 50 may be durable and washable. It may be a microfiber, such as tencel microfiber, cotton, cotton/polyester blend, or other fabric types, as described herein or known to those of skill in the art.
  • The pillow 10 and mattress 50 inserts can have the same or different firmnesses or densities. The user can select the type of firmness desired by selecting different inserts or a different mattress base 52, in the case of mattresses.
  • Types of materials that may be used in the pillow 10 or mattress 50 inserts include, but are not limited to: Viscoelastic foam, including granulated and shredded foam or layers; Recycled, virgin, organic, or scrap materials; cotton; polyester; cotton blends; polystyrene balls; fillers; polystyrene balls combined with filler; granulated highly elastic HE foam; a single or multiple fillers; memory foam; latex foam; geo-foam; other foams; chip foam; buckwheat; fiber; short staple fiber; memory fiber; thermally responsive materials; foam with gels, among combinations of the above or the like, as known by those of skill in the art. Organic materials can be used, if desired.
  • The example pillow 10 described above is customizable for any size sleeper and any type of sleeper. The pillow 10 can be used by a child with appropriate height based upon their sleeping style, or by a large-framed adult. A 65 ounce pillow 10 will accommodate a large male with 5-6″ shoulder to head measurement. If needed the pillow 10 could be expanded beyond 65 ounces or 6½ inches by adding an additional insert and selling a larger shell 12. The pillow inserts have been shown as being of a single shape, but other shapes may also be included in the invention. For example, a shape that is thicker in the center or at the ends may be desired. A specialty insert could be provided for this purpose. Other shapes, beyond those shown in the drawings are contemplated for sale either as part of the four inserts or as specialty inserts.
  • While not shown, any of the inserts could be contoured. One of the four inserts could be contoured while the others are not. Any combination of contoured and non-contoured inserts may be utilized.
  • A customizable pillow 10 includes a first insert 14, a second insert 14, and a third insert 14, and an outer shell 12. The first insert 14 represents a maximum amount. The second insert 14 represents a first intermediate amount that is not equal to a minimum amount or the maximum amount. The third insert 14 represents a third amount that is lower than the first intermediate amount, and one of the inserts 14 has a minimum amount. The outer shell 12 has an opening for receiving one or more of the inserts 14. The combination of inserts 14 provides adjustability in equal increments from the minimum amount to a combined amount equal to the sum of the minimum amount, the maximum amount, and any intermediate amounts, with scaled adjustability based upon different desired sizes of pillows 10, wherein one or more of the inserts 14 may be used at a given time by a user.
  • The customizable pillow 10 may also include a fourth insert 14 for insertion into the outer shell 12. In this case, the third insert 14 is an intermediate amount insert 14 having an amount that is not equal to the minimum amount, the maximum amount, or the first intermediate amount, and the fourth insert 14 has the minimum amount. The inserts 14 may be as follows: the first insert 14 is a 30 ounce insert, the second insert 14 is a 20 ounce insert, and the third insert 14 is a 10 ounce insert; or the first insert 14 is a 20 ounce insert, the second insert 14 is a 10 ounce insert, and the third insert 14 is a 5 ounce insert; or the first insert 14 is 3 inches thick, the second insert 14 is 2 inches thick, and the third insert 14 is 1 inch thick; or the first insert 14 is 2 inches thick, the second insert 14 is 1 inch thick, and the third insert 14 is ½ inch thick.
  • The first insert 14 may be a 30 ounce insert, the second insert 14 may be a 20 ounce insert, the third insert 14 may be a 10 ounce insert, and the fourth insert 14 may be a 5 ounce insert. Alternatively, the first insert 14 may be 3 inches thick, the second insert 14 may be 2 inches thick, the third insert 14 may be 1 inch thick, and the fourth insert 14 may be ½ inch thick.
  • The outer shell 12 of the pillow 10 may include one or more holding members 24 that extend across at least one of the width or length of the shell 12 for receiving one or more of the first, second, third, or fourth inserts 14. The holding members 24 may be straps, panels, or baffles, or the like. The outer shell 12 may include a closure for closing the opening of the outer shell 12 after the inserts 14 are positioned inside the shell 12, and the opening is positioned along one or more of the length side of the pillow 10 or the width side of the pillow 10. The closures 20 may be a zipper, Velcro, or the like.
