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Title:
BED APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/001666
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a bed structure with a base including a support surface for the receipt thereon of a mattress in order to support the mattress at a height from a floor on which the base is located. The base includes a plurality of support surface units which are placed in position on a frame to form the support surface and at least one sheet material portion is selectively removably located with the frame to form at least part of a side wall and/or end wall of the base. The invention allows a bed to be created which is easily transportable and stored whilst also being environmentally beneficial in allowing component parts of the base to be separated at the end of life and recycled appropriately as opposed to conventional bed bases which tend to be of a permanent form once manufactured and therefore not recyclable..

Inventors:
DURRANS ROGER (GB)
DURRANS STEPHEN (GB)
Application Number:
GB2020/051621
Publication Date:
January 07, 2021
Filing Date:
July 06, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
JAY BE LTD (GB)
International Classes:
A47C17/86; A47C19/00; A47C19/02; A47C19/12
Foreign References:
GB2489971A2012-10-17
US20100043139A12010-02-25
US0710477A1902-10-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BAILEY WALSH & CO LLP (GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A bed structure including a base including a support surface for the receipt thereon of a mattress in order to support the mattress at a height from a floor on which the base is located and wherein the said base includes one or more support surface units which are placed in position on a frame to form the support surface and at least one sheet material portion is selectively removably located with the frame to form at least part of a side wall and/ or end wall of the base.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the said at least one sheet material portion includes one or a plurality of layers of material.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the frame is formed of a plurality of members and engagement means which allow the said members to be retained in an engaged position.

4 Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims wherein at least one intermediate layer of material is placed to overlay the said frame support surface and receive thereon, the mattress.

5. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein the one or more intermediate layers include a padded layer.

6 Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims wherein the bed structure is movable between a storage condition and in use condition.

7. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims wherein the frame includes location means at one or both ends to allow for the selective location of a head and/ or footboard.

8. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims wherein the said at least one sheet material portion is movable between a first condition in which the same depends downwardly from the top of the frame towards the floor to form the at least portion of the side wall and/ or end wall, and a second condition in which access can be gained to an interior space within the base through an opening. 9 Apparatus according to claim 8 wherein when the sheet material is in the first condition the sheet material is held taut so as to provide the sheet material in a substantially crease free condition.

10. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims wherein a plurality of said sheet material portions are provided to respectively form at least parts of the sidewalls and/ or end walls of the base.

11 Apparatus according to claim 10 wherein when the said sheet material portions are in the first condition the sidewalls and end walls of the base are substantially uniform and therefore similar in appearance to that of a divan bed structure.

12 Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims wherein the said sheet material portions are provided with at least one securing member which allows an end of the sheet material portion to be selectively engaged with the frame and hence retain the sheet material portion in the first condition.

13. Apparatus according to claim 12 wherein opposing ends of the sheet material portion are provided with respective securing members, with a first securing member engaged with the frame at a first location and a second securing member engaged with the frame at a second location, spaced from the first location.

14 Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein at least one of the securing members is selectively releasable from the frame to allow the sheet material portion to be moved an access condition.

15 Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein both securing members can be selectively released from the frame to allow the sheet material portion to be removed from the frame.

16. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims wherein all side and end walls of the base are formed by said sheet material portions when in the first condition with respect to the frame and at least one of said sheet material portions is movable to the second condition. 17 Apparatus according to claim 16 wherein said at least one sheet material portion is located on one of the longer side walls of the rectangularly shaped base.

18 Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims wherein the support surface units can be selectively located in one of two locations with respect to the frame to provide alternative configurations of the support surface.

19. A bed, said bed including a base formed of a frame, a support surface for a mattress thereon and side walls formed from portions of sheet material and wherein said portions of sheet material are selectively removable from the frame and, when attached, at least one of the said sheet material portions is movable between a first condition in which the same depend downwardly from or adjacent to a top edge of the frame to mask an interior cavity of the base and a second condition to define an access opening via which access can be gained to the interior cavity of the base

20 A bed according to claim 19 wherein the type, colour and/ or pattern of the sheet material portions is selected from a range of types, colours and/ or patterns to thereby allow the appearance of the base to be selected to suit a person’s preferences.

21 A bed according to any of the claims 19-20 wherein the bed, when the sheet material portions are in a first condition is similar in appearance to a divan type of bed.

22. A bed according to any of the preceding claims wherein the base is selectively movable between the in use configuration and a storage configuration in which the sheet material portions are removed from the frame and the frame is folded such that the frame, support surface units and sheet material portions are provided in a form for storage and/ or delivery purposes.

23 A bed according to any of the preceding claims wherein the frame, support surface units and sheet material portions are separable from each other and recycled.

24 A base for a bed, said base including a frame, a support surface for a mattress thereon and side and end walls, at least of said walls formed from one or more portions of sheet material and wherein said portions are selectively attachable and removable from the frame and, when attached, at least one of the said sheet material portions is movable between a first condition in which the same depend downwardly from or adjacent to a top edge of the frame to mask an interior cavity of the base and a second condition to define an access opening via which access can be gained to the interior cavity of the base.

