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Publication numberUS3626526 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 14, 1971
Filing dateJun 17, 1969
Priority dateFeb 17, 1969
Also published asDE1959659A1, DE1959659B2
Publication numberUS 3626526 A, US 3626526A, US-A-3626526, US3626526 A, US3626526A
InventorsEdmond Pierre Robert Viel
Original AssigneeEdmond Pierre Robert Viel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 3626526 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 14, 1971 E. P. R. VIEL 3,626,526

' MATTRESSES Filed June 17. 1969 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIGA y l u@ "Decl, 1971 y E. P. R. VIEL 3,625,525

MATTRESSES Filed June 1'?. 1969 3 Sheets-Sheet n Dec. 14, 1971 E. P. R. vlEl. 3,626,526

MATTRESSES Filed June 17, 1969 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 33 15 3/4 o o o o o o Q o O O O S [1 O 7 l l l I' 1 32 3o United States Patent O 3,626,526 MATTRESSES Edmond Pierre Robert Viel, Cite Industrielle, Ducos, Noumea, New Caledonia Filed June 17, 1969, Ser. No. 833,996 Claims priority, application Australia, Feb. 17, 1969, 50,560/ 69 Int. Cl. A47c 23/00; A61g 7/04; A47g 9/00 U.S. Cl. -345 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A mattress having a base consisting of a layer of soft resilient expanded foam material over which is arranged a further layer of a similar material, from which layer portions have been removed or are absent to produce a mattress in which parts of the surface are at an elevation above the level of the remainder, the elevated parts being arranged so that the mattress supports the body of the user when either in the dorsal or lateral positions in an anatomically advantageous manner. Absent portions of the overlying layer may be filled with material of greater softness and resilience than the remainder of the layer. Portions removed from the absent portions of the overlying layer may be attached to the elevated parts to increase the difference in elevation between the different parts of the mattress.

The present invention relates to mattresses and the object of the invention is to provide a mattress which has numerous advantages over mattresses of known construction.

(1) Whereas mattresses at present in use are of uniform consistency whatever the shape of their surface a mattress according to the present invention may in preferred forms be of variable and controllable consistency in different parts, this being controllable by the user.

(2) The surface of a mattress according to the invention may be provided with zones of soft consistency arranged over places where the body exercises the greatest pressure on the mattress and Zones of high consistency.

(3) A mattress according to the invention may furthermore be constructed to have surfaces at different levels which are adjustable by the user.

Mattresses according to the invention may be constructed in different forms all of which are advantageous in one way or another but which do not all necessarily exhibit all the advantages of the invention.

A mattress according to the invention may be used to advantage in the following circumstances:

(l) By persons in good health (a) to provide improvements in comfort (being used as a replacement for or superposed on an ordinary mattress).

(b) for physical culture of the vertebral region (practised in a lying position).

(2) Use for therapeutic purposes (a) stretching in a lying position (b) use by persons remaining in bed for long periods (the mattress may be used for assisting in the prevention of bed sores).

(c) for correcting vertebral deformations (cyphosis, lordosis and scoliosis).

3,626,525 Patented Dec. 14, 1971 "ice FIG. 2 is a similar view of a human form resting on a mattress according to the invention,

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a human form resting in a 'lateral position on a level surface in an anatomically correct position due to the use of three cushions maintaining the vertebral column straight,

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic representation in perspective of a mattress according to the invention,

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an assembly of pieces of material removed in the construction of the mattress as shown in FIG. 4,

FIG.` 6 is a section in elevation of a part of the mattress of FIG. 5 showing a type of double button permitting the easy attachment or detachment of parts of the mattress, and

FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a mattress according to the invention in which the upper surface of the mattress is at the same level but different areas are of different degrees of consistency,

FIG. 8 shows a cover suitable for use with a mattress according to the invention,

FIGS. 9 to l2 are diagrammatic perspective views of a further form of mattress according to the invention shown in four different configurations.

In FIG. l the vectors F1, F2, F3, F4, F5 and F6 represent the forces exercised by the parts of the human body from which they extend on a mattress due to the weight of the body when in the dorsal position, the mattress being considered tlat and of uniform consistency; the length of the vectors is approximately proportional to the forces acting.

