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Mattress cover

Abstract
A mattress cover, comprising: a plurality of compartments, wherein a padding material is provided in at least some of the compartments, and wherein the cover further comprises a chamber suitable for receiving a mattress.

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Inventors: Onoufriou, Eleftherios; (London, GB)
Correspondence Name and Address: King & Jovanovic, PLC
170 College Avenue
SUITE 230
HOLLAND
MI
49423
US

Serial No.: 046138
Series Code: 11
Filed: January 28, 2005

U.S. Current Class: 5/502; 5/497
U.S. Class at Publication: 005/502; 005/497
Intern'l Class: A47G 009/02

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Foreign Application Data

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Date Code Application Number
Jan 29, 2004 GB 0401961.8

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Claims

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What is claimed is:

1. A mattress cover, comprising: a plurality of compartments, wherein a padding material is provided in at least some of said compartments; and wherein the cover comprises a chamber suitable for receiving a mattress.

2. A mattress cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the padding material is in the form of a cushion.

3. A mattress cover, comprising: a plurality of compartments, a plurality of cushions, and fixing means for fixing the cover to a mattress, wherein at least one of said cushions is located in each of said compartments.

4. A mattress cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cover comprises a front sheet and a back sheet, the compartments being defined by joining the front sheet and the back sheet along one or more join lines.

5. A mattress cover as claimed in claim 1, comprising first and second adjacent compartments having a common first join line, the first join line extending only partway along a side of the first and second adjacent compartments to allow communication between said first and second adjacent compartments.

6. A mattress cover as claimed in claim 5, wherein the first join line is located midway along the side of the first and second adjacent compartments to allow communication between adjacent corners of the first and second adjacent compartments.

7. A mattress cover as claimed in claim 1, the compartments being provided in a first column and a second column and the cover being foldable along a second join line provided between the first and second columns of compartments.

8. A mattress cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the compartments are provided with a releasable fastener, such as a zip, to facilitate access to the interior of said compartments.

9. A mattress cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the compartments are provided on the interior surface of the cover.

10. A mattress cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cover is for use with a futon mattress.

11. A mattress cover as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cover is for use with a mattress for a sofa bed.

12. A mattress in combination with a mattress cover as claimed in claim 1.

13. A padded article, comprising: a support layer, a padded layer having a plurality of compartments, and a cover, wherein a padding material is provided in at least one of said compartments, and wherein the support layer and the padded layer are separately formed and enclosed within the cover.

14. A padded article as claimed in claim 13, wherein the padded layer is separate from the support layer.

15. A padded article as claimed in claim 13, wherein the padded layer is attached to the support layer.

16. A padded article as claimed in claim 13, wherein the padded layer is attached to the cover.
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Description

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

[0001] This application claims the benefit of UK Patent Application No. 0401961.8 filed Jan. 29, 2004, entitled "A MATTRESS COVER" which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to a mattress cover. At least in a preferred embodiment, the cover may improve the comfort of the mattress or cushion, may provide desirable aesthetic features, and may also provide advantages over conventional mattresses and known futon mattresses in terms of the method and cost of manufacture and delivery. More specifically, the present invention relates to a mattress cover for use with fixed beds, folding beds, sofa beds or futons.

[0004] 2. Background Art

[0005] It is often desirable to give chairs, sofas, futons and the like a quilted external appearance. Previous methods of achieving such a quilted look have been unsatisfactory, either in terms of the aesthetic appearance, the comfort, or the cost of manufacture.

[0006] For example, a seat cover may have to be provided with external studs or buttons to compress the padding of the seat to provide the desired quilted effect. Such studs or buttons can be uncomfortable to sit on or to lie on, in the case of a folding bed.

[0007] Conventional methods of manufacturing mattresses by filling a, usually fabric, shell casing with a padding material and then tufting the mattress, for example using stitching, to prevent the padding from moving within the shell casing is laborious, time consuming and therefore expensive. Furthermore, such mattresses are bulky, making transportation difficult.

[0008] Consequently, there is a requirement for a method of construction which provides the desired appearance but is able to be manufactured cheaply.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] According to a first aspect, the present invention relates to a mattress cover comprising a plurality of compartments, a padding material being provided in at least some of said compartments; the cover further comprising a chamber suitable for receiving a mattress.

