Patent application title: INFLATABLE AIR MATTRESS WITH IMBEDDED PUMP
Victor Kao (Princeton Junction, NJ, US)
Jeff Kao (Princeton Junction, NJ, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47C2710FI
Class name: Mattress (for whole body) having confined gas (e.g., air mattress) including plural, separately inflatable, distinct gas containing compartments
Publication date: 2010-07-08
Patent application number: 20100170044
An air mattress having one or more inflatable, air-tight chambers where
the firmness is adjustable using a pumping system controlled by one or
more remote control units. As an improvement over the prior art, the
pumping system is installed within the confines of the mattress and
outside of the inflatable chambers to increase overall efficiency,
accuracy, reliability, and environment compatibility of the mattress
while maintaining the ease of diagnostics and repair. This new art also
makes the mattress more user friendly by reducing perceivable pumping
noise and by relieving the hassle of dealing with hoses and external pump
of the prior art. The air mattress may also include any and all features
of the prior art such as mattress edge support foam and layers of
1. An air mattress comprising:at least one inflatable chamber formed of an
air tight material;a pumping system in fluid communication with the
inflatable chambers, connected by a plurality of air-tight screw-on
connectors or quick-connectors, and located within the air mattress, the
pumping system having:at least one fluid pump;a power supply;a pressure
sensor for each connected inflatable chamber;a pressure relief valve;a
plurality of control valves that maintain the pressure of each connected
inflatable chamber by default; wherein the control valves that direct
fluid into and out of each connected inflatable chamber; anda circuit
board to control components of the pumping system;a remote control used
to set the desired firmness of each inflatable chamber connected to the
pumping system;at least 1 of the 4 edges of the mattress having a foam
border to provide extra edge support and mattress shape definition;at
least 1 layer of foam above the inflatable chambers to provide extra
support and comfort to the users; anda zippered mattress cover that
encloses the inflatable chambers, pumping systems, and foam components.
2. The air mattress of claim 1 wherein the air tight material of the inflatable chambers is infused with a fabric to reinforce the inflatable chambers.
3. The air mattress of claim 1 wherein the power supply is located outside of the mattress.
4. The air mattress of claim 1 wherein each remote control is capable of displaying the internal air pressure of at least 1 inflatable chamber in scientific standard units or in other representative units.
5. The air mattress of claim 4 wherein the air tight material of the inflatable chambers is infused with a fabric to reinforce the inflatable chambers.
6. The air mattress of claim 1 wherein the mattress cover is held closed by other means.
7. The air mattress of claim 1 wherein the comfort foam layers are removed.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
A conventional air mattress consists of four basic components: mattress cover, support and cushioning foam, one or more air-tight chambers with hoses, and one or more pumping systems.
The mattress cover is a fabric that encloses most of the other mattress components. In the prior art, these components only include the air chambers, and support and cushioning foam. The mattress cover is usually opened and closed by a combination of zippers and Velcro to allow for easy access to parts and to make washing easier.
The cushioning foam is typically one or more layers of any combination of super-soft foam, memory foam, and convoluted foam (also known as egg crate foam). Theses layers of foam are placed toward the top of the mattress inside the mattress cover to provide a softer and more supportive sleep surface for the user.
The support foam usually consists of high density foam rails at the four edges of the mattress inside the mattress cover. These foam rails provide more support at the edges of the mattress to prevent the user from accidentally rolling out of bed. The support foam also gives the mattress a more consistent rectangular shape and increases the usable area of the sleep surface.
The air tight chambers are typically made of polyvinyl PVC, polyurethane or rubber with or without fabric lining. The air chambers are individually adjustable using one or more pumping systems. The pumping systems are connected to each air chamber by air hoses made of rubber, PVC, or plastic. Each air chamber is made firmer by pumping air into the chamber. Each air chamber is also made softer by letting air out or by pumping air out. These actions are all performed by the pumping systems.
The pumping systems typically have a hose connector for each air chamber, a remote control for each intended user, and a power port. For example, for a mattress intended for a husband and wife with two air chambers, the pumping systems would have two remote controls, two hose connectors, and a power port. The remote controls are made easily accessible to users lying on the bed and are typically stored on nightstands or in custom pockets in the sides of the mattress. The remotes controls usually have a pressure display to indicate the firmness of the user's air chamber, a button to increase the desired firmness, and a button to decrease the desired firmness. Some models also have a button to completely fill the air chamber and a memory button to store the user's preference and to set the air chamber to the preferred firmness.