Description:
Bed apparatus

The invention to which this application relates is to a bed and, in particular, although not necessarily exclusively, a form of a bed which is commonly known as a divan bed.

Divan beds typically comprise a base structure and, on the base structure, there is provided a top surface which receives thereon the mattress of the bed and maintains the mattress at a fixed distance from the support surface, such as a floor, on which the bed is placed.

Typically, with this form of bed the base is formed as a rigid frame or box which has a dimension of the size of a mattress which is to be placed thereon and, typically, within the base, there is provided a storage area defined by a plurality of drawers which have an external face which lies flush with a sidewall of the base and interior walls and a floor which define the storage space for each drawer. Thus, to gain access to the storage cavity the drawers can be slidably moved from the position in which the external face is substantially flush with the sidewall to a position in which the external face and hence drawer is pulled outwardly from the sidewall of the base and items can then be placed into and from the storage cavity space.

Beds of this design are particularly attractive to be used in premises where storage space may be limited and therefore the provision of the storage space in the base is particularly attractive and/or where it is intended that the bed will be used as a relatively permanent structure and in a fixed position over a relatively long period of time. The design is also attractive as the base due to it’s construction, typically of wood provides a strong rigid base and support for the mattress and can be upholstered with fabric which is nailed, staple or adhered to the base to form a particular permanent visual appearance.

However this form of divan bed has been made in this manner for many ten’s if not hundred’s of years. The use of wood and subsequent construction using screws or staples and glue, and then upholstering using foam or polyester and fabric means that they are very bulky and so are difficult and costiy to store and transport, contributing to high carbon emissions. Furthermore, at the end of their life the method and components of this type of bed base means that they are very difficult, or almost impossible, to deconstruct and recycle at the end of life, further contributing to landfill and pollution.

These problems with the use of divan beds of this design are becoming increasingly relevant and as the base is typically formed as a structure which is intended for long term use, the manufacture of the same is relatively intensive in terms of the material usage. Furthermore, the base is typically formed as a one piece or two-piece unit and therefore it is difficult to manoeuvre the same into the desired position upon delivery to a premises.

Furthermore, during manufacture the base takes up a considerable amount of space during manufacture and storage at the manufacturer’s premises, and subsequent retail premises and/ or during delivery.

Also, as there is increasing pressure on manufacturers and end-users to meet environmental targets, it has been found that the divan style of bed is not particularly environmentally friendly to manufacture due to the relatively high degree of material usage and the way the materials are assembled together, making them difficult or impossible, or economically unviable to separate the components at the end of life.

A first aim of the invention is therefore to provide a bed structure which can be utilised and offers the storage advantages of a divan type of bed while, at the same time, allowing the bed structure to have significantiy improved environmental benefits.

A further aim is to provide the structure in a modular form so as to allow the opportunity to install and move the bed structure in locations in which space is confined, furthermore, to allow the bed structure to be provided in a storage condition in which the size of the same is significantly reduced whilst still allowing the same to be moved to an in-use condition relatively easily by the end-user.

In a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a bed structure including a base including a support surface for the receipt thereon of a mattress in order to support the mattress at a height from a floor on which the base is located and wherein the said base includes one or more support surface units which are placed in position on a frame to form the support surface and at least one sheet material portion is selectively removably located with the frame to form at least part of a side wall and/ or end wall of the base.

In one embodiment the said at least one sheet material portion includes one or a plurality of layers of material.

In one embodiment, when the said support surface units are placed in position, a substantially flat support surface is formed. The support surface units may in one embodiment be wooden slats.

In one embodiment the modular units include one or more apertures therein to allow the flow of air between the interior of the base and the mattress when located thereon in order to allow the mattress to“breathe”. Typically the structure of the modular units is such as to provide support for springs, if provided, in the mattress.

Typically the size of the frame and/ or modular units and/ or number of modular units which are used are selected so as to allow a bed of a particular dimension to be formed.

In one embodiment the size of the frame is adjustable and/ or a selected number of members and/ or interlinked frames can be used to form the frame of the desired size.

In one embodiment the modular units are provided with a degree of resilience so as to allow a degree of flexing when in use.

In one embodiment, the mattress is placed directly onto said support surface once formed, or, alternatively, an intermediate cover is placed to overlay the support surface and then receive thereon, the mattress. In this embodiment the intermediate cover may be padded or contain other fillings to provide different levels of comfort or other added benefits. Typically, the modular units and/ or the frame can be moved to a storage condition in which, for example, the frame is folded along a fold line located intermediate two rows of modular units so that the modular units can be retained in situ with the frame as it is moved between storage and in use conditions.

In addition or alternatively the modular units may be removed from the frame and stacked when the frame is folded to the storage condition.

In one embodiment the frame includes location means at one or opposing end side walls to allow for the selective location of a head and/ or footboard at the respective ends.

In one embodiment, the sidewalls of the base, are formed of a flexible sheet material located on and supported in position with respect to the frame.

In one embodiment when the sheet material is in position to form the side walls, the same is held taut so as to provide the sheet material in a less flexible condition than when it is in a storage condition.