In FIG. 2 the body is shown as supported in additional places F7 (knees), F8 (lumbar curvature), F9 (nape of the neck). The additional support points result in a reduction of the forces shown in FIG. `l and give rise to a fresh distribution of forces as indicated approximately by the lengths of the vectors in FIG. 2.

FIG. 3 represents a comfortable position for a person lying in a lateral position on an ordinary mattress on which are provided cushions 1, 2 and 3 of a consistency and dimensions appropriate to produce the following result:

(l) Cushion 1 is arranged to support the head and the upper part of the neck in such a manner that the vertebral column remains straight in the cervical region.

(2) Cushion 2 plays a similar role in supporting the abdomen and lower part of the thoracic cage.

1(3) The result of supporting the leg on cushion 3 reduces lumbar curvature; the correct thickness for this cushion is such that the higher shoulder does not have a tendency to tilt either backwards or forwards.

The mattress according to the invention shown in FIG. 4 is made up of the following parts:

(l) A base 4 of polyester foam or other suitable foam material in the form of a rectangular parallelopipedon of a thickness of about 30 mm.

(2) An overlying sheet 5 of similar materials and dimensions but of a greater thickness; cut out portions 6 and 7 are provided at each of the extremities of the sheet 5 each being roughly of the form of :an isosceles triangle with rounded angles; in the central part of sheet 5 is provided an aperture 8 in the form of an irregular hexagon with rounded angles.

(3) By a T-shaped portion 9 which fulfills a number of functions in the use of the mattress.

Fixing holes 11 provided in the sheet 4 (partly visible in FIG. 4) correspond with similar holes in the part 9 and enable that part to be fixed in a number of different positions on the base 4, the part 9 being movable in the direction of the arrow 13 as shown in FIG. 4. In addition to the -adjustability of the position of the piece 9 on the base 4 the user is provided with pieces of material identical in composition to the piece 9 (these are not shown on the drawing) which may be fixed between the pieces 9 and 5. The transverse wall of the cut out 10 is intended to exercise a light pressure n the nape of the neck of the user (F9 FIG. 2) when lying in the dorsal position, whereas the two longitudinal edges assist in maintaining the head in alignment With the body.

The two transverse parts of the T of the piece 9 function as a bolster Xwhen the user lies on one side, the shoulder lying in contact with the base 4 at a lower level. The longitudinal part of the T of piece 9 at its lower end meets the centre of the cut away portion 7 of the sheet 5 and exerts a uniform pressure on the whole vertebral region of the user.

Optionally and for thermo-therapeutic treatment (for back-pains) an electrical resistance is incorporated along the axis of the longitudinal part of the T and is connected to an electric plug 18.

The assembly of the 3 elements 4, S and 9 is carried out in the following manner:

The base 4 is attached to the overlying sheet 5 by means of an adhesive Whereas the piece 9 is fixed to the base 4 by a connector in the form of a double button 14 (FIG. 6) made of rubber or similar resilient material in the form of two buttons placed back to back and passing through the piece 9 as well as the base 4 by cylindrical holes and 16 in which the diameter is sufficiently great to allow the double button 14 to be introduced by nger pressure on one of its ends; the removal of the double button 14 is effected by pressing on one end with one hand and pulling the other end with the other hand.

FIG. 5 shows in their correct relative positions an assembly of pieces 6', 8', 7, 7 and 10 arising from the cutting of the sheet 5 at the positions 6, 7, 8 and 10; the apertures which correspond to these pieces and which may be replaced in these apertures and secured by double buttons as shown in FIG. 6.

A variation in the construction of the mattress consists in replacing pieces 6', 8', 7, 7 and 10 by pieces of identical dimensions but consisting of material of 50% lower resistance and thus of greater softness and resiliency (for example) to that making up the sheet 5 but of the same thickness, allowing the surface of the mattress to be reconstituted in manner analogous to that of an ordinary mattress as shown in FIG. 7.

A variation in the use of the mattress consists in turning it over and using the back so that the effect of the cut-away portions is diminshed.