In the prior art, the pumping systems are stored outside the mattress cover. The suggested solution was to have the user install the pumping systems under the bed frame or behind a dresser. This creates a substantial amount of hassle for the users. It also allows the pumping systems and air hoses to be vulnerable to dust, leakages, blockages, and other physical hazards. It also decreases the pressure control accuracy and efficiency. The pumping systems may also be louder depending on where they are installed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The inflatable air mattress with imbedded pump invention includes all of the basic components and positive aspects of the prior art of air mattresses. It also eliminates the problems with all pumping systems of the prior art without any detrimental effects. By engineering the pumping system to be installed inside the mattress cover and support foam structure, the following advantages are gained and objectives are realized.
The pumping systems become better protected from dust, blockages, and other physical hazards by the mattress cover and foam structure.
The overall mattress reliability is increased as air hoses connecting the air chambers to the pumping systems are less susceptible to kinking and leakages because they are shorter and not exposed to external elements.
The air chamber firmness control accuracy and efficiency of the pumping systems are increased because the pumping systems are connected to each air chamber by shorter air hoses.
The perceivable noise of the pumping systems is greatly reduced by the natural muffling properties of the surrounding mattress cover and foam.
The mattress maintains a cleaner, less obtrusive appearance, is easier to install, and is safer to use because there are no more air hoses sticking out of the mattress and the pumping systems are hidden completely out of sight.
The mattress is more compatible with platform beds, adjustable beds, and RV beds because there are no external hoses and pumps to deal with.
These advantages are realized by designing the pumping systems to fit within the boundaries of the mattress cover. This is typically at the foot of the mattress either imbedded in the support foam or between air chambers. However, the concept of this invention still applies to any design where one or more pumping systems are located within the air mattress.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an inflatable air mattress with imbedded pump.
FIG. 2 is a foot end sectional view of the inflatable air mattress with imbedded pump.
FIG. 3 is a top planar view of the present invention with the top half of the mattress cover removed.
FIG. 4 is a top planar view of the prior art with the top half of the mattress cover removed.
FIG. 5 is a side sectional view of the inflatable air mattress with imbedded pump.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
In FIG. 1, there is a perspective view of the present invention 1 as a standalone unit. It will typically be placed on top of a bed foundation or a box spring with a bed frame. However, it may also be placed directly on the floor for use. The external parts include a top mattress cover 2 and a bottom mattress cover 3 that are attached at the four edges of the mattress by mattress cover zippers 5. These three components enclose all other parts of the mattress, excepting the remote controls 45, to provide a clean and crisp appearance and to protect internal components from dust and other environmental factors. This zippered design allows for the mattress covers to be easily removed for cleaning or replacement. It also makes installation of internal components easy.
The remote controls 45 as shown in FIG. 1 are readily accessible to each user to set the desired firmness of each side of the mattress. Same as in the prior art of air mattresses, each remote has a display that shows the firmness setting, an increase firmness button, a decrease firmness button, a fill button to set the mattress to maximum firmness, and a memory button to set and recall the particular user's mattress firmness preference. There is typically one remote control 45 for each simultaneous user to control his or her side of the mattress. For example, in FIG. 1 there are two remote controls installed for two simultaneous users to control two halves of the mattress. If there is only one user, the mattress may come with one remote to control the mattress as a whole.
FIG. 2 reveals the layers of comfort foam 21 located within the top mattress cover 2. As in the prior art, these layers provide a soft, supportive, and consistent sleep surface for the users. These layers are usually made of memory foam, convoluted foam, latex foam or a combination of them. The comfort foam 21 is usually preferred, but in some variations of the present invention, they may be removed. Some reasons to do this are to reduce the cost of the mattress, to meet weight restrictions, or the particular user dislikes foam.
FIG. 3 depicts the current invention from a top planar view with the top mattress cover removed. Same as the prior art, there are four strips of edge support foam around the sides of the mattress: The head end edge support foam 32, two strips of side edge support foam 33, and the foot end edge support foam 34. These strips of high-density foam stabilize the air chambers, provide the firm sitting edge and prevent the user from accidentally rolling out of bed, effectively increasing the usable surface of the mattress. They also help the mattress maintain its shape and clean appearance. In some variations of the present invention, up lo three of the edge support foam strips may be removed. Some reasons to do this are to reduce the cost of the mattress, to meet space or weight restrictions, or the particular user dislikes foam.
Also as in the prior art, there are two inflatable chambers 31 that are tilled with air to a certain internal pressure that determines the mattress firmness. Each inflatable chamber 31 is individually adjustable by using the pumping system 41 to pump air in, and to pump or let air out. In some variations of the present invention, there may be only one inflatable chamber. This is because some users prefer to control the entire mattress as one unit rather than the two sides separately. There may also be more inflatable chambers according to user preferences. In these cases, the pumping system 41 is equipped with an equivalent number of air delivery ports 43 connected to the number of desired inflatable chambers through air hoses 42.