In one embodiment, at least one access opening is provided in the sidewalls of the base and is selectively opened and closed by the movement of at least one skirt portion of the sheet material relative to the frame.

In one embodiment, when the access opening is opened, the user can gain access to the interior cavity of the base to place items therein for storage and remove items therefrom for a desired use and, when the access opening is closed, the sidewalls of the base are substantially uniform and therefore similar in appearance to that of a divan bed structure.

In one embodiment, the sheet material may be used in conjunction with one or more stiffening members which encourage the sheet material, and typically the skirt portions to retain a particular shape in use. In one embodiment, the sheet material used to form the sidewalls of the base, can be moved between storage and in-use conditions, in conjunction with the frame or, alternatively, can be separated from the frame when in the storage condition.

Typically, when the sheet material is in the use condition to form the side walls of the base, at least one edge of the sheet material is attached to the frame and the sheet material depends downwardly towards the floor to form the side walls of the base and another edges or edges of the sheet material are engaged with location means formed on the frame so as to retain the sheet material in the in-use, closed, and preferably under tension, condition. Typically, to then gain access to the interior cavity of the base, the appropriate portion of the sheet material is released from the location means and the sheet material portion moved to then allow the access opening into the cavity to be opened.

Typically all four side walls of the base are formed from the said sheet material located with the frame and at least one portion of the same is movable to allow access to an access opening into the interior cavity of the base.

In one embodiment a plurality of said portions are provided to allow access to the interior cavity.

Typically said sheet material portions are provided along one common side wall of the frame and most typically that is one of the longer side walls of the rectangularly shape base.

In a further aspect of the invention there is provided a bed, said bed including a base formed of a frame, a support surface for a mattress thereon and side walls formed from portions of sheet material and wherein said portions of sheet material are selectively removable from the frame and, when attached, at least one of the said sheet material portions is movable between a first condition in which the same depend downwardly from or adjacent to a top edge of the frame to mask an interior cavity of the base and a second condition to define an access opening via which access can be gained to the interior cavity of the base In one embodiment the type, colour and/ or pattern of the sheet material may be selected independently at the time of purchase and/ or subsequently and thereby allow the appearance of the base to have a wider range of possible options than would conventionally be the case. Furthermore the ability to select the sheet material type some time after purchase allows the appearance to be refreshed and/ or altered to suit decoration changes in the location of use, without requiring the whole bed to be replaced.

Thus, there is provided in accordance with the invention a bed which can be of a divan type, and the bed includes a base formed by a frame with a support surface which is typically formed by a series of modular units and side walls formed of a sheet material attached to the frame and wherein the base can be selectively provided in a storage condition in which the same can be placed in a container for storage and/ or delivery purposes and, following delivery, for storage in a premises, and an in-use condition in which the frame is extended, the modular units are positioned on the frame and supported thereby to form the support surface and the sheet material is extended so as to form the sidewalls of the base.

In one embodiment the frame is formed from reclaimed and reprocessed metal, metal alloy, wood or plastic members the modular units and other fittings are formed from recycled plastics material and the sheet materials is an ethically sourced fabric, thereby greatly increasing the environmental benefits of a bed as formed herein and in contrast to the conventional beds whilst increasing the attractive appearance of the same, maintaining the ability to use an interior cavity of the base and allowing the significantly improved ability for storage and delivery of the bed as the same can be moved to a storage condition.

In a further aspect of the invention there is provided a base for a bed, said base including a frame, a support surface for a mattress thereon and side and end walls, at least of said walls formed from one or more portions of sheet material and wherein said portions are selectively attachable and removable from the frame and, when attached, at least one of the said sheet material portions is movable between a first condition in which the same depend downwardly from or adjacent to a top edge of the frame to mask an interior cavity of the base and a second condition to define an access opening via which access can be gained to the interior cavity of the base Specific embodiments of the invention are now described with reference to the accompanying drawings; wherein

Figures la-c illustrates a bed base in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

Figures 2a-c illustrates the location components for the side wall portions in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

Figures 3a-c illustrate the first and second parts of the side wall portion in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

Figure 4 illustrates a frame in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

Figures 5a -c illustrate the manner of attachment and formation of a headboard with the frame in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

Figures 6a-c illustrate the support surface and frame of the base in in-use and storage conditions;

Figure 7 illustrates the components of a base in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

Figures 8a-d illustrate embodiments of a support surface in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

Figures 9a-c illustrate an embodiment of an end cap for use with the end of a support surface slat;

Figures 10a -c illustrate a single fold up bed in accordance with one embodiment of the invention with side portions not fitted,

Figures lla-g illustrate a bed frame and bed in an in-use condition in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. Figures 12a and b illustrate the components of the base of the bed structure of Figures lla-g;

Figure 13a - d illustrate the base of the bed structure in a storage condition;

Figure 14 illustrates a further embodiment of a support surface for the base of the bed;.

