Patent application title: HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE PILLOW
William Freund (San Francisco, CA, US)
Tristan Christianson (San Francisco, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47G910FI
Class name: Support means for discrete portion of user, useable with bed or surgical support for head or neck (e.g., pillow) adapted to accommodate disparate article
Publication date: 2012-03-29
Patent application number: 20120073056
An adjustable pillow, comprising of a stretchable pillow cover having a
plurality of removable inserts. The inserts may be in various
thicknesses, shapes, compositions and firmness to permit adjustment for
overall pillow height, overall firmness, and surface firmness when
inserted into the cover. The total height of the pillow depends on the
total height of the various inserts being used, the overall firmness
depends on whether the inserts are soft, medium or firm, and the surface
firmness depends on the firmness of the topmost inside layer.
14. A height adjustable pillow, comprising of: a. A pillow case cover; b. A plurality of removable, inserts within the cover, and each inserts has substantially the same top surface area as the other inserts and the adjustable pillow as a whole.
15. A height adjustable pillow according to claim 14, where the inserts are further comprised of differing thicknesses, with the height differences of the thickness between the inserts to be in between 0.75 to 1.25 inches.
16. A height adjustable pillow according to claim 14, where one or more of the inserts further comprises of viscoelastic memory foam material.
17. A height adjustable pillow according to claim 14, where the pillow and the inserts are U-shaped with a shoulder cutout, said cutout tapers from the shoulder portion to the head portion of said cutout.
18. A height adjustable pillow according to claim 14, where the pillow case cover further comprises of microfiber fill cushioning layer.
19. A height adjustable pillow according to claim 14, where the inserts comprise at least one insert made of breathable polyester fiber material.
20. A height adjustable pillow according to claim 14, where the cover is filled with down feather materials.
21. A height adjustable pillow according to claim 14, where the pillow case cover, pillow and the inserts are tubular-shaped body pillows.
22. A height adjustable pillow according to claim 14, where one or more of the inserts comprise at least one adjustable air-filled bladder.
23. A height adjustable pillow according to claim 14, where one or more insert is individually enveloped in flexible cover material.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The invention relates generally to cushions and pillows and, more particularly, to pillows with adjustable layers or inserts.
 2. Prior Art
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,735,169, issued Jun. 15, 2010, discloses a pillow comprising a viscoelastic sleeve defining a cavity and a plurality of loose pieces of filler material substantially enclosed within the cavity.
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,707,668, issued May 4 2010, discloses a pillow for relieving pressure on a neck of a user. The pillow includes a body section, a first lobe member integrally bound to the body section and adaptable for supporting a nape of the neck of the user.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention provides an adjustable pillow that includes a stretchable cover having a plurality of removable inserts. The stretchable cover shrinks or expands depending on the number of inserts and the overall height of the pillow. The stretchable cover also securely holds the various independent inserts together such that they act as one complete unit. The layer inserts may be of various thicknesses and firmness. The removable inserts permit the pillow to be adjusted for height, overall compressibility and surface firmness. The total height of the pillow will depend on the total height of the various individual inserts used, the overall compressibility will depend on the resistance to compression of each insert and the surface firmness will depend on the firmness of the topmost insert, which may comprise viscoelastic or "memory" foam.
 To affect the ability of the inserts to move in a sliding manner relative to each other, the coefficient of friction between the layers may be varied. This may be accomplished, for instance, by changing the composition of the inserts, by roughening or smoothing the contact surfaces of the inserts, or by enclosing the inserts in a flexible material, which material's properties may be adjusted to achieve the same results.
 The inserts may extend across the entire length and width of the pillow so that the sleeper can uniformly adjust the height, firmness and elasticity of the pillow. Unless desired to promote a particular sleep position, a sleeper's head will maintain constant height, firmness and elasticity as it may move on the surface of the pillow while sleeping. The various layers may also be tapered lengthwise from center to each edge to provide better breathing access when the side of the head is positioned in the center of the pillow. A cover closure, such as a zipper or hook and loop fastener may facilitate removal and/or insertion of the individual layers.
 Other features and advantages of the present invention should be apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiment, which illustrates, by way of example, the principles of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is an isometric exploded view of one embodiment of the present invention in a U-shape with a shoulder cutout comprising three (3) insert layers and a cover.
 FIG. 2 is an isometric view of another embodiment of the present invention with all three (3) of the inserts placed inside the cover.
 FIG. 3 is an isometric exploded view of an adjustable pillow in a conventional rectangular shape consisting of three (3) insert layers and a cover.
 1 case
 2 insert
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
 The invention should be better understood with reference to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment illustrated in the drawings.
