The friction and wear of the silicon carbide (SiC) and hot pressed silicon nitride (Si3N4) against zirconia (Y–TZP) sliding under dry friction and room temperature conditions were investigated with pin-on-disk tribometer at sliding speed of 0.56 m·s-1 and normal load of 50 N, 80 N and 120 N, respectively. It was found that, the coefficient of friction and wear rate are dependent on the test duration as well as the normal load. Through analyzing and comparing, the wear rates of the two frictional couples both are in the 10-6 mm3 (N·m)-1. Based on the variety regulation of the wear maps, the wear mechanisms of the two couples were analyzed. Between the two couples, the friction and wear characteristics of the SiC/ZrO2 couple are better than the Si3N4/ZrO2 couple’s.