[0010] Preferably, the padding material is in the form of a cushion. Alternatively, padding material may be provided in each compartment in a loose form. For example, the padding material may be cut foam, crumbed foam or microfibre material. The padding material may be placed into the compartments using any suitable method. For example, padding material may be blown into the compartments.

[0011] According to a second aspect, the present invention relates to a mattress cover comprising a plurality of compartments, a plurality of cushions, and fixing means for fixing the cover to a mattress; wherein, at least one of said cushions is located in each of said compartments. The cushions may be filled with padding material, e.g. cut foam, or they may be inflated with air.

[0012] The mattress cover can be understood as being a mattress case that encloses the mattress.

[0013] Preferably, the cover comprises a front sheet and a back sheet, the compartments being defined by joining the front sheet and the back sheet along one or more join lines.

[0014] Preferably, the cover comprises first and second adjacent compartments having a common first join line, the first join line extending only partway along a side of the first and second adjacent compartments to allow communication between said first and second adjacent compartments.

[0015] Preferably, the first join line is located midway along the side of the first and second adjacent compartments, between the first and second adjacent compartments, to allow communication between adjacent corners of the first and second adjacent compartments.

[0016] Preferably, the compartments are provided in a first column and a second column and the cover being foldable along a second join line provided between the first and second columns of compartments.

[0017] Alignment of the compartments of the preferred embodiment of the mattress cover into rows and columns overcomes the disadvantage of known mattresses for futons and folding beds, that when the mattress is folded a bulge appears in the mattress along the fold line. This bulge is unsightly and uncomfortable. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention the fold line is located between adjacent rows of compartments. As the compartments are shaped to have a minimum thickness at the outer edges, when the padded mattress according to the present invention is folded, a bulge is not created and hence the aesthetic properties and comfort of the padded mattress are not compromised. It is also easier to fold the mattress as there is a natural fold line. This in turn reduces any tendency for the mattress to want to unfold and slide off the frame on which it is mounted.

[0018] Advantageously, the compartments may be provided with a releasable fastener, such as a zip, to facilitate access to the interior of said compartments.

[0019] Alternatively, the compartments may be provided on the interior surface of the cover.

[0020] It is envisaged that the mattress may be a futon mattress or a mattress for a sofa bed. The mattress may also be made from a foam material. Advantageously, the mattress may have a composite construction to provide improved comfort and aesthetic qualities. The mattress may have two, three, or more layers. For example, it may have a central core manufactured from, for example, a high density foam, the central core being provided on its top and/or bottom surface with a layer of deformable material. The deformable material may be of lower density than the material from which the central core is manufactured. The deformable material may be wadding, most preferably polycotton wadding. The deformable material may also extend around one or more sides of the mattress. The central core may be enveloped by the deformable material.

[0021] In a further alternative the mattress may comprise one or more springs. The one or more springs may be contained within the central core.

[0022] In a still further alternative, the mattress may be inflatable.

[0023] In one embodiment the mattress may be combined with a cover.

[0024] According to a further aspect, the present invention relates to a padded article comprising a support layer, a padded layer having a plurality of compartments, and a cover; a padding material being provided in at least one of said compartments; wherein the support layer and the padded layer are separately formed and enclosed within the cover.

[0025] Preferably, the padded layer is separate from the support layer.

[0026] Preferably, the padded layer is attached to the mattress.

[0027] Preferably, the padded layer is attached to the cover.

[0028] According to a yet further aspect, the present invention provides a padded member comprising a plurality of compartments and a plurality of cushions, at least one of said cushions being located in each of said compartments.

[0029] Viewed from a still further aspect, the present invention relates to a padded member comprising a first compartment and a second compartment, the first and second compartments being adjacent to each other and joined along a common edge, a padding material being provided in both of said first and second compartments, wherein a first side of the padded member is made of a flexible sheet material and said sheet material is gathered in a central region between said first and second compartments such that said compartments are wasted.

[0030] According to a further aspect, the present invention relates to a mattress cover having a first part comprising a mattress compartment and a second part comprising a plurality of padding compartments.

[0031] According to a yet still further aspect, the present invention relates to a method for assembly of a padded mattress using a mattress cover according to the present invention comprising the steps of placing a mattress into the mattress compartment, placing a padding material or a padding element into each of the plurality of padding compartments and securing the mattress cover around the mattress and the padding material or padding elements.

