THE number of mattresses thrown away in Hampshire each year would stretch from Southampton to Manchester if laid end to end.

This shocking statistic was revealed via a study by The Best Mattresses Guide.

It estimates that about 150,000 are thrown away in the county each year – which would stretch nearly 290km.

Now, the company is urging people to think before they buy.

Daily Echo:

“Many mattress companies have made big efforts in recent years to become greener," said Robert Lane from The Best Mattresses Guide. "Some make packaging from recycled materials and some boast of ‘carbon neutral’ factories.”

"However, there's a lot of information missing and the UK's mattresses are still having a colossal impact on the environment. For shoppers who want to make a difference, it is hugely confusing.

“Displaying the carbon emissions from manufacturing and transport wouldn’t tell you everything about how ‘green’ a mattress is, but it would be a good start. We are raising the challenge to the mattress industry to help consumers make environmentally friendly choices.”

The production of a new double mattress creates a carbon footprint which is roughly equivalent to a petrol car driving 300 miles.

Several factors influence the carbon footprint. Some are imported, whilst others are made in the UK.

Mattresses also use a variety of different materials. Some studies suggest that natural cotton has a lower impact than man-made polyester.

The Best Mattresses Guide has offered the following tips to be green:

1. Ask what packaging the mattress will arrive in. After all, a carrier bag big enough for a mattress is a huge amount of plastic. Some mattress companies now use one layer of plastic rather than two. Others, such as Hypnos use a combination of ‘sugar cane ethanol’ with recycled plastic.

2. One good quality mattress which lasts you for eight years will have a smaller environmental impact than two poor quality mattresses that last for four years. It's difficult to know how long a mattress will last for but the length of the warranty is a good indication of quality. Avoid very cheap mattresses if you can afford to spend a little more.

3. Deeper mattresses are - unsurprisingly - much worse for carbon emissions. Buy a mattress which is deep enough to support you, but not excessively deep. Lighter people can get away with a thinner mattress than heavier people.

4. If you’re buying a mattress online with a risk-free trial period, ask what will happen if you send the mattress back. Will it be recycled, donated to charity or re-sold at a discount price? Or will it be sent to landfill?

5. Check where the mattress is manufactured. Lots of budget, mid-priced and luxury mattresses are made in the UK. If it doesn’t say ‘Made in the UK’ in the description then it has probably been shipped from the other side of the world.

6. Mattresses made with ‘open coil’ or ‘bonnell’ springs are much easier to recycle than ‘pocket sprung’ mattresses. This is because an open coil mattress has one long piece of metal whereas a pocket sprung mattress can have 2000 tiny pieces of metal which have to be extracted one-by-one. However, pocket sprung mattresses are more supportive. Eco-aware shoppers might decide to have an open coil mattress for an occasionally used guest bed but to have a pocket sprung mattress for every day use.