Figures 15a-c illustrate a further embodiment for forming the support surface of the base of the bed;

Figures 16a-c illustrate a further embodiment for forming a support surface of the base of the bed;

Figures 17a-g illustrate a further embodiment for forming the frame of the base of the bed;

Figures 18a-g illustrate a further embodiment for forming the frame of the base of the bed;

Figures 19a-b illustrate the provision of a container for use with the cavity of the base;

Figures 20a-d illustrate the provision of drawers for use with the cavity of the base;

Figures 21a-b illustrate alternative embodiments for providing an access condition for accessing the cavity of the base;

Figures 22a-c illustrate embodiments of a leg of the base;

Figures 23a-g illustrate an embodiment of joining frame members together to form the frame;

Figure 24 illustrates a further embodiment of joining frame members together to form the bed; Figures 25a-f illustrate further embodiments for joining frame members together to form the base of the bed;

Figures 26a-b illustrate in which adjacent frames of beds in accordance with the invention may be joined together to change the dimensions of the same;

Figure 27 illustrates an alternative form of a bed in accordance with the invention; and

Figures 28a-c illustrate a further embodiment of the invention ..

Referring now to Figures llg and 5b there is illustrated a bed 2 in accordance with the invention, said bed including a base 4 and a mattress 10 located thereon so that the mattress 10 is provided at a fixed distance 12 from a support surface such as a floor 14 on which the base is 4 is located.

Turning now to Figures la-c, 4, 7 and lla-h the mattress has been removed for ease of illustration and there are provided various views of the base 4 in accordance with two different embodiments of the invention. In both embodiments the base assembly 4 has a top surface 6 formed by a cover layer 8 and the base is provided with sidewalls which comprise a head end side wall 16, a foot end side wall 18 and elongate side walls 20,22. All of the side walls extend from the top surface of a frame 24 which includes support legs 26 and horizontal support stmts 28 so as to form the frame as a rigid structure, typically formed of aluminium tube.

The frame includes a support surface 32 formed by a series of components located and supported by and extending between, the frame members or struts 28. The components can be provided in the form of slats 100, typically formed of wood as illustrated in the embodiments shown in Figures 1-10b or could be provided in the form of modular panels or units 30 which are shown in more detail in Figures 12a- 13b and which will be described in greater detail subsequently. The support surface 32 locates thereon the cover layer 8, possible further layers between the cover layer and the support surface 32 and in turn the mattress 10. In accordance with the invention any or all of the sides walls 16,18,20,22 of the base can be formed by sheet material portions using sheet material which is flexible and held taut by the frame or formed of a relatively rigid material so as to appear to be “solid” walls as shown in Figures lb and c and llg.

In one embodiment the space between the floor and the underside of the support surface can be enclosed by the sheet material portions so as to form an internal storage cavity 34 which is typically required to be usable as a storage space. In this embodiment one but more typically a plurality of the skirt portions 35, 36, 37, 38 can be provided in a form and attached to the frame so as to allow the same to be moved to a condition, whilst, in one embodiment, still attached to the frame so as to allow access to the cavity. For example, openings 40, 42 can be formed by the movement respective sheet material portions 36, 38 and allow the user to gain access to the internal cavity 34 when the sheet material skirt portions have been moved to the access condition.

In Figures la-c and lla-h the sheet material skirt portion 36 is shown in the closed, side wall forming condition and the sheet material skirt portion 38 is shown in the access condition to allow access to be gained through the opening 42 and thereby allow items to be placed into or removed from the internal cavity 34.

As shown in Figures 2a-c the side walls of the base are not formed of permanently attached and fixed side walls or require the use of foam or polyester to upholster the frame. Instead, the sheet material skirt portions can be removably attached to the frame to form the side walls of the frame. In the embodiment shown the sheet material layer or layers of the portions 35,36,37,38 provide a neat upholstered appearance for the sidewalls when they are in position and similar in appearance to a conventional divan bed in this embodiment. However, unlike a conventional divan bed the sheet material portions can be easily removed and replaced, and the frame can be collapsed and erected. Thus the base is easily adaptable the sheet material portions, whether they be formed of fabric, wood or other materials can be easily removed from the frame as the said portion includes a locating rod 44 which is selectively engageable with location means 46 provided at the free end of the legs 26 so as to be at or near the bottom of the leg and hence adjacent the floor 14 and when the sheet material portion is in the closed condition the rod 44 is clicked and engaged with the location means 46 of adjacent legs 26 to retain the skirt portion in a taut condition. The member 44 can be disengaged from the location means 46 to allow movement of the free end 48, in this case free end 48 of the skirt portion 38, as indicated by arrow 50 about the top edge 52 as shown in Figures lb and c.

It should be appreciated that alternative forms of access openings, skirts and/or alternative forms of opening the same may be utilised to suit specific purposes as may the size of the access openings and the number of the same should be provided.