In suitable cases the cut-away portions 6 and 7 and the aperture 8 may receive pneumatic cushions which the user may inflate separately to the desired pressure.

FIG. `8 shows a mattress cover provided with sliding fasteners 22 and 23 which permit the introduction or extraction of all or part of the elements constituting the mattress; the use of the cover helps to maintain these in place and reduces the number of double buttons 14 required.

A mattress according to the invention may be used in the following ways:

(l) Dorsal position;

(a) The trunk: After having adjusted the mattress to the configuration most suitable to his height and having covered it with a sheet the user lies on the mattress in such a way that his head is engaged in the cut-away 10. If the user is of middle height his knees will come in the centre of the transverse portion of piece 5 between the cut-away 6 and the aperture 8. If the user is of a greater or lesser height he places a cushion under his knees. In this Way the forces acting on the dorsal part of the body and the lower limbs correspond to vectors F1, F2 etc. represented in FIG. 2. When in this position the shoulders and the upper parts of the arm are lightly supported on the base 4 and except for the head, all the weight of the body from the pelvis is supported on the Whole length of l vertebral column; the result is that the shoulders are kept back, maintaining the thoracic cage in an open position in which there is a greater volume available for the internal organs allowing better aeration of the upper parts of the lungs.

(b) Pelvis: The pelvis is supported on the base 4 and by the wall surrounding the aperture 8.

(c) Legs: These are in a position slightly apart and are supported under the knees by the part between the cut-away 6 and the aperture 8; the calves rest in the region of the sloping side walls of the cut-away 6 and the heels rest lightly on the base 4.

(2) Lateral position:

If the user turns on one side, the different points of contact of his body correspond to the position already described in connection with FIG. 3; the shoulder, the pelvis and the extended leg rest on the lower level provided by the base 4 whereas the head, the abdomen and the bent leg are in contact with the higher level (sheet 5 and piece 9).

(3) Lateral position leaning forward:

The user is imagined as lying on one side, his face pointed towards the observer (FlG. 4). If the user rotates his body in the sense of the arrow 19, his shoulder cornes in contact with the lower level Of the base 4 Whereas the thoracic cage, the abdomen and the pelvis exercise pressure on the sheet 5 in the area of the hatched Zone 20 and the resistance which is produced stabilises the body at an inclination of about 45. The level of the zones 20 and 21 may `be raised above that of sheet S by additional pieces of material attached by double buttons 14 to give additional support to the abdomen or back.

(4) Lateral position inclined backwardly:

If the user places himself in the same initial position as that described above, and causes his body to rotate in a sense contrary to the arrow 19, the shoulder rests as in the previous case on the lower level of the base 4 whereas the vertebral region and the upper part of the pelvis exercise a pressure on the hatched zone 21; the body stabilises itself in an inclined position analogous to that of the previous case.

SPECIAL USES (l) Vertebral physical culture Different methods of physical culture recommended to persons suffering from arthritis, spondylitis or slipped vertebral discs, the majority of the movements prescribed are practised in a lying position and if the mattress follows the vertebral curvature, painful effects are diminished.

(2) Elongations practised horizontally Numerous types of apparatus are used for the producingr of elongations by traction in a horizontal position, certain recent models allow the patient himself to operate the apparatus producing traction so that it is instantly adjustable at the will of the user; these apparatus which are very light have also the characteristic of not having any other points of attachment except those with the Ibody of the patient; the result is that the patient while remaining in a state of elongation is enabled to carry out one after the other the different positions described.

It is easy to understand that from the therapeutic point of view considerable advantages result from employing in combination a mattress according to the invention with these new methods; for the effort of elongation as well as the ordinary mattress (Hat and of uniform consistency) have the disadvantage of increasing the curvature of the spine, whereas it is well known that elongations are more effective if the natural curvature is respected. Furthermore the elongations can be combined with heating of the vertebral region by means of the resistance heater 17, the action of the heat causing muscular relaxation.

(3) Chronically ill or injured persons forced to remain for long periods in bed These persons suffer from dorsal pains and in some cases from bed sores and the possibility of resting in more varied positions assists in diminishing these effects.

