US 3312987 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1967 w. M. EMERY 3,312,987
SMALL WRINKLE-FREE FACE PILLOWS Filed April 21, 1965 lNl/ENTOR United States Patent 3,312,987 SMALL WRINKLE-FREE FACE PILLOWS William M. Emery, 44 Pittsford Way, New Providence, NJ. 07974 Filed Apr. 21, 1965, Ser. No. 449,706 2 Claims. (Cl. 5-337) My present invention refers to an unusually small inflatable, wrinkle-free, facial or head pillow combining height adjustment with a softness that resembles human flesh despite the pneumatic nature of the pillow and its smallness of size which factors in the past have contributed to excessive finnness rather than softness.
Pneumatic pillows can be reasonably soft when inflated by mouth pressures provided the total area of the top side of the pillow is considerably larger than the are-a necessary to support the intended object so that, when the pillow is in use, the displaced air has some place to go without materially increasing the internal air pressure, and also providing that the material of the inflatable bladder is elastic and is not limited in respect to its expansion by confining covering. However, in order to make my pillow wrinkle-free, that is Without possible wrinkles or creases in its covering which are common in conventional pillows and pillow cases, the washable zippered pillow case fit the contour of the inflatable part of my small facial pillow so that when inflated to an easy mouth pressure or even what might be described as a partial inflation, the zippered cover will maintain a wrinkle-free tautness when in use, and provide smooth facial contact when the head rests thereon.
Now air, even under minimal pressure would normally be expected to feel hard especially under the following conditions:
(1) A pillow is only little bigger in area than the face or cranium of the user, so that the air in the bladder cannot shift to other areas materially beyond the supporting area such as is possible in the pillow shown in my Patent #2,729,926 of Jan. 3, 1956.
(2) A pillow combination including an-inflatable bladder and an outer covering which restricts or limits the elastic expansion of the bladder material itself, when external weight is placed thereon,
(3) When a certain tautness of the washable textile fabric is essential to make the covering wrinkle and crease free.
Under these three requirements only a hard rather uncomfortable pillow could conventionally result or would be expected.
In my invention, I have added a third intermediate member to my combination, i.e. a sleeve made of a sheet of polyether or polyester foam to at least partially enclose the bladder and/ or interline the cover. This not only gives an initial external feeling of softness as might be expected but also uniquely provides a space between the non-elastic cover and the bladder into which the bladder can expand internally under the weight of the head of the user while retaining the restraining wrinkle-free tautness of the cover over a wide range of partial inflation or height adjustments.
Variation in the material thinness of the expandable bladder of course varies its elastic response to the weight of the head of the user resting thereon and can result in tautness of the cover under said head weight even though the bladder is only partially inflated and the cover is normally loose or wrinkled before the head weight is applied.any difference in size of the case and bladder as well as the characteristics of'the foam are also factors.
The structure of polyether or polyester foam and the like, in the lower densities is mad-e up of a high percentage of air not necessarily confined in closed air cells but rather a slightly elastic structure easily compressed.
Thus my invention includes an inflatable bladder not materially larger in area than the head which it supports, a covering which limits and restricts the expansion of the bladder, and an intermediate member that provides space within the cover, although taut, into which the bladder can expand under load incident to use.
For cosmetic reasons, a pillow contacting the face must have a smooth, wrinkle-free comfortable washable surface of contact because wrinkle-s or creases in a pillow case can be impressed on the skin of many users, and may require several hours before they disappear as in the case of many complexion conscious females who hesitate to appear at work more haggard in appearance than their younger companions. Many of these same beauty conscious persons also use curlers at night. For restful sleep, it is then essential that the head be sup ported and raised by a pillow shaped and small enough so as not to contact the same scalp area occupied by the curlers; also the head, neck and shoulders should be raised so that the mattress does not press the curlers into the scalp.