Thus, in accordance with the invention the need to upholster the base to form side walls is removed and therefore the use of foam and/ or polyester materials is removed as a result of the provision of the sheet material portions. The material used to form the said portions can be selected from a range of possible material types and/ or patterns and then attached and held in position to form the side walls of the frame. Examples of this are shown in Figures 3a-c where the sheet material is shown as a fabric 51 in Figures 3a and b and wood or wood effect 53 in Figure 3c. This also allows the portions to be easily removed and replaced which allows the portions to be removed from the frame and washed or replaced at any time thereby offering significant flexibility to the user and avoiding the need to replace the entire base if damage occurs to one of the said portions. Furthermore, the sheet material which is used can have different levels of rigidity and, as a result, provides the possibility of relatively rigid sheet material being used such as wood, plastic, mirror panels and thereby greatly increasing the range of possible visual options available.

In one embodiment the location for the top edge of the sheet material portions 35, 36,37,38 with respect to the frame is achieved via a passage formation 80 on the frame members 28 as shown, for example, in Figure 2a. In one embodiment the said formation is provided as an elongate extruded formation along the frame members and receives therein a rod 84 to which the sheet material is located so that, for example, on one side of the frame the formation 80 receives the rod 84 for portion 36 and the rod 84 for portion 38 and said rods can be slid into position from one end or alternatively moved downwardly as indicated by arrow 57 and clicked into position. Securing means 106 and a cap 107 are placed in position at the tops of the legs 26 as shown in Figure 2a to retain the rods 84 in place in the formations 80. In one embodiment the connectors 27 which allow the connection of adjacent member ends and legs are formed of plastic and have male formations which slide into the open ends of the, typically extruded, members and legs, and are formed so as to provide a friction fit and/ or engage with the interior wall of the members or legs and/ or have locking means which click into position, to secure the components together. In one embodiment the said connectors and/or legs have recessed channels to allow the opposing side edges 29 of the sheet material skirts or portions 35, 36,37,38 to be flush with the legs 26 when in the closed condition. The caps 107 also conceal and finish the fabrics where they intersect the corners of the base.

Furthermore, in order to avoid the need for foam or staples which are used to upholster the sidewalls of conventional divan bed bases, the current invention utilises the engagement of the sheet material portions 35, 36, 37,38 which have loops formed at their opposing edges to received the rods or members 44, 84 respectively, The dimensions of the spacing between the loops on the sheet material with respect to the spacing of the engagement formations 46, 80 is such that when the rods 44, 84 are in positions with the frame, the sheet material portions are held taut and hence create a flush finish. When there is a need to move the portion to an access condition then an engagement member, typically the member 44 can be removed from the engagement means 46 and the sheet material portion is raised. It should be appreciated that more than one layer of sheet material can be used in the said portion so that for example a greater number of layers may be selected and provided so as, together in combination form a particular visual appearance, level of comfort or the like.

It should be appreciated that other means of removably engaging the sheet material skirt portions to the frame are possible, such as hook and loop fastening means or the provision of location nipples or studs on the frame at spaced intervals and which receive thereon the other part of the stud or apertures provided on the sheet material skirt portion. One such further embodiment is shown in Figures 28a-c in which the sheet material portions 35, 36,37,38 are attached to the frame members 28 at the top using location nipples 238 provided on the frame members at spaced locations which are received in apertures provided in the sheet material portions at the same spacing and the lower edge of the sheet material portions are provided with rods which are sewn into the fabric and which engage with hook formations 236 provided on feet 234 located at the end of the leg 26 so as to locate the sheet material portions in a taut condition to form the side walls.

In one embodiment, the head and/ or foot side walls 16, 18 may be formed as panels which are fitted to the frame and skirt portions 35,37 may be provided on the opposing sidewall 22 of the base in the same or another configuration as those provided on the side wall 20. In on embodiment, as shown in Figures 5a c the end wall 16 may include a headboard 121 attached to the frame via engagement means 124. It should also be appreciated that the frame can be provided with a footboard at the opposing end 122 of the frame and/ or a footboard can be provided without a headboard. Typically the headboard and/ or footboard will be provided with a frame and sheet material which may be the same or different to that used for the sheet material portions of the side walls and the sheet material is rigid or is held taut across the frame as shown in Figure 5b. The internal frame 137 of the Headboard is typically constructed with the same frame materials as the bed has using aluminium rails, connected with the corner brackets. Then the same method of adding comfort pads onto the slatted supports as is used with respect to the slats and support surface can be used to offer varying comfort options on the headboard. Then, a removable (washable) cover 139 can be pulled over the frame in the direction of arrow 141 to create different upholstered headboard finishes. Alternatively, the fabric can be added in the same manner as the sheet material portions used to form the side walls of the base and the portions can be retained across the headboard in a similar manner to allow the removal and replacement of the same.

.A similar arrangement is illustrated in Figures lOa-c but without the skirt portions 35,36,37,38 being fitted and in this embodiment an alternative fabric attachment method is used in which the sheet material skirt portions are of flexible sheet material and are wrapped around the side and end frame members to thereby provide a shorter skirt side wall.