[0032] This aspect of the present invention is fundamentally different from what is known in the art. Conventionally, mattresses are manufactured articles being produced by filling a shell casing with a padding material and then tufting the filled shell casing, using stitching, covered buttons or felt washers, in order to prevent the padding material from moving around within the shell casing. Using the method of the present invention, the padded mattress is an assembled article, assembled from a mattress cover, a mattress and a number of padding elements, for example cushions. As assembly requires a lower skill level than conventional mattress manufacture, the padded mattress according to the present invention can be produced at a lower cost than a conventional mattress. Furthermore, this low skill level enables a padded mattress to be supplied to customers in kit form, for self-assembly. This brings further cost benefits both in terms of assembly time and transportation costs. By vacuum packing the padding elements and rolling up the mattress, the overall size of the articles to be transported is significantly reduced, hence reducing transportation costs.

[0033] According to a yet still further aspect, the present invention relates to a kit of parts for assembling a padded mattress comprising a mattress cover according to the present invention, a mattress and a plurality of padded elements.

[0034] These and other objectives of the present invention will become apparent in light of the present specification, claims, and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0035] An embodiment of a padded covering for a mattress for use with a folding sofa bed, constructed in accordance with the present invention, will now be described by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0036] FIG. 1 is a perspective plan view of the padded covering and mattress in a flat configuration for use as a bed;

[0037] FIG. 2 is a perspective plan view of the back surface of a mattress according to the present invention;

[0038] FIG. 3 is a perspective plan view of the padded covering for the mattress according to the present invention;

[0039] FIG. 4 is a close-up of a compartment for receiving a cushion element;

[0040] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the front surface of the padded covering when the mattress is folded for use as a sofa; and

[0041] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the padded covering and mattress in a folded position for use as a sofa.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0042] While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there will herein be described in detail several specific embodiments with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

[0043] A padded article 1 in accordance with the present invention is shown in FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 2, the padded article 1 comprises a cover 3, a padded layer 5 and a mattress 7. The cover 3 and the padded layer 5 are sewn together. The mattress 7 is formed separately from the cover 3 and is located inside the cover 3 in use. The internal construction of the mattress cover 1 provides the cover 3 with a quilted appearance.

[0044] The cover 3 is manufactured from two materials, as shown in FIG. 3. A first material 9 covers the front and sides of the padded layer 5 and the mattress 7 and provides a seating surface. A second material 11 covers the back of the mattress 7. The first material 9 is preferably leather and the second material 11 is preferably fleece. However, any suitable alternatives, for example woven textiles, may be utilized.

[0045] The first and second materials 9, 11 are joined together around their periphery by a zip-fastener (not shown) enclosing the padded layer 5 and the mattress 7. The zip-fastener may extend along one side, along two sides, along three sides or along four sides. The first and second materials 9, 11 may remain attached together even when the zip-fastener is undone or they may be detachable from each other when the zip-fastener is undone. Any suitable alternative fastener may be utilized.

[0046] A grid pattern of fabric divisions (not shown) is stitched into the covering 6 of the padded layer 5, dividing it into separate compartments 23, as shown in FIG. 3. The stitching attaching the fabric divisions to the covering 6 also attaches the covering 6 to the internal surface of the first material 9. In doing so a grid pattern of stitching is applied to the external surface of the material 9.

[0047] FIG. 3 shows the padded layer 5 divided into twenty equally sized rectangular components 23. The padded layer may alternatively be divided into a different number of equally sized compartments, into a plurality of differently sized compartments and/or into differently shaped compartments.

[0048] The padded layer 5 is divided across its width into four columns, by the long sides of the covering 6 of the padded layer 5, by a fixed longitudinal wall 13 and by two separable walls 15, 17, one each side of the longitudinal wall 13. The padded layer 5 is divided along its length into five rows, by the short sides of the covering 6 padded layer 5 and by a plurality of fixed transverse walls 19.

[0049] Enclosed within each of the twenty rectangular compartments 23 is a cushion 21, for example as shown in FIG. 4. Each cushion 21 has a cover and is filled with a padding material. Typically the padding material is cut foam or polyester fiber but may be any suitable alternative. Each cushion 21 is retained in place in its compartment 23 by means of at least one of the side wall of the covering 6, the longitudinal wall 13 and/or the separate walls 15, 17 and by at least one transverse wall 19.