If such a user is not using curlers, there is a strong probability that she has recently had a hair-do which she wishes to nurse and protect as long as possible. So a small pillow which will comfortably support her head and keep the scalp away from pressure contact with the mattress is again essential and calls for a pillow small enough to support the head with only neck, jaw and cheek in supporting contact.
Accordingly objects of my present invention include providing a wrinkle-free pillow of diminutive size which will comfortably support the head of the user with a mini-mum scalp contact and with as much of the scalp out of contact with the mattress as possible, and to provide such a pillow with a range of height and thickness adjustment while maintaining the cover in a wrinkle-free and crease-free state.
Another object is to provide a head pillow which can he used while side or stomach sleeping with a minimum cheek contact so sleeping pressure on the cheek does not tend to flatten the cheek, but its youthful fulness, if any, is retained and encouraged.
Another object is to provide a head pillow which while attaining the other mentioned objects is also sloping or lwedge shaped.
These and other objects together with their successful attainment will be obvious from the preceding explanation and the following description, specifications, claims and drawings in which,
FIGURE 1 is a plan view, partly broken away to show my invention assembled and inflated,
FIGURE 2 is an end view of FIG. 1,
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the inner or bladder member before inflation,
FIGURE 4 is a plan view of the intermediate com -v pression or expansion member,
FIGURE 5 is an end View of FIG. 5, and
FIGURE 6 is a plan view of the outer cover with its zipper closure open.
As shown in FIGURE 1, my invention includes the interrelated and dependent combination of an inner or bladder member 10 which is inflatable and made of resilient, expandable and heat scalable material such as vinyl sheeting, a closed, restrictive, non-expandable washable textile fabric cover 30 and an intermediate normally soft compression or expansion member 20 of polyester or polyether foam or the like made of a layer of sheet material of uniform thickness.
The top edge 11 of bladder 10 is formed by folding a sheet of vinyl rather than conventionally and continuously heat sealing its periphery. An air valve 12 for selectively inflating bladder 10 is pre-heat sealed into folded edge 11. The top edge 2'1 of the intermediate or compression member 20 is likewise folded and an opening 22 is provided for access to valve 22 and to minimize pressure of cover 30 on valve 22. The top edge of cover 30 is closed by a zipper 31 and valve 12 and opening 22 are positioned for easy access when zipper 31 is first opened or when almost closed because the user must selectively adjust the inflation to individual needs. In use the top edge 11, 2'1 and zipper 31 are the least likely to be contacted or used as supporting areas by the user, so lack of smoothness at this location is no disadvantage, whereas in other areas, conventionally used for valves, the roughness of the valve has been found tapering of the pillow as shown in FIG. 2 but also a further tapering when in use.
FIGURES 3 and 6 show a bladder 10 and cover 30 uninflated and of substantially the same size and shape and FIGURE 1 shows the assembly inflated. Due to the rounding of the inflated pillow at its profile edges, such as the semi-circular or bulbous typical profiles 50 and 51 shown in FIGURE 2 the bladder 10 and cover 30 appear smaller when inflated as shown in FIGURE 1. Accordingly the intermediate member 20 which is sleeve like with open ends 24 is made initially shorter than 10 and 30 as viewed on FIGURES 3 and 6 because ends 13 and 14 tend to recede into ends 24 when the bladder 10 is inflated. For this reason, the end 24 does not require shaped ends to correspond with 13 and 14 or 33 and 34. Also excess material or wrinkling in the intermediate member does not seem to transmit wrinkles to the cover 30.