  • The first, second, and third inserts 14 may have substantially the same overall profile shape, but with different weights and/or thicknesses. The first, second, and third inserts 14 may have a substantially rectangular profile shape and/or tapered ends. The pillow 10 may range in weight from a minimum of about 5 ounces to a maximum of about 65 ounces, or the pillow 10 may range in thickness from a minimum thickness of about ½ inch to a maximum thickness of about 6.5 inches. The pillow 10 may also include a scented, removable sheet positioned between one of the outer shell 12, the first insert 14, the second insert 14, and the third insert 14.
  • A method for customizing a pillow 10 includes providing a plurality of inserts 14 and an outer shell 12, as discussed above, selecting one or more of the inserts 14 based upon the sleep needs of the user, positioning the one or more inserts 14 inside the shell 12, and closing the shell 12.
  • A customizable mattress 50 may include a base portion 52, a topping portion 54 having one or more inserts 14 of different thickness and/or material, and a cover layer 56. Each of the base portion 52, the topping portion 54, the one or more inserts 14, and the cover layer 56 are independently selectable by a user for positioning under the cover layer 56.
  • The inserts 14 may be removable, repositionable, independently selectable, and replaceable. The cover layer 56 may be removable and replaceable. The topping portion 54 may be coupled to the base portion 52 and the cover layer 56 may be coupled to one of the base portion 52 or the topping portion 54. The base portion 52 may include a plurality of springs 62, and the inserts 14 may include one or more of fiber, foam, natural fillers, organic fillers, or combinations thereof.
  • A customizable mattress 50 may include a closeable shell having sides, a plurality of inserts 14 for positioning inside the shell, and support means 64, 80 positioned inside the shell 12 for supporting the sides of the shell. The support means 64, 80 may be provided by the inserts 64, by an independent supporting device 80 positioned around the inserts 14, or by a combination of both.
  • The mattress 50 may also include a cover member 56, which may or may not be provided by the closeable shell 12. The support means 64, 80 may include side portions that are attachable to the closeable shell 12, and may further comprise a base portion 52 coupled to the closeable shell 12. The cover member 56 may include an attachment feature 60 for coupling the cover member to the closable shell 12.
  • The term “substantially,” if used herein, is a term of estimation.
  • While various features are presented above, it should be understood that the features may be used singly or in any combination thereof. Further, it should be understood that variations and modifications may occur to those skilled in the art to which the claimed examples pertain. The examples described herein are exemplary. The disclosure may enable those skilled in the art to make and use alternative designs having alternative elements that likewise correspond to the elements recited in the claims. The intended scope may thus include other examples that do not differ or that insubstantially differ from the literal language of the claims. The scope of the disclosure is accordingly defined as set forth in the appended claims.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:
1. A customizable pillow comprising:
a first insert representing a maximum amount;
a second insert representing a first intermediate amount that is not equal to a minimum amount or the maximum amount; and
a third insert representing a third amount that is lower than the first intermediate amount, wherein one of the inserts has a minimum amount; and
an outer shell having an opening for receiving one or more of the inserts, wherein the combination of inserts provides adjustability in equal increments from the minimum amount to a combined amount equal to the sum of the minimum amount, the maximum amount, and any intermediate amounts, with scaled adjustability based upon different desired sizes of pillows, wherein one or more of the inserts may be used at a given time by a user.
2. The customizable pillow of claim 1, further comprising a fourth insert for insertion into the outer shell, with the third insert being an intermediate insert having an amount that is not equal to the minimum amount, the maximum amount, or the first intermediate amount; and the fourth insert having the minimum amount.
3. The customizable pillow of claim 1, wherein the first insert is a 30 ounce insert, the second insert is a 20 ounce insert, and the third insert is a 10 ounce insert; or
the first insert is a 20 ounce insert, the second insert is a 10 ounce insert, and the third insert is a 5 ounce insert; or
the first insert is 3 inches thick, the second insert is 2 inches thick, and the third insert is 1 inch thick; or
the first insert is 2 inches thick, the second insert is 1 inch thick, and the third insert is ½ inch thick.
4. The customizable pillow of claim 2, wherein the first insert is a 30 ounce insert, the second insert is a 20 ounce insert, the third insert is a 10 ounce insert, and the fourth insert is a 5 ounce insert; or
the first insert is 3 inches thick, the second insert is 2 inches thick, the third insert is 1 inch thick, and the fourth insert is ½ inch thick.