It is to be yunderstood that the description given above is purely exemplary and is not intended as a limitation on the scope of the invention in that dierent variations may be adopted as compared with the construction as described; for example the pieces 4, 5 and 9 can be constructed so as to be inflatable thus minimising the amount of storage room required. lf the user desires to combine the use of a mattress according to the invention with an ordinary mattress, the sheet 5 and piece 9 can be fixed in any appropriate manner on a sheet of dimensions approximating to that of a bed sheet and this may be placed on and tucked under an ordinary mattress to maintain the pieces 5 and 9 in position; the pieces of material may be used also as a cover in which the parts 5 and 9 may be wrapped during transport.

In order to simplify the manufacture and reduce the price the mattress may be made in a number of different Sizes with the parts fixed together so that for a particular user a variety of separate and attachable pieces are not required.

I claim:

1. A mattress, comprising a base layer of soft resilient expanded foam material of uniform thickness; cover layer means consisting of soft resilient expanded foam material of uniform thickness and overlying said base layer, said cover layer means being formed with a plurality of cutouts so as to leave at said cutouts exposed surface portions of said base layer which are at a lower elevation than the upper surface portions of said cover layer means between said cutouts; and means for connecting said cover layer means to said base layer; said upper surface portions of said cover layer means being so arranged that the body of a user is supported thereon in an anatomically advantageous manner when either in the dorsal or in the lateral position and that, in at least one of said positions, the body of a user rests on said :base layer as well as on said cover layer means.

2. A mattress as defined in claim 1, wherein said cutouts in said cover layer means are located in regions which in use lie beneath calves and feet, the pelvis and the head, and in addition two parts symmetrically arranged on either side of the longitudinal axis of the mattress.

3. A -ma-ttress as defined in claim 1, wherein said cover layer means consists of a number of separate parts at least one of which is detachable from said base layer, said connecting means including means for securing said one part to said base layer in any one of a number of predetermined positions.

4. A mattress as dened in claim 3, wherein said one part is T-shaped having a central stem and a cross bar integral with one end of said stem, with said stem arranged symmetrically with respect to a longitudinal plane of symmetry of said base layer and with said cross bar extending to opposite longitudinal edges of said base layer.

5. A mattress as defined in claim 4, wherein said cross bar is formed in a portion opposite said one end of said stem with a cutout and wherein cutouts are provided in said cover layer means to opposite sides of said stem.

6. A mattress as defined in claim 1, further comprising additional portions of soft resilient expanded foam material similar in shape to cutouts in said cover layer means, and means for detachably securing said additional portions to said cover layer means lto thereby increase the differences in elevation between different parts of the mattress.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,176,960 10/1939 Fridolph 24-102 T 2,470,398 5/ 1949 Hayes 5?-91 2,700,779 2/ 1955 Tolkowsky 5-338 3,378,862 4/ 1968 -Skinner 5-345 2,651,788 9/ 1953 Forwood S-Density Dig. 3,146,469 9/ 1964 Slade 5-91 3,378,861 4/1968 Lousberg 5 91 X FOREIGN PATENTS 175,512 10/1916 Canada 5-91 1,031,814 6/ 1966 Great Britain 5-91 73,975 1892 Germany 5-91 1,181,570 6/1959 France 5-91 PAUL 'R. GILLIAM, Primary -Examiner U.S. Cl. XR. 5-91, 338

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3742528 *Feb 15, 1972Jul 3, 1973Bock Orthopaedische Ind Kg FaMattress for invalids
US3751111 *Feb 22, 1972Aug 7, 1973M TaylorVariable density contour chair
US3828378 *Jul 31, 1972Aug 13, 1974Johnson & JohnsonSupport means for the even distribution of body pressure
US3843980 *Aug 13, 1973Oct 29, 1974P RodriguezMattress or mattress covering of novel shape
US3877093 *Dec 13, 1973Apr 15, 1975George GershbeinModular rest surface
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U.S. Classification5/722, 5/727, 5/421, 5/731
International ClassificationA47C27/16, A47C27/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47C27/148, A47C27/16
European ClassificationA47C27/14E, A47C27/16