Also included in the periphery of members 10, 20 and 30 are bottom edges 15, 2-5 and 35 respectively, broken by a substantially semi-circular indentation 16, 26, and 36 respectively acting to eliminate or relieve pressure on the cheek of the user when side or stomach sleeping or expressed more positively said indentation leaves or forms supporting areas 40', 41 and 42 suitable when side or stomach sleeping for supporting contact with the temple, ear and jaw areas respectively. When back sleeping, area 41 may support the back of the neck and if points or projections 43 and 44 are horizonal and pointed towards the head of the bed they will support the head laterally. If points 43 and 44 are directed towards the foot of the bed and area 41 still supports the nape then the points 43 and 44 can raise the shoulders, thereby allowing extra elevation of the head of the user when curlers are worn or when pressure against the hair-do is to be avoided. Prorfile curves 50 and 51 incident to inflation as shown in FIG- U RE 2 are indicative of the profile all around the periphery of the pillow and because of this, supporting areas 40, 41 and 42 are much smaller than might be assumed from FIGURE 1 so that the dimunitive size of the pillow may be deduced from the fact that these areas 40, 41 and 42 contact and support the side-of an adult head, especially the temple, ear and jaw respectively, as previously explained.
FIGURE 2 also indicates the general tapering of the pillow from 50 to 51 which tapering is actually increased when in use because 43 and 44 flatten more under the same per square inch pressure than a larger area such as 53.
When inflated and due to the restriction of cover 30, the pillow has a long side 32 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and two conical projections 40 and 43 normal thereto which have oval cross sections of diminishing sizes which is indicated in FIG. 2 by the taper from 50 to 51. Also 40' and 43 are tapered in the plane shown in FIG. 1 by the slanting sides 34 and are truncated or blunted at 35.
Cover 30 is of any washable relatively non-stretchable or restrictive textile fabric and in the preferred embodiment may be considered to be percale and when the pillow is partially inflated, the cover 30 is normally loose or wrinkled.
The intermediate or compression member 20 may be made of any soft compressible foam preferably of low density but in my preferred embodiment, it is polyether or polyester foam sheeting of any suitable uniform thickness up to say /2 inch but preferably inch. It is folded on edge 21, with a valve opening at 22 and the lower edge 25 and 26 is either sewed or heat sealed together. As previously explained one of the functions of the intermediate or compression member 20 acting between the expandable bladder 10 and the relatively nonstretchable cover 30 is to keep the cover 30 taut and wrinkle-free over a wide range of adjustable heights and bladder inflations and expansion, and to avoid any rapid increase in firmness or hardness due to the head pressing on the pillow as might be expected in a pneumatic pillow so small in proportion to its work load areas as previously explained.
With my invention especially on account of the intermediate compression or expansion member 20, it is possible that the inner member 10 be wrinkled and not fully expanded and yet the cover '10 be wrinkle-free. This may occur under partial inflation or when cover 30 is smaller than bladder 10 (allowing for the thickness of 20) which might occur incident to the shrinking of cover 30 due to washing even when only partially inflated, the weight of the head of the user will expand the bladder sufliciently to render the covering 30 taut and wrinkle free in the face contacting areas and the elasticity and thickness of the material of the bladder is especially designed and proportioned to do this.
My invention is not limited to the specific size and shape or materials of'my present embodiment but is limited to inflatable head pillows and the following claims.
1. A head pillow comprising a C-shaped restrictive closable outer cover and an inflatable bladder therein of substantially the same size and shape before inflation, said restrictive cover being shaped and proportioned to provide after inflation of said bladder a relatively thicker long side and two substantially conical ends of lesser tapered thickness extending normal to said long side, a sleeve having at least one open end comprised of a layer of thin foam material loosely surrounding said bladder, said tapered ends providing increasing forces tending to expand said bladder rendering said cover increasingly taut and wrinkle free as the weight of the head of the user is applied to their lessening area.
2. A head pillow as set forth in claim 1 wherein both ends of said sleeve are open.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,522,120 9/1950 Kaskey et al 5-338 X 2,822,554 2/1958 Wenzelberger 5-338 X 2,835,905 5/1958 Tomasson 5338 2,942,281 6/1960 Cole 5-348 X 3,242,511 3/ 1966- Fultz et al. 5-348 DAVID J. W'ILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.
FRANK B. SHERRY, Examiner.
A. M. CALVERT, Assistant Examiner.