Brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens Stål, is one of the most serious insect pests of rice in China and other southeast Asia countries. In the paper, tolerance characteristics of 10 different rice varieties was analyzed using tolerance index, antibiosis index, functional plant loss index (FPLI) and population number of BPH F1 generation at rice seedling and adult stages. The results showed that when plants were infested by eight 1–2 instars and 3–4 instars BPH nymphs at seedling stage, respectively, the plants of different varieties expressed some difference in tolerance levels. Tolerance indexes of these varieties including Shanyou 63, Xiushui 11, Pei’ai 64S/E32, Triveni, Utri Rajapan, ASD7, and Jiayu 948 were greater than their antibiosis indexes, Especially for Shanyou 63. While tolerance index of IR64, Rathu Heenati was obviously less than antibiosis index. When rice plants were infected with 3–4 instar nymphs, its tolerance index increased. For the same variety, tolerance index at adult stage was obviously higher than that at seedling stage. Under the infection by same number of BPH, the plants of varieties Xiushui 11 and TN1 died (9 level), Pei’ai 64S/E32, Shanyou 63, Jiayu 948, Triveni and Utri Rajapan plants expressed middle damage level (3–5 level), ASD7 and IR64 less damage level (<3 level), Rathu Heenati no damage. Population number of BPH on Xiushui 11, Shanyou 63 and Pei’ai 64S/E32 had no obvious difference from that on TN1, and was significantly higher than that on other varieties, with that on Jiayu 948, Triveni, Utri Rajapan > that on ASD7 > that on Rathu Heenati. These results above mentioned indicated that TN1, Shanyou 63 and Xiushui 11 are susceptible, has no tolerance and antibiosis characteristics; Pei’ai 64S/E32, Triveni, Utri Rajapan belongs to the group of stronger tolerance; IR64, Rathu Heenati are of high antibiosis; ASD7 and Jiayu 948 belongs to the group of both tolerance and antibiosis. Therefore, it is concluded that tolerance characteristics of different rice varieties will be determined by the method using in the paper. This will provide a useful screening method in tolerant varieties breeding and be of important significance to sustainable management of BPH.