US 20040237206 A1
A pad for cushioning a user uses visco-elastic foam to provide contouring support. In accordance with one embodiment, the foam is provided with a plurality of holes. In accordance with another embodiment, two layers of foam are used with different densities to allow the user to select the degree to which the foam contours to the body. Likewise, the foam may be color coded or otherwise visually distinct to indicate which side is softer.
1. A mattress pad comprising:
an upper layer of visco-elastic foam having an upper surface and a lower layer of visco-elastic foam having a lower surface; and
a plurality of spaced holes in the foam extending from the upper surface of the upper layer to the lower surface of the lower layer.
2. The mattress pad of
3. The mattress pad of
4. The mattress pad of
5. The mattress pad of
6. The mattress pad of
7. The mattress pad of
8. The mattress pad of
9. A mattress pad for a bed comprising a separate pad for each half of the bed.
10. The mattress pad of
11. The mattress pad of
12. The mattress pad of
13. The mattress pad of
14. The mattress pad of
15. A pad comprising:
an upper layer of visco-elastic foam; and
a lower layer of visco elastic foam.
16. The pad of
17. The pad of
18. The pad of
19. The pad of
20. The pad of
21. The pad of
22. The pad of
23. The pad of
24. The pad of
25. The pad of
26. A method for increasing the comfort of a bed, comprising:
selecting a mattress pad comprised of an upper layer and a lower layer of foam;
placing the mattress pad on the bed.
27. The method of
28. The method of
29. The method according to
30. The method according to
31. The method of
32. The method of
33. The method of
 The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/ 74,041, filed May 29, 2003.
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to padding. More particularly, the present invention relates to mattress pads or toppers and bench or seat padding which are designed to conform to the anatomy of a person using the pad.
 2. State of the Art
 Many persons are affected by symptoms common to a loss of sleep., Additionally, there are many persons who get enough sleep but experience similar symptoms because, due to discomfort while sleeping, they are not able to gain the full benefit of sleep and their body is not well rested. While there are many symptoms associated with a lack of good sleep, some common symptoms include: trouble concentrating or remembering, losing one's sense of humor, tiredness in the morning or throughout the day, reduced immunity to disease and viral infections, having mood shifts, feeling depressed or irritable, or experiencing weight gain or loss.
 Symptoms like these often result from poor sleep. If a person is not sleeping well, their body will not recover from the stress and physical and emotional depletion of the previous day. Consequentially, their physical and emotional wellbeing suffer.
 There are many reasons that a person does not sleep well. Many of these reasons are caused by a mattress that is of poor quality, too old, or the wrong type of mattress for the individual. Many mattresses cause the individual to feel too cold or hot, or do not properly support the individual while sleeping.
 If an individual is not properly supported while sleeping, the individual's body is not held comfortably by the mattress. The individual will experience too much pressure on prominent areas of the body, such as the shoulders or hips. An individual who is not properly supported by their mattress will also experience improper alignment of areas of the body such as the neck, spine, shoulders, or pelvis. Improper alignment of such areas of the body while sleeping may promote joint problems such as arthritis, back or neck pain, or soreness of the muscles associated with the misaligned joint.
 An individual that feels too cold or hot while sleeping will also experience reduced quality of sleep. A person who feels too cold while sleeping will often tighten up and curl up into an uncomfortable position, causing further misalignment of the body and subsequent discomfort. A person who is too cold may also experience muscle tension and soreness, because the muscles may not be fully relaxed while sleeping. A person who feels too hot while sleeping may have difficulty falling asleep and may turn more during the night.
 Thus persons with uncomfortable mattresses experience a number of problems while sleeping which are caused by the mattress and which reduce the quality of sleep they experience. These problems often cause a deterioration of the person's physical and emotional well-being.
 Many of the persons experiencing sleep problems as described are unable to purchase a proper mattress to relieve the problems because of the high cost of a premium mattress. Premium mattresses solve many of the described sleep problems by inclusion of many layers of various types of padding including foam and woven cloth or plastic fibers. The premium mattresses, however, commonly sell for thousands of dollars. Many persons are unable to purchase a mattress that expensive and must purchase a mattress of lesser quality. The less expensive mattresses typically do not have the number of layers of padding that the premium mattresses have, and persons purchasing less expensive mattresses typically experience more discomfort and other problems while sleeping.
 Additionally, many can not afford to replace an old mattress, as even less expensive mattresses can easily cost five hundred dollars or more.