 FIGS. 1-3 show an adjustable pillow 1 constructed in accordance with the present invention. The adjustable pillow comprises a stretchable cover and multiple, removable inserts. References to the inserts will otherwise be understood as references to the inserts collectively. The inserts 2 are of various thickness, firmness and composition to permit adjustment for overall pillow height, overall firmness, surface firmness and elasticity via memory foam, for instance. The total height of the adjustable pillow 1 depends on the total height of the various inserts being used, the overall firmness depends on the firmness of the inserts and the surface firmness depends on the firmness of the topmost inside layer. The inserts provide the option of memory foam and/or adjustment across the entire length and width of the pillow so that a user will not experience changing height or firmness while sleeping.
 FIG. 1 shows that the inserts are positioned in the cover and extend along the entire length and width of the pillow. The cover has an open end through which the inserts are inserted and has a length dimension "L" and a width dimension "W" shown in FIG. 1 that defines a sleeping area of the pillow.
 The sleeping area is the approximate area of the pillow on which a sleeping person can be expected to rest his or her head. It should be understood that the height of the pillow refers to the vertical dimension of the pillow when viewed in cross section, perpendicular to the plane defined by the length and width of the pillow cover.
 The three (3) inserts 2 illustrated in FIG. 1 comprise inserts of different relative firmness and thickness. In particular, a first insert is relatively soft and thin while a second insert is of medium firmness and thickness, and a third insert is relatively firm and relatively thick. The firmness of the inserts need not correspond with the thickness as described. As shown in FIG. 1, the pillow nominally includes three (3) inserts, but may contain any number desired.
 Moreover, inserts in multiple combinations of thickness, firmness and composition can be made available separately from those originally supplied with the cover. That is, users can selectively mix and match the different firmness, thickness and composition varieties of inserts to assemble a group of all soft inserts, all firm inserts or any combination thereof. In addition, the user may determine the overall height of the pillow by the thickness of the various inserts selected. In this way, individual users can tailor the pillow to their own preferences.
 FIG. 2 shows the adjustable pillow with the three (3) inserts placed in the stretchable cover to provide an initial height, overall firmness and surface firmness. More particularly, the total cross-sectional height of the adjustable pillow as illustrated in FIG. 1 is substantially equal to the combined height of any padding material in the pillow cover seen in FIG. 1, the height of the first soft insert, the height of the second medium insert, and the height of the third firm insert. The inserts may all be equally thick or they may vary in thickness. Mathematically, a greater number of different pillow heights may be achieved by combining inserts each having a different thickness, as compared to combining inserts of equal thickness.
 The overall firmness of the pillow with inserts is the firmness provided by the three (3) inserts and the cover, as indicated by the resistance to compression of the combination. The pillow may be adjusted to achieve a different perceived overall firmness. The perceived overall firmness of the pillow largely depends on the combination of inserts placed within the pillow cover.
 The surface firmness of the pillow cover and top insert is generally the firmness perceived by the sleeper. If the pillow cover has no padding material, the perceived surface firmness would reflect the firmness of the insert closest to the sleeper's head. In a "soft" embodiment, inserts made of the softest viable material may be placed in the cover. Thus, both the number and type of inserts can be varied to adjust the perceived overall firmness (and height and surface firmness) of the pillow.
 The adjustable pillow may be shaped to accommodate or facilitate various therapeutic goals such as anti-snore, lower arm "tunnels," CPAP cutouts, head-positioning protuberances and the like.
 The user may also use one or more inserts that are ventilated with air circulation holes and/or inserts made of viscoelastic memory foam to provide the benefits associated with that material. The various insert layers may also contain other materials to provide anti-bacterial, anti-odor, sleep inducing, curative, fragrant, meditative and/or off-gas inducing or inhibiting properties.
 The adjustable pillow is compatible with conventional pillowcases and accessories. In particular, the adjustable pillow is sized to fit within conventional, readily available pillowcases such as Twin, Double, Queen, King, California King and other well-known bed size standards out in the market.
 To prevent excessive warmth due to the insulating properties of the insert material air circulation or ventilation may be provided via vertical holes spaced throughout the field of one or more of the inserts. If desired, the inserts may be made of viscoelastic memory foam to provide the well-known benefits associated with that material. The various insert layers may also contain other materials to provide anti-bacterial, anti-odor, sleep inducing, curative, fragrant, meditative and/or off-gas inducing or inhibiting properties known to those skilled in the art.
 The present invention has been described above in terms of a presently preferred embodiment so that an understanding of the present invention can be conveyed. There are, however, many configurations for adjustable pillows not specifically described herein but with which the present invention is applicable. The present invention should therefore not be seen as limited to the particular embodiment described herein, but rather, it should be understood that the present invention has wide applicability with respect to adjustable pillows and cushions generally. All modifications, variations or equivalent arrangements that are within the scope of the attached claims should therefore be considered within the scope of the invention.
Patent applications in class Adapted to accommodate disparate article
Patent applications in all subclasses Adapted to accommodate disparate article