There are many disadvantages to the air mattresses of the prior art. As shown in FIG. 4 depicting an air mattress of the prior art, the pumping system 81 is located outside of the mattress 80. This requires long air hoses 82 to extend from inside the mattress to the external pumping system. This leaves the air hoses 82 of the prior art exposed and more susceptible to damage, kinks, and leaks. The air tight seal 84 between the inflatable chamber 71 and the air hose 82 is also vulnerable to damage and leaking due to physical forces exerted on the air hose from outside the mattress. For example, if a user trips on an exposed air hose 82, the force exerted may pull the hose and compromise the air-tight seal 84. Air transfer efficiency and pressure measurement accuracy are low due to the high air friction against the inside walls of the long hoses. The pumping system 81 is also vulnerable to environmental hazards such as dust and physical strikes from surrounding objects. The users are also readily susceptible to noise from the pumping system. The pumping system is also obtrusive and more difficult to install as the user has to find a place to store it. This is further complicated when the user is installing the mattress on a platform foundation and cannot store the pumping system under a bed frame. These problems and complications are all solved by the present invention.
FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 depict the present invention. The pumping system 41 transfers air to and from each inflatable chamber 31 through an air hose 42 connected to each chamber to effectively control the firmness of the mattress. As in the prior art of air mattresses, each inflatable chamber 31 is individually adjustable. When the user activates a remote control 45 to change the mattress firmness of the corresponding side of the mattress, the pumping system 41 measures the internal pressure of the corresponding inflatable chamber 31 using a pressure transducer. If the internal pressure of the inflatable chamber 31 is lower than the desired setting, the pumping system 41 inflates the inflatable chamber 31 by pumping air in until the desired pressure setting is reached. If the internal pressure of the inflatable chamber 31 is higher than the desired setting, the pumping system 41 deflates the inflatable chamber 31 by letting or pumping air out until the desired pressure setting is reached. The pumping system 41 also protects the inflatable chambers 31 from over-inflation by stopping the pumps when maximum pressure is achieved.
As shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, the pumping system 41 is located within the support foam at the foot end of the mattress. Because the pumping system 41 is imbedded in the foot end edge support foam 34, the noise created by the pumping system is muffled and dampened by the foam and mattress cover 2 and 3. The support foam 34 and mattress cover 2, 3 also protect the pumping system from dust and physical hazards. In some variations of the invention, there may be a thick layer of foam underneath the inflatable chambers. In this case, the pumping system may be installed in the underlying foam instead of the edge support foam.
Each inflatable chamber has an air hose 42 that connects to the pumping system 41 through an air-tight screw-on connector 43. Each air hose 42 is internally reinforced with steel coils to prevent the tube from kinking and is permanently shaped at a 60° to 120° angle to allow for easy air delivery without stressing the air tight seal 44 between the inflatable chamber 31 and the air hose 42. This design increases the reliability and durability of the air hoses 42. The air hoses are shaped at an angle by bending them and then using shrink tubing to permanently hold the tubing in the bent position. The shrink tubing must be sufficiently strong to hold the air hoses permanently. The air hoses may also be shaped permanently by heated treatment methods. The air hoses 42 are permanently fixed to the inflatable chambers 31 by an air tight seal 44. In some variations of the present invention, the inflatable chamber may instead have a screw on connector to which the air hose is attached. In case of leaks or damage, it is possible to replace the inflatable chamber or air hose without replacing the other.
As shown in FIG. 3, the air hoses 42 are also imbedded in the foot end edge support foam 34 and are therefore more reliable and less susceptible to leaking and damage because they are not exposed to as many external forces. The air tight seal 44 between the air hose 42 and the inflatable chamber 31 is also better protected from damage. The air hoses 42 are shorter than those of the prior art, thus decreasing the amount of air friction within them. This allows for more efficient transfer of air to and from the inflatable chambers 31, which also leads to more accurate measurement and control of the internal pressure of each inflatable chamber 31. The degree to how much of the edge support foam 34 surrounds the air hoses 42 varies. In some cases, the air hose may only rest on the foam surface while in other cases it may be encased in foam.
The present invention effectively hides the pumping system 41 and air hoses 42 from sight, making it more aesthetically pleasing. This makes the air mattress safer to users by eliminating tripping hazards. It also makes it easier to install and more compatible with bedding solutions such as platform foundations by eliminating the need to organize the air hoses and find a place to store the pump.
The inflatable air mattress with imbedded pump set forth above the present invention provides an adjustable sleep system that yields improved comfort, reliability, accuracy, efficiency, structural compatibility, safety, ease of installation, and reduced noise levels over the prior art. The inflatable air mattress with imbedded pump may be used in all bedrooms including homes, hotels, motels, and RVs on a continual basis.
While the present invention has been described in detail and with reference to specific embodiments thereof, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.
Patent applications in class Including plural, separately inflatable, distinct gas containing compartments
Patent applications in all subclasses Including plural, separately inflatable, distinct gas containing compartments