 There is thus a need for a way to eliminate the discomfort associated with a less expensive or old mattress without requiring the purchase of a new premium mattress which is too expensive for many persons.
 Additionally, there are many other situations when a person would desire a sleeping pad or mattress pad or topper to enhance the quality of sleep. A few common situations include camping in a tent or trailer, sleeping on a boat, or staying with relatives.
 It is common when camping to sleep on the ground, or on top of a thin camping pad or thin trailer mattress. The person will then experience the aforementioned problems caused by discomfort while sleeping. It is desirable to have a pad to place on top of the camping pad or mattress to increase the comfort and quality of sleep. Similarly, a person sleeping or resting in a boat would desire the greater comfort achieved through the use of a mattress pad.
 Additionally, it is common for persons who are visiting relatives or friends and staying overnight to sleep on the floor, on a thin pad, or on an old bed. These persons will typically experience discomfort while sleeping caused by areas of high pressure and improper alignment of the body. It is thus desirable to have a sleeping pad or mattress topper to eliminate these problems.
 It is also desirable for the mattress pad or topper to easily transported to be useful in increasing the comfort and quality of sleep when camping, boating, or visiting friends or relatives.
 It is further desirable to have an improved pad for chairs, benches, or other sitting areas to eliminate sitting discomfort caused by areas of high pressure and improper support of the person sitting.
 It is not uncommon for a person to experience discomfort while sitting caused by ineffective support from the chair pad. This discomfort is common in offices where persons will spend extended periods of time seated while working. While sitting, persons may commonly experience areas of high pressure or poor sitting posture caused by an ineffective chair pad. Areas of high pressure caused by a ineffective chair pad may commonly cause bruising, soreness, or ulceration of the tissue. A chair pad that does not properly support the occupant may also result in poor sitting posture, which in turn may cause back and neck pain, back and shoulder fatigue, stress, and further discomfort.
 Many persons also experience discomfort while sitting in lawn chairs, pool lounges, or other portable chairs. Such portable chairs often have little or no padding. The person may commonly sit on chairs constructed with plastic or metal slats or plastic webbing. Such chair designs often do not properly support and cushion the occupant and may cause bruising and discomfort.
 It is thus desirable to have a pad for chairs and lounges to provide the occupant with greater comfort while sitting.
 The above and other advantages are realized by the improvement in a Dual Air Ventilation Pad.
 The present invention resolves some or all of these concerns through the use of improved pad for use when sitting, laying down, or sleeping.
 In accordance with the present invention, a pad is constructed from a polyurethane memory foam, also known as a visco-elastic foam.
 Memory foam is an open-celled foam. The cells of the foam are not a series of closed bubbles, as a conventional closed-cell foam, but a web-like matrix of the foam fibers. The open-celled nature of the memory foam allows faster movement of fluids, such as air, through the foam.
 Memory foam has a low resilience, or low resistance to deformation. The low resilience and open-celled mature of the foam allow the foam to quickly and completely conform to a person's body providing greater support and comfort. As a pad conforms more completely to the person's body, the pressure is distributed more evenly across the body, relieving areas of high pressure. This alleviates the bruises, sores, or ulceration associated with areas of high pressure while sitting or sleeping.
 Memory foam is also temperature sensitive, becoming slightly softer and conforming better with the heat from a person's body. Memory foam thus continuously reacts to the weight and body temperature of the user, dramatically minimizing areas of high pressure.
 The greater conformation of memory foam to a person as compared with conventional foam or pads will result in better posture. Because the foam conforms to the shape of the person's body, the body is held in a natural position, yielding better sleeping or sitting posture. Better sleeping and sitting posture results in lower pain, discomfort, and joint problems.
 In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, holes are formed in the memory foam pad. The holes, or sleep air columns, extend from the top surface to the bottom surface of the pad. The sleep air columns are typically spaced about one inch apart and are about one quarter of an inch in diameter. One of skill in the art of making foam pad will appreciate that other diameters of sleep air columns and spacing length between holes will accomplish the same result.
 The sleep air columns in the memory foam allow for easier air passage in and out of the foam. This improves the foam's ability to conform to the person's body and increases the deformation and recovery speed of the foam. This is advantageous because it allows the foam to conform more quickly to the person's body as they sit, sleep, or move while on the foam.