Figures 3a-c illustrate one embodiment of the formation of a sheet material portion 35,36,37,38 and in which the same is formed of a first, lower part 86 and a second upper part 88. The first part receives the lower engagement rod 44 which is to be located in engagement formations 46 on the legs 26 and the second part 88 receives the upper engagement rod 84 which is to be located in the engagement channel 80 of the frame member 28 as shown in Figure 3c. In one embodiment the second part 88 and engagement rod 84 are formed as an integral formation. The first and second parts 86, 88 are provided with castellated loops 90,92 respectively which when brought together in line receive a connecting rod 96 as shown in Figure 3b to form a hinged connection which is typically located at the top corner 114 of the upper frame member 28. The first part is shown in this embodiment to be formed of a relatively rigid wood sheet material 53 and hence the hinged connection formed by the castellated loops and rod allow sufficient movement between the first part 86 and second part 88 to allow the side wall to be formed whilst allowing the portion to be moved to the access condition by movement about the hinged connection. Also shown is that a fabric side panel 55 can also be provided in conjunction with the wood sheet material

As shown in the first embodiment of Figures 1-lOc the support surface 32 is formed from a series of components in the form of slats 100. As shown in Figure 2c and 8a- c the base of the bed in accordance with the invention is adaptable to provide a range of different comfort options. For example, different comfort layers or pads 102 may be selected by the user and positioned so as to be used when placed on the support surface 32 of the base to suit particular user requirements and also to allow the replacement of the layers or pads 102 over time. Furthermore a particular support surface system can be selected at the time of purchase and then subsequentiy reused or replaced with an alternative system over time so that the user can modify the comfort of the base and support surface without the need to replace the core frame.

Examples of possible support surface configurations which can be used in the base of the invention include, the use of wooden slats 100, modular panels 34, electric adjustable bed bases and/ or massage base systems.

Comfort pads or layers 102 can be used in the form of, for example, open coil and/ or pocket spring pads; polyester or foam layer or layers and which may then be covered by a top fabric layer 8 which is held taut via securing rods 104 which engage in retaining means 116 formed in the frame members 28 as shown in Figure 2c. Furthermore, as shown in Figure 2a retaining teeth 59 can be provided, in this case in the retaining cap 107 which, when the cap is in a securing position force the teeth are forced into contact with the top fabric layer 8 and enter into the same to engage and retain the sheet material taut and located across the frame and hence across the support surface 32 and any other intermediate layers.

In one embodiment, when the support surface 32 is formed of slats 100, the same are capped at each end with slat caps 108, then slid into channels 118 of the side members 28 to create the support surface 32. In a first configuration the support surface 32 can be formed only by the slats as shown in Figure 8c and Figure 9a, or, by rotating the slats 180 degrees and then placing the same in position with the frame members, a trough 110 can be created from the top 112 of the channel 118 to the top of the support surface 32 by the location of the spacer element 120 of the slat caps 108 to the upper side of the slats 100. Different comfort pads or layers 102 can be placed onto the support surface 32 as shown in Figure 2c and Figures 8a-b and d to provide a variety of comfort options and onto which the cover layer 8 is placed and then the mattress is subsequently placed onto the cover layer. In certain embodiments the cover layer 8 need not be provided. As shown in Figure 10c the support surface system can also be used as a drop-in solution for conventional frame beds, providing divan comfort in a foldable, retrofittable module

In one embodiment as shown in Figures 9b-c- the slat cap 108 is provided with a hooked part 122 so that the same can be located over a rail 124 on the frame member and thereby locate the end of the slat 100 which is engaged in the cap with the member. To further increase the comfort levels of the base system, the slat cap 108 is provided with a“spring” formation 120, which when in the position shown in Figure 9a provides additional flexibility in the slats vertical movement.

Figures 12a and b illustrate the components of the base for the embodiment shown in Figures lla-f and it will be seen that in this embodiment the support surface 32 is formed by modular units 30 which can be selectively positioned on the frame to form the support surface 32 of the base 4 onto which the cover 8 is located. In another embodiment the cover 8 may not be provided and the mattress 10 is located directly on the support surface 32. The modular units 30 may have apertures 54 formed therein (in this example as slots) which allow the passage of air through the same. The modular units also include location means in the form of pegs 56 which allow location of the modular units with the frame 24. A similar embodiment is also illustrated in Figure 14 in which a series of panels 30 are located on the frame of the base and are provided with apertures to allow the passage of air as indicated by arrows 124 from the mattress 10 through the support surface 32 and into the cavity defined within the frame and hence to the external environment.

Figures 15a-c illustrate a further embodiment of a support surface in accordance with the invention in which two panels 130, 132 formed of a rigid material such as wood or recycled plastics material are placed into the frame 24 to span the members 28 and be supported in position. Again the panels include apertures 134 to allow air to pass between the mattress and the internal cavity of the base.

Figures 16a-c illustrate a further formation of support surface and in this embodiment first and second panels 136, 138 are provided which have a corrugated or slotted cross sectional provide which allows the panels to be slid together along the axes of the corrugations as indicated by arrow 140. The panels may be slid together as indicated in Figure 16b and then placed in position on the frame members 28 as shown in Figure 16c.

