Boron nitride (BN) nanomaterials have been increasingly explored for potential biological applications. However, their toxicity remains poorly understood. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a whole-animal model for toxicity analysis of two representative types of BN nanomaterials - BN nanospheres (BNNSs) and highly water-soluble BN nanomaterial (named BN-800-2) - we found that BNNSs overall toxicity was less than soluble BN-800-2 with irregular shapes. The concentration thresholds for BNNSs and BN-800-2 were 100 µg·mL(-1) and 10 µg·mL(-1), respectively. Above this concentration, both delayed growth, decreased life span, reduced progeny, retarded locomotion behavior, and changed the expression of phenotype-related genes to various extents. BNNSs and BN-800-2 increased oxidative stress levels in C. elegans by promoting reactive oxygen species production. Our results further showed that oxidative stress response and MAPK signaling-related genes, such as GAS1, SOD2, SOD3, MEK1, and PMK1, might be key factors for reactive oxygen species production and toxic responses to BNNSs and BN-800-2 exposure. Together, our results suggest that when concentrations are lower than 10 µg·mL(-1), BNNSs are more biocompatible than BN-800-2 and are potentially biocompatible material.