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Air mattress

Abstract
The invention relates to an air mattress comprised of at least one air chamber made of strips of an air-tight, water vapor permeable or water vapor impermeable material that are welded or glued together. The air chamber is provided with a closable valve for letting air in and out, and the air chamber is filled with a down feather material or a synthetic fiber insulation material.

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Inventors: Brun, Andreas; (Zurich, CH) ; Weder, Markus; (Walzenhausen, CH)
Correspondence Name and Address: COHEN, PONTANI, LIEBERMAN & PAVANE
551 FIFTH AVENUE
SUITE 1210
NEW YORK
NY
10176
US

Serial No.: 486411
Series Code: 10
Filed: August 17, 2004
PCT Filed: August 8, 2002
PCT NO: PCT/IB02/03789

U.S. Current Class: 5/709
U.S. Class at Publication: 005/709
Intern'l Class: A47C 027/10

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Foreign Application Data

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Date Code Application Number
Aug 8, 2001 DE 201 12 764.4

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Claims

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1-8. (canceled)

9. An air mattress, comprising at least one air chamber of contiguous, permanently attached lengths of an air-impermeable material, said air chamber including a closable valve for admitting and releasing air; wherein said air chamber is filled with a thermally insulting filler material; and said valve is lined with an open-pore material for preventing the escape of said thermally insulating filler material.

10. The air mattress of claim 9, wherein said air mattress includes bottom and top surfaces; and said air chamber is subdivided by at least one strut, said strut being secured to said bottom and top surfaces of said air mattress.

11. The air mattress of claim 10, wherein said at least one strut is air-permeable.

12. The air mattress of claim 10, wherein said at least one strut is air-impermeable.

13. The air mattress of claim 10, wherein said at least one strut is permanently attached to said bottom and top surfaces of said air mattress.

14. The air mattress of claim 10, wherein said at least one strut includes at least two struts; and wherein said at least two struts are evenly disposed within said air mattress and are disposed transverse to at least one of said bottom and top surfaces of said air mattress.

15. The air mattress of claim 9, wherein said valve is a safety valve for preventing the outflow of air from the interior of said air mattress.

16. The air mattress of claim 9, wherein said valve is adapted to be connected to a pump having a flexible casing provided with an inlet valve, and said casing is filled with an open-pore, self-expanding foam.

17. The air mattress of claim 9, wherein said thermally insulating filler material is down.

18. The air mattress of claim 9, wherein said thermally insulating filler material is a synthetic insulating fiber.

19. The air mattress of claim 9, wherein said air permeable material is water-vapor permeable.

20. The air mattress of claim 9, wherein said air permeable material is water-vapor impermeable.

21. The air mattress of claim 10, wherein said struts are directly attached to said bottom and top surfaces of said air mattress.

22. The air mattress of claim 10, wherein said struts are indirectly attached to said bottom and top surfaces of said air mattress through an attachment means.

23. The air mattress of claim 22, wherein said attachment means includes tape.

24. The air mattress of claim 10, wherein said at least one strut is perpendicular to said at least one of said bottom and top surfaces of said air mattress.

25. The air mattress of claim 10, wherein said at least one strut is obliquely disposed to said at least one of said bottom and top surfaces of said air mattress.
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Description

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[0001] The present invention relates to an air mattress having the characteristics of the preamble to claim 1.

[0002] Air mattresses comprising at least one air chamber of welded- or glued-together lengths of an air-impermeable, water-vapor permeable or -impermeable material, in which the air chamber is provided with a closable valve for admitting and releasing air, are known. Conventional air mattresses, while indeed comfortable, warm a person only minimally, since the air trapped in the air chambers or air chamber can circulate freely, and thus a great deal of heat is lost through convection. Air mattresses of encased foam are relatively heavy, large when packed, and relatively expensive to produce, since precautions must be taken to prevent problems of delamination of the casing from the foam.

[0003] The object of the present invention is to create an air mattress which minimizes heat loss from convection yet nevertheless is lightweight, can be packed small, and is economical to produce.

[0004] This object is attained with the characteristics recited in claim 1. Advantageous embodiments and refinements of the invention are summarized in the other claims.

[0005] According to the invention, an air mattress, comprising at least one air chamber of welded- or glued-together lengths of an air-impermeable, water-vapor permeable or -impermeable material, the air chamber being provided with a closable valve for admitting and releasing air, is characterized in that the air chamber is filled with a down material or a synthetic fiber insulation material.

[0006] In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the air chamber is subdivided by struts, and these struts are secured to the bottom and top large faces of the air mattress material either directly or via tapes or the like. The struts that keep the filling material in a balanced distribution are preferably air-permeable, in the case of relatively large chambers, and for instance comprise nylon tricot. However, they can also be air-impermeable, if a subdivision into independent chambers is wanted.

[0007] Preferably, the struts or the tapes or the like are welded or glued to the air mattress material. The struts are disposed essentially regularly and are disposed perpendicularly or obliquely to the horizontal surface on which a person lies of the air mattress.

[0008] It is advantageous if the valve or valves is lined with an open-pore material, to prevent the escape of down material or synthetic fiber insulation material. Inflation of the air mattress by mouth is unwanted, because then moisture is introduced into the down material or synthetic fiber insulation material placed inside. In a manner known per se, the valve is a safety valve to prevent the outflow of air. The valve can be connected to a pump device or a bellows device, and this device, in a special embodiment of the invention, comprises a flexible casing provided with an inlet valve, and this casing is filled with an open-pore, self-expanding foam.

[0009] The invention is described in further detail below as an example, in conjunction with a drawing.

[0010] FIG. 1 shows an air mattress 1, seen in section at the front. The air mattress 1 is filled with a filler material 2 of down or synthetic fiber batting. This filler material is lightweight and can be compressed to an extreme extent, so that if a light casing fabric is selected, the result is a small packed size and low weight. The air mattress 1 is subdivided into uniform ribs by vertically disposed struts 3, which are joined at the top and bottom to the casing material, for instance by welding. The struts 3 serve to keep the filler material in place.

[0011] In the embodiment shown, the air mattress is a single-chamber mattress with a valve 4, so that the struts 3 comprise an air-permeable material, to allow the mattress to be blown up with air and to allow air to be let out. Advantageously, the valve 4 is a safety valve with an outflow preventer which can however be opened for packing or to facilitate the compression, or can even be switched over, so that air can only flow out but not in again.

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