 Another advantage of using sleep air columns in the mattress pad is the corresponding reduction of weight of the pad. For example, if ten percent of the pad area is occupied by sleep air columns, as may be typical, the pad would be ten percent lighter than a similar pad without sleep air columns. Likewise, a pad with ten percent of its area covered by sleep air columns may be made ten percent thicker or ten percent more dense without a gain in weight as compared to a similar pad without sleep air columns. The corresponding gain in thickness or density would provide greater comfort, while the lighter pad would be easier to move.
 The sleep air columns can be uniformly shaped and distributed throughout the throughout the memory foam to maintain the structural integrity of the foam and preserve all of the benefits of the foam while increasing the ability of the foam to conform to the person's body.
 In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, the pad is made with multiple layers of memory foam, each layer having a different density of memory foam. The memory foam used is typically in the density range of between 3 and 10 pounds per cubic foot of foam. Foam of about five pounds per cubic foot density is commonly used in a more preferred embodiment. A pad may then have two layers, for example, with one layer being of a density somewhat less than five pounds and a second layer with a density of somewhat more than five pounds. The two layers would then be bonded together into one pad. Likewise, pads with three, four or more layers are possible.
 Pads with multiple layers of different density foam are advantageous because the less dense (and thus softer) layer may provide gentle support to the entire body while the more dense (and firmer) layer provides greater support to a heavier area of the body that sinks deeper into the pad. Additionally, a multiple layer pad is advantageous because it allows a user to adjust the firmness of the pad. A user who wants a softer pad may use the pad with the soft side up while a user desiring a firmer pad may use the pad with the firm side up.
 In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, mattress pads for beds where individuals share a bed (such as is commonly found with full, queen, or king beds) are made with two separate sides, allowing each person to chose the firmness desired from a multiple layer mattress pad by placing the appropriate side of the pad facing upward.
 The ability to change the firmness of one side of the bed without affecting the other side is advantageous because two persons sharing a bed will often have different likes and dislike in the comfort and firmness of the bedding. The present invention allows two persons to customize their bedding without requiring the purchase of a new mattress.
 Accordingly, the above described pads allow a person to increase the comfort of their bed without requiring the purchase of a new and expensive bed. Instead of spending thousands on a new premium bed, a person may spend only hundreds on a mattress pad or topper and achieve a similar level of comfort as compared to a premium bed.
 In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, portable sleeping pads may be made of memory foam for use camping, boating, or when visiting friends or relatives. Similar to the above described pads, these pads may contain multiple layers of different densities of foam to allow for greater comfort and allow a person to select the degree of firmness desired from the pad. The pads may also comprise sleep air columns to enhance the ability of the foam to conform to the person's body. Additionally, pads designed for camping, boating, or for use in visiting a friend or relative are designed to be resistant to the growth of mold, mildew, bacteria, and the like, and may have an outer fabric shell to inhibit dust and dirt from entering the foam pad and allow for easier cleaning of the pad.
 In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, similar pads may be made to fit chairs, such as office or table chairs, lawn chairs, patio furniture, pool lounges, or the like. In accordance with a more preferred embodiment, the pads may contain multiple layers of different density foam, may be reversible to adjust the firmness of the pad, and may contain uniformly spaced and symmetrical holes extending from the top surface to the bottom surface of the pad.
 Such pads allow a person to increase the comfort of their chairs or lounges without requiring the purchase of new furniture.
 Various embodiments of the present invention are shown and described in reference to the drawings. It will be appreciated that the preferred embodiments are illustrative but not limiting to the scope of the present invention which is set forth in the appended claims.
FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a mattress pad.
FIG. 2 shows a side cross sectional view of a mattress pad, illustrating the multiple layers of foam and the sleep air columns.
FIG. 3 shows a person resting on a mattress using a memory foam pad.
FIG. 4 shows a pad designed for use camping, boating, or traveling.
FIG. 5 shows a chair pad made from memory foam.
FIG. 6 shows a pool or lawn lounge chair with a chair pad.
FIG. 7 shows a bed having two pads formed in accordance with principles of the present invention disposed thereon to customize the feel of the bed for the owners.
 The drawings will now be discussed in reference to numerals provided therefore so as to enable one skilled in the art to make and use the present invention. It is to be understood that the drawings and description thereof are for explanatory purposes and are not intended to narrow the scope of the appended claims.
 Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a mattress topper 10. The mattress topper 10 is made from memory foam and has both an upper layer 12 and a lower layer 14. The upper layer 12 is made from a lighter density memory foam, typically approximately 3-5 pounds per cubic foot. The lower layer 14 is made from a higher density foam, typically approximately 4.5-7 pounds per cubic foot. The use of an upper layer 12 and a lower layer 14 provide greater comfort to the person using the mattress topper 10. The upper layer 12 and the lower layer 14 are bonded together 16 so as to form a one piece mattress pad 10.
 The mattress topper is also formed with sleep air columns 18. The sleep air columns 18 are holes that extend from the upper surface 20 to the lower surface 22 of the mattress pad 10. The sleep air columns 18 allow easier movement of air in and out of the memory foam and allow the foam to compress and recover from compression quicker, improving the ability of the foam to conform to the person using the mattress pad 10. The sleep air columns 18 are uniformly distributed throughout the mattress pad 10 to maintain the structural integrity and beneficial properties of the foam while increasing the ability of the foam to conform to the person's body.
 Turning now to FIG. 2, a cross sectional view of a mattress pad 30 is shown. The mattress pad 30 is formed with an upper layer 32, a middle layer 34, and a lower layer 36. The layers are bonded together to form a one piece mattress pad 30. The sleep air columns 38 are shown, extending from the top surface 40 to the bottom surface 42 of the mattress pad 30.
 Referring now to FIG. 3, a person 50 is shown using a mattress pad 52 made from memory foam. The use of the mattress pad 52 allows for proper alignment of the head 54, shoulders 56, hips 58, knees 60, and feet 62. The mattress pad 52 substantially conforms to the person 50, allowing such beneficial alignment of the body while sleeping. The proper alignment of the body allows the person 50 to maintain a properly aligned back 64 and neck 66. Similarly, a person 50 sleeping on their side will experience such beneficial alignment of their body.
 Referring now to FIG. 4, a mattress pad, indicated generally at 70, is shown. The mattress pad 70 is designed for use when camping, boating, traveling, etc. The mattress pad 70 is made from a memory foam 72 which has been treated so as to inhibit growth of bacteria, mold, or mildew. The mattress pad 70 uses a cover 74 made of fabric to protect the pad 70 from dirt. The cover 74 has been partially removed in the drawing to allow viewing of the foam 72. The mattress pad 70 is formed with an upper layer 76 of lighter density foam and a lower layer 78 of greater density foam. The two layer 76 and 78 of foam 72 allow the person to select the level of firmness desired and maximize comfort. The mattress pad 70 also utilizes sleep air columns 80 to maximize comfort.
 Referring now to FIG. 5, an office chair, indicated generally at 90, is shown. The chair is equipped with a seat pad 92 made of memory foam. The pad 92 has a cover 94 made of fabric. The pad 92 may be made with multiple layers of different density memory foam and may be reversible to maximize comfort. The pad 92 also may contain holes, similar to the sleep air columns that extend from the top surface to the bottom surface of the foam pad 92. The pad 92 is sized to fit the seat 96 of most office chairs.
 Turning now to FIG. 6, a lounge chair 100 is shown. The chair 100 has a chair pad 102 fitted for use. The pad 102 has a cloth cover 104, which has been partially removed, indicated generally at 106, to expose the memory foam 108. The foam 108 has an upper layer 110 of less dense foam, and a lower layer 112 of more dense foam, making the pad 102 reversible so the person using the pad may select the degree of firmness of the pad 102. The pad 102 also has holes 114 extending through the upper layer 110 and the lower layer 112, allowing quicker compression and recovery of the pad 102 and allowing the pad 102 to conform better to the person's body.
 Turning now to FIG. 7, there is shows a perspective view of a bed 150. Disposed on the top of the bed is a first foam pad 154 and a second foam pad 156. The first foam pad 154 has an upper layer 154 a and a lower layer 154 b with the lower layer having a greater density than the upper layer. The lower layer 154 b is also a darker color to visually distinguish which layer is heavier.
 The second foam pad 156 also includes a lower density layer 156 a and a higher density layer 156 b which are color coded or otherwise visually distinct. By selecting which layer of the pad is facing up, the user is able to customize the degree to which the pad 154 or 156 conforms to his or her body. Thus, for example, a woman may like a softer feel and dispose the lower density side up, while a man may prefer more support and place the higher density side up. Thus, a couple is able to customize their own sides of the bed to fit their particular sleep preferences.
 There is thus disclosed an improvement in a Dual Air Ventilation Pad. One of skill in the art will appreciate numerous modifications which can be made without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention. The appended claims are intended to cover such modifications.