In one embodiment the frame is formed so to be hinged to allow the same to be movable between a storage condition as shown in Figures 6a, b, and Figures 13a-d and an in-use condition shown in Figure 6c. Typically the base is provided in the storage condition initially to achieve the transport benefits and be easily moved to the assembled in use condition by the end user. Figure 13d illustrated the frame in the storage condition for transport in a box 58 in which the same may be transported. As indicated the frame is split into two halves, 24, 24’ by folding the same about hinge assemblies 60,62 as indicated by arrows 126, 128 located on opposing edges of the frame 24 and with the intermediate legs 26’ located between the frame halves. The end legs 26 can be attached to the frame once the same has been moved to the is use position by sliding the same into engagement with the caps 107 of the frame. The support surface components in the form of slats 100 or modular units 30 can be located with the frame in both storage and in use conditions. When the bed is at the location for use the same can then be moved to the in use condition. As already discussed previously a problem with conventional divan bed designs is the transport of the same and costs and environmental problems which exist. In contrast, in the current invention, the bed base can be transported in a storage condition in which the same is approximately a l/4th of its in use size thereby providing easier transportation and a lower carbon footprint. The current invention therefore provides a bed base which is lightweight, folded and packed into one or two (depending on size) easily transportable boxes. This unique folded assembly maximises how many bed bases can be transported on a standard transport container or trailer and also enables 1-man direct home delivery, from the factory to the users home, thereby reducing the number of miles travelled and further reducing the carbon footprint. For example, approximately 3 to 4 times more bed bases in accordance with the invention can fit in a standard container or trailer of a lorry, compared to a conventional divan base. As another example, bed bases in accordance with the invention can fit on a standard Euro pallet (lm x 1.2m) when stacked up to 1.6m high whereas conventional divan bed bases cannot be palletised due to their unfavourable size.

The frame 24 can be formed in different embodiments and still be movable between in use and storage conditions. For example, Figures 17a-g and Figures 18a-g illustrate different forms of frames which can be moved between storage conditions shown in Figures 17a, b and 18a, b and then, by pivotal movement of the frame members 28 about hinge portions 142 the legs 26 can be moved apart and the frame 24 provided in the in -use position as shown Figures 17f -g and 18f-g respectively. Once folded out and locked into position, multiple modules can be connected together to create a full bed base.

The cavity 34 within the base 4 can be provided as an empty space or area as herein described and in which case approximately 8 times more storage space is available to be used than is possible with a conventional divan base of a similar size. Ffowever, in order to meet certain user requirements for more organised storage, containers

144 can be provided to be slid into and out of the cavity 34 as indicated by arrow

145 in Figures 19a-b with the skirt portion 36 in the access position, or drawers 146 can be provided as illustrated in Figures 20a-d to be slid as indicated by arrows 148 so as to move the drawers between the recessed position as shown in Figure 20b and the extended position as shown in Figures 20c-d. In this latter embodiment drawer guides and runners can be installed as part of the frame so as to allow the guided movement of the drawers with respect to the frame. In one embodiment a range of drawer sizes and configurations can be provided in order to allow different drawer sizes to be provided and at different locations on the side walls so as to take into account surrounding environment dimensions and thereby maximise the usable area and access to the same.

Furthermore, as illustrated in Figures 21a and b the skirt portions can be provided in alternative embodiments and in this embodiment a hinge mechanism 150 is attached to the frame so as to allow the pivotal movement of a skirt portion as indicated by arrow 152 in Figure 21a or by a sliding movement as indicated by arrows 154,156 in Figure 21b to an access position to allow access to the interior 34 of the base 4.

The frame itself can be formed of a grid of members which may be formed of wood and/ or plastic and/ or combinations of the same.

The frame members can be joined together to form the frame in a number of different embodiments. In Figures 22a-c there is illustrated the manner in which the leg 26 is formed with a body portion 158 which can be provided of an appropriate material for strength and/ or visual appearance and at the top there is provided a component 160 which can be used to assist in securing the skirt portions in position and a cap 107 and securing means 108 which locks the cap, and any other components in position on the top of the leg 26. At the bottom of the leg there may be provided protective feet and/ or castors as required.

In Figures 23a-g there is illustrated the manner in which the frame members 162 may be joined together using screws 164 which pass through apertures 166 in both members 162 and typically the apertures in one of the members will be threaded so as to allow the screws to be engaged and join the members 162 together with the aid of a support stmt 168 and then the legs can be joined using a similar arrangement to that shown in Figures 22a-c. In Figure 23c it is shown how the sheet material portions can be located and secured in place within and between the frame members.

Alternatively, the frame members 28 may be joined together using engagement blocks, 170, typically formed of recycled plastic and which receive the ends 172 of the members 28 thereon as shown in Figure 24 and the blocks are then engaged with a central location formation 174, so as to join a number of blocks 170 and associated members together. The leg 26 can also be attached to the central location formation 174. A tenon joining arrangements can be utilised to allow secure connection whilst allowing the user to push the blocks onto the frame members and/ or legs and a cap formation is then moved down onto the central location formation 174 to secure the block and formation in position via securing screw. The blocks may include an expanding portion which can be expanded to locate against the internal surface of the frame members so as to provide an additional fixing of the block with the frame member into which the same is inserted.

