One of suburban America’s most iconic images features a huge expanse of lawn, accompanied by the lawn mower that helps to make it beautiful. A classic movie scene from “She’s Having a Baby” even features suburban husbands dancing in perfectly choreographed unison to the samba. Genius. If you’ve never seen the movie, rent it for that scene alone.

If you’ve got a lawn, you need a lawn mower. The technology and features available on today’s mowers have jumped ahead in amazing ways since even a couple of years ago. You won’t need all the bells and whistles to have a beautiful lawn, but here are four features you should consider carefully before choosing a lawn mower:

1. Cutting Height: Look for a maximum cutting height over 2 inches, especially if you live in a hot climate where closely cut grass can actually damage your lawn. Most electric and gas mowers will not be a problem; check reel mowers carefully for this feature.

2. Variable Speeds: If you’re looking at a self-propelled mower, make sure you can change the speed on that model. Some areas of your lawn may require a more delicate touch, and lower speeds will help.

3. Safety: Robotic mowers (can you believe they’re selling robotic mowers?) have the best safety record, followed closely by reel mowers. Gas mowers will require ear plugs or ear muffs, and attention to fire prevention. You’ll need to plug electric mowers in to a GFI (ground fault interrupter) outlet to avoid problems with mixing electricity and water.

4. Health Issues: To avoid allergies and air pollution, a manual reel mower will be your best option. These lawn mowers have no negative impact to the environment and provide exercise. Electric and battery lawn mowers fall in the mid-range for pollution. Gas mowers cause a significant amount of noise and air pollution, which are both considered hazards to your health.

Look for more essential lawn mower features to consider…coming next time!