5. The pillow of claim 2, wherein the outer shell includes one or more inner holding members that extend across at least one of the width or length of the shell for receiving one or more of the first, second, third, or fourth inserts.
6. The pillow of claim 5, wherein the holding members are straps, panels, or baffles.
7. The pillow of claim 1, wherein the outer shell includes a closure for closing the opening of the outer shell after the inserts are positioned inside the shell, and the opening is positioned along one or more of the length side of the pillow or the width side of the pillow.
8. The pillow of claim 1, wherein the first, second, and third inserts have substantially the same overall profile shape, but with different weights and/or thicknesses.
9. The pillow of claim 8, wherein the first, second, and third inserts have a substantially rectangular profile shape and/or tapered ends.
10. The pillow of claim 4, wherein the pillow ranges in weight from a minimum of about 5 ounces to a maximum of about 65 ounces, or the pillow ranges in thickness from a minimum thickness of about ½ inch to a maximum thickness of about 6.5 inches.
11. The pillow of claim 1, further comprising a scented, removable sheet positioned between one of the outer shell, the first insert, the second insert, and the third insert.
12. A method for customizing a pillow comprising:
providing a plurality of inserts and an outer shell according to claim 1;
selecting one or more of the inserts based upon the sleep needs of the user;
positioning the one or more inserts inside the shell; and
closing the shell.
13. A customizable mattress comprising:
a base portion;
a topping portion having one or more inserts of different thicknesses, weights, and/or materials; and
a cover layer,
wherein each of the base portion, the topping portion, the one or more inserts, and the cover layer are independently selectable by a user for positioning under the cover layer.
14. The mattress of claim 13, wherein the inserts are removable, repositionable, independently selectable, and replaceable, and the cover layer is removable and replaceable.
15. The mattress of claim 13, wherein the topping portion is coupled to the base portion and the cover layer is coupled to one of the base portion or the topping portion.
16. The mattress of claim 13, wherein the base portion includes a plurality of springs, and the inserts include one or more of fiber, foam, natural fillers, organic fillers, or combinations thereof.
17. A customizable mattress comprising:
a closeable shell having sides;
a plurality of inserts for positioning inside the shell; and
support means positioned inside the shell for supporting the sides of the shell, wherein the support means is provided by the inserts, by an independent supporting device positioned around the inserts, or by a combination of both.
18. The mattress of claim 17, further comprising a cover member, which may or may not be provided by the closeable shell.
19. The mattress of claim 17, wherein the support means include side portions that are attachable to the closeable shell, and further comprising a base portion coupled to the closeable shell.
20. The customizable mattress of claim 18, wherein the cover member includes an attachment feature for coupling the cover member to the closable shell.
US13/857,115 2012-04-04 2013-04-04 Customizable Pillow and Mattress Pending US20130263377A1 (en)

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CA2869685A CA2869685C (en) 2012-04-04 2013-04-04 Customizable pillow
PCT/US2013/035339 WO2013152237A1 (en) 2012-04-04 2013-04-04 Customizable pillow
US13/857,115 US20130263377A1 (en) 2012-04-04 2013-04-04 Customizable Pillow and Mattress

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US9775440B1 (en) * 2017-01-18 2017-10-03 Picasso Style LLC Adjustable leg pillow
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USD823025S1 (en) 2016-05-06 2018-07-17 Regal Boat Seat Cushions Inc. Boat seat cushion
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USD845673S1 (en) 2017-07-11 2019-04-16 Regal Boat Seat Cushions Inc. Boat seat cushion
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US9775451B1 (en) * 2017-01-18 2017-10-03 Picasso Style LLC Multi-position adjustable pillow
US9775440B1 (en) * 2017-01-18 2017-10-03 Picasso Style LLC Adjustable leg pillow
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US10314418B1 (en) 2017-11-28 2019-06-11 Comfort Revolution, LLC Sleeping pillows and methods of making sleeping pillows having double inserts
US10039396B1 (en) * 2017-11-28 2018-08-07 Comfort Revolution, LLC Sleeping pillows and methods of making sleeping pillows having double inserts
WO2019139873A1 (en) * 2018-01-11 2019-07-18 Ryan Matthew Adam Adjustable pillow
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