Yet further forms of engagement means can be used for the engagement of the frame members 28 and these are illustrated in Figures 25a- f. In this embodiment the frame members 28 and legs 26 are provided to be circular in cross section and can be engaged by engagement formations 176 with a body 178 which have a single clip 180 as shown in Figures 25a, c and e or have opposing clips 180, 182 as illustrated. In another embodiment as shown in Figures 25a, f the body may be provided with hook engaging portions 184.

Figures 26a and b illustrate the manner in which adjacent bed frames can be joined together so as to allow, for example, two single bed frames to be joined together to create a double bed and disengaged to form two single beds. The Figures show adjacent frame side members, for example left hand side frame member 28 of a first frame 24 and right hand side frame member 28’ of a second frame 247 In Figure 26a the frame members 28,28’ and hence frames 24, 24’ are shown being brought together in the directions of arrows 186,188 to lie adjacent each other with sets of apertures 190, 192 in respective frame members positioned in line as shown. Once in line engaging members 194 which, in this case are U shaped clips can be moved as indicated by arrow 196 so that the free ends of the engaging members 196 pass into the apertures 190, 192. and hence move to the position shown in Figure 26b in which the engaging members are acting to retain the frame members 28, 28’ and hence frames 24, 24’ together to form a larger sized base for a larger mattress to be placed across both, joined, frames. Alternative, to move the frames 24; 24’ apart, the engaging members are moved upwardly as indicated by arrow 198 to release them from the frame members 28, 28’ as the frame members can then be moved apart as shown by arrows 200, 202 to form, for example, two single bed bases. It should be appreciated that although in this embodiment the joining of the frames is achieved by connecting the frame members 28, 28’ the frames may be joined using one or a combination of the frame members 28, 28’, adjacent legs 26, 26’s of the frames 24, 24’ and or connecting components which allow the frame members and legs to be joined together and the use of engaging members of any form with one or a combination of these parts.

Figure 27 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the invention in which there is provided a frame again formed of frame members 28, connecting components and a support surface 32 and in this embodiment there is provided a sleeve 230 formed of sheet material which includes a cover portion 8 and sheet material skirt portions 16,18, 35,36,37,38 which are all joined together as the sleeve and the sleeve is moved down onto the frame as indicted by arrow 232 so as to form the base.

There is therefore provided in accordance with the invention a bed, and a bed base which preferably has a frame formed of a series of members, which in one embodiment are formed of aluminium or aluminium alloy and which are engaged together by recycled plastics components. Thus, the entire frame is recyclable at the end of life of the base.

In accordance with the invention in the embodiments shown, the cavity defined within the base is not confined to being provided with drawers as in conventional divan beds but instead, as the sheet material portions are attached to the frame and therefore lie substantially flush with the frame, one or more of the portions can easily be moved to an access condition to allow user access to the full storage potential of the cavity within the base and offering up to 8 times more capacity in the cavity for storage than a conventional divan bed base of the same external dimensions. Furthermore the ability to move one or more of the portions of sheet material to a storage condition means that access can be gained to the cavity from any of the sides of the bed base which his important if the bed is located in a relatively confined bedroom in which access from certain directions may be difficult, especially when other items of furniture are located in the same room.

Furthermore, the features and embodiments described herein allow the bed which his formed to have improved hygiene compared to conventional divan beds which are known to harbour microbes and are extremely difficult to clean as the inside of a conventional bed is impossible for the user to access without causing damage to the fabric or structure so that organisms can breed inside the base during its life and potentially emitting allergens and affecting the user’s health. In contrast, in the bed of the current invention the components are convenient to remove so the user can clean or replace them as they wish and, for example by moving the said sheet material portions to the access condition the cavity can be accessed to be cleaned and vacuum cleaned which is contrast to divan beds. This is a significant benefit to general users and is of particular benefit for commercial environments such as Hotels and Student accommodation.

As a result of the unique construction and materials selected, the bed base in accordance with the invention can be provided to be 100% recyclable at the end of its useful life. In order to achieve this then in one embodiment the bed base is formed by Aluminium frame members engaged together to form the frame by 100% Recycled Plastic engaging components. The sheet material portions are formed of one material (e.g. 100% recyclable polyester or 100% cotton) and are held in position with respect to the frame by steel rods and wood can be used to form the support surface components engaged with the frame.

In whichever form the support surface is selected the same will typically include passages to allow air to flow freely from the base cavity and into the mattress.

In accordance with the invention there is therefore provided a base for a bed which can be used as a replacement of the base for conventional divan beds and, more generally as a replacement for conventional upholstered bed frames. The base can also be used as a drop-in system for conventional bed frames and for use as a folding frame bed which is easily adaptable between in-use and storage conditions as illustrated for example in Figures 6a-c.

As a result of the design features as herein described attention solutions are provided to form a bed which allows the hierarchy of sustainability to be addressed in the form of reduction, re-use, re-cycling of materials so that the core materials are durable, are sourced largely from recycled materials and are also entirely recyclable at the end of life.