[0050] FIG. 4 shows a first corner compartment 23 of the cover 3 and the invention will now be described with reference to this compartment by way of example. The two external sides 25,27 of the first corner compartment 23 are formed by the sides of the padded layer 5. The longitudinal internal side 29 of the first corner compartment 23 is formed by the separable longitudinal wall 17 and the transverse internal side by a transverse wall 19 (not shown in FIG. 4).

[0051] To provide access to the compartment 23, the covering 6 of the padded layer 5 is provided with a first zip-fastener 31. This zip-fastener 31 secures together the material covering forming each of the two columns of compartments 23. Once unfastened, access is provided to the compartments 23 of one column only. The compartments 23 provided within the opposite column are closed by the separable wall 17 and must be accessed by unfastening a second zip-fastener 33.

[0052] Unzipping of the second zip-fastener 33 allows the internal side 29 to be folded down and a cushion 21 to be located inside the compartment 23. The second zip fastener 33 is provided along the full length of the padded layer 5 and when fully unzipped provides access to each of the five compartments 23 in that column.

[0053] It is advantageous to zip adjacent columns of compartments 23 together to improve the rigidity of the padded layer 5. To decrease the cost of producing the padded article 1, the padded layer 5 is only provided with one separable wall 17 between adjacent columns. The cushions 21 held in compartments 23 without a separable wall 17 are held in place when the covering 6 is fastened by the first zip-fastener 31. The provision of a separable wall 17 is important to prevent cushions 21 from passing between compartments 23.

[0054] The separable wall 17 has a depth that is less than the depth of the rest of the padded layer 5. When the separable wall 17 is secured to the covering 6 by the second zip-fastener 33, the edge of the cushion adjacent to the separable wall is compressed. Consequently, the external surface of the padded layer 5 takes up a convex form and gives the desired quilted appearance.

[0055] Provided between each compartment 23 along the length of the padded article 1 are transverse walls 19. In a similar fashion to the separable wall 17, the transverse walls 19 have a depth that is less than the depth of the rest of the padded layer 5, so that the edge of the cushion 21 is compressed and so that the padded layer 5 takes up a convex form and gives the desired quilted appearance.

[0056] However, in contrast to the separable wall 17, the transverse walls 19 do not extend across the entire width of the compartment 23, but extend only across a centre portion, leaving a gap at each end. As the cushion element 21 is only compressed along a portion of each edge it assumes a profile along line X-X that differs from its profile along line Y-Y, as shown in FIG. 5. Thus, the compartments 23 are wasted. This provides a desirable shape for the compartment, as shown in FIG. 5.

[0057] Once all of the compartments have been filled with a cushion 21 and the covering 6 has been closed using zip-fasteners 31 and 33 the mattress 7 is placed on top of the padded layer 5, on the opposite side to the cover 3. When the mattress 7 is in place the second material 11 of the cover 3 can be zip-fastened to the first material 9.

[0058] The padded article 1 can be used in two positions. In a first flat position, as shown in FIG. 5, it can be used as the mattress for a bed. In a second position, as shown in FIG. 6, the mattress 1 can be used as the seating for a sofa.

[0059] So that the mattress can be used as a sofa, where one half of the mattress 7 is folded into a position where it is generally perpendicular to the other half of the mattress 7, it is provided with three parallel longitudinal cuts 35, as shown in FIG. 2.

[0060] In use, the padded layer 5 is provided on the upper surface of the mattress 7 so that an individual may sit on the cushions 21 (when the mattress 7 is to be used as a sofa) or lie on them (when the mattress 7 is used as a bed).

[0061] The skilled reader will realize that a number of modifications or variations to the precise details described herein may be made without departing from the scope of the claims. For example, the transverse wall 19 may be modified so as to extend across the entire width of the compartment 23, but to maintain the desired shape, may be provided with a concave edge which is joined to the covering 6 of the padded layer 5.

[0062] The cover in accordance with the present invention may, of course, be used for cushions on sofas or chairs to provide the desired quilted effect. Indeed, it is envisaged that the padded article need not be used in conjunction with cushion or other padded article, but instead could be used to provide padding on its own, for example when mounted on a rigid board.

[0063] The foregoing description merely explains and illustrates the invention and the invention is not limited thereto except insofar as the appended claims are so limited, as those skilled in the art who have the disclosure before them will be able to make modifications without departing